Learning each and every day

My quest to edify myself a bit every day

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Linen closet

Linen closets are notorious for being difficult to organize. Our previous house had three GIANT linen closets. This was a good thing because we had lots of space. It was also a bad thing because the closets were very deep, like each shelf was maybe 2.5 feet deep. As a result, our closets looked something like this:

linen closet

Part of the problem is that we have small children, so many things that would go under the sink or on the counter or in drawer had to be relegated to the lockable linen closet.

Our new house has ONE linen closet . . . . and it’s tiny.
mchenry linen closet out

I spent alot of time trying to sort out where the heck we were going to put all of the stuff that was jammed into our linen closets: blankets, towels, sheets, toiletries, games, puzzles, picture frames, more blankets, snow suits, stuffed animals, more blankets (yes, we have LOTS of blankets!), cloth diapers. It was pretty clear that the items would need to be spread out in several different places. I started with the easy stuff. The snow suits and diapers went in the top of one of the bedroom closets. Next came the toiletries. One of the bathroom has a giant mirror with doors that slide, revealing lots of little shelves. This seemed like the perfect place for the toiletries.
behind the mirror

If you are thinking that things seem randomly placed and not perfectly organized, you are right. They could be a little more organized, by size or color or some other way. But, it seemed that my organizational energies would be better used elsewhere.

So now I had to tackle everything else. At the top of the stairs, there is a banister. The house is a tri-level, so that particular banister was up high and looked down on the bottom floor, about 9-10 feet down. Our 4 year old DD is a gymnastics freak . .. she seems gymnastic equipment everywhere. I just knew that some day she would pretend that the banister was a bar and she’d flip over it to her death. Not good. I knew I needed to put something in front of the banister. I also needed more linen closet space. I solved both issues by purchasing this dresser.
linen dresser

The beauty of this dresser is the really deep drawer in the center. It looks like there are 5 drawers, right? Really, there are only four, with one of them being a double height drawer. This works perfectly for our towels. Initially, I rolled the towels and set them in upright. They sure looked pretty, but as soon as you took out a towel, the others would start unrolling . . . .not so pretty. So I settled on a tri-fold system that is working out quite nicely.
towels

I filled the other dresser drawers with random stuff. Things like folders, 3- ring binders, blank CD’s/DVD’s, and other random stuff. This left the actual linen closet open for the sheets, picture frames and games.
mchenry linen closet in

You’ll notice that the game shelf is a little messy . . . chalk it up to the 2 and 4 year olds not getting their puzzles back in perfectly. And you know, that’s totally okay. As long as it’s not a fruit basket upset and they can get to their games and puzzles, then I’m happy. (In our previous house, they were on a high shelf and I was constantly having to get their puzzles down for them. Now, they have more autonomy.)

The sheets were a challenge. I really wanted to do the “fold the sheets and then put them in the pillowcase” trick I’d seen on Pinterest. Sadly, I couldn’t find any specific directions on how to do it, so mine definitely did not end up looking like neat little packages. I couldn’t figure out what to do with all of the extra fabric from the pillowcase. Oh well. I just tucked the top sheet and pillowcases into the fitted sheet and folded it all up into a nice little bundle. I’m pretty happy with the results.

“But wait!” you say. “Where are the blankets?” Ah, the blankets. I don’t have a good solution for them. They are sort of scattered around the house. Some are in one of the closets in the basement, some ended up on the floor in the babes’ bedroom, and some are on the floor in my closet. Not ideal at all. Alas, I couldn’t find a better solution!

So to recap. Here’s one of the linen closets before:
linen closet

And here are the after pics.
linen closet after

Perfect? Not at all. Functional? Yep!

Total cost: $35
Total time: 45 minutes

Above the bookcase

In our old house, the bookcases were located in the perfect place to collect clutter. It ended up being the place we’d put confiscated toys, or random things “to deal with later” or just stuff. It looked terrible and drove me nuts! I walked past the bookcases one morning and just had to fix it right then and there. Everything came down. Some things got trashed, some rehomed, some got put back up. The end result . . . . I’ll let you decide.

top of bookcase

It’s better, right? Not perfect, but I’m not going for perfection here, just an improvement. Tthere is still the danger that the bookcases will get cluttered in the new house, especially since they are right by the door to the garage. But, I’m keeping an eagle on them!

Total time: 20 minutes
Total cost: free

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