Thursday, February 3, 2011

Organizing My Utility & Linen Closets

I thought I’d show you all my utility and linen closets that I re-organized. I have lots of painting to do but it’s been too cold to have the windows open (even with using low VOC paint). So I’ve been organizing and decluttering since I don’t want to move with junk!utilitycloset
This is the utility closet door before. I really liked my shoe organizer. It was a great way to keep things organized and I could easily see what I had. It was also a handy place to stuff plastic bags. I do have re-usable shopping bags but often forget to bring them into the store – therefore the plastic bags!closetdoor
So now I have a couple of aprons and a cute plastic bag holder  from etsy on the door because my husband always hated that shoe organizer AND I don’t want to give the impression that there’s not enough storage in this house. People do look in closets when shopping for a home!
This closet was also pumpkin orange! Actually I don’t have one white closet. ALL my closets are painted a color on the inside. The inside of the door was yellow as you can see in the photo at the very top. 
Now the inside is very light blue (sigh…because when I tested this color on a bedroom wall it was practically white but without any natural light you can see the blue – but it’s less noticeable than bright pumpkin orange). The inside of the door was painted white.
vacuumThe vacuum cleaner hose holder is from IKEA. I have a few photos of some organizing things from IKEA at the end of the post (long post – this is what happens when you only post once in a while).
I have plenty of room on the shelves!

Now for my hall linen closet!
As you can see it’s not all that big! Anyway it was a mess. Below is the after!
Here’s the heartless truth. If this is all the space you have than this is what you have to work with. The only way to have it organized is to get rid of stuff you don’t use/really need. (I do have a couple of towels in the dyer but as you can see, there’s plenty of room for them.)

Things I got rid of – Christmas and Easter towels. Yes, at one time in my life I used to change my entire hall bathroom at Christmas and Easter. I had holiday shower curtains, towels, bath accessories  - you name it  I had it. It was fun when my daughter was little. I also still had a stack of the little facecloths I used for her when she was a baby! She’ll be 19 this month. Time to let go of those baby cloths I think. I got rid of ratty towels (donated them to my vet and cut some up to use as rags). I do a load of laundry every other day – I don’t need to keep a whole lot of sheets and towels. I got rid of (donated) tablecloths that don’t even fit the table I have now (why was I keeping those?).
I put the washcloths in a container (also from IKEA) and the hand towels next to it. As you can see this closet is still pumpkin orange! The wallpaper on the shelves is the one I had in my kitchen in my first house in Georgia. I papered those shelves 11 years ago!
Do you see that I have an entire empty shelf now that I got rid of stuff!!! I keep my daughter’s sheets in her room’s closet but I may move them out here. Also, I only have one set of guest room sheets and they’re of course on the bed. I do have some extra pillow cases for that room and I keep those in a container in that room.

Well that’s two closets done – four more to go!

For some reason I wind up in IKEA every January! Here are a few photos of some of their organizing systems.

I'm motivated to declutter and organize since we're selling our house but I must say it also just feels freeing to have less stuff!

Thanks for taking the time to drop by and have a wonderful weekend!


Heidi said...

Oh how I love Ikea! Such great organization and {most of it} is pretty too!

Divine Theatre said...

How much aluminum foil does one woman need? LOL! I commend you for being able to toss things out. I have a hard time with that. Although giving old towels and blankets to animal shelters is a good incentive!

Love the Decor! said...

I am so behind in my blogging I didn't know your were moving. I think moving is always a great incentive to declutter and dispose of things!! Exciting times for you!!

Brenda Pruitt said...

I need one of those systems! I can't believe it's almost time for you to put that house on the market. Seems like it was just Christmas, doesn't it?

Glenda/MidSouth said...

You are really getting things done. I am still working on my list - it is slow. I have shelf paper in some of my kitchen cabinets with ivy print on it - from mid 90's. I remember when Ivy and sun flowers were a big thing in decorating.
Stay warm !

Nadine said...

Great job with your cleaning and re-organizing!
I need to re-do our linen was looking good for a while, but now it is back to looking messy again! :)


Anonymous said...

You've given me the incentive to start in my daughters room as I have targeted the weekend of the 28th of May to be out of our cottage as we are moving 1/2hr outside San Diego County to start over. It feels good to be working towards a goal.

Take care,

Julie Harward said...

Organization feels so good! Love what you have done, every space looks so nice. I love everything having it's own little place. :D

shannon i olson said...

I have so many messes that need organizing. uff da. I would love a trip to IKEA but the nearest one is 4 hours away. Maybe this spring when the weather and roads get better ( the trip to IKEA, not the organizing- that can wait even longer lol)

Rose H (UK) said...

Marty, you're doing an amazing job de-cluttering! I know that you have an excellent reason for doing it, and I wish I could be so organised/ruthless(?) doing my own!
You're certainly doing all the right thingsto get that house sale when the time comes.
Best wishes
Rose H

Shilo said...

Manuela, great work! I have been doing a similar thing as we are returning to the US next month for me to finish up some medical tests to determine if I have MS. It has been such a great feeling to purge and keep things that really mean something or are in good condition. And an added bonus is that the thrift store here actually pays me a little bit of something for my cast offs. :)
Now when we get back to the US, I will go through all my stuff in storage and say, "What in the world did we keep this for?" copiously! :) Ha ha.
Blessings on your weekend and your life! Shilo

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Ha! My hall linen closet looks like your "before", Manuela! I need to get on mine, too. I know there are some sheet sets I can delegate to the rag bin. I still need to re-organize my craft closet.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Stephanie loves Ikea, I think it is her idea of Heaven on Earth, hehehe.

When we downsized to a smaller home, it was the seasonal items that had to go first. I used to decorate for every Holiday (as in a Christmas teapot and cups, Easter kitchen towels, etc.) but I just can't do that as much, anymore.

I still have some seasonal items but much, much less.

I love what you are doing, your house should sell very fast.

Debbie said...

As usual, I come away inspired. Loved both the field trip photos with the organizing ideas and all of your organizing and clutter busting so far. I agree with your statement that the only thing to do that REALLY makes a difference is get rid of stuff.

Easier said than done from this hoarder, but I still agree.

Paula@SweetPea said...

I love that not only do you organize, you make it pretty in the process. You must smile now when you open these closets!

Ally's Corner said...

I got rid of so much stuff a while back why do we think we need all this stuff. I only have one set of sheets those are on the beds. Think you will not have a problem selling your house when it's time.

Kim said...

I am also getting ready to put my house on the market & have found the exact same thing -- I actually like my house better without all the clutter!

The Country Nest said...

As a realtor, if you are moving remember you have to pack stuff at some point, so whatever you pack or get rid of will make your home feel bigger and cleaner and people can picture their own things in the home. Try to depersonalize. Good luck!

Lisa~A Cottage To Me said...

I have been so in the mood to declutter and organize. Great post! I too seem to hold onto things for years and why? I don't know! Some illness I'm sure!

julie - eab designs said...

Had to laugh about the baby washcloths. My 19 year old still prefers them over the regular sized ones for washing her face. At Christmas, she got a new supply of them in her stocking. Your house is so beautiful and organized. Wishing you a speedy sale once it is listed.

Megan said...

Great job on the decluttering and reorganizing of your closets. I like the idea of pumpkin colored closets.
The IKEA pictures have left me drooling. I live in a very small house and IKEA has some wonderful organizing gadgets. When I redo my kitchen next year I will be hitting up IKEA!

Bonita said...

Would you please post photos of the other closets when you get them done? I learned so much from this post. Those shoe bags on the door are great and after reading this I thought of several places where they would come in real handy. Thanks so much!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Love the reorganizing and decluttering! So great!

I may have to check out the organizers from Ikea. Great ideas.

Scrappy quilter said...

I've done the decluttering and organizing as well. It is so neat to look into our closets now and see all the room, even though they are really tiny closets. I've also finished our kitchen cupboards. Love how you've done your organizing. I hope you have a really quick sale on your home. Hugs

The Old Parsonage said...

I love the ides of the show bag as an organizer - but I understand about staging the house:)

I'm home today - not feeling to froggy - wish I had the energy to declutter something:)

Enjoy your day!

Terri Steffes said...

I wish I had an IKEA nearby!

Your work is going to pay off big time for you!!

Cindy said...

Everything is looking wonderful, my friend. It is important that everything looks organized and that you give the impression that there is lots of room and especially storage room. People really do look in closets and storage spaces, it's true. We have bought and sold several places and that is something that I have learned to look for myself.
Hugs, Cindy

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Getting organized and simplifying is at the top of my list of must dos -- it's the getting started that is so hard. You're doing a great job of purging before moving. Best wishes, Tammy

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

you make me want to go organize something! and go to IKEA. Have a wonderful weekend!

Storybook Woods said...

Ugggg, my whole house needs this, did I say ugggg. Although it is a good reason to go to Ikea xoxo Clarice

GlorV1 said...

I like the idea of the plastic shoe holder to hold various things. I may try that in my pantry. I don't believe I have one, that I think of it, there may be one in my studio closet, I'll have to check. Nice post Manuela and thx for stopping by my blog. Hope all is going well with you and yours. Take care amiga.

Theresa said...

I have been working at decluttering and cleaning too! Your areas look great that you cleaned and cleared:) Have a blessed day and a wonderful weekend! HUGS!

Laura said...

You did a wonderful job! Every so often, we have to go through our things and get rid of the excess.
It's amazing how much we accumulate over the years, isn't it?
I really love the organizing ideas from Ikea! I've never been there before if you can believe that. :)


Unknown said...

I've been decluttering also (inspired by reading Organized Simplicity and also Walden). I don't even know how all this stuff gets into these closets! 3 years ago I cleaned out zillions of towels after our older daughter moved out -- we had over 80 (5 people here at the time). I've been working on the linen closet -- there's around 40 bath towels, and I haven't bought any! I think the kids hoard them in their rooms for months and then they reappear in the laundry.

Unknown said...

Keep up the good work. You're getting me motivated. My closets are starting to overflow again. Linda

Gumbo Lily said...

Maybe I need to move so I can get organized! Well done!


Gayla said...

My mom and I laughed and laughed about the 19 year old baby washcloths. She still has a few of those kinds of things from ME, and I am 56... haha... If we don't throw things away they mess around and become vintage and then what must we do? haha... THROW THAT AWAY!!!!! I love your newly organized closet... Go, girl!

Angie said...

You are doing great at decluttering! Maybe seeing this post with inspire me to do the same.

thefirstlady said...

Great job, Manuela! I just discovered those space saver wire racks you can use to stack dishes in cabinets. Anything to do with organizing I love. Keep up the good work.

Vee said...

Thank you for sharing your space solutions. I realize that you're not using your shoe storage right now, but that is an excellent one. Anything to take a lot of stuff from the shelves and to see it easily. Oh how could you part with your daughter's little face cloths? :D

Cheryl said...



I have a GREAT pic on my blog of my aprons and it reminded me of your GORGEOUS aprons! = )

I am always so energized by the BEAUTY of your blog...and WOW! Over 1400're in the big league now!

Much love ~

Heather Anne said...

It's amazing what we hold on to isn't it? That's the blessing of frequent moves! I always tend to purge rather than move - yet we always fill the truck to capacity!
Like you, I enjoy getting organized - and IKEA does have great ideas, but the store is so far from us - I rarely get there and when I do I'm overwhelmed and don't buy anything! I need to go with a specific organizing challenge in mind and find the system to suit!

Sue said...

Doesn't it feel good knowing you've purged all the unnecessary stuff? I worked on my linen closets last month, as well as both my pantries. I think I could STILL get rid of more!
How DO we continue to accumulate all this stuff, anyway???
~ Sue

Donna said...

Great organizing, Manuela! Now I feel the need to do some myself. Thanks for the inspiration!


Shan said...

Dearest Manuela,

Thank you for this wonderful post! I too have the organizing bug...I even changed the look of my little blog to a "clean" theme, complete with little bubbles!

Do you know that I have NEVER been to an IKEA? They are building one here in Colorado and I will have to go as soon as it is finished. I just adore organizing...ooohhh, I may be in trouble in that store!

Yours kindredly,
Honey Hill Farm

Stacey said...

You always, always inspire me! Decluttering is kind of easy for me. In my way of thinking, if you are having to buy multiple boxes and containers then there's just too much stuff.

Anonymous said...

Looks great. IKEA is amazing. Love it!

Leslie at SugarAndSpiceADK. said...

SO SO glad I found your blog--love your de-cluttering tips! I am now one of your followers--keep up the good work!

Julie said...

The less you have to pack and move the better!!!I'm working on my pantry tomorrow its a mess!

Julie said...

The less you have to pack and move the better!!!I'm working on my pantry tomorrow its a mess!

Simple Home said...

It looks great Manuela. I'd never thought of giving old towels to the vet, that's a wonderful idea.

I just went to Ikea for the first time last month. I'll be going back though, I loved it!

Melissa Miller said...

That looks wonderful Manuela. I love to see home organization postings. Great job! :)

Anonymous said...

If you are squeezed for space the extra set of sheets or a blanket can be stored under the matress between it and the box springs on the bed it is intended to be used on. By doing this I gained a shelf for pantry storage needs. Thanks for the Ikea helpers! Love the place! :) Sarah

dixymiss said...

Wow, you've been a busy bee! Of course, now I feel strongly compelled to plan a road trip to IKEA. I spent the weekend sorting and purging books and homeschool supplies. It's very difficult to part with books (they feel like old friends), but I'm making a valiant effort. ThanX for the inspiration, as always.

Bonnna said...

What a great organizational makeover. Thanks for reminding me that organizing products are important to homemakers. I'll be sure to include that in the gift guide I'm writing for homemakers. Thank you!

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