I admit it, I'm an organization junkie. I love baskets and bins and shelves and all kinds of things that provide a specific place to put certain things. The problem is that I don't always have time to get to the original organization, so things pile up and pile up and the bins, baskets, and shelves are more of a problem than a help. That's what has been happening with my linen closet.
Before I go further, I'll note that we have linens in many places around the house, but mostly that's because I couldn't find room in the already overflowing - and pretty small - linen closet. Recently, I found a great deal on a bathroom shelf, and that allowed me to move many of our towels out of the hall linen closet and into the bathroom itself.
Notice that that shelf goes over the toilet tank, and uses virtually no floor space. P-Daddy and I both love building UP and filling wall space rather than trying to find available floor space when there's really none to be found. So this shelf was a great find, an excellent price (Ross, $15), and was super easy to assemble. It's not hugely sturdy, but unless our three-year-old decides to try out his monkey climbing skills, I think it will hold up just fine. It's really only there to hold towels and washcloths, clearing out a good part of my overflowing linen closet.
Having moved the towels, I had a big empty shelf in the linen closet and several totally crowded and disorganized shelves. I emptied everything out and refilled the cabinet methodically. It feels so good to know what's actually in there! Cleaning rags, curtains, and wipes are all on the top shelf, with tablecloths just below them.
When I got to the sheets, I made some tough decisions. First, I decided that only one extra set of sheets per bed was going back in the cabinet. One set for our bed, one for the twin bed, and one for the toddler bed (Pooh alternates between the last 2). Second, I decided to try the pillowcase method. Typically when I change the sheets, I waste a lot of time sorting through and finding matching pieces. In order to make that easier, I folded each set, and then put the set into one of the matching pillowcases. Beautiful! And no more digging through the whole pile for matching pieces. We still have a few extra pillowcases that have no sheets, but all of us love extra pillows, so we need those anyway. They fit nicely, along with an extra mattress pad, right alongside the sheets.
After doing all that, I was feeling like Super Organized Mom, so I continued on to the kitchen and another set of shelves that were getting out of hand. After removal, cleaning, and re-organization, we are left with this:
Both of the bottom two shelves have been conveniently divided into two separate shelves through the use of breakfast trays. The bottom one holds a smorgasbord of teas, with a variety of tea and coffee cups underneath. You may have noticed the fire extinguisher and first aid kit as well - helpful in every kitchen, but an absolute requirement for foster parents, so there they stay. The tray on the second shelf up holds baking supplies, with water bottles to the side and plastic and glass containers underneath. It's not perfect, but it's so much better than what it looked like before!