Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Clutter Crushing ~ The Linen Closet

      I know that it's no longer the weekend, but I just can't seem to stop myself from continuing on the clutter crushing campaign. As I mentioned before, there are several areas of the house that have hit the critical stage of needing immediate attention.  Most of them are behind closed doors, but they have been weighing heavily on me.  I can't tend to my daily tasks easily when every time I open a closet door, I'm confronted with scenes like this...

 (Insert Psycho theme music.)

Perhaps by now you are wondering just how an otherwise seemingly capable mother could possibly have a linen closet that looks like this.  Let me explain...

First of all, most days I am quite certain that qualify only as a semi-adequate mother.  I fall short of capable practically every day.  *sigh*.  I'm thankful for a good God who is gracious and forgiving and promises to not leave me where I am.  And I'm thankful that children seem rather resilient.  To be honest, I don't have a very good memory and I'm hoping that my kids inherit that trait!

Secondly, and I'm not kidding...I just organized this closet less than a month ago.  You see, this is what happens when you live in a house with lots and lots and lots of children.  I do require my children to do chores.  They fold laundry, they put away laundry, they clean spills, they take baths, they tidy up rooms...all of this requires them to operate using this linen closet.

Now, I am a logical thinking adult.  If I fold a basket of laundry and take it to the linen closet, I will take note of the fact that there is a shelf with towels on it and put the towels there.  I will see a shelf with sheets on it, and put the sheets there.  But I am only one person.  One person with eight children.

Children, on the other hand, like to take shortcuts.  When they take a clean towel to the linen closet, they only see shelves.  And they put the towel on whichever shelf they feel like putting it on at that moment.  Perhaps it's the closest shelf to their hand.  Perhaps they feel like jumping today, so they put it on the top shelf.  Perhaps they are in a particular hurry today and they just drop the towel to the linen closet floor.

Perhaps you're thinking that I should just explain to my children how to group like items together?

Well, perhaps you don't have eight children ages 12 and under.

Yeah, I've done that.  A lot.  I'm trying something different now.  Bins.  Many bins.  With labels.
So, the first step to clutter crushing the linen closet was to clear it out.

Even though I grouped like items as I pulled them out, sadly this was what my hallway looked like.  I took a few deep breaths, drank a diet coke, told the children that there was "an invisible barrier of death that no one must cross through to enter the hallway until I was completely done with this task", and carried on.

I wanted to create a divider for my towel shelf so I gathered up some simple supplies I had on hand.  (Side note: You might be a homeschool mom if you complete home remodeling projects with foam board, a santa claus #2 pencil, a broken ruler, and a pair of kid scissors.)

A few cuts and some heavy duty tape later (secured at both the top and bottom)....

...and I had a shelf divider.

Finally, I loaded up the shelves with dollar store bins and completed the project...
Clutter crushing this linen closet took about 2 1/2 hours and I spent $10 buying the bins.

Labels were homemade and hand written because we're simple folk like that.  (And I am currently out of printer ink.)

The bins on the top shelf holds all those impossible-to-fold fitted sheets.

More bins for pillow cases, bibs, baby blankets, wash rags, hand towels, and toilet paper.

Yes, the lack of towels on the towel shelf does say two things about my family.

1. Our home is seriously insufficiently stocked with bath towels considering the size of our family.  My birthday is in April if anyone would like to buy me a pretty set of bath towels.  Or two.

2. We are obviously currently behind in our laundry and most assuredly have a stack of unwashed towels waiting in the dirty clothes hamper.  *heavy sigh*

Nevertheless, the linen closet is now cleaned, organized, and labeled.  And that certainly makes me smile.
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