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Linen Closet Disaster

Linen2I’ve given up. My hallway linen closet has won the battle.

With that being said, I will become victorious. Very shortly I’m going to makeover this area of my house.  I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do, but after achieving success in my garage, I know I can do it.

But, before I start, I’d love to get your input. How have you tackled the linen closet? What’s worked and what’s not worked? I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Below are things I need to take into consideration:

  • I have two kids who frequently pull blankets, comforters and sleeping bags from the closet to use as ‘forts’.
  • When my kids have sleepovers they’ll sleep in our bonus room on the fold-out couch. We need to have access to various sheets and blankets on those nights.
  • The three beds in our home each have a few sets of sheets. However finding matching sets is usually impossible.
  • Over the years we’ve acquired numerous random blankets, pillow cases and such.
  • The only items stored in this closet are sheets, blankets, sleeping bags and pillows.



See the finished project

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6 Responses to Linen Closet Disaster

  1. Melissa, Multitasking Mama August 22, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    I was going to recommend exactly what Tanna did- keep sheet sets together in one of the coordinating pillowcases. Makes it very easy for kids to be able to make their own beds as well- they can’t use the excuse of not being able to find the sheets they need, etc. Also, if you use flannel sheets in the winter and lighter sheets in the summer only store the current season in the linen closet. I use the vacuum storage bags to store the out of season sheets in the top shelf of the bedroom closets. Hope that helps!

  2. Catherine August 19, 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    It is amazing how those wonderful creatures called kids fill up and mess up a household. Been there, done that. Other than getting a housekeeper that will straighten the closet once a week these are my recommendations:
    Minimize – Recycle and Reuse
    Store comforters and fun quilts in odd pillowcases on a low shelf for the kids
    Label the shelves so things always go where they belong
    Use smaller tubs/trays to keep items that tend to tip or get shoved to the back – Hair products, Nail care, extra tissue
    Use a tub/tray for medicines, assorted medical tapes, gauge, antacids, etc. and store on an off limits top shelf for ease of use for the adults when there is a mishap.
    Good luck and enjoy those years with the family. It goes by quickly and then then linen closet stays neat.

  3. Jim Deitzel August 18, 2008 at 11:48 am #

    Nicole, that’s a great idea. Thanks for the input.

  4. Nicole Hamilton August 18, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    It would be neat if Rubbermaid gave blog visitors the chance to submit pictures of their closets, other bloggers/visitors could vote on who has the most unorganized closet, and Rubbermaid could award a “closet makeover” to the person who submitted a picture of the messiest closet. I think this may harness a great deal of conversation about cleanup methods 🙂 And if Rubbermaid has already done something like this, I would love to take a look at the conversations around the contest!

  5. Tanna August 15, 2008 at 4:40 pm #

    One of the biggest sanity savers at my house is storing a full set of sheets in its coordinating pillow case. Or if it doesn’t match just store a whole set together in one of your random pillow cases.
    Oh, and only keep what you need!

  6. Julie Bestry August 15, 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    Finding matching sets is easy. When you launder the bedding, fold the fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillow case(s) all together and store out of reach of the kids–unless they strip and make their own beds. (If they do, consider letting their “spare” sheet set live in a drawer in their rooms instead of the linen closet.)
    I was trained that the fitted sheet was always folded “around” the flat sheet and cases, but I’ve seen two alternatives. In one, store the sheets inside the matching pillowcase; for the other, get some inexpensive grosgrain ribbon and tie it all together like a pretty package. The latter is a bit “Martha” for my tastes, but it keeps all matching items together.
    Next, why not make it a rule that the kids aren’t allowed to “pull down” blankets for forts all? Instead, make use of an old trunk or Rubbermaid® tub/chest in which to keep certain blankets specifically for PLAY use? You say you have “random” blankets, so why not take the extras and make them for-kids-only? (Do the same with dress-up clothes–“let’s pretend” items should have their own “home” in the house.)
    As for the random pillow cases, do you REALLY need them within active reach? No bed or pillow really needs more than two sets of anything each–one for “wearing” and one for “washing”, so after you apportion 2 sheet sets per bed, and two cases per pillow (in case you have more pillows than beds) why not give away the extra cases? If you feel iffy about that, how about pulling all the extra cases, putting them in a big zip-lock bag and marking on your calendar for 6 months hence to see if you’ve touched any of them? If not, you can either donate them or put them in a “prep for college/camp” Rubbermaid® tub.
    Sleeping bags should be rolled (fruit roll-up style) and TIED (with shoe-type laces) to keep them from poofing out.
    Finally, can’t you keep the sheets and/or sleeping bags for the bonus room in a Rubbermaid tub in the bonus room closet? Central access always makes sense for kitchen items, but having sub-shops for bedding is a useful idea when you’re saddled with a teeny linen closet. That linen closet is INCREDIBLY narrow. I’d save it for access to things the grownups need all the time.

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