I’ve always dreaded doing laundry, but not because actually doing it is daunting – but putting it away always was. Like so many others, I binged Marie Kondo a few years ago and decided I needed to totally change my ways. Now, I will be honest, I did not dump out my entire closet and purge things that didn’t spark joy. What I did do, though, was adapt a way of organizing our space that makes it so everything has a place to go. When everything has somewhere to go, it makes cleaning up and putting away SO easy.
While I believe it is just part of my being to wait until no one has any clean underwear to do all the laundry in a two-day marathon, I now have a system in place that makes it go by smoother.
One sore spot for me was our linen closet. Our 1960s colonial has all the charm I fell in love with the minute we walked in. With that charm comes a few drawbacks: small closets being one of them.
We have one double closet in our upstairs hallway that is used as a linen closet. Formerly I had everything from overstock toiletries, bed sheets, table linens, beach towels, bath towels shoved into every crevice of that closet. You went in for a towel and left with a mountain of linens on the floor, not a fun sight. So here I am today, after close to two years of playing with what works and doesn’t work to share some tips I’ve learned when it comes to linen storage in a place that doesn’t have a lot of stowaway spots.
How to Maximize Your Linen Storage
- Purge – probably the most important step to this process is getting rid of every and anything you no longer need. The formula that works best for me: two bath towels per person, two bedding sets per bed, two beach towels per person, two wash cloths per kid, one extra hand towel per bathroom. Taking it down to just this much freed up SO much space, and I have never felt like we were short on items. I had about 7 baby towels that were too small for any of my kids, but somehow kept them in there taking up room.
- Reimagine – Move things to store in the rooms that they will be used. I’m not sure why it never occurred to me before this, but I went from feeling as though EVERY linen-like item needed to be stored in the linen closet to realizing that some things would be better off stored where they are used. Previously I would be running upstairs for a dish towel every time I needed a new one in the kitchen, or running upstairs when I wanted to swap out the table linens in the dining room. This one might seem obvious but to me it wasn’t…until it was. I moved some things around in my kitchen to free up a drawer to use for kitchen-specific linens and dining room linens now live in a basket in our dining room buffet cabinet. That was another whole shelf freed up in the linen closet.
- Pick a Method – organization is something I think needs to be a work in progress. What I do might not work for you and visa versa, but one thing that is needed is a method. The way you fold, the baskets you use, pick something that you can maintain and stick to it. For me, rolling my towels and storing upright in baskets works best for our space. I love how clean the baskets keep everything, and also give me a visual for when it’s time to put another load in, ahem, the baskets are all empty….