One of the ways to get through one of the coldest and snowiest Janurarys EVER is to not leave your house.
That gives you plenty of time to snuggle under mounds of blankets.
But something like this might meet you when you go to get every blanket in your house - A linen closet that has been calling to you. It may need a little (or a lot) shaping up!
I try to go through this thing every year, so it could be much worse, I know. But no matter how out of control a space - in this case the linen closet - gets, there is a pretty simple solution to getting things back where you want them.
To show you what I am working with: leaning tower of sheets, odds and ends that do not seem to have a home, brand new wash cloths (fat lot of good those will do when we need them, right?) and pillows stuffed in all over the place.
This doesn't look so bad, but it really is starting to fall apart from the last pass through here. That happens!
Let's start at the top.
Here is the breakdown -
Take everything out. Really.
But not really everything all at once. In a closet, I like to work one shelf at a time, unless I am going to shift stuff around to different shelves. One shelf at a time makes the whole task a little easier to tackle and it give you a natural stopping point if you need to take a break. Think of the chaos if you dumped out the whole thing and then the baby wakes up or some other interruption keeps you from getting back to it right away. Not good.
Once the shelf is empty, give it a good wipe down - Might as well while you are there.
When deciding what to put back in, think about how you use the stuff. I kept the blankets and pillows up on top because I rarely get them out. (I did neaten them up though.) I would not want to put the ibuprofen up there - we use it too often. That would be inconvenient. Once or twice a year to pull a chair over for the blankets and pillows is okay by me.
The next shelf down got a little editing and a little shuffle - meaning I took out the stuff we don't use or want and put the things we use more often in the front - easier to get to, of course.
And after. Does it look much different?
Not terribly, but I know it is.
That empty space is for a few things we use all the time and were in the wash at the moment.
Moving on to the next set of shelves:
Wash cloths and towels piled up nicely and stuff sorted neatly in boxes.
The thing is, we use this stuff a lot. And about a year ago, this space was in perfect order. But we have lots of people using this stuff and it is a little unreasonable to expect that it will stay perfect forever. So cut yourself some slack if you are thinking you just cannot stay organized!
Piles of wash cloths and dish cloths and towels and cleaning cloths. And even rags. Pulling everything out gives me an opportunity to toss the extra raggy ones that we will never ever use and the ones that are not absorbent and the ones that I have too many of. I don't need to keep all of them right here handy - Extras can go down stairs.
These bins are great for corralling small, like items. But again, after a while, they get a little tiny bit crazy.
Start by taking everything out. Again, I can see what we are not using (usually struggling for the light of day on the bottom with a long past due expiration date) and what is leaking (because I took everything out, I could see and smell the evidence of refreshing citrus body scrub in the bottom of the bin) and what I need to stock up on.
Exp Oct 12. Yep, time to go.
We get lots of samples from the dentist, the occasional hotel and from the hospital. And these are good things to hang onto. But we really do not need 49 2 oz tubes of tooth paste. And half of them are expired. Too bad.
Hero brings home little supplies that are destined for the trash at the hospital. They might be part of a kit that once opened must be destroyed, even if you don't use it all. Mostly he brings home tiny samples of Bacitracin and individual use alcohol wipes. They are super handy for having around (and first aid kits!) but they were swimming around in the bin willy nilly. I found a little mismatched ramekin I inherited from my mom to stuff them all in.
Did you notice that? I used an item from the kitchen that is used for making yummy little treats in my linen closet. Thinking outside the box can bring some great results. (Plus one more odd thing out of my kitchen cupboard. Score.)
This is the other bin on that same shelf. It got the same treatment.
And back on the shelf.
Again, it does not look hugely different, but knowing everything is clean and I know what we have in there, is so great. I feel in control of our stuff, not our stuff getting out of control and making me crazy.
On the right are two boxes of first aid supplies. Yes, two.
When you have a bunch of kiddos and a husband that works in an emergency room, you tend to accumulate all kinds of medical type stuff. But even this stuff is divided up into "stuff we might never use, but boy, would it be handy to have" (bottom box) and "stuff we might use, and boy, it will be handy knowing it's right there on our closet floor" (top box).
For the record, I did not even touch these boxes today, except to move them to dust behind them. I've tried to go through them, but I end up being frustrated. This is really Hero's domain.
The last bin to clean out - Yay!
After pulling everything out you can see how gross they get. Oh yuck.
Most of it goes back in neatly, organized by like items (the deodorant I like together and the one I hate gone), and larger stuff in the back so we can see it all. There are gaps to allow more stocking up.
So nice and clean again.
Have you organized anything lately? Do you need to?