Organizing a Linen Closet

This conversation is brought to you by Wayfair and my need to declutter!

I’m very excited to share with you my first success story on my year long Live With Less journey.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can read more about that here.

I started with an area that I was decently happy with.  A year ago I could barely shut the door on this linen closet but my sweet husband helped me clean it out while I was nine months pregnant and in hard-core nesting mode.  Here’s how the closet looked today before I decluttered and organized it.

Linen Closet

It’s not terrible but it’s FULL of too much stuff.  Things we don’t use and keep just in case… you know, in case twenty surprise guests want to come for the night.  Ridiculous!

First, I took everything out of the closet and started started piling up the items I knew I didn’t want anymore.  I tossed old throw blankets that I never used into that pile, an old down comforter my husband used before we were married, rugs I used in my house before we were married, and pillowcases with no matching sheets (Where did those come from?!).  All of the sentimental and useful afghans and blankets were added to the bottom shelf and the floor.  Then I took a look at the abundance of towels I had.  I kept enough hand towels to have one out and one in the wash for every bathroom.  I thought about the largest family that comes to visit us and I set aside one towel and wash cloth for each of them.  The rest went into the donate pile.

Check out my donate pile.  I’m pretty proud of it!

Donated Items

Next, I folded my towels nice and neat.  Then I grabbed two of my new baskets I ordered from Wayfair last week and threw my spare bed sheets in them.  One has spare sheets for our queen bed and the other holds spare sheets for our guest beds.  The kids keep their spare sheets in their closets.

Basket Organization

I used my last basket to store the towels and wash clothes that my daughter and son use.  Their wash cloths are smaller than adult ones and can quickly become jumbled.  This basket keeps them neat and tidy…or at least together and hidden. : )  I love it!

Linen Closet Organization

Here’s what it looks like now…at night.  I’ll have to take another picture tomorrow to show you when the lighting is better but I was so excited that I wanted to show you my progress right away!  Doesn’t it look great?

That’s not all!  I’m going to make labels to tie to each basket to label what’s inside of each one.  I have also ordered a new ironing board AND an ironing board holder.  This is a game changer!!  I’ve never had an ironing board holder before or even knew they existed really.  I have just always stored it awkwardly in my closet.  Those days are over because I bought an over the door ironing board holder.  It should arrive Wednesday and I’ll show you a picture then with my new, sturdy, non-wobbly ironing board hanging on the door of my linen closet.  The hanger even has a hook to store my iron.  I’m not sure if I’m conveying my emotion but I AM GIDDY with excitement.  My little organization-loving heart is happy.

If you’re joining me in this Live With Less journey here’s your assignment:

This week clean out one drawer (or closet if you’re so motivated).  Throw away, donate, sort, and organize.  One drawer, that’s it.  If  after you’ve cleaned one drawer and you feel like tackling more, go for it!  If not, no worries.  Oh, and I want to see your before and after pictures!!  Share on social media with the hashtag #LiveWithLess so I can follow along with your progress.  If you’re a member of our Live With Less Facebook group share your picture there as well to help encourage others in the fight against excess.

What drawer will you be cleaning this week?   

How to Organize a Baby’s Closet

Organized Nursery Closet

Do you see the picture above?  That top shelf?  Yes, that one.  That’s all my son’s closet came with.  It was painstakingly difficult to try and organize a baby’s closet with one shelf and a bar that was divided every so many inches.  Just thinking about it made my pregnant brain hurt.  Thankfully, after taking a few measurements my dear husband whisked me away to Lowes to buy some shelving. {You can find the same shelving here on Amazon}  A few days later we had shelving in place and oh, how I love it!

My system isn’t fancy.  It’s just a small space with a few inexpensive organizing tools but it works for us.  I numbered the spaces in the closet to help make it easier to go through.

Let’s get started:

  1. A teddy bear – No explanation is really needed for this one.  Looking back, I don’t know why I numbered it. 🙂
  2. Blankets – These are large blankets that I sometimes use to lay down for a little floor play.  It’s soft and because I know it’s clean it gives me piece of mind knowing that he won’t put a stray piece of something in his mouth.
  3. Supplies – This is a basket of extra changing table/bath/diaper bag supplies.  This is where I have my surplus of Aveeno Eczema baby lotion {love that stuff!}, an extra container of my favorite Pampers wipes, my stock of Johnson’s & Johnson’s body wash/shampoo, alcohol free hand sanitizer,  and diaper rash cream, etc.
  4. Toys – This is my go to bin of small toys to play with.  Teethers, rattles, stuffed animals, and lovies all go in here. {I’ve recently been introduced to a Little Giraffe lovie and it is THE best lovie.  If you’re looking for one give Little Giraffe a try}
  5. Pjs – These are the pajamas that currently fit my son.  I like them here because they are easy to grab without having to sort through anything.
  6. Shirts – The left side of his closet holds his dressier buttoned up shirts and polos.  These are the shirts that need to stay neater and are easy to hang.  His onesies and pants are stored in the top drawer of his dresser.  The other drawers of his dresser hold clothes that he hasn’t grown into yet, clothes that he has outgrown, and the bottom dresser drawer holds diapers.
  7. Sweaters – The middle of his closet holds his sweaters in one nice and neat place.
  8. Jackets – The right side of his closet holds his light jackets and fleece pullovers.  I’m excited that it’s getting cooler so he can start wearing these!
  9. Shoes – This basket holds all of his shoes.  Yes, I know, no boys need that many shoes but I have a shoe addiction.  Tiny are just so stinking cute on babies!
  10. Socks – I keep all of his socks in a small basket right beside his shoes so it’s easy to put together his outfits.
  11. Swaddling blankets – We don’t use these very often any more but they were sure handy for a while.  I guess now I can use this space for something else.  Hmmm.
  12. Stroller blankets – Just as we’re slowing down using swaddling blankets we’re starting to use stroller blankets more and more.  This basket holds plenty of them!
  13. There’s no #13 but if you’ll look to the left of #9 you’ll see a small stack of burp cloths.
  14. To the left of #11 you’ll see a stack of spare sheets, crib liners, and changing table covers.
  15. Even further to the left of #11 you’ll see where I have my son’s coats hanging.  I love the extra room the lower rod gives me!

I absolutely adore these hangers.  They are soft, small, nothing slips off of them and they are all the same size.  After having the pink ones work so well for my daughter’s room I bought two more sets in blue for my son’s.

I’m hoping for the floor space underneath the lowest shelf to hold bigger toys one day.

Lastly, we have an extra closet wide stand alone shelf that we’re planning on installing in the top of this closet to make the most of the space we have.

Other Organizing Ideas:

Check out these posts from friends of mine who are sharing their best organizing tips.

Organizing Toys

Penelope’s Oasis shares her tips for organizing toys.

Organizing Kid's Closets

Pepper Scraps gives away her secret for organizing her boy’s clothes.

Organizing Kid's ClothingJennifer from Mom Spotted shows how she organizes her kid’s clothing and closets.

Now it’s your turn, what tips or tricks do you have for organizing in a small space?

Space Bags to Save Closet Space – Day 4

Quick disclosure: I’m using my affiliate link below so I’ll make a tiny percentage of your purchase should you decide to buy anything through my link.  I’m only mentioning this product because I truly believe in it!

Since I’m expecting a new little bundle of joy I’m trying to declutter my life one closet at a time.  Up to this point I have had my clothes in both our spare bedroom’s closet and the one my husband and I share.  I have kept the off season’s clothes in the spare bedroom and the current season in ours.  Now that I’m losing that space to our darling little child I’m having to prioritize what I want to keep, figure out what to get rid of, and find better ways to store what I do keep.  One solution I’ve found is to use Space Bags (available at the Container Store, Amazon, & Bed, Bath, & Beyond).

I received these storage bags as a gift years ago but I’ve never given them a try until recently.  I’m here to report that they are amazing!  I fit a ridiculous number of clothes into one bag.  I’m a huge fan.  You can slip these bags under your bed (I can’t because our dog sleeps there), under a couch, or on the high shelves in your closet.

Clear Closet Clutter in 3 Weeks!

If you’ve missed any of the past posts in this series you can go here to find all the previous closet clutter posts.

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Simple Closet Clearing Idea – Day 3

Today’s tip is a simple idea to help you cut back on the clutter in your closet.

When you get out your winter clothes out of storage (or any season for that matter), put the hangers in the closet facing backward on the rod and then once you wear a piece of clothing, hang it up facing the front. At the end of the season you’ll know what you’ve never worn.

Because winter sweaters are often folded instead of hung on hangers I recommend facing unworn sweaters to the back of the drawer and once you wear that sweater, fold it facing the front.

Clear Closet Clutter in 3 Weeks!

I hope you’re enjoying this Clearing Closet Clutter series as much as I am.  Go here to find all the previous closet clutter posts.

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Divide & Conquer Closet Clutter – Day 2

For those who don’t follow my “Letters to My Daughter” posts on Embracing Beauty, I am pregnant.  Very pregnant.  Just as my nesting urge is kicking into high gear, my energy level is dwindling.  That’s where today’s Clearing Closet Clutter advice comes from.

Usually, when I clean a closet I’ll pull everything out, go through the draining 20 question decluttering game with every item, run out of time, and throw everything back in.

Messy Bed

Here’s a real life picture to show you the proof.  This time, however, instead of shoving it all back in I just left it there.  I had not only ran out of time but also energy.

My suggestion to share today is to divide and conquer.  When you have a chunk of time sort through and organize your shoes, another time your purses, and so forth.  Doesn’t that seem so much less daunting?

I’m pretty sure that I’m learning a lot of household organizing and cleaning lessons being pregnant.  First, I learned how to Spring Clean in a Month and now I’ve learned this.  What’s next?

Clear Closet Clutter in 3 Weeks!

Go here to view out previous tips to Clear Closet Clutter in 3 Weeks.

Clear Closet Clutter in 3 Weeks!

Clear Closet Clutter in 3 Weeks!

I have to admit, this Clearing Closet Clutter series is partly for you and partly for me.  I hate to declutter!  There, I said it.  Decluttering involves decision after decision and that can be mentally exhausting for an indecisive person like myself.

Should I keep it?  Should I donate it or throw it away?  Would someone else want it?  What if I need it someday?  Should I take it to consignment? Could someone I know use this? Should I save it for them?  Would it offend them if I offered it to them???

We make these decisions for ever item we find.  Tiring to say the least!  What adds to the fatigue is that we usually set aside an entire day (good old spring cleaning) for this task.  As a result of these decisions made in rapid secession and with the hours spent on end organizing and tossing it’s no wonder we get burnt out.  OR we may even anticipate this agonizing event and continue to procrastinate until clothes fall on our head each time we open the closet door…not that that has ever happened to me!  ha.

The result? More clutter. More and more clutter.  And, whether you recognize it or not clutter = stress.  It’s true, I don’t always like to admit it but I know it’s true.  For me closet clutter is the HARDEST clutter to get under control.  Any other area is manageable but with the closet it’s so simple to shut the door and put it out of site and out of mind.  So here I am, open and honest with you, ready to start a three week series on Clearing Closet Clutter.  I’ll be sharing inspiration from others along with pictures of my own short comings as well as personal triumphs.

Since this is the first part of the series we’ll start with an easy task!

My first idea is to leave a bag or box in the bottom of your closet where you can toss items you want to get rid of.  As you are scanning the closet for something to wear and you find an old sweater two sizes too small, drop it in the box.  An old tie from the 70’s that you’ll never wear again?  Drop it in.  You get the idea.  {My family also keeps a box in the garage for old electronics, appliances, books, etc.}  Whenever your box is full you can have a yard sale to earn a little extra money or drop it off at a local charity.  If you decide to donate and you have kids don’t pass up the opportunity to take your kids with you to let them see charity in action.

Check back tomorrow (and the next day, and the next day, etc.) for another segment of Clearing Closet Clutter…

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Day 2 – Divide & Conquer Closet Clutter

Day 3 – Simple Closet Clearing Idea

Day 4 – Space Bags to Save Closet Space

Day 5 – Hangers 101

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