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Saturday, November 10, 2012

15 days to a simpler home: day 7 - linen closet

Today, we're going to take a look at the linen closet.  Linen closets can get really packed full of tons of sheets and towels.  So, just like I have done in the kitchen, I keep the number of items pretty low. 

Our linen closet is in our upstairs hallway, between the guest room and bath; and across from the master bedroom. The location is pretty good, but it's a pretty standard size/set-up, and making good use of the space is key.
Don't you just love how I haven't painted the inside of the door? I'll add that to my to-do list.  Our linen closet has 5 shelves, and floor space on the bottom.  We put items that we use the least often at the top, and work our way down.

Shelf 1: Extra Pillows
We kept a few extras lying around just in case someone would ever need to crash at our place and the guest room was already occupied.  It's a good idea to have some extras, even if you buy the cheapo ones from Target that are $2.50 each.
 Shelf 2: Beach Towels and Extra Blankets
They are only grouped like this because this is how this space works for us.  We don't use these items very often.  You might be asking yourself "she only has one extra blanket in that house?!" No.  I keep extra blankets in our room, in the guest room, etc.  But more on that next week!
Shelf 3: Medicine and Misc. Family Toiletries
Our house doesn't have the greatest storage in our bathrooms, so the best place to keep the medicine is in our linen closet.  This way, when guests are at our house, or when we have kiddos, they will also be able to access these items without having to go into the master bathroom.  We do, however, keep prescriptions in our bathroom.  Only over the counter medications are in this closet.

Along with the medicine, we keep sunscreen, aloe lotion, a first aid kit, and a heating pad.
I already had one of these drawer organizers laying around from when I was in high school, so I just sorted the items out by type the best I could and labeled each drawer.  Make sure when you are organizing your medication, to dispose of those items that have expired.
Just so you know, these labels are just some rub-on letters that I have in my craft closet, applied to tab dividers that I had leftover from yesterday's manual binder, and then I just attached them to the inside of each drawer with a piece of scotch tape. 

Shelf 4: Towels
So here is where it starts becoming more about the numbers.  As you can see, we do not have a ton of towels.  This is because 1.) We keep guest towels in the guest bathroom, and 2.) Matt and I bought one nice  (~$8) towel each that goes into the wash on Friday morning, and they are hung back on the towel bar that evening ready to be used again.  We feel like quality over quantity is important for things like this. When they need to be replaced, we will go buy new ones and toss these ones away.

It's not necessary to have tons and tons of towels; just enough for normal life + guests.  We had enough towels for the 7 people that stayed with us right before our wedding, and really, when is that going to happen again?
Alternatively, we could move the washcloths and hand towels into a basket, hanging from the shelf above, and move the beach towels down here next to the regular towels. The basket would be something like this:
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 Shelf 5: Sheets
Same principle that we talked about with the towel shelf.  Only keep what you need! We wash the sheets on Friday mornings, and they go back on before bed on Friday night.  We do keep a few extra sets around for our air mattress and the guest room, but we just don't need that many.
We just have queen and full mattresses  so we keep those sheets grouped together, but when we start having twin beds for kiddos, we will put them in a separate stack where the pillow cases are currently.  Then, we would put the pillow cases in a basket similar to the one pictured above.

And lastly, we have the space on the floor, where our paraffin wax machine lives.  To be honest with you, we have never used it, but it's one of those things that I have a hard time getting rid of because they are a bit pricey.  So maybe next year's purge if we still haven't used it?  Otherwise, I don't really like keeping things on the floor in here.
So there's our pretty simple linen closet.  How's your linen closet?  Do you have a bunch of old towels and sheets that you could donate or toss?  Having less is so much easier to maintain and keep track of.

Read the Other Posts in this Series:

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