According to my organizational to-do list (check out that post…its one of my best) the Fall was the time to face my linen closet. A year earlier I'd organized it with the Rubbermaid Configurations Closet line which gave me the flexibility to use the space differently in the Summer versus the Winter.
The problem was that since our wedding, my wife and I continued to stuff it with every piece of linen we had. Even though we started out with a system (towels here, dish clothes there) it never seemed to last the week. The result was a jumbled mess that was never organized and always frustrating.
The problem was simple. Too much stuff. Our desire to keep everything at our fingertips was actually sentencing us to perpetual clutter.
So we started over.
We figured out what we used most often and what quantity we needed. For example, we decided to keep two sets of bath towels in the closet and not the seven that we owned. We decided to keep four dishtowels handy instead of the twelve we'd accumulated.
This process clearly exposed the areas where we had too many duplicates and allowed us to confidently banish excess to the "Good Will" pile. In addition we set up guest totes with complete sets of towels and sheets. This way when people were coming, we could easily pull up a tote and get what we needed as opposed to having to search through various boxes. At the same time, these items didn't clog up our closet the 95% of the time we were guest-free.
The result was dramatic.
The lesson here is simple. Resist the tendency to keep as much stuff as possible in your high traffic living areas. Think intelligently about what you use and how often you use it.
Space is precious….protect it.