Twelve steps to a linen closet you’ll love


Whenever I give lectures or interviews about organizing and downsizing, someone always asks me, “Where do I start?” “

My answer: The linen closet.

Why? It’s not too personal, so you won’t get bogged down. It’s over, unlike the black hole in your filing cabinet. And a little effort here pays off, which might motivate you to tackle other spaces.

Also, from what I’ve seen – not that I’m snooping, well, maybe a little – they need it. Most linen closets are places of disarray that smell of damp dog.

So I asked an expert at The Spruce, a digital lifestyle publication that offers practical tips to help consumers do their best in their homes, for suggestions on how to make the most of this neglected space. . Spruce spokesperson Emma Glubiak used to work for Apartment Therapy, so she knows how to make the most of tight spaces.

“The biggest problem I see is that people walk in without a plan. They put everything inside, close the door and end up in chaos, ”she said.

That’s why when you walk in to straighten it, you find your old bowling shoes, a sprig of dead Christmas tree lights, and three jars of antifreeze, I replied.

We thought about it together and came up with these 12 steps to make your linen closet the one you’re proud to open:

Start with the end in mind. Imagine a beautiful, well-organized, immaculate, fragrant and attractive linen cabinet. Then let this image entice you.

Take out everything. I know that means the pile outside your closet will look like the Salvation Army lane, but do it.

Edit and purge. Remove those zebra print sheets that keep you awake at night, as well as the ones you can’t stand because they won’t hold and breathe. Move the stained towels into the trash and throw away any that are so thin you can see through them. Keep only what you need, use and like.

Keep it clean. From your stash, decide which items belong to the linen closet and which do not. Ideally, your linen closet should contain bedding, towels, and occasionally spare toiletries. (But don’t store things that belong under your sink in your linen closet.) Store your mop, broom, dustpan, toilet brush, and kitty litter somewhere else.

Look for alternative storage. An over-padded linen closet turns against him. If your linen closet is small, consider storing clean sheets for a particular bed under that bed. “We’re big fans of under-bed storage, and especially wheeled baskets,” Glubiak said. Beautiful chests are perfect for storing bulky blankets, pillows and quilts, while also serving as a side table or coffee table.

Detail it. This is where the soap meets the washcloth. Treat your wardrobe as you would a bookcase in your living room. Start by folding similar objects evenly and well. (See last week’s column.) Face the thick folded edges to the outside and the free edges to the back. Eliminate visual noise by sticking to one or two colors of linen. “A unified color palette will make the closet look more cohesive and less cluttered,” Glubiak said. If the shelves are worn or tired, paint them with an easy-to-clean semi-gloss paint or add a fun shelf liner.

Pop the back wall. Painting the back wall a vibrant color can bring a dull closet to life. Because Glubiak rents her place, she has covered the back wall of her lingerie with removable wallpaper. Either way, a fun accent color or pattern behind the linens adds an unexpected pizzazz to a generally drab space.

Break the sets of towels, wrap the sheets. Storing sets of towels together is nice but wastes space. Instead, mix bath towels together, hand towels together, and all washcloths together. However, store the sheets as sets. Some home organizers like to store sheet sets in one of the pillow cases in the set. I like to stack all the pieces in a set and tie a ribbon around it. You can also label the sets with cards indicating “Queen”, “Full” or “Twin” or, per family member, “Sally’s Bed”. Put the sheets you use most often in the front and center, and the least used, including seasonal items, on the top.

Acquire help. If the shelves are far from each other, consider getting plastic or metal shelf inserts to add surface and stacking structure. These inserts also prevent stacked items from tipping over.

Use the door. Glubiak encourages the use of every part of lingerie, from floor to door. “The door is an incredibly underrated storage space,” she said. Get hanging pockets above the door or hooks for canvas bags.

Baskets and bins. If you store spare toiletries in this closet, store them in labeled baskets. “You have to be intentional with the size of the baskets because even an inch or two can mess up the spacing,” Glubiak said. Measure and find the ones that are right for you. Also choose baskets all of the same type and color, to add unity. Label the ones in which you cannot see.

Perform odor control. Storing linens that aren’t completely clean or dry can make closets smell funky. To revive linens that smell less than fresh, Glubiak suggests adding a cup of baking soda with detergent to the load and washing them in warm or hot water. Putting a box of scented soap, sachets of dried lavender, cedar blocks, or a few dryer sheets can also prevent musty odors.

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