Monday, January 11, 2016

70 Organized Linen Closet

The weekend just flew by at Superman speed, but I still managed to finish up my next organizing project of the year!

I have been on a roll doing general decluttering of every closet and drawer I can get my hands on.  Just quick 10-15 minute cleaning sessions that allow me to sort through items that have fallen victim to our "stash and dash" tendencies.

Majority of the organizing that I am doing this month is as basic as it can be; open drawer or closet/cabinet door, remove items that don't belong, give everything a quick cleaning, close drawer or closet/cabinet door.  But the linen closet was a different type of organizing project.  It was one that required more attention, thought, storage and care.  It was also a closet that has been driving the entire family crazy for quite some time now, but not anymore!



Our linen closet is located in our main hallway near three bedrooms and a bathroom.  However, it really has never had the actual purpose of housing linens.  Given the odd shelving placement, it really only offered us storage for our medications and first aid supplies.



Over time, we would try to force some linen storage inside of the cabinet, but the setup just wasn't quite right.  We do have room in our guest bathroom and bedroom to store the majority of our guest linens (and sheets for each bedroom are stored within that specific room), however, the primary bathroom is very limited in storage and we found ourselves wishing we had a close option for some of our overflow.  While I was working on this closet, I also decided to add a couple of things that will help our day-to-day routine run a bit smoother as well.

Previously, the closet consisted of three wire shelves and a hamper for laundry.  Check out all of that unused space between the hamper and first shelf!


The photography angles in this post are a bit strange given the layout of our hallway and the fact I had very little room to step back with my lens.  

After we put the floors in, we still needed to cut a few pieces of trim for the closet, but decided to wait because I knew I would be painting it eventually and I didn't want to worry about messing up new trim.  The walls inside of the closet were still only a white primer from when we built over 14 years ago.


With a closet to-do list and a plan, I emptied the closet of all of the belongings and shelving.  I then puttied the holes and prepped the closet for paint.  Quick tip: I realized I was out of spackle when it came time to fill the holes, and I was painting after hardware store closing hours.  Womp womp!  So I made my own filler from white school glue and baking soda.  It worked beautifully!

Thanks to the power of the internet, the closet was now empty, painted and shelving installation was under way!


For the closet interior, I painted the walls the same color as the hallway (Benjamin Moore's Quiet Moments).  I typically go bolder in a closet, but this one is so small that I didn't want things to become lost with dark walls.  As you can see above, we opted to trade the wire shelving for a white wood option instead.  Not only do I think it looks more polished, I find the shelves easy to clean and nothing falls through the literal cracks.


The shelves were constructed from a single 3/4" thick x 15 3/4" deep melamine board, which were cut to size and rested on 1x2" ledger boards that were affixed to each wall (all purchased from our local home improvement store).  To determine a good height, we measured our storage bins and came up with spacing that we feel will be versatile down the road.

I always find that the backs of doors are missed opportunities, and with Container Store's current Elfa sale, I knew it would save the day with this project.  I looked at a few other options (shower caddies, spice racks, etc...), but was nervous that nothing else would work due to the fact that the door has a hollow core (although I have since realized I was wrong about that, more about that in a minute).


For this narrow door, we opted to run the baskets halfway down and finish the bottom off with our small ironing board.  The Elfa has an attachment that allowed us to hook the organizer discreetly over the top of the door, ensuring the door would be able to hold a fair amount of weight between the organizer and our supplies.  Elfa, I heart you!  You can find all of the pieces we used here; one half door rail, over the door hook and four 13 3/4" wide baskets of two different depths.


I had a few spare fridge bins that no longer fit our new fridge, and I knew they would work hard for me (they really are one of my favorite storage items ever, see them in our previous fridge here).  Add a couple of shoe boxes to the mix and I was set in the storage department.


In the door, the top basket corrals all of our overflow items from the main bathroom; lotions, balms, sunscreen, etc...

Previously cotton was stored somewhere between upstairs and down, and it was always a game of hide and seek when cotton products were needed.  Again, using what I had on hand, I sorted each type into simple mason jars.


If you are like me, you purchase a few extra items when you find a good price/sale.  I always have extra bathroom and room cleaners and it is nice storing a couple of extra centrally located between both bathrooms and all bedrooms.


The lower basket holds a few laundry care items.  We have always had a small ironing board in this closet, however, the iron was always downstairs with the larger board (why?).  I added a small travel sized iron to this closet, for guests and last minute garment touch-ups for the kids.  I also added a lint roller and some linen spray.


The laundry board hangs by two 'S' hooks (I added a second one after living with it for a few days), I also added some felt pads to the bottom of the iron board to protect the door from any movement or shifting.


Inside of the closet, those new shelves really did make a world of difference.  I love how it actually feels bigger and seems to work smarter.  We added a half shelf as high as possible to hold the boy's secondary towels (we keep one set out and one set laundered).

The blue basket now corrals all of our ice and heat pads, with room for extra paper products next to it.


I added a few shoe boxes because I like they are similar in stacking size to make the most of the open shelving area.  I actually had two empty boxes waiting in case we need to modify our storage needs down the road.  I always love leaving room for growth when finishing up a project.

And those multi-purpose bins now manage all of our daily vitamins (which were all stashed in a basket in our dining area previously), first-aid supplies and family friendly medications.



These bins are tall and narrow and lightweight and bonus, they are fairly inexpensive and endlessly versatile.  I also raided the end of my Martha Stewart bookplate stash to add labels to all of the toiletry and medication bins.

Last but not least, I found this adorable money box which is perfect for locking up and tucking away prescription medications.  I just removed the money tray (which doubles as a great mini desk organizer in the boy's bedroom), and the box can fit about 7-8 bottles.


Speaking of medication, we have always read that they should be stored away from heat (no bathrooms or kitchens), so this hallway closet has always worked well for us.  However, I hadn't gone through our bins in a very long time, and found quite a few medications that were expired.  It is important to read this article for proper medication disposal tips.


All of our vitamins are now stored here as well, and each week I fill a personal vitamin pack for each family member, which is stored in our individual coat closet drawers.


Time to shimmy and shake and wiggle all around, I always love a good before and after project!



True story? I left the closet door wide open all weekend long. 


And that is why I heart organizing.  I felt great checking something off of my list that has been there for quite some time, the closet is now far more functional for our fantastic family, and it should be extremely easy to maintain moving forward.

Oh!  And I don't want to forget to mention that there are a few areas in the Elfa bar that offer a location to reinforce the bar to the door.  We found some hollow core hardware that made this possible, and it seemed to work really well!  We were a little nervous to screw into the door, but the rack isn't going anywhere any time soon.


One last look so we can celebrate another organizing project in the books?  Twist my arm!


70 comments:

  1. This is a project on my list! My linen closet isn't too bad but I want to add some more function to it (right now it is just linens). I have also some extra toiletries and stuff for guests to use, and I am going to organize them in the linen closet because it is a central location between the guest rooms.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My closets could probably use a TLC. Very neat and I love the freshness that all of your light colors create.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, thanks for this post. I have an almost identical linen closet in my house and this is a great inspiration for how to make it more functional. I have a question about your small ironing board. Does that get used on a table? I have a large board in our basement but it would be nice to have a small spare one close to the bedrooms and I am just wondering how or where I could use it. We have only bedrooms on that floor (no counters). Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, the ironing board can go to our nearby kitchen table but usually I just use it on the floor or bed... It is typically just for quick presses because I do the majority of our ironing in our laundry room. :)

      Delete
  4. Gorgeous re-organizing! Our linen closet is on my to-do list as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This post makes my heart race!!!! We haven't even been in this house a year yet, and somehow every closet looks twice as bad as your before closet!!! When are you coming to Texas?? My closets and I need you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. So pretty...I'm so jealous! I don't have a linen closet so please allow me a few seconds of envy. How big is your closet? Although it probably would look dumb, I have this small space between my office and son's room that might be close to the size of your closet that I could use...that is, after I open the wall and remove the unused chimney bricks. The only reason I say dumb is because of the amount of trimwork running into one another. Guess I'll go back to envying yours again...thanks for sharing Jen!

    Hope you're staying warm on your side of Wisconsin...SE is freezing today!

    Peggy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a very cold day in Wisconsin! Brrrr.

      The closet is 18 1/2" inside and the door is a 16" door. I love how you are thinking! It's always great if you can find little unused nooks and wall cavities for storage. I hope it works out for you, it's amazing how much can be stored in a little hot spot.

      Thanks Peggy!

      Delete
  7. How do you attached the ledger board to the wall?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We used our brad nailer and installed it just as we would trim. We did our best to hit studs whenever possible.

      xoxo!

      Delete
  8. I love the new blue basket. Where did you purchase it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lyn! I found it at Target last week. :)

      Delete
    2. I was going to ask the same question! Glad I'm scheduled to make a Target run this weekend!

      Delete
  9. Beautifully done! I love how you custom fit your shelves around the multi-purpose containers you had for storage. Better use of space and looks neater as well. I gotta remember to use the backs of doors for storage options as well!
    Oh, and I spy a possible switch-a-roo in your guest room!

    ReplyDelete
  10. We must store linens very differently. We have the same closet, essentially, and I love the way it works for linens! I do store some thing from the bathroom in it too though!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Another amazing closet transformation jen! i am always amazed at your eye and talent to make a closet work hard, and look so pretty at the same time. I love it! and once again, you have given me some great ideas! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. So great! Thanks for the closet inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  13. We also have a very similar closet. I'm always curious how the Elfa door storage fits and doesn't hit everything on the shelf. I am a bit challenged is the special/relational realm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, I can relate! I found myself opening and shutting it multiple times to be sure it wasn't going to bump our shelves... I think they have those baskets perfectly measured based on standard door jamb thickness. :)

      Delete
  14. Hi, Jen. I also like the new light fixtures. Would you share a source or were they a rescue & DIY? Do you miss the capiz? Thanks always for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Holly! I used this one from The Hunted Interior for our hall lights: http://www.huntedinterior.com/2013/02/flush-mount-look-for-less.html#.VpU_ePHcF3Y

      I loved those capiz lights so they will be reused somewhere. :)

      Delete
    2. So nice of you to respond, Jen. The hallway and closet look great.

      Delete
  15. Where did you get the "former fridge bins", please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sunny,

      Here is the direct link to the bins: http://www.containerstore.com/s/office/paper-file-storage/portable/multi-purpose-bins/123d?productId=10022942

      Delete
  16. I love it! I don't think I will ever have beautiful closets like this. My partner looks at me like I'm crazy when I mention prettying up the closets. Maybe one day! I can dream!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love it! This past weekend an older article of yours about organizing your spices inspired me to do an organizing/de-
    cluttering of my spices. It feels so good! Happy organing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Our police station has a used prescription drug drop off and they dispose of them; i just scratch our names off. You may want to check if you have something locally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tara! The link I provided does recommend that route (that is the route we also go), but I am not sure all cities have that option. :)

      Delete
  19. As per usual, this is amazing and its perfect timing for me. I just refolded some sheet sets and was putting them away when my hubby came upstairs looking for something in our overflow which we keep at the top of our closet. however, some items used to be kept in our bathroom vanity but we had a sink leak and have yet to replace it, so those items are split between the hall closet and second bedroom. When I went to go look for what he was requesting in our second bedroom, I noticed 3 men's deodorants. What is funny about this is last week when we were making our shopping list and he said he needed more deodorant, I told him to check our overflow which he insisted he did. Whoops! Why is there no head slap emoji? But all kidding aside, it was a good reminder for me as to why it is important to try to keep organized....and this space is one that I swear is the thorn in my side. I think I reorganize it every year. Keep up the good work Jen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Nicole, I can definitely relate to this! Similar things have happened here many times, which is always frustrating and costly. :) Glad you found the humor, that is how many of our organizing projects begin around here as well. xoxo!

      Delete
  20. whre did you get those amber spraybottles? They look really nice! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mai, They are Murchison-Hume cleaners (www.murchison-hume.com)

      Delete
    2. Hi Mai & Jennifer,

      We are actually available at The Container Store as well, so you can get all of your goodies in one go!

      Delete
  21. WOw everything is so meticulously gorgeous lol!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Did you see that the 'Young House Love' couple (why can't I think of their names?!?!) has catalog/book plates at Home Depot, at least on line. Not sure how they are affixed, but looks interesting! They are called 'metal labels' on the site. Yup, it is cold here west of Minneapolis too! Might have to wear a hat today..... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I did see something about that, but I haven't checked them out in person yet. Thanks for the reminder Rosie!

      Delete
  23. Oops, forgot to say, LOVE the transformation of this space! Rosie

    ReplyDelete
  24. Love the look and inspiration. Will definitely refer back when I get to that project soon.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Looks amazing! Where did you find the labels?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sara,

      The label holders were part of a Martha Stewart line sold at Staples. Unfortunately they have been discontinued but I typically find label holders on Amazon and craft stores as well.

      Delete
  26. This is amazing - definitely using the door storage idea, this is fantastic inspiration! Thank you for sharing :)
    Lucy xoxo
    http://lucyannblog.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  27. What i love most about all your 'afters' is the beautiful clean lines. Its not just that everything is fresh and pretty and thought out and laid and binned up, its that (for the pic at leat haha) everything is always so straight and even! I have always been a whimsy-style person but that can look cluttered so fast! Your clean line with bright colors and pretty patterns is just the perfect inspiration for how to morph my artistic side into something that feels tidy and relaxing. Thanks so much for the effort you put into your presentation of your results, i know it's its own extra effort. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Hannah, I appreciate you noticing those little details and appreciating it like I do! Although, sometimes having an eye for clean lines can be a curse, so embrace that whimsy-style you love as well. ;)

      Delete
  28. Love the cute basket and labels and your linen closet looks great Jen. When are you coming out with your own line of products? You make it all so cute and festive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, that would be fun! <3 Thank you so much for the love!

      Delete
  29. This looks great! What caught my eye though is the step stool! I need one that I can slip between the fridge and cabinet. Can you tell me where you got it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found mine at HomeGoods (TJ Maxx & Marshalls may also carry them), they are usually with the cleaning and utility items.

      Delete
  30. I LOVE these kinds of posts...they inspire me to tackle a closet!

    ReplyDelete
  31. What happened to your capiz shell pendant look-a-likes and your gallery wall??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We replaced the capiz lanterns when we renovated because they were competing with the new lighting in the adjoining kitchen/dining area. I still have the lanterns and hope to find a new home for them. We took the gallery wall down while painting and working on the floors and trim, it is still waiting in a closet at the end of the hall to be re-hung. :) xo!

      Delete
  32. What a great transformation! I love how you removed the wire shelves and replaced them with solid shelves. We have wire shelving in our pantry and it's been driving me crazy for sometime. I'm now motivated to change it out ;)

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is beautiful...but where are your...LINENS? sheets? wash cloths? extra towels? oh my! And does the top over-the-door hook part of the Elfa show on the other side of the door? That might bug me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      The hook is not all that visible on the other side, especially in white (only about 3/8" can be seen). We only have two sets of sheets per bed, one on the bed and a second set stored in a drawer or bin in each bedroom. Ditto to towels, one set out and one stored here in this closet. Hand towels and wash cloths are stored in the actual bathrooms since we reach for them frequently. This closet is mainly used for our medications, overflow toiletries, paper products, laundry and those extra full size towels. xoxo!

      Delete
  34. This is BRILLIANT!!! That closet is such a beautiful, functional space now - a true tribute to the word "organized." You have inspired me to tackle my hall closet ... The battle will begin tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  35. You are the closet master! Awesome ideas, I especially love the Elfa rack on the door. Must buy one of those asap! Great job, as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Jen! Your projects are always so inspiring. I love coming here for ideas. Question for you. Do you have any tips for ensuring that your family members stick to your organization plan and put things back in their place? I am also the only female in my household and I love organization but my son and my husband could care less. So I find myself getting frustrated that they don't help with keeping up organized spaces so I find myself having to re-organize quite a bit. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow looks awesome!! You are giving me so many ideas for the organizing projects I have lined up on my to-do list!

    Thanks for sharing!! Great work as always

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
    www.lovelydecor.co
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  38. Jen your blog just gives me such an amazing 'can do' attitude every time I read it, it's so calming and inspiring! The time you take to describe how you think about grouping things in a logical order breaks it down into simple steps that are easy to replicate and so helpful - thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm shimmying and shaking too! Every time I stop by, I'm completely inspired to go and organize my whole house - I guess that's the point right?? Great before and after!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I really love this idea! I have a few shelves to work with and I adore the tall fridge bin idea x

    ReplyDelete
  41. Taking out the wire shelving in the closet makes such a difference! I also love the addition of shelving on the door.

    Kristi | Be Loverly

    ReplyDelete
  42. Gorgeous! I'd kill for a linen closet of any size right about now. :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Did you cut down the Elfa rail or is that an option to purchase? The closet looks great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      Elfa had a few different rail length options, and this half door size was one of them. :)

      xoxo!

      Delete
  44. Beautiful! It came out wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Love this!! Question.. Did you changed your credenza or just get another ikea table?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lauren,

      The boy's school cubbies from our entry/living area were moved to our guest room during Christmas (to make room for the tree) and they just haven't been moved back yet.

      xo!

      Delete
  46. Such pretty eye candy!

    I have picked up that teal basket at Target and put it back 3 separate times this week. I want it SO bad, but I know I don't really NEED it right now. :) I settled on some awesome teal bins with lids that I did need to organize our hats and mittens in the mudroom.

    By the way, Target has a nice alternative to the beloved MS bookplates. They are from their Room Essentials line and they are a metal plate with a label you can change out. They just clip over the edge of your basket or bin. They are bigger than the MS plates, but they work really well on anything that has a straight edge. I love them.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Such a difference a make over makes! Love what you did with your closet and the containers you used. And, for the vertical organizing behind the door, absolutely adore that! You always have wonderful ideas, Jen!

    ReplyDelete

IHeart you taking a moment to comment! Although I absolutely appreciate, consider and read each and every comment, I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious or spam like. This blog is my happy place, let's keep the drama at bay!

Don't see your comment? All comments are moderated and may take a moment to appear.

Thanks again my lovely friends! XO!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...