Linen Closet Organizing to Make Room for Kitty

I woke up this morning, the first day of 2018, totally pumped to organize the linen closet.

It always helps to have motivation, and this was mine…


We adopted a kitty!!!!

I’d tell you her name, but we’re still deciding on it. It will not surprise you at all that I had a list of must-haves for any kitty that we might adopt, and she met every one! She’s a low allergen breed, seven years old, shelter rescue, great with kids, on the small side and she’s a super snuggler, so she’s going to be great to have on my lap working from home. It might actually be illegal to be a writer and not own a cat.

Anyway, back to the linen closet. She needs it for her litter box. It’s a small change that I’m willing to make. So, organizing the linen closet and organizing the bathroom closet was the plan for today. I have to do these two closets together because they kind of work together to hold the same kind of stuff.ย The hallway linen closet has also been featured here on the blog before. Here’s how it looked this morning:

how to organize the linen closet

Not too awfully bad, considering we just got through gifting season, and this is where all the giftwrap lives. But I needed to get the floor back.

Some of the organizing was just folding, honestly. Although I did notice that I have three cute bins full of fabric, which a lot for me. I must have started stockpiling fabric when the girls looked like they might start sewing. They still might. We’ll have to whittle some of that down. But the brilliance in any multi-use space like this is in the labeling. Are you wondering what SPIFs are? It’s my word for little gifts, crafts, and distraction toys that I set aside for my girls for a rainy day. Stocking stuffers, basically, for the every day, but the girls haven’t caught on yet, so they are still hidden in plain sight. The gifts bin is for birthday party items. I hate to scramble at the last minute for those.

labels organize the linen closet

Theoretically, anyone should be able to come in and get what they need. I’ve had all of these bins for over ten years. They still work perfectly to hold all the extra school supplies and such.

school supplies labeled in organize the linen closet

My goal was to get the floor back. I stuck to the same five steps that we use on every organizing project, and it took me only about an hour to organize both closets together. The five step system, by the way, is called SORT and Succeed, which is the name of my new book coming out in just a few weeks. In the mean time, here they are again:

How to Get Organized with SORT and Succeed System

When you need the floor back, don’t forget to use the organizing space on the door. This is a caddy for my HomeRight steamer accessories, but we often just pick any old tote bag and get vacuum attachments up off the floor like this for clients.

how to organize the linen closet using the back of the door

Always look up. There might be a way to store things overhead, as I did with ribbons strung on a tension rod in the top of the doorway. The door still shuts, and these are easy to reach for.

how to organize the linen closet storing ribbons

By the time I was done, there was only a quart zipper bag full of items to toss and one gift bag of tissue paper to recycle. I was thrilled to find a forgotten cube filled with the girls’ old baby blankets.

storing baby blankets in a linen closet

They are purrrfect for our new furbaby. She’s a champion sleeper, and she thinks soft blankets on top of the radiator covers on a sub-zero day are the best idea ever.

Right, enough ogling the pretty kitty. You’ll be seeing her again on this blog, no doubt. But this project was about her, after all. With the closet more organized, I could get everything up off the floor, which she will need for her litter box. The only thing left on the floor can stay, which is my trash bin that holds gift bags. Mission accomplished. I’m super happy that my electrician installed that outlet in there years ago. It’ll be so handy to hang a rechargeable hand vac there to keep litter off the floor.

how to organize the linen closet

Now to the bathroom closet. It didn’t need a complete overhaul, since everything has been labelled for years. Yes, our bathroom closet is actually an armoire. Old house solutions. You’ve seen this closet before, and it didn’t look too bad this morning:

how to organize the linen closet

The tan bag in the middle is where I store out of season shoes for the girls, one of my most popular posts ever, so that’s staying for a few years. These dollar store baskets are also about ten years old. Baskets like these are the best way to make large, deep shelves useful storage for little things, like toothpaste and toothbrushes.

how to organize the linen closet with bins

It’s amazing what a little folding can do. Sheets and blankets are stored in here. Towels are all in the other closet. Try to keep things within the 2×2 rule. Anything stacked more than two items high or two items deep will be really hard to get to or to keep neat. Add more shelves, if you have to, which is what we did here.

how to organize the linen closet with folding

Did you notice the bottom left hand corner of this closet? I often need a screwdriver up here on the second floor, so there’s a space for a few small tools in a recycled tissue box. There are a few more empty tissue boxes next to it, just waiting to be repurposed. They work great inside drawers as drawer dividers, as well as small bins on shelves like you see here.

It would have been so much easier if we could put the litter box where it used to be for our kitty who passed away years ago, but the girls have taken that over as their little hideout, so that wasn’t an option.

This project was really a maintenance project, which means I didn’t have to start from scratch. I was really just refreshing the systems, bins, and zones that I had previously set up. Because I wasn’t starting completely from scratch, it only took me about an hour to do the whole thing. Which means I have the rest of the day to spend with my new little girl. At some point this afternoon we’ll be taking a family vote on her name, and I’ll keep you posted.

If you’re new here, you might be looking for a January organizing challenge or a 31-day declutter plan. In fact, I’ve got a month’s worth of organizing projects like this lined up for you. Regular subscribers will be receiving one a day, as opposed to the 1-2 per week that we publish the rest of the year. Please be sure to subscribe over on the right side of the site, and you’ll get each article delivered right to your mailbox. If you really, super duper want to hop on a 31 day plan right now, check out this 31 Day Organizing Plan.

Oh, and there’s a book launch happening this month, too.ย  ๐Ÿ˜€ย  You’ll want to know about all the fun stuff we have planned for that, too.

Anyone want one more gratuitous kitty picture?

kitty staying warm

Wishing you a warm, cuddly, organized New Year!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Anne M

    Congrats on the new, furry friend! Anne, Patches, Smudge

  2. Renee D'Antonio

    and a kitty cat on your lap will help keep you warm in this ridiculously freezing weather brrrrr cold & FYI your post about putting Christmas away wouldn’t open – will need to do that b4 clearing linen closet i’m stymied

  3. Kara Raudenbush Photography

    Hoorah! Congrats on your new furry love. Thanks for the linen closet pointers….parallel lives – we are actually doing this right now after the completion of our bathroom!

    1. Darla

      So happy for your new bathroom. I can’t wait to see it.

  4. Natalie

    Congratulations on your lovely kitty!! “Mocha” looks like a sweetheart ๐Ÿ’•. We are owned by two kitties and love every minute of it. I’ve always enjoyed your tips and tricks and now look forward to kitty pics as well!

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