Linen Locker Logistics

One of the hardest parts of moving in together is trying to find a spot for both of our stuff. Because there just didn’t seem to be a space for everything, our linen closet was a catch-all for all sorts of crap and became super messy. The problem is, though, that the linen closet could be a great asset! Not only do we have a closet in our bathroom where we can store all sorts of stuff, we have a linen closet which makes us sound sophisticated. Whenever I think about people organizing their spaces, I always imagine perfectly coordinated shelves/boxes/containers/etc and that was a bit overwhelming. Not only do I not have the money to stock up the perfect organizers, I’m pretty impulsive and didn’t want to spend time researching what system I wanted and just would prefer to organize now. So I used what we had and added a few Family Dollar/Christmas Tree Shops gems. Here is some advice to organizing your very own messy space:

  • Take everything out of your closet and don’t put it back until you’ve found a better way to organize it. You’ll be surprised with how much stuff you have.
  • Group things in a logical manner. This is where your personality takes over. The way I decided to organize our closet makes a whole lot of sense to us but anyone else that sees it might wonder why we thought that was a good idea.
  • Invest in some labels. I used these mailing labels and they work great. I just wrote on them with a Sharpie. This way, if I want to change my organizing I either rip it off or just stick another one on top.
  • Confer with the person you live with when organizing. Your organizing everything by color scheme might make a ton of sense to you, but if your roomies see things as “mine/yours” then it will be wasted.
    • What I did was group things we had a lot of (lotion) together and then asked for Ben’s ideas on how to organize other things. Hence why we ended up with a “Manly Bin” and a “Girly Bin”
  • Make sure you use the right type of organizer for your items. For example, don’t use a milk crate to organize chapstick. Make sure the structure and stability are appropriate for your items, such that tall items can stand up and small items won’t get lost.
Here’s the “before” picture. You can tell that we had tried to be organized when we moved in and then it failed.
First I focused on the easy stuff. The top shelf is all towels. We don’t really need to have access to them (because we tend to use the same towels until we do laundry and just wash them then…) but having them in the tupperware container (see above) just wasn’t cutting it.
This little boxy thing is a dollar store find (yes, I found it in the baby section, I’m fine with it. This is an example of using the right type of organizer. This is great because it corrals all the extra shower stuff we have. Admit it– you too need to find a place for the 7 pack of soap/body wash/shampoo you bought when you found them on sale.
See how nicely all the items stand up (but don’t sit on top of each other) so you can easily reach in and grab what you need.
Here’s another dollar store find. There two particular items were tough to figure out where to put them, so we settled on a “things that give off light go together” philosophy. Here’s what I mean about making sure your classifications make sense to you…
These drawers came from my dorm room in college  and I repurposed them to be used here.  The “eyes” bin has extra contacts, solution, glasses cleaning supplies and other eye related goodies. The “teeth” bin has extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, etc. Chapstick is organized in half of a travel soap bin. I put the drawers on top of a shelf extender, which gave me space to put Q-tips and cotton balls underneath. I don’t think that self-contained bits like cotton balls need to be organized a whole lot more, but that’s just personal philosophy.
I found this stack of three bins at the Christmas Tree Shops for $3.99 and they ended up being great! Sure they’re not the prettiest things but who cares. When organizing this, I knew I needed one bin for lotion but I didn’t know how to organze the rest of the personal hygiene stuff we had accumulated. Enter the “manly” and “girly” bins. I needed a bin for nail polish, tweezers, and other girly things and Ben needed a place for razors, aftershave, and deodorant. The labels may sound silly but they’ve actually worked out great.
Here’s another use for those great shelf extenders. These bins are ones that we had accumulated over the years.  We have bandaids/neosporin/gauze/tape in the lower one and medications in the top. I found that the larger bin on top could be organized even further with just a piece of cardboard. I took the cardboard and cut it so it would stand upright in the bin and just used it as a divider, with stomach meds in the front and pain meds in the back!
Here’s the final picture! Nice and organized.
Happy organizing! Please share tips and tricks if you have them!

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