DeCluttered Linen Closet – Part One

Last week, Day 1, I started organizing the lake cottage, uck… some of those areas behind closed doors that have been neglected for two years. My first project was to de-clutter, clean and re-organize our hall linen closet. What a job finding places to put ALL the misplaced clutter that accumulated in especially that closet. So much junk stacked up I did not know quite where to begin. Finally I decided the only way to move forward was start removing everything and allow the stuff to temporarily clutter the adjacent Studio/Guestroom, which already had its own clutter issues goin’ on. As I filled big garbage bags with “trash” or “donate” treasures, Captain carried them directly to the trash can or to his car to take to Goodwill at the end of the day. I recommend having an immediate disposal plan for the out-going bags, so the contents don’t get a second scrutiny.


I see so many leftovers from previous blog post projects…oh, so that’s where my wrist & ankle weights are hiding!

Shelves, floor and walls were cleaned and I added vinyl non-stick shelf liner.

By the end of the first day I had removed almost everything from the temporary holding-guestroom, and put them inside the closet or cabinet that would become their new permanent storage area, maybe. Which means, in order to make room in those other closets, I had to de-clutter those other closets/cabinets as I removed the linens and things that would go into the now empty linen closet that I am really working on. Got that? Let’s just say, I had a lot of balls in the air on Day 1, and knew I had to work fast to get everything buttoned-up for the night. By the end of the day my goal was to complete that Clear-out & Clean-up phase so I could begin Day 2 with the more fun part of organizing.

Day 2 – Reorganizing & Styling 

I loaded the shelves to get an idea of how it all would fit. Confession: I do this Styling-stage early in the process for motivation, even though it is extra work to remove it all again. To my surprise I had more space than I had thought; baskets and containers held more than I had anticipated. The space was capable of storing ALL of ours towels, sheets, and blankets, plus more…so I added in some vintage blankets and table linens. I love having all those like-items in one storage area. With more room still, I used the top shelf to stack some extra large chargers, pillowforms and seasonal decor. Captain removed two big boxes of photos off of the floor, sorted and reduced them in half to be stored in his office…more room : )

Sheet sets store easily when folded and tucked into a matching pillow case. I tossed out a lot of random sheet sets when de-cluttering.


My color palette has changed a few times when planning pinning the linen closet, but landed finally as Black/White/Green. For styling I added a natural texture element with hyacinth baskets. That meant I needed to purchase more baskets as well as the containers. After seeing the cost of hyacinth baskets, I chose green as my accent color, by default, because I had some pretty green linens/bedding and green boxes already. $$aving$$ By having black as a neutral base color, the green, I’m sure, will in time morph into some other color. The black containers were on sale at Walmart, and the hyacinth reed baskets came from Marshall’s and Home Goods. I know that if I want to control clutter I just have to put everything into a container. My family calls me the basket queen. That way everything has a place where it can be return to. I guess I am simple in that way, give it a color system or a container and I will knock myself out to stay within those limits.

This is my dry-run of what needs to go in the closet. I have plenty of room to store candles, napkin rings, towels for the bathrooms. I’m seeing a spot on the floor for my sewing machine and a box of fabric.

Day 3 – after my dry-run styling, in the above photo, everything was removed, AGAIN, and the closet shelves were beefed-up with new trim molding. I started the morning ready to GO, Mise en Place, so no time was wasted completing the next step, which required a little down-time for glue to dry.

I used non-wood fiber molding because it is lightweight, cheap and easy to cut with a trim handsaw & sharp clippers (Captain’s garden tool.)

I adhered trim with Liquid Nails, and for extra hold I used finishing nails. Counter-sunk the nails and used Spackle to fill nail holes, then sanded lightly. Adding the thicker molding is a cheap and simple way to take the Look up a notch. Paint to come later.


It’s still Day 3 of this project and there was a break in the rainy weather so it seemed a good time to brighten the closet with white paint. I always choose a pure white paint to repaint the insides of storage closets. It is amazing how much light is reflected when it is painted a bright white. When the doors are open I want the feeling of “freshness” to come to mind and white is the way to create that feeling.

Use a satin or semi-gloss sheen paint inside closets for an additional reflection of light and for durability. What a difference pure white makes.

Actually I am now at the stage where tomorrow, Day 4, I will give the closet a second coat of paint, then, reload the closet and add my final touches…I bet you can see where I am going with those black bins…stay tuned!

Going into the Home-Stretch!

Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside!



2 thoughts on “DeCluttered Linen Closet – Part One

  1. So then part two will make you giddy?? Hey, did you see I have been using your way to fold/store sheet sets? You told me that technique years ago, it was an “ah-ha moment”

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