As we near the end of our theme this month, I think there are a few more places to tackle in our home. (Hooray!) This is by no means a comprehensive look on the topic of homemaking, but I hope that you have also gleaned a few ideas along the way. I know I have! Anything that I can learn and do more efficiently for my home is worth it. I am looking forward to actually implementing some of these plans in the near future. We were told that they were going to paint the bathroom and kitchen this week so they can install the cabinets next. I am sure that will definitely start making our house look like more than just a construction site. Today, I am going to take a look at my linen and coat closets. I do not have these nicely organized closets like the ones below. I don't use them as hiding places when guests come, but neither am I able to find things easily when I need them. My method has been pretty much put it where there is space. I do not have designated places for those odds and ends that I want to keep, such as items to be re-gifted, batteries, the humidifier, beach towels, the leaf for our dining table, and extra chairs. You know what I mean.
Source: I Heart Organizing
First, I think I need to designate things into one closet that makes sense. I can put these things either in the pantry cabinets (like paper goods), linen closet (sheets, towels) or the coat closet (jackets, scarves, mittens, etc.). Our linen closet, as it is closest to the boys' room, our room, the guest room and the full bath, is best for all the towels and linens for those rooms. The girls' room is not nearby, so I may keep their linens in the closet of their room. This tip from Martha Stewart is a great suggestion for storing sheets: put folded sheets into their matching pillowcases and store either by size or room.
Source: Martha Stewart
And if you, like many other homemakers, have trouble figuring out how to fold your sheets, Martha saves the day with this video (bel0w) that may give some pointers. You can also check out Real Simple for a different version (which I think looks easier).
Above our linen closet is also a place for other odds and ends that we have. I am thinking of putting household supplies up there, (extra batteries, light bulbs, and the like) as well as all our gift-wrapping supplies (bags, paper, ribbons, tape, and a pair of scissors) and extra re-giftable items. The humidifier will probably go up here too, as it is then easy to access when needed. Last but not least, I plan to have a set of guest linens, towels and toiletry items here or in the bathroom if there is room.
I don't know about you, but I want my linen closet to smell nice too. Something about that clean scent that makes it seem right. I don't like to spend a lot of money, however, on things that I'll need to replace, so when I learned that you can just put fabric softener sheets (like Bounce, but any kind will do) I thought this would be perfect. Even better, I learned you can even use used ones. If you are allergic, I read that an opened box of baking soda also helps. Just make sure it doesn't get knocked over! And last but not least, make sure that mildew isn't an issue. It's best to deal with the source and not just mask the odor!
If you've wondered how to fold towels, here's some help to make them look nice from the Unclutterer and a video from Ask the Decorator. She had some tips on how to get that nice finished look. Though she uses hand towels, these ideas can work for bath towels too.
Our coat closet, which used to be near the front door, will be moved towards the playroom, which makes it less convenient, but oh well, that is the way it goes. We could keep it where it was, but then again, I wouldn't have a shower in my bathroom. The tradeoff wasn't too difficult to negotiate! Anyways, our coat closet is going to be where we put all outdoor gear: jackets (which I need to limit to current sizes only), mittens and gloves, hats, snow shoes (if there is room), and umbrellas. The vacuum will also have to fit in here as well. If you want some more coat closet tips, check out DIY Life's article.
Like the laundry room, these places in the home are not very "important" but with some foresight and a sense of purpose, I can keep these from being storage black holes which can undermine the smooth functioning of our home. I hope that with some thought, I will be able to streamline these areas so that we will be able to host guests at a moment's notice without fear.
Heavenly Father, even in these small places will you come in and infuse it with a sense of your purpose and order. Please discipline me to keep these areas clean and ready to go, so that our home functions smoothly and guests may be received easily and readily. In Jesus' name, Amen.
My closet checklist is here: Linen or coat closet