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!
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!"