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Organize + Energize: 7 Tips for Organizing Your Linen Closet

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


A linen closet can be home to a variety of mixed category items. We store anything from sheets, makeup, manicure items, toiletries, towels, to first aid, etc. What other items are you storing in this closet?

How many sets of sheets do you really need?  Get rid of sheets that are ripped or have lost their elasticity.  Are they contained or just thrown all over this space? Categorize, itemize and store like items together contained in bins. You really have to get creative and maximize your space when organizing your linen closet.

Here are 7 tips to help you in this process:

Empty the entire closet. Yes, everything must come out. You won’t know what is hiding in the back corner if you don’t take everything out.

Make 5 piles:  Keep. Toss. Donate. Sell. Move to another area.  Create a “move to another area pile” because you never want to move out of the space you are organizing.

Check for expiration dates. Be sure to check for expiration dates when going through toiletries, medications and first aid. If you haven’t gone through this closet in years, you may find some very old, expired medication.

Categorize.  As you are emptying, itemize and categorize the items in your keep pile. This will make it easier when you begin to organize.

Create a vision. Take a look at your empty space. Create a vision of how you want your closet to look and how you want to function. Think about how you and your family grab items. What’s used on a daily, weekly basis vs monthly or yearly?

Purchase containers. Don’t purchase your bins until you know exactly what you will store in them. Measure your space. Look at what you have and purchase bins to match what you have and ones that will fit the space.  Maximize your space. Everything should fit like a puzzle.

Label, label, label.  If you want everybody on board with this process, label your bins. You and your family will maintain these systems if you label.

Think about how many items you have to touch before you find the item that you need. You want to be as efficient and productive as possible and just having this space organized will help you get more free time. Revisit your closet in one month to be sure that your systems are working. If you need to, tweak them to work better for you.

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE.


Related Slideshow: 10 Areas You Find Most Challenging to Get Organized

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Paper in any form

This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.

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 To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.

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When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.

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This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.

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The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization.  Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.

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Office at work

Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.

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Kid’s rooms

If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.

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Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.

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Linen closets

When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.

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This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.


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