Things have been a little chaotic around here lately. I haven't had as much time to organize as I would like, however I didn't want to lose my momentum so I did take some time to organize my linen closet earlier this past month.
The linen closet doesn't get a lot of attention from me because my towels and wash clothes are kept downstairs in my bathroom. I put my sheets on the same day I wash them (the sheets were expensive so I didn't buy a second set). When I do go in there I close my eyes so I don't have to see the mess. At least that was what I did before I re-organized!
When I decide to tackle an organization project I always ask myself what the fundamental problems are and then try to solve those. The main problem that I faced with the linen closet was to much stuff. We have so many towels, sheets, wash clothes and household supplies that it just looked cluttered. I've noticed that we as family tend to accumulate stuff, much more than we need.
The first thing I did was pull everything out of the closet and sort it.
Towels - I don't know about the rest of you but we keep our towels for a long time, they tend to get a little ratty and show their age. Plus we had way too many of them. We didn't need any more rags around the house so I put them in a bag and donated them to a facility here in town that has a use for old towels.
Sheets - I found sheets in the closet from my son's old bed. The one we got rid of about three years ago. I went through all the old sheets keeping one spare set for each my son and daughter. The rest were donated to Goodwill
Light bulbs - I also found light bulbs from a light fixture we got rid of years ago. My parents use those light bulbs so I got rid of them
Cleaning Supplies - Years ago I bought a crate to carry all of our cleaning supplies. For some reason, when the kids clean they are unable to put the supplies back in the crate. I re-loaded the crate and set the expectation that supplies are to be put away appropriately.
Misc Stuff - We also keep a lot of miscellaneous stuff in the closet that needed to be organized. After sorting through everything the only other items (besides linens) that we are keeping are: medical supplies (i.e. heating pad, first aid kit, blood pressure cuff, etc), light bulbs, flashlights & candles, my good vase and candle sticks. Nothing else belongs in the closet.
I'm having trouble with my before picture but here's my after picture.
When I do my organization projects I try to devise a way to sustain it. The big problem with the linen closet is letting the kids put away laundry. Since doing the laundry room, my husband and I have taken over laundry duties. I'm the one who has been putting away the laundry so it's pretty easy to sustain the linen portion. The penalty of death threat seems to be working pretty well with the cleaning supplies!
My next step is to go out and buy new towels. The trick is that I'm only going to replace half of our current towels with new ones and then get rid of the rest. The new towels will be so thick that I don't think anyone will notice :) Since we do laundry every day having enough clean towels in the house really isn't a problem.
That's my project for the week. How about you? If you've organized something recently feel free to either post a link in the comments or write about it.
I'll be linking this up over at A Slob Comes Clean and I'm an Organizing Junkie