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Linen closets are typically where all the towels, sheets and toiletries live. However, there are houses that don’t even have linen closets, so how do you handle that situation? I’ve lived in houses that had them, one that had multiple, and the one that we have now is the tiniest. Yet somehow we made it all work and it’s all about how you handle the contents.
In the very first post where we get things kicked off for the challenge, I talk about the purge. This is especially important if you have items in your linen closet that you bought, tried, and didn’t like. Why are you keeping it? If you didn’t like it, it needs to go away. Try not to think about how much you spent on whatever it was, it’s taking up important real estate in your closet. Ask friends if they would like it before you trash it, but definitely don’t hang onto it.
Now onto how to organize all the contents!
There are several ways to fold towels and my style has evolved depending on the space where the towels lived and the other things stored in that space. No matter how you fold them, when you place them in the closet, have the folded side facing out. It will instantly make the space feel less messy because it will look cleaner to the eye.
We do this with the bath towels, but because of the number of beach towels we have, I have to position them differently to fit them all into the closet.
While I do advocate “less is more”, from April until October we are either at a pool or the beach a lot so it’s nice to have plenty of beach towels available.
My mom visits us a lot and it made more sense for her to keep her own toiletries at our house instead of taking up space in her bags when she flies. She has her own bin marked in the linen closet so we all know to leave grandma’s stuff alone.
We keep a good amount of toothpaste, floss and toothbrushes. It’s something we started years ago and when we started hosting guests as it was the one thing that people would forget frequently. Our pediatric dentist has toothpaste at the front desk and when we check out, we usually will grab a couple extra. I cannot tell you how many times my girls wouldn’t tell me until it’s time to brush their teeth that they’re out. These little gems save the day.
We do keep extra toilet paper and of course tissues because we have lots of allergies in our family. Other than that, we typically don’t keep a lot of extras on hand. Growing up my mom used to keep a 6 month supply of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and soap, so maybe it’s a rebellious side of me, I don’t know. 😉 (Love you mom!)
I like to keep an extra set per bed and I used to keep them in the linen closet, but in this house, there’s just not a lot of room for five sets of sheets and all of the other items we need to keep in the tiny closet, instead I keep them in the rooms that the sheets belong. It’s been the trickle down effect of clearing out space in those respective rooms. While reorganizing my master closet, I freed up space in my dresser and now I am able to keep our extra set of sheets in one of my empty drawers. Placing a set of folded sheets into one of the pillowcases makes a nice sheet set package that’s easy to grab when it’s time to freshen up the linens.
Also by keeping an extra set of sheets for each bed, I can put the beds back together right after I strip them down. No more heading to bed and realizing that I forgot to remake the bed.
Odds and ends
Like I said earlier, I keep our beach towels in our linen closet and it’s also where I keep the beach bag. Inside the beach bag is the sunscreen. I also keep all of the goggles and toys in a plastic handled bin at the bottom of the closet.
It makes it easier to grab everything we need in one area as opposed to tracking everything else down in other areas. When we get back home, we have a place to put everything back so it’s ready for the next trip.
You probably noticed that I didn’t mention first aid or other medicines. That’s because we have designated a cabinet in the kitchen for all of those items. We want to keep first aid items and medicine up and out of little hands. Also, keeping medications in the bathroom isn’t a good idea due to the moisture and heat as it can break down some medications.
What do you do if you don’t have a linen closet? Make your own. Designate a decorative cabinet or dresser. Utilize over the toilet or under the sink if you need to as there is nothing wrong with keeping your essentials in the areas where you need them the most. Which is a lot easier once you’ve cleared out the excess.
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