Thursday, April 4, 2013

40 UHeart Organizing: A Closet with a Plan and a Lovely Linen After

My pal Ashley, from 7th House on the Left, sure knows how to make every organizing project look simple, clean, fresh, smart and all around inspiring.  Today, we get to see how she planned and executed her linen closet, and if you still haven't tackled yours yet, my guess is you will be running towards it before this post is even half over....


At the end of our hallway, we have a small, narrow linen closet. Since we moved into our house, we haven't really used it as an "official" linen closet--more of a space to stash extra toilet paper and towels. However, after seeing all of the amazing linen storage inspiration here on iHeart over the last month, I had to finally get around to organizing a real, honest to goodness linen closet.


Like any project we tackle around here, it all started with a sketch. I measured the space, drew the closet on a scratch sheet of paper, and made a list of everything we wanted to store in there. The closet opening is only about 17" wide but a good 21" inches deep. I didn't want to stuff it with as much stuff as possible because a) I really don't like clutter and b) I knew it would just get majorly unorganized down the road. So, after a quick talk with the Mister, we put together an efficient yet simple organizing plan.

One of the first things we wanted to tackle was the bottom shelf, where the bed linens would be stored. Since the closet is so deep, we knew that getting to the very back of the bottom shelf might be difficult at times - especially when you're trying to neatly put away clean linens. The solution: a slide out drawer. We have these in all of our lower kitchen cabinets and they've proven to be very convenient and make organizing things (and keeping them organized!) pretty easy. After shopping around a bit, we ordered a Bamboo Roll-Out Cabinet Drawer from The Container Store. The clearance opening inside the door frame is just about 15", so we purchased the 14" wide drawer.


Because we wanted the drawer to match the shelves, we spray painted it with a few coats of White RustOleum Universal Spray Paint (in Satin finish). Luckily, the white matched perfectly and made the drawer looked like it was custom made for the closet. Cue: happy dance.

Now that the drawer was installed, I made a quick trip to Target to pick up a few baskets, then ran to Staples to buy a package of bookplate labels and stock up on some tape for my label maker. Once I got home, I was ready to get started on Operation Linen Closet. About 20 minutes and a glass of iced tea later, the closet organization was finished!


Let me take you on a little tour…


On the bottom of the closet, we have a basket stocked with extra toilet paper. Next to it is a plunger. This particular plunger has a stand that twists shut, keeping the end covered and everything around it protected from the nastiness that is a plunger.


The bottom shelf is the new pull out drawer, which now holds sheets. I keep the king sheets for the master bedroom in the back and the queen sheets in the front. I also attached a bookplate label (that I spray painted with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint) to the front of the drawer. Because we had to get a drawer that would clear the door, there’s a good-sized space on either side of the drawer - perfect for storing extra bottles of hand soap.


On the next shelf up, we have four plastic containers (these are the 5 for $5 containers from Target). Each of them are labeled (with another spray painted bookplate label) with their contents: Travel, Back-Ups, Guest Toiletries and First Aid. The Travel container is where we keep all of our airline-approved containers as well as a few airplane necessities like hand sanitizer and travel size lotion. In the Guest Toiletries container, we have small bottles of shampoo, toothpaste, and a few new toothbrushes. This is also where I stash the mini bottles of shampoo from our Disney trips, haha. Our Disney-loving family members get a kick out of it when I put them out for them in the bathroom when they stay with us. In the First Aid container, we have a heating pad and a few ice bags. Lastly, we have the Back-Ups container, which is where I keep extra makeup, face wash, makeup remover wipes, etc (kind of like my own personal emergency makeup counter).


Right next to the plastic containers is a long, narrow basket where we keep extra candles, tea lights and a backup candle lighter.


The next shelf up houses the most-used items in the closet - which is why we put these things at eye-level. Along with the extra towels (we keep towels, washcloths and hand towels in each bathroom in the house), we have a tray that holds a lint roller, linen spray and a small bowl of safety pins. Next to the tray, I put two 3M hooks on the wall. One holds a pair of scissors (which comes in handy for stray strings and cutting tags off of new stuff) and the other hook holds a little pouch that has needle and assorted colors of threads.

Now that the closet is completely organized and isn’t too bad on the eyes, I must say that I’m tempted to take the door off just so I can look at it each time I walk down the hallway, haha. Overall, I’m just really excited to have an organized space to keep the linens, extra toilet paper and goodies like back-up candles. Who knew a small 17” wide closet could pack such a punch?

Thank you all (and Jen!) for letting me take you along on our linen closet organization project. Until next time!


"I'm Ashley from 7th House on the Left - a blog where my husband, Greg, and I talk about renovating, decorating and living in our first house here in Hanover, Virginia. I’ve been an interior design enthusiast and a long-time fan of all things organizing. Yep, I was the kid with the perfectly arranged Disney stuffed animals, alphabetized coloring books and the categorized and color-coded sticker book. When I'm not busy writing or doing projects around the house, I love classic TV shows (particularly I Love Lucy) and curling up with Greg, Bentley (our 9-pound Pomeranian), a blanket and a good black and white classic movie – I’m a complete sucker for Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant films. I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of the IHeart Organizing team and excited to get to work!"


40 comments:

  1. Can you tell us where you found that plunger? I hate the old-fashioned kind!

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    1. Me too! I think we picked it up at Lowe's a while back. Though, I've seen one similar at Target. Here's a link: http://bit.ly/14QOqM0

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  2. What is your secret to folding sheets and towels?? I try so hard to make them look nice, and it just doesn't turn out good!

    -Sarah
    limitedspaceorganizing.blogspot.com

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    1. I know what you mean - fitted sheets are the worst! I use what I call the "Martha Method". You can find her steps to folding sheets on her website here: http://bit.ly/mhCgOI

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    2. "HomeOrganizing" on Youtube (Alexandra) has a video on how to fold towels like the store does..all nice and pretty :) here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNIZQGx4G-U

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  3. Looks pretty! It's inspiring me to make my way through our moving boxes in the bathroom and get ours all organized..!
    {Lamourcheznous.wordpress.com}

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  4. Nice! I love your use of the drawer for utilizing the depth of your shelf. I would also like to know where you found that plunger? Ha ha, it's the little things isn't it?!?

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  5. Stunning! I am planning a big spruce up to my linen closet but have been lost at where to start since it is about the same size of yours. Thank you for the wonderful ideas!

    ~Andrea
    ProjectSimpleHome.com

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  6. I am now re-thinking my linen closet! love the drawer that pulls out.

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  7. This looks great! I wish we had a linen closet so I could organize it :), but I organized our tiny bathroom this past month and I think even though it's small, we packed a punch in terms of storage! I'm definitely keeping this post in mind for a future home.

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  8. Thank you for sharing this! We have a linen closet that is narrow like that too! I already sent a picture to DH asking him to change our coated wire shelves to solid wood ones like yours!!

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  9. I love this closet! Where do you store all the other sheets & towels? This is my biggest issue where to store the "extras" lol

    Love love this!!

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    1. Thank you! We store towels, hand towels and wash cloths in each bathroom and the extra towels in this closet (on the second shelf from the top). The extra linens are in the new sliding drawer we installed. It's a lot deeper than it appears in photos, it really holds a lot of linens!

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  10. We live in an old house with no built in closets. Some of our extra bedding is in bags on top of our closet because there's just no space for it. We're moving to a new place with lots of closets next month and I can't wait to find a place for everything.

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  11. Love it, but I have about quadruple the linens.

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  12. I like your organizing in your linen but for our house, it wouldn't work. We have 4 different beds, each with a spare set of sheets. We also have down comforters that we take off in the summer and sometimes blankets as well. Wouldn't know where to put all of it. Would love to see a linen closet for a family of 4 or 5 that is a single door and not that large.

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  13. Looks great! Thanks for all the great ideas!

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  14. I got lots of great ideas from this post. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. I love the drawer. I'll copy that idea @home. Thanks!!

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  16. What an inspiration you are ... I am so stealing these ideas. I love the lint roller, the safety pins, the sliding drawer and that beautiful plunger. Thank you for the post.
    xo, Lissy

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  17. Great ideas. Our new linen closet is CRAZY small so I will try some of these ideas. I havn't tackled it yet but this gives me inspiration!!!! XO, Pinky

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  18. I'm in LOOOVE with this linen closet!!! Anyone out there that has a triangular linen closet?? I'm stuck on what to do😥

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  19. How do you keep your white towels white? Closet is amazing! Well done.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love, love, love Mrs. Myers Oxygen Bleach. It' helps keeps both bed and bath linens "white white" and makes them smell really good too.

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  20. This looks great Ashley! I love your little sketch and the execution was perfect. Seriously, I love the sliding drawer....sliding drawers are just the best. :-)

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  21. This looks awesome! All of your projects always look so neat and clean, Ashley! Love it!

    ~Abby =)

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  22. This closet looks great and I love how you start your project with a plan and measurements! No useless trips to the stores for supplies. :)
    Helena Alkhas

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  23. wow this is simply amazing info! the pictures are so useful can't wait to make use of it. xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

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  24. Just found your blog and SO glad I did! I need some serious organization up in our house! cute blog!
    www.babysaiz.blogspot.com

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  25. My linen closet totally needs this makeover. Somehow it has become to place to just throw things that no one knows where else to put! Thanks for sharing! : )

    Kayla
    www.lovelucygirl.com

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  26. I organized our linen closet about a year ago and it needs it AGAIN! Thank you for the inspiration!!! I wanted to invite you to visit my blog as well at MyButterflyHaus.blogspot.com! Right now we're having our very first giveaway!

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  27. where did you get your bookplates? And how did you mount them? looks great!!!

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    1. They're from the Martha Stewart line at Staples. They have an adhesive backing, making them very easy to mount - just like a sticker. They are easily one of our top organizing must haves around our house!

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  28. This is very nice and inspiring

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  29. I like the look of this. I think I will take some ideas (drawer is great and I love the plastic bins). But why scissors in a closet? Maybe I am missing something!

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    1. Having a pair of scissors in the linen closet is something my Grandma has always done, haha. It's just a handy thing to have around in case you have a tag on a sweater, or have a stray string on a pillow case or a piece clothing (our master bedroom is right beside the linen closet) rather than going all the way to the other end of the house to get a pair from the office.

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  30. Whoo!! So pretty and organized. I'm swooning.

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  31. This is beautiful! Just goes to show that no matter the size of thespace it can be ffunctional and organised. Love it! I'm getting ideas for when I move out : )

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  32. I love the font used in the sketch. (I'm a font nerd.) What is it called?

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  33. This looks amazing and that sketch must be super useful for any organizing project! On the second shelf you have boxes for travel and toiletries - how did you know what size boxes to get to ensure everything fits? I always end up with one or two items that can't fit into my box and I have to toss it messily to the side or top or somewhere else...

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