[Note: If this is your first visit to the challenge, simply scroll down to see The Process we are using this month]
We are halfway through the second week of the Get Organized Challenge! Today let’s look at bed and bath linens.
Clearing out and organizing your linens might take a bit longer than the other tasks, but the results can be quite rewarding. Begin by emptying your linen closet and separating items into piles of like items. For example, all of the king size linens in one place, towels in another, etc.
If you store items other than linens in this closet (e.g. medicines, extra toilet paper, etc.), let’s pull those out as well. As with the linens, group them into like items, taking the time to pitch anything that is expired, damaged, or no longer being used.
Wipe the shelves clean while they are empty.
For bed linens…
Either put each sheet set into one of the corresponding pillowcases and/or label your shelves so that you can easily tell which sheets go to which bed. Linens that you want to keep but which you are not currently using can be loaded into clear, labeled boxes and put on the top shelf or in an attic. Extra pillows also go well on a top shelf because they are lightweight and easy to pull down. Blankets can go back in as well, but if you have a small linen closet (which many of us do), you might want to move them to an under-the-bed box, a cedar chest or a guest room closet.
You may have “extras” of some items, such as pillowcases and washcloths. Just stack these up or corral them in a bin/basket.
Group towels by color, and fold them so that the fold is facing forward (this just looks neater). If you come across old/stained/torn towels, either move them to your rag area, or donate them. Animal hospitals and shelters love old towels! You can also drop them in a USagain bin, which keeps textiles out of landfills.
Separate beach towels from bath towels. If your space is small, move the beach towels to a different location, such as a laundry room, mudroom, or even an attic when they are out of season. Again, if you move them to a dusty space, store them in a closed, clear, plastic container.
For other supplies…
If you keep small items in this closet (e.g. medicines, band aids) you need to find a smaller container that you can turn into a “drawer.” Clear plastic shoe boxes are ideal for this purpose. If you don’t have any, you can also use old cardboard boxes – just remember to label each box! A shelf organizer (which looks like stairs), or a lazy susan can also be useful. Remember that deep shelves are not ideal for storing small items, so you need to add structure in order to maximize the space.
On the floor…
The floor should be reserved for items where dust is less of an issue: air mattresses, pumps, sleeping bags, extra toilet paper/paper towels, and large bottles of shampoo are all examples of great options for the floor.
You may be thinking, “But I don’t have a linen closet!” If this is the case, the same process applies to wherever you keep your bed and bath linens. Sort through them, order them, and reload in an organized fashion.
When’s the last time you organized this space?
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Let’s recall the process we are using throughout the month:
1. Gather your supplies: (you can reuse these same supplies each day)
- Boxes or bags labeled with “Donate”, “Elsewhere” and “Store”
- Trash can and recycle bin
- Damp rag/wet wipe
2. Remove everything from the area (yes, everything) and wipe it clean with a damp rag.
3. Sort the items into these categories: (The Seana Method’s R.E.D.D.S. system)
- R- Restore: these are the items going back in
- E- Elsewhere: these are items to keep, but that don’t belong in this space
- D- Donate
- D- Dispose: trash or recycle
- S- Store: items you want to keep for sentimental reasons, or perhaps for a long-term future use, but which you don’t regularly use. These items will eventually need to go into a bin/box in an attic, basement, or closet.
4. Keeping the “Restore” items out, and put all other items into the boxes/bags you prepared.
5. Move items to their final destination:
- Put the “Restore” items back into your designated area.
- Carry the “Elsewhere” box/bag around your house and redistribute its contents.
- Move the “Donate” box/bag to the car to be donated.
- Trash/recycle the “Dispose” items.
- Put the “Store” items into a container and move it to a remote location for future access.