Organizing Challenge: Linen Closet

I launched the 2014 – Resolution to Get Organized with Clever Girl Organizing earlier this week.  For the month of January, to help kickstart new habits and conquer some scary places around your home, we’ll do 14 different challenges.  (14 for 2014… obviously).  Once a week, we’ll do a Fourteen in ’14 purge, and there will be some other mid-week challenges, but on the weekends, I’ll give you something a little meatier.

I’ll be honest: This one probably isn’t a  Twenty Minute attack… BUT, I’m encouraging you to break it up into several smaller tasks over the course of the weekend and knock this one out of the park!

We’re going to tackle the linen closet!  I’m talking sheets, towels, toiletries, cleaning supplies… whatever you keep in there!  (Oh, and if you keep those things in other places, that counts, too!)

linen closet

First, let’s start with the linens. I often see people hold onto more linens than they need to have.  We tend to think of them as “good enough” even long after we’ve said, “I need new ones” and buy some more.  Not only do we not need them, they take up valuable room in our storage AND someone else could use them if we donated them.


  • How many beds do you have, of how many sizes, and how many sheet sets do you have?

  • Now, ask yourself:  Is there any reason I really need to have more than 2 sets of sheet for each bed? (Okay… those who live in cold places… you don’t have to include the one set of flannel you would use in the winter. )

  • If you have more than 2 (or 3) sets, rank them by “use these all the time” to “well… i never really want to put these on the bed, but if I would if I have to.”

  • Put those lowest ranked sheet sets aside for donation.


  • How many people in your home, and do you need more than 2 bath towels for each person?  Plus a set for typical amount of guests? How many towel sets do you have?

  • Sort through towels from newest and best condition (and current color scheme, if that is important to you).

  • Let go of the lowest ranked ones. Yes, yes, keep one for the “what if there’s a leak?” crisis. But the rest? Consider donating to an animal shelter.

Now, let’s move onto the supplies we tend to store in these spaces: Toiletries, beauty products and cleaning supplies. (NOTE: We’re going to tackle the medicine cabinet and medication another day this month… don’t think I’ve forgotten about that!)   With these supplies, we can end up holding onto things that are perfectly fine, but just not our thing, for no good reason than it seems wasteful to get rid of it.  I offer that it is better to waste a product than it is to waste your SPACE.  Let’s get to it:


Toiletries and Beauty Products:

  • This is going to have lots of things in it you need to keep, and lots of things you’ve kept for a while because… well, why exactly?  Impulse buys? Product try-and-fails? Gifts from someone who meant well? Bottles that are almost empty? Old makeup that isn’t safe to use any more?

  • Sort out the items that are absolutely your brand and product in rotation, from the “why am I holding onto this?” pile.

  • Everything else? Set aside the unopened ones for donation, and discard the rest.

Cleaning Supplies:

  • Similarly to the toiletries, we’ve got stuff we use, stuff we’ve tried, bottles that are mainly empty, wipes that are almost completely wiped out, and stuff we never thought worked very well or liked the scent of.  It should be easy to commit to the things that are definitely to be used in the future, vs. the things we keep moving out of the way to get to the ones we use.

  • Getting rid of these may be a little bit more challenging, as sometimes cleaning supplies can be hazardous. Please be sure to dispose of those items safely.


I know it may seem like a lot to take on, but making room in your linen closet and making sure that the items you keep in there are worth keeping will help cut down the frustration you feel whenever you go to find what you need!  Good luck and get to it!!





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