Minimalism

Linen Closet: Before and After

My mom told me that the only time she admits that she lost her cool was when, as a child, I took out ALL the linens in our hall closet. I thought it was fun. As the items rained down upon me, I had a sense that I was making a mess but the reward of being buried in clean linens was just too wonderful.

In my mother’s closet, there were so many tablecloths for different seasons, occasions, and holidays. The closet was also packed with bed sheets, pillow cases, and dust clothes, leaving no room between neatly folded stacks in the two-door closet that would close apprehensively on a prayer.

For me, as a three year old, I thought this closet looked like the funnest activity I’d had in days. I pulled each sheet, towel, and finally the dust cloths out so that I might bury myself in their fresh coolness. My bliss was interrupted by a scream and then a yell and then by two hands carrying me back to my room where I would stay until the mess was cleaned up.

It’s possible I broke my mother that day.

My Linen Closet

Before becoming a minimalist, my linen closet was a catchall for the things mentioned before but also for old toiletries, occasionally-used cleaning supplies, and rags I never wanted to touch again. It was a glorified junk drawer.

After minimizing, my linen closet has room to spare. If one of my kids starts yanking out item after item, it might take me 10 minutes to clean up the space and put things right again.

What Do You Need in Your Closet?

What you need in your closet might be slightly different from mine. You may even decide to change the focus of the space all together. My mother, for instance, now puts her linens in a dresser and her closet now holds pots and pans.

I went through a recent decluttering of the our linen closet. This was part of the Big Three Decluttering Challenge I’ve set for myself this summer (linen closet, garage, and storage room downstairs). Here are the deets on the sheets:

  • Bath towels (two per person plus two extra for guests)
  • Beach towels (one per person and none for guests)
  • Wash clothes (we have four…they are mostly for guests or cleaning up scraped knees)
  • Dust clothes (four)
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Replacement cloths for our wet mop
  • Hand towels (three)
  • Table cloths (two for all occasions, two for Christmas)
  • A box for batteries, a box with an updated stack of appliance manuals, and one box for small dog-related supplies
  • Light bulbs
  • Signs for poison control and emergency procedures (this was left by the previous owners)
  • Bed sheets (one set)
  • An extra blanket (one but I have another one in my bedroom for any time my Dad and his girlfriend from Arizona stay over)
  • Air freshener refills
My Recently Minimized Linen Closet
(We have two towels in use in the bathroom currently)

We put all of our cleaning items in one place in the basement just to keep them out of the reach of children. I could say it was the chemicals we were afraid of or the items konking our toddlers in the head but really it’s just nice to know where ALL the cleaning supplies are.

Recently, I’ve left the linen closet door open to marvel at it at how organized everything is. I know that’s lame and I should be embarrassed over my lack of KonMari-approved folding skills but I don’t care. It’s glorious.

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