Linen Closet Makeover Tips

I put a question out to my Instagram followers recently, asking what types of organization topics they might like to learn more about. One of the most common answers was linen closets.

Closets can be challenging to organize, especially linen closets. Items stored in linen closets tend to be on the bulkier side, meaning they take up a lot of physical space. That’s okay though! No space is too impossible to organize. Follow some of these tips and tricks the next time your linen closet is in need of a makeover.

-Get rid of old towels/linens – Say goodbye to items that are faded, frayed, or have holes in them. Step one of the remake process is to discard (or repurpose) things that are no longer serving you properly.

-Roll/fold towels to save space – Larger towels and hand towels can be rolled and stacked horizontally, or stored vertically inside baskets, to optimize storage space. (The only time I avoid doing this is when towels are really thick. In this case, it is typically more efficient to fold.)

-Group by category – Keep matching towels and linens together. This not only makes it easier to find things when you’re looking for them, but it’s also more aesthetically pleasing.

-Leave wiggle room – This goes for most organization projects. Stuffing any cabinet/closet to the gills won’t look neat, nor will it be efficient when you need to take something out. (The goal is to simplify!)

-Contain small items – Put small items and cleaning supplies together in bins or baskets. Over-the-door storage racks can be great for this, as well.

– Contain large, bulky items (like comforters and pillows) in storage bags or laundry baskets so they aren’t spilling off your shelves.

– Fold sheets and matching pillowcases together into bundles

-Remove packaging from toiletries and store in clear canisters or wire bins for a neater, more stylish look.

Don’t forget to hit the “Follow” button or find me on social media (@theremakestudio) for more ideas on home organizing!

Home Organization in Fifteen Minutes

“I don’t have time.” We’ve all said it at one point or another. (Yes, even you, shaking your head as you read this.) It’s the number one excuse organizers hear from clients. And, trust us, we understand. It’s always easier to just put things off and use lack of time as an excuse when we are feeling overwhelmed. But that’s why you need us, isn’t it? To come into your homes and show you that getting more organized will actually create more time for you in the long run.

If you’re busy running the kids around all week, working a full-time job, and putting dinner on the table every night, the thought of trying to squeeze in time to remake your pantry probably sounds exhausting. There are only so many hours in the day, right? Exactly! And that’s why you need to create habits that will allow you to make the most of your precious time.

Realistically, organizers don’t expect you to start skipping work or abandoning little Jimmy at soccer practice so you can declutter. But what if you set aside 15 minutes every day? Fifteen minutes isn’t that long. You probably spend more time than that mindlessly scrolling through social media when you want to unwind. If you can find a way to sacrifice 15 minutes a day, I guarantee you’ll notice a difference by the end of the week. Choose what you want to focus on during that time: If you always feel like you’re drowning in dishes, take 15 minutes every evening to work on emptying and loading the dishwasher. It beats having a meltdown on Thursday because it’s dinner time and there are no clean plates in the cupboard. If you’re dreading that huge pile of mail that’s been slowly building on the counter, see how much of it you can tackle in 15 minutes. Make separate piles – throw away, file away, and action. Even if it takes you a few nights to get everything sorted, by the weekend you’ll be ready to tackle each of those piles with ease because they’ll already be categorized. Tired of tripping over your children’s toys all day? Take 15 minutes before bedtime to put toys away in their respective places. You can even get the kids involved and make a fun game out of it.

By focusing on one project or area of the house at a time, you’ll start to realize that organizing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It only gets overwhelming when you try to do everything at once. Once you get in the habit of regularly putting things away, you’ll notice how much easier it is to manage your home. (Habit is the key word here. You can’t organize once and it expect it to stay that way forever.) Come up with a weekly schedule, if that helps you. Or put a “to do” list on the fridge. There is no right or wrong way to spend those 15 minutes, as long as you’re actually being productive. Hopefully, by the time the weekend rolls around, you’ll have checked enough off your list that you’ll find yourself with time to spend doing things you actually enjoy. 🙂

Products I Can’t Live Without

Not sure where to begin on your organizing journey? Have no fear. I am here to help! Here are a few products that I find myself purchasing again and again, for clients and my own home.

These drop-front shoe boxes from The Container Store are hands down my shoe organizers. For starters, they’re stackable, so you can make a nice little shoe wall for yourself in your closet. (Or anywhere in the house, really. I’m not judging.) The clear drop front makes it super easy to see what’s inside and lets you access your shoes without having to shift any boxes around. These boxes would also be great for accessories, clutches, or craft supplies.

Under sink/cabinet drawer organizer, where have you been all these years? These under the sink organizers have been a game changer in our bathroom closet. I use the drawers for storing extra washcloths and am able to fit several bottles of hair products and lotions on top. (There’s also a different version that is great for under the kitchen sink!)

These white storage bins are perfect for pretty much every room in the house – kitchen, bathroom, linen closet, kids’ room, etc. They come in 3 different sizes, too, so you can mix and match.

An expandable pot and pan holder can really do wonders for your kitchen cabinets! The slot sizes are adjustable, making it easy to fit different sizes of pans. I have one for baking sheets and cutting boards and another just for baking pans. It’s so much better than trying to sort through a pile of clunky, loud pans every time you bake.

Do you have any specific products that you love to use for organizing? Tell me about them in the comments! And don’t forget to hit the “Follow” button. 😉

It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect

We’ve all seen the Instagram and Pinterest posts of the impeccably organized closet. The color-coded bookcases. The pantry with only clear canisters and handmade labels. Impressive, aren’t they?

Have you ever seen such a post and said to yourself “Wow, I could never make my home look like that?” Well, my friends, let me let you in on a little secret: You don’t have to.

Lots of people use what they see on influencer platforms as inspiration. They take and tips, hacks, and pretty photos and use them to fuel their desire to make their home more organized. Then there are opposite people, people who see what’s on social media and instantly feel overwhelmed. They don’t think they have enough time, space, money, etc. to make their homes look Insta-worthy, so they just don’t do anything. Period.

Influencers (even organizers) homes don’t always look like that – staged; You can find a system that works for you and your lifestyle without it needing to be “perfect;” my own black-and-white thinking. Would you tell your child “You’ll never be as good as the other kids at soccer, so you probably shouldn’t play at all?” Stop using this as an excuse to keep things the way they are.

Permission to Get Rid of Things

This past weekend I went to a friend’s to help them reorganize their kitchen cabinets. They actually have a really nice kitchen layout with plenty of cabinet space and an enviable pantry. But, like many people, space can seem scarce when there is too much stuff everywhere.

Step one (the most important step, in my opinion) involved removing duplicate, expired, and unwanted items. It’s usually the longest part of the process, but well worth the time. It goes something like this:

“Why do you have three blenders?”

“I don’t know.”

“Great. Get rid of two of them.”

It’s that easy. I know some of you would disagree with that statement, but I promise you, it really is that easy. Sometimes there are memories, emotional baggage, and theoretical possibilities associated with the things cluttering up our homes.  “Oh, but I can’t get rid of that. My best friend gave it to me the day my dog died.” Sound familiar? I’m sure all of us have done this at one point or another, and, while it’s okay to hang on to a few things now and then, what happens when your whole house is filled with “What ifs?” and long-forgotten mementos? It can start to feel less like a home and more like a dumping ground.

You. Over there with three crock pots and a spare toaster from the eighties. Get rid of them. You have my permission.

The Beauty of Space

Let’s talk about the importance of space. Having enough space to store all of your possessions, while still having enough room to breathe and live comfortably, is something that everyone should be mindful of. Think about it: You can technically fill your closet top to bottom with stuff until it’s full to the brim and the doors are threatening to pop off. You can fit a huge amount of clothing and knick knacks in that closet if you aren’t worrying about presentation and how much space everything has to breathe. But should you do that?

Sorry if I’m about to burst anyone’s bubble, but the answer is no.

Plenty of people would disagree. Lots of folks still subscribe to the commonly accepted notion that I like to call Too Much Stuff Syndrome. I’m not here to lecture you on how much stuff you should or shouldn’t have. I don’t know things you actually need in your life. Only you can figure that out. But, what I would like to encourage is that you consider how much space all that stuff is taking up.

Are your dresser drawers overflowing? Bookshelves cramped and messy? Does your kid have so many toys that they’re just scattered about the entire house? Are there piles of papers all over the kitchen counter?

Now, an even better question: How do those things make you feel? I bet a good number of you feel stressed or overwhelmed just thinking about it. Perhaps some of you don’t even want to acknowledge all those things because you don’t like how it makes you feel. If that’s the case, please know that there is nothing wrong with that. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by clutter. There have been studies done on it and entire movements around minimalism. People have finally begun to recognize and accept the fact that the “More, more, more” mentality is actually doing more harm than good.

Too much clutter, mess, and stuff can increase your cortisol levels and make you super stressed. When we’re unhappy with our surroundings those feelings can bleed over into other areas of our lives and have a negative effect on our health, relationships, outlook, etc.

Aside from stress, there are other reasons to value having more space in your home: a) It’s more sanitary. You can’t clean your house well if you’re just cleaning around piles of stuff. b.) It’s more aesthetically pleasing. c.) It leaves more wiggle room and room for potential growth.

You might not be ready to dive head first into minimalism. To be honest, I can’t do it either. But you absolutely can start taking little steps to create more space in your home so that you can breathe.

Basket Case

I learned something about myself recently: I really like baskets.

I know what you must be thinking. “You’re in your thirties and you only just figured out that you like baskets?”

Yep.

You know who doesn’t like baskets though? My fiance. Of all the things to hate on this planet, he hates baskets. I don’t understand this. Baskets are not only useful, but they can be stylish, too!

Case in point:

I use baskets all over the house to store various things. Have misc. pantry items that keep things looking messy? Organize them in baskets! Want the towels to look neater? Fold ’em up pretty and stick them in a basket! Toys of the human or canine variety overunneth onto the floor? That’s right, get a damned basket!

There are so many colors and varieties of baskets nowadays that there really is no excuse for not finding the perfect one, unless you’re my fiance and clearly have no appreciation for woven objects. *sigh*

Do you guys like baskets?

Year of the Makeover

After life came to a grinding halt in 2020, this year has been all about makeovers. Sitting home all day, eating junk food and wearing yoga pants, was fun for a few weeks, but eventually things started to feel pretty stale. In an attempt to regain control, I’ve slowly been making over every nook, cranny, and neglected square inch of our home. I’ve also been working on improving some other areas of my life, as well, but we can talk more about those later.

I’m only halfway done with all of the things I want to accomplish, but it’s already made a huge difference! It’s amazing how new shelf liners and a few baskets/bins can make it feel like you’re in a completely different space.

(Before and after)

Have you given any areas of your life a makeover lately?