Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Operation OrGaNiZaTiOn! The Linen Closets

I'm happy to get back on track today with

O r G a N i Z a T i O n

If you are new here with Operation OrGaNiZaTiOn, you can check out where we've been so far this year.  You can click on any one of the topics below to see the post.

The basics....getting ourselves organized and ready to start
Part 1 - Focused on creating a family binder and some routines for ourselves
Part 2 - Focused specifically on our cleaning schedule and where to start and some great green cleaners
Part 3 - Focused on the "rules of organizing" and how to de-clutter

Organizing...tackling areas of our home

I know we haven't gotten too far, but I want to get us back on track.    I am so happy to have an organized kitchen and we've been really good as a family about keeping it that way.  We definitely slip up here and there, but everything has a place now and we are keeping it clutter free as much as possible.

The next area I tackled was my hall linen closet.  It was SO out of control.    When we bought this house 6 years ago, I was so thrilled with all of the closet space we were going to have.  I still am, don't get me wrong, gives me more room to make a mess.  We are lucky enough to have a huge front closet where we store our coats and a hall closet for our linens.  We also have 2 smaller linen closets in 2 of our bathrooms.  I have managed to let ALL of them get out of hand.

I tackled the hall linen closet first because it's inevitable that the doors to this get left open every day and it was starting to drive me nuts looking at the mess it had become.  

Here it is BEFORE

This linen closet is right outside my bedroom door so I pass it 1,000 times a day and it was making me crazy! This closet holds all of our sheets, extra bedding, old bedding that I just can't part with, beach towels, some decorative items that I interchange seasonally, extra toilet paper and paper towels, my extra sewing items and all of my Christmas wrapping paper and supplies!  It really serves many purposes.

I use our closets in our bathrooms for our bath towels and as I mentioned, I have not yet tackled those, but they seem to stay pretty tidy because there's no too much in them.  The problem with the closet I am focusing on here is that I was trying to have it serve far too many purposes and therefore it actually became a place to just shove everything that didn't have a home.

I was breaking my own rule, "A place for everything, and everything in its place".  So, that being said, the first order of business was to take everything out of the closet and start deciding which items "belonged" here and which needed a new home.

I decided to keep all of my extra bedding, our sheets, and our beach towels on the left side.   I also decided I wanted things well labeled and in clear containers so that I could see what I had.   I have made a habit of keeping the clear bags that come with all bedding and/or sheets as well as those that come back from the dry cleaners when I clean our bedding that cannot be machine washed.  They are invaluable and save me the hassle and money of buying them.

Here is my AFTER for the left side

Top shelf - old crib bedding and bedding from my daughter's past room.  Not sure why I keep it, but I just can't part with any of it.

Second shelf - I found this huge zippered storage bag at Walmart super cheap and it's perfect to store our blankets during the off-season.

Third Shelf - I found these containers at JoAnn Fabrics dirt cheap.  I shopped after the January organization push was on and found everything on sale.  I made some super cheap and easy labels on the computer to keep our sheets separated by which room they belong in.  For me..this works.  If you prefer to put them all together, so be it.  I happen to find it easier to have them separated by room because it's quicker for me when I'm making beds AND...then no one in my house can claim they can't find the sheets for a specific bed (ha ha...I've got them!)

Bottom shelf- This shelf holds all of our beach towels and apparently we have far too many.  This issue is great during the summer months because it helps with the laundry, however, storing them is a bit of an issue since they overflow past this bin.  Oh well!

Now here is what I look at when someone leaves the closet open....much better!

Here is the AFTER on the right side

Top shelf - All of our down comforters that we never use since my son is allergic to the feathers. Before he was born, we all had down comforters and feather beds.  Not sure why I keep them...hopeful I suppose!

3rd shelf - On this shelf I have our seat cushions for our kitchen that I take on and off....sometimes I like them and sometimes I don't.  I'm fickle like that.    I also have all of our tablecloths and table runners.

Bottom shelf- Some decorative items that I really don't have anywhere to store.  

And on the very bottom our extra toilet paper and paper towels.  We buy in bulk and store most in our basement, but this saves me the trip!   I also have my stash of extra clear plastic containers that I mentioned earlier from the dry cleaners, etc.

The final product.  So much better!

This works for me.  I always find it helpful to see what others do and steal ideas to maximize my space, but I need to have it work for my own needs and those in my home or it will never last. 

Here are some of my inspiration photos...

I love the use of labels on the shelves in this one.  Unfortunately I have wire shelving.     Also, the towel bar on the inside of the door is a great use of space.

Again, I love the use of the door space on this one.    And...the all white is so crisp and clean.

This one uses all sorts of organizing tools to maximize space...very creative.  I don't know how I feel about rolling the towels.  Does it really save that much space?  I'd love your opinion if you do it.  I've always wondered.

This is one is just pretty :)   If you follow the link it will explain to you also that the sheets on the top shelf are stored by set (which I already do...not sure how else you would store???) and the smart part....the pillowcases are wrapped around the set to keep it together.  So smart!

Love the baskets...

This one just amazes me at how neat the folding is.  I'm just not there and so therefore bins allow me to hide my folding!

And, these bins just hide!

The built in divider in this closet make it easier to compartmentalize your like items.

One last picture of a great tip I found.  Store your top and fitted sheets of a set inside the pillowcase for the same set.  Look how neat this looks.  Genius!

Happy Organizing!

Poshed Up

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