28 January 2013

Linen closet clean-up

We have a linen closet on the upper level of our house. It sits at the end of the hallway, opposite the master bedroom, and mocks me. It started out fairly organized, but some people who live in this house (I shall refrain from naming names, but they know who they are) don't always put things back where they belong. "Neener, neener, neener - I should be cleaner."

So one day, I started cleaning it (for the millionth time). I tossed things right and left. Filled a garbage bag with stuff to toss or give away. And then I decided that storage containers were in order . (Ha! Get it? In order? Organize? Storage? I crack myself up sometimes.) Easy enough, right?

Gus is probably laughing at this point. He knows that any project, no matter how small, will lead to major decision-making by me. Yes, I had to think for a week about how to organize the closet. Whatever. I think it took me 2 months to decide on paint colors for the master bathroom, so I'm getting better.

Honestly, I forgot to take a picture of the linen closet before I started. Really. I wouldn't be too embarrassed to show you - maybe a little, but not too much. I was caught up in the cleaning frenzy, and totally forgot. Just know that it wasn't terrible, just a little jumbled.

So my first attempt gave me this:

It was organized, but I wasn't happy with it at all. I went to several stores and was unable to find matching/coordinating containers in the sizes I wanted/needed. So annoying! And I wasn't about to pay $20 for a basket to put in my closet. I didn't like the extra towels sitting out on the shelf. Would you believe that Dollar Tree had NO plastic containers? NOT ONE. But I just kept looking...

Then one day we were at Jo-Ann's and they had all of their back-to-school/college dorm room accessories on clearance at 70% off. They had these nifty storage containers that are cardboard covered with a sort of fabric. We got two of the large ones and three smaller ones - total price around $20. I wish they had had more!! I even looked online, but didn't have any luck. Four of them were grey, and one was purple - I could work with that. On a trip to Target, I found six plastic shoe boxes with grey lids, sold as a set of 6 for around $8, so I grabbed those, too. I grabbed a couple of baskets at Hobby Lobby for 50% off, but I still needed some smaller containers - for those little oddball things. I finally found some clear, stackable containers with lime green accents at Walmart (I had looked there before and found nothing!), so I decided those would have to do. And this is what my second attempt looked like:

I was going to tag the containers, but it doesn't seem to be necessary. You can see through the plastic ones, and it's also easy to see into the tops of the larger ones. I can always do it later if needed.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with it. I still need a couple more of those baskets from Hobby Lobby for the sheets on the top shelf (I got distracted by Christmas projects), but the rest of the closet it organized. More importantly, it's staying organized (it's been 4 months!). I think the easy access to the containers makes it simple for everyone to put things back where they belong. Eventually, we'll probably replace the wire shelving and get all matching containers, but for now, this works - and it was inexpensive to do!

(Of course, since then, I have found all sorts of cute, inexpensive storage containers. They mock me everywhere I go. "Fee fie fo fum, where were we when you wanted some?")