Friday, July 3, 2015

One Day Linen Closet Overhaul

About 5 years ago we did a major remodel of our master bathroom.  In the process, we upgraded from a stingy little corner shower to the roomy, luxurious, big-enough-for-two shower that we still enjoy today.  (Hey, GrandDad and I may be old, but who said romance has an expiration date?  And that sound you now hear is our kids heading straight to therapy...)

To get some additional space we needed for the new bathroom, we stole over a foot of depth from what had been an extra clothes closet in the hallway.  Our house has no shortage of closet space in the bedrooms, so I was perfectly content to convert this shallow nook into a space for storing linens, etc.  And so we lived happily ever after.  The End.  Well.... not quite.

While we did convert our closet from hanging rods to built-in shelves, we just sort of quit at that point.  We never even got around to painting the unfinished wood of the shelves, and so The Law of Small Transgressions was soon made manifest.  If you're not familiar, that's the tendency for small problems, if they are ignored long enough, to grow into big problems.

One small weed in the flower bed can soon become a jungle.  One small, unnecessary credit card purchase can balloon into a big balance you can't pay off.  Don't care enough to paint unattractive, raw wood shelves?  Why shouldn't your space turn into more of a dump than a proper closet?

Case in point:

So I decided to finish the job we started 5 years ago.  (The sad thing is, it wasn't even that hard!  Took me less than a day.)  It started with removing every single item -- every medicine bottle, every pillow case, every package of toilet paper -- out of the closet.  (And all over my bed.  That meant I had to get the job done, or we'd be sleeping on the couch.  That's called motivation.)

Next I painted the shelves and their wood supports with white semi-gloss latex.  There was nothing especially notable about this process:  paint, roller, brush, pan.  Paint, paint, paint, and let dry.

After sorting through all the piles and paraphernalia, I realized that my so-called linen closet wasn't just a dump of extraneous articles.  About 95% of what I pulled out were useful things I intended to put back in.  It was just poorly organized.

Off I went to the fabric store, where I bought a few baskets and some grosgrain ribbon.  More about the ribbon later.

The next order of business was mostly common sense:
  • I neatly stacked the bathroom supplies together.  
  • I sorted all the medicinals into the new baskets, one specifically for children's meds.  

  • I placed equipment -- scissors, trimmers, clippers, thermometers, etc. -- into separate bins within the stackable organizers.
  • I stored heating pads and humidifiers up top and the dust buster and compact vacuum down below.
  • I neatly rolled or folded linens.  And then I went one step further....

I assembled all the guest linens and arranged them in tidy stacks, tied together with the grosgrain ribbons.  I think it looks pretty, but it also serves a practical purpose.  When I'm expecting guests, I can easily find everything I need to make them comfortable.

Also there is less chance someone will use them for other purposes.  (Trust me -- my family is so lazy, adding one extra step to any process means no go.  For instance, if you ever want to find the cookies in my house, it will require exhaustively searching for where I've hidden them:  in the snack cabinet BEHIND ONE OTHER THING!)

So basically, that is all it took to go from this...

 ... to this:      a single day.  Nothing fancy or clever or innovative about it.  So, why should you care?  Because if you knew how satisfying it feels...


  1. You are speaking my language - Love an organized closet! Great job~


    1. Thank you! Another mess bites the dust. It feels pretty great!

  2. I know our small linen closet is fairly organized since nothing goes in there but linens, thanks to me! Nonetheless, I wish I spaced it out a bit more and it looked nicer...this is something I'll have to work on. Your "new" closet on the other hand, looks great! :)

    1. Thank you! And now it will stay that way, thanks to me! :) It was good of you to come by, and I hope you'll be back soon.

  3. Here from Grandma's Ideas.
    Sounds like me, I start, stop, then a decade later....
    Exhaustive search for cookies, true laugh out loud!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I laughed out loud at your comments!

  4. Looks beautiful. Good job! Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!


  5. This looks great. It looks to be more spacious.

    1. Way more spacious, which is crazy, because almost everything went back in. Just goes to show what an impact a little organization can have. Thanks for coming by!

  6. great job I so miss my linen closet in my new house there is none but I miss the storage and how neat it all was in the old house looks like you did a great job
    come see us at

  7. Great really looks so much better! This reminds me that I have some organizing to do of my own!
    Thanks so much for linking up your post with Share The Wealth Sunday!


  8. It turned out great! I love how a little organization can go such a long way. Thanks for sharing with us on Snickerdoodle Sunday, inspiration to go get to work organizing my home.

  9. It looks great! I love organization. Great tips about using the ribbon to keep guest items together. Thanks for sharing on Snickerdoodle. Sunday.

  10. If you promise not to judge me, will you come organize my bathroom cupboards? I'm so envious. For ever and a day I've tried to figure out how to organize one cupboard. If you can tell me how to keep a husband from buying a can of bug spray every other day, I'll tackle my closet. Thanks so much for sharing at Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link party. I really appreciate your participation!

  11. Yikes. Well, at least you were able to finally fix your linen closet than wait it out some more, and be saddled with an overstuffed one. It is easy for us to miss unfinished business, but we can always get to it later on. Good day!

    Angella Frasier @ 4-Wardrobe