Organizing A Chaotic Linen Closet Part 2

In my last post, I showed you how I organized the linens part of my linen closet and shared 3 tips to help you organize your linen closet.  If you didn’t see that post, here are the 3 tips:

  • Take everything out of the closet and group like items together
  • Declutter anything you no longer need, use, love, or have space for
  • Look for baskets or bins to contain some categories

And here’s a look at what my linen closet looked like before I organized it.

Not too pretty.  And very chaotic! Previously I demonstrated how I organized the top two shelves that contain any linens that are not stored in our bedrooms or the bathroom.

Now I’m going to show you how I organized the rest of the closet and share a couple more tips to help you organize your linen closet.  Here’s a look at some more before pictures. This is the toiletries shelf.  

What a mess!!  We don’t have a lot of space in our bathroom and all 4 of us share it, so extra bathroom items (things that aren’t used regularly or extra toiletries) get stored in this closet.

This shelf had definitely seen more organized days.  I usually went through this shelf every 6 months or so and grouped the shampoos together, body wash bottles together, etc. But it never took long for things to just get tossed in anywhere. I needed a better system to keep it organized.

I also keep a few cleaning supplies in this closet so I can do a quick clean as needed without having to go downstairs to get the rest of the supplies.  Gotta love that beautiful shower-cleaning-puff-on-a-stick thing in the closet too.  There’s really nowhere else to store it upstairs so this closet is its home 🙂

Here’s a look at the next shelf down.

This shelf was kind of an overflow area. There were some off-season things like sunscreen as well as more overflow toiletries. There were more cleaning supplies too. And a fan.  Oh, and some old photo albums and pictures.  Of course.  Because a linen closet is a normal place to keep those isn’t it?  🙂  Sometimes things get put somewhere when you have space and then they just stay. They kind of become part of the scenery and it doesn’t even seem strange until you stop sometime and think about it (or take pictures of it!). I often find this with my clients too. Random items that have been someplace for years and no one even remembers why they were put there.

Speaking of things that don’t normally belong in a linen closet, on the floor of our closet were a bunch of things from my hubby’s sports card collection.  Why were they stored in our linen closet you ask?  Well, I’m not really sure, except that we didn’t really have any place else for it.  And it’s really heavy stuff so the floor of this closet was a good place to keep it all without causing a shelf to sag.

I mentioned in part 1 that I took everything out of the closet so I could look at each item with fresh eyes and only put back what I really wanted to store in this closet.

Here’s my relocate pile:

I moved the photo albums to the living room, replaced our old oven mitts with these, put the tissue packages near our entry so we could grab them when needed, etc. And yep, that’s me in that picture.  Wasn’t I a cute kid?

Linen Closet Organizing Tip #4

If you have deep shelves, use baskets so you can access items at the back.

I used these small plastic baskets to contain a few categories of items. You can see there is still space on the shelves, so if I needed to store more on this shelf I could pull the baskets forward and store items behind them. Then whenever I need to access the items at the back, I just pull the basket forward and reach back. No more toppling of bottles when reaching the back of the shelf!

I also love how clean this looks compared to all that chaos before!  I used plastic baskets in case anything leaks.  Not quite as nice as the baskets I used for the linen shelves but much more practical.

Here’s the shelf that used to be our overflow shelf.

I say “used to be” because it’s practically empty now!  These 3 things can even fit behind those baskets on the shelf above.  I just put them here since the shelf was completely empty.

So where did all the toiletries go that used to be on these two shelves?  That’s my secret weapon that I mentioned at the end of the previous post.

Check it out!

Look at how many toiletry items I fit into these pockets! That leads me to the final tip.

Linen Closet Organizing Tip #5

Maximize vertical space on the back of the door.

I use pocket organizers on the back of doors in lots of places in my home and I recommend them to my clients whenever possible. They just make so much use of space that is otherwise typically wasted! If you store overflow toiletries in your linen closet, I highly recommend using a pocket organizer for them. You could also store things like cleaning supplies, washcloths, hand towels, pillow cases, even cloth napkins if you also store your dining linens in your linen closet.

Other ways you can maximize vertical space in a linen closet include: adding extra shelves (that way your stacks of towels or sheets don’t need to be as high and you still use all the height of closet), using shelf dividers to help hold stacks of towels up, or using bins with lids so you can stack a few bins on top of each other.

It’s been several years since I initially organized this linen closet, and we’ve moved since then, but we still use this same pocket organizer for our toiletries. The items have changed over the years, but the system has freed up so much space in our bathroom and our linen closet.

It’s easy to see what we have, so we don’t overbuy or run out of anything. And it definitely helps keep everything organized.

So here’s the whole closet, after it was organized.

It’s hard to get a good picture of the whole closet because of where it is in our hallway.  Here’s a view from the other angle.

If you’ve got a linen closet or bathroom closet that’s in need of some organization, I hope the 5 tips shared in these 2 posts help you declutter and organizer it!

What are your tips for keeping your linen closet organized?  Where is the best place you’ve used an over-the-door organizer?

If you need help decluttering or organizing, contact me for in-person services in the Mississauga area, or virtual services anywhere else.

Happy organizing!