Organizing the Linen “Closet”

12 Jul

This is my linen closet.

attic 090

I’ll let the horror of that soak in before I explain. You see, the house I live in probably had a linen closet at one point. But I believe one of the previous owners took the space the closet was in and changed it to add stairs to make a walk-up attic. I mentioned my beloved attic back when I told you about what I love about my small house. So even though it means no linen closet (I mean, who doesn’t have a linen closet? I had one when I lived in a tiny 1-bedroom in Manhattan!), I’ll take the trade off to have my big attic. I’m so mortified by how messy it’s gotten up there that I’m vowing to make it better before you get a peek but here’s what it looked like when we originally saw the house.  (No, they didn’t have a random kid roaming the house. She’s ours.)

So, how do I deal with no linen closet? Well, we have a big under-the-bed box in our bedroom that holds fresh towels and clean pillowcases but other than that, everything else in stored in these bins in the attic. It’s not easy but we have to deal. The problem is, in the 18 months that we’ve lived here, the bins have gotten a little disorganized. And since we had 6 house guests here for a night (!!) we needed every last blanket, sheet, pillowcase and air mattress up there. And it took me waaaaay too long to find what I needed for our guests. So, as we cleaned up, I decided I’d take this opportunity to bring all the bins down and give them a thorough edit. I started by taking everything out and grouping them together in categories like kids bedding, blankets, bedskirts, queen size sheets, and cloth napkins (HAD to register for them, but have NEVER used them).

Then I put everything back in bins that made sense together. I was careful to make one bin that had everything we would need to make up the pull-out couch for a guest, plus the air mattress and some sheets for it. I made signs so I’d know what was in each bin and where to put things back after I use them. Now, if I was a superhero of organization like Jen Jones of I Heart Organizing then I’d be making some fancy color-coded labels but since I’m me, I just used a Sharpie and made big signs on white printer paper. (Still does the job!)

After organizing all the white sheets and separating them by bed size, I didn’t want to throw them back into the abyss so I tied them up with a string and made more of those fancy labels. Let’s go over those directions again: Sharpie on paper. (That’s DIY at it’s best.)

I managed to edit a bunch of stuff, too, like some blankets that my mother-in-law was happy to take home. There were also a bunch of white sheets that had taken on a more yellowy tone so those were tossed.  I felt so happy to have this task done and honestly, it only took about an hour. I’m thinking that if I break the attic up into different sections, I can tackle one at a time and have that place looking great again in about a month. Sounds like I just challenged myself. In the words of the wise Barney Stinson, “Challenge accepted!”

You must have a place where you dump all your stuff, too. Could it use a clean out? Come on, do it with me!

UPDATE: I wrote this post and saved it but when I read it back, there was one part I didn’t like. The part where I hide the attic from you. I told you I was an open book back in Post #1 so I want to keep this blog honest and open. Plus, why shouldn’t I use Sue At Home as a way to push myself to be more creative and more organized – ya know, cause the world is watching? So, I didn’t do a major cleaning but I did put away all the stuff that had landed in the middle of the space. And, now I can reveal to you (with no shame) my walk-up attic:

What are those big copper balls, you ask? Oh, that’s another post for another day! (Update: Read all about the copper balls here and here.)


Sue at Home

P.S. Are you doing Photo A Day with me? After realizing I screwed the days up for 5 days, I finally got on track. You can follow me at Instagram (I’m sueerneta) to check out my pics.


5 Responses to “Organizing the Linen “Closet””

  1. Jenn Owen July 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Next time you have sheets, towels or blankets you want to get rid of, take them to a local veterinary office. They go through tons of those and are always thrilled to get them. The cats & dogs don’t care that they’ve yellowed. Now the ferrets are kinda picky……

  2. gabisbag July 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    wait how come i don’t what those cooper balls are?!?!?

    • sueathome July 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

      Oh – I’m sure I told you about them! But sorry sucker, you’re going to have to wait like the rest of readers!

      • Andrea April 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

        I am inspired by your attic before picture and how you are putting things in bins…but the “after” pic is the sane as the before picture…any pics of how it looks with everything organizrd? Thanks!!


  1. Pin of the Week: Pink Chairs « sue at home - August 13, 2012

    […] I get brave and dye the light pink slipcover darker pink? I mean, it’s sitting in a bin in my make-shift linen closet so why not? And if it comes out horribly, I still have the white one that I […]

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