I love seeing the color coordinated and organized pictures of linen closets and pantries on Pinterest. Even though I love the look of those spaces, I do not like the price tag that often comes with them. Sometimes it seems like in order to have an organized space, there is a need to spend lots of money on fancy containers and labels. But the truth is, you don’t have to spend big bucks to get a functional, organized space.
I recently organized my linen closet. I don’t have a before picture, but just imagine a closet overflowing with accumulated junk from the last seven years. It scared me every time I opened the door!
Being a cheapskate, I didn’t want to spend any money on my linen closet, so I did three things that helped me accomplish my goal. You can do these things too!
Before you can organize any space, you must get rid of items that you no longer use. There is no point storing what you don’t need. Empty everything from the space you are organizing. Go through each item and decide if you really need it or not. Either donate or throw away any item that you do not use. By all means do not put anything back in your space if you won’t ever use it!
If you have a hard time letting go of things, check out the book Make Room for What You Love* by Melissa Michaels. It had such an impact on my thinking about decluttering! You can also check out the questions I ask whenever I declutter a space.
For my linen closet, I went through every single item in the closet, shelf by shelf, and took out what we weren’t using or planning on using. In other words, junk that I was simply storing! I took out three old raggedy towels, two sheet sets that we never really liked and hadn’t used in years, curtains that I have no use for, a baby bathtub, cleaning supplies, an old shower curtain, and some empty plastic tubs. All of that made room for not only my linens, but also toiletries, medicine, and paper goods. I also got rid of all expired medications and toiletries that we will never use.
2. Divide by Category.
Once you have decided what items you are keeping, it is time to divide them up into categories and label them. Putting like items together is essential for any organized space. That way you know exactly where something is rather than spending time searching for it.
For my linen closet, I put all of the towels on one shelf and sheet sets on another shelf. Each shelf has a designated job. That way the towels and sheets don’t get mixed up. All of my toiletries items are on one shelf as well. I divided the medicine into two categories based on our family’s needs: First Aid and Upset Tummy/Cold and Flu.
The plastic shoe boxes have oral care, nail care, razors, and my personal products.
3. Get Creative with Containers
Chances are you already have containers lying around your house that you can use. Before you throw out plastic coffee canisters, baby wipes containers, cardboard shoe boxes, or glass jars, think about a way that you could use those containers to corral items.
- Wrap a small cardboard box with butcher paper to hold items that you need out in plain view.
- Clean out the wax from old candle jars and use the jars to hold small items in the pantry or on a desk.
- Use shoe boxes to divide spaces up in drawers.
I was able to gather several containers from around my home that I had collected throughout the years. Whenever I buy new containers, I always get white rather than other random colors. This helps create a cohesive look and I can change things around easily.
My labels are made from a piece of scrapbook paper and a 3×5 card. I used packaging tape to adhere the label to the containers. You probably have those items in your home too and can make your own labels!
Don’t wait for expensive containers or fancy labels, you can organize any space for free today!
P.S. If you are looking for more inspiration, check out this book, Unstuffed* by Ruth Suokup. She shares inspiration for getting rid of all the things that weigh us down and clutter our homes and lives. I highly recommend it!
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