Day 21: Laundry Room and Linen Closet
Linen closets and laundry rooms can be elusive spaces. Some older homes simply have a hallway cupboard, washer and dryer in the garage, or nothing at all, while newer homes offer walk-in linen closets and large utility rooms full of space. Some linen closets may do double-duty as storage for vacuum, laundry and cleaning items, while others are dedicated to simply linens.
Whatever your laundry and linen space, keeping it neat organized will help you to be a more efficient housekeeper. Your laundry room should be a space that helps you complete your laundry more efficiently, while your linen closet should help keep all those freshly washed and neatly folded sheets and towels ready for use.
Traditionally only things such as sheets, towels and table linens are housed in the linen closet, but you may find that it also becomes the overflow storage for shower caddies, bathroom supplies, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and paper towels. Ultimately your success in decluttering and organizing this area will come down to paring your supplies down to the barest essentials.
Objective: A fresh, neat area to do laundry, store sheets, towels, and a “pantry” for cleaning and bathroom supplies.
Assess the current situation: How much space do you have? Are there items that need to be stored beyond towels and sheets? How many cleaning and laundry products do you have? Do you use them all? What changes could you make to create more space?
1. Remove and put away any items that belong in other rooms. If necessary, use a basket to collect items, then distribute them to their proper homes.
2. Sort and declutter. Remove all items from the closet and cupboards. Spray and wipe out shelves and line with shelf paper. Toss any cleaning supplies or products that are not being used or no longer any good. Limit cleaning and laundry supplies to the bare minimum.
3. Keep two sets of sheets per bed—the one on the bed and a spare, which should be rotated and laundered once a week. Discard sheets when they become worn. Sheet sets should be folded together—folding the flat sheet into the fitted sheet with one pillowcase and placing the set inside the second pillowcase. This method of folding makes it easy to grab the entire set and keep it together.
4. Keep no more than three bath sheets and three hand towels per person. Discard any towels that are frayed or thinning. Fold bath towels in fourths and then thirds, turning the edge inward when stacking for a uniform look.
5. Organize paper items. Store paper towels, tissue and toilet paper on higher shelves, stacking neatly.
6. Organize remaining cleaning and laundry products. Sort cleaning items, extra unopened bath products and other items on lower shelves, by first sorting and storing smaller like-items in clear, labeled plastic bags, and then storing with larger items in plastic bins.
1. Streamlined Laundry Room (ContainersStore.com) 2. Customized Linen Closet (BHG.com) 3. Optimize Unused Door Space (FamilyCircle.com) 4. Everything in it’s Place (MarthaStwewart.com) 5. Organized Bed Linens (MarthaStwewart.com)