How does the thought of your friends opening your linen cupboard make you feel? If like many, you dread the thought in case everything falls out, it is time to give your linen cupboard an overhaul. Following are some tips to help you to clean the linen cupboard up and make some simple changes that can make a drastic change to how you use this space.
Tip 1: PURGE!!!
Okay, I cannot express this enough. Most linen cupboards are packed full with so much stuff you do not use or need, making it difficult to find what you do need. But even worse, it makes putting linen away ridiculous – and closing that door almost impossible.
Each bed can only have one set of sheets on at a time. Even with one going through the laundry, do you really need all those extra sheets? If you do not love them, if they are not soft, if they are just stupid and wrinkled, if they are no longer part of a matching set, or if they are stretched out and do not stay on the bed – it is time for them to go. Seriously, be tough here. You need to make it so the things you love and use will be able to be found and then easily put away.
When I started digging through my linen cupboard last year, I even found my daughter’s first cot sheet set (she’s now a teenager). They were so sweet and special, I decided to put them aside with her baby clothes which are packed in a protected vacuum pack bag in the top of our storage cupboard. They are out of the linen cupboard and no longer at risk of being ruined, allowing space for regularly used linens.
What about all those towels? Get rid of the scratchy ones you never like to use, or the floral ones your mother-in-law purchased for you years ago, but don’t match your décor, or the ones that are so thin they are almost transparent. Old towels can be utilised in the garage or cut up for dust cloths. If possible, try and keep all bath towels the same size and/or colour. This makes it easier to fold and stack. If you have had the same towels for decades, maybe it is time to hit the sales and replace them?
TIP 2: GROUP EVERYTHING BY CATEGORY
Are you always digging through the mess to find what you need and what sheets fit what bed? And, oh yeah, where on earth are all the pillowcases, (probably the same place as those missing socks!)
Start by putting like with like, i.e. single bedding, queen bedding, king bedding, face cloths, hand towels, bath mats etc.
TIP 3: USE HIGH SIDED BASKETS
If you have never thought about using baskets in the linen cupboard before, and everything was always falling over if not folded perfectly, by changing to baskets they don’t have to be folded perfectly and they are not all falling to the ground whenever you open the door. Aesthetically, it also looks more pleasing and allows you to throw un-matched items in the baskets along with those fitted sheets you have never been able to fold, leaving your cupboard looking neat and organised.
TIP 4: LABEL EVERYTHING CLEARLY
Not to be overly obvious, but label all of your bins, or if they are stored straight onto shelves, label these as well. Labelling allows everyone to clearly see where each item is stored making it easier to find things, but more importantly put them away.
TIP 5: PUT LARGE ITEMS AT THE TOP
Our top shelf is pretty ridiculous. It is so close to the top of the opening of the cupboard, it can be hard to get anything in or out of there. But since I really didn’t want to deal with the wall damage of removing shelves, I used that space for spare pillows, cushions and doonas that can easily be “shoved” up there and stacked, and will not cause injury when taking them down. Obviously, don’t put heavy items up top that could fall and hurt someone.
TIP 6: CONSIDER OTHER SPACES
If you just can’t fit all the bedding and towels into your linen cupboard easily, there are other options. Floor space at the bottom of the cupboard can easily be used by adding another set of baskets or large pull out drawers.
The goal is to make it so it easily fits. When it is tight to start with, chances are it is not going to stay organised. Leave yourself room to put things away easily. Consider under-bed storage or the top of wardrobes in your bedrooms as an alternative to a central cupboard.
TIP 7: WHAT TO DO WITH UNWANTED LINEN AND TOWELS?
Those that are in good condition can be donated to the usual charities or drop them into a Sheridan Boutique, Studio or Outlet stores as they have a fabulous Recycling Program.
However, honestly, if they are past the point of donation for humans – place them in a bag for the animal shelter.
If you are struggling to get your linen cupboard in order before your guests arrive, or the task is just too overwhelming, contact us at Well Organised and we can perform a linen cupboard overhaul. We also offer easy to use bed linen labels that can be easily ironed on. This will leave you with more time to do the things you enjoy.