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How to organize the linen closet

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Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 11:58 a.m.

The linen closet seems like it would be an easy space to organize, but because it is so frequently used, it can be challenging. To get your linen closet in order:

◘ Empty the closet. It will be easier to inventory the contents when everything is visible. Begin by sorting through the sheets to make sure they correspond with the beds you own. After you have determined that you have the proper sizes, set aside two sets of sheets for each bed. Then, sort through the towels. Put together full sets, and re-purpose miscellaneous or frayed towels as rags.

◘ Next, categorize all of those small bottles and boxes either by type, such as hair products or cold medicines, or by the family member who uses the product. Dispose of expired items.

◘ Take a close look at how much space you actually have, and decide how many items will fit inside. If you find yourself struggling to fill the shelves efficiently, think about which items could be stored elsewhere.

◘ If you have more bottles, bandages and beauty products than can fit on the shelves or in a bathroom cabinet or vanity, the over-the-door shoe bag is a great solution. Not only will it save important shelf space, the shoe compartments will make it easy to see and access its contents.

◘ Out-of-season blankets and extra pillows can go in blanket-storage bags that can be placed under the bed or in a separate closet.

◘ Extra sheets can be stored in the rooms where they are used. This makes changing linens a breeze. Likewise, if you find yourself with more towels than space, think about whether some towels can be neatly stored in the bathroom vanity or on a hanging towel rack.

◘ Beach towels can be moved out of the linen closet and placed in a basement storage closet.

◘ Table linens can be kept in a buffet in your dining room, in a pantry or even in your kitchen, if space allows.

◘ Sheets should be folded in sets. A nifty way to keep everything together is by enclosing your folded pillowcases inside your folded, fitted sheet and then enclosing both with a folded flat sheet. This ensures everything that is needed to replace the sheets on a bed is together and easy to transport. Place a label on the end of the shelf to indicate the size of the sheets or the room they belong in.

◘ Fold your towels to fit the depth of your shelves, and arrange them by size: bath sheets, bath towels, hand towels and washcloths. If you use certain towels in particular bathrooms, arrange them by their location, and place a label on the shelf.

◘ Corral boxes and bottles in labeled bins so you can find what you need quickly. Measure the width, depth and height of your shelves before going shopping to ensure you buy containers that will fit properly and allow for easy access to the contents.

— The Washington Post

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