Sunday, December 30, 2012

Starting To Declutter The Linen Closet

I wanted to declutter and organize my linen closet. It stores a lot more than just linens. My grooming supplies and medicines are also in there and it's all a big mess. There are 6 shelves, counting the floor as a shelf too. Here are the before pictures.

Top shelves
Middle shelves

Bottom shelves and floor

I had some order at one time. I organized similar items into white, plastic bins and labeled them with tags. You can see this on the middle shelf.

I decided to start with the middle shelves. I wanted to use the bamboo stacking bins I bought from the thrift store and this clear box which fit 3 coordinating bins inside perfectly. I bought these from the Container Store although I wasn't sure how I was going to use them. This turned out to work.

Oooh, I love the Container Store. If I worked there, I wouldn't take home a paycheck. It would go right back to the store as I would spend all of my money there. Having said that, I try NOT to go there often. I try to snag things at the thrift store to save me $$. Then, if I have a particularly challenging organizational problem I'll go to the Container Store. They have EVERYTHING needed to organize EVERYTHING.

I started going through my over-the-counter medicines which were in a clear Rubbermaid container. I misplaced the top so it stays open like this.

I got rid of all of the expired meds and those which will be expiring in January 2013, some of which weren't even opened.  I have a lot of duplicates, no doubt because I couldn't find a bottle so I bought another one. These are some of the expired items below.

I also had first aid meds in this repurposed tool box. I put this box together a couple of years ago to use when I took my youngest daughter and two of her friends camping. The empty tool box will now be donated.

I organized the medicines by types of remedies such as pain relief, cold and allergy, first aid, etc. and put them in these bins by type.

Then I placed the bins, side-by-side, into the clear container.

Using a china marker, I wrote the expiration date on top of or around the next of bottles and on the sides of boxes. This will make it easier for me to see when something is expired and should be trashed. Quite a few meds will be trashed soon because they're expiring in February and March 2013.

I would save space if I got rid of packaging. But, I find that sometimes the packages have important information which isn't always on the bottle. I still have a lot of duplicates (like pain relievers) which I'll bring to work to keep at my desk or give to friends or family members.

Although it doesn't look like it, it's MUCH better than the jumbled mess before. The left inner bin contains cold and allergy meds, with a lot of duplicates. The middle bin has pain relievers, with a lot of duplicates. The right bin has first aid and miscellaneous items.

Next, I tackled my manicure, pedicure, and makeup items. This is how they looked before on the shelves.

I went through and got rid of old and broken items.Then I organized the remaining stuff (which was still a lot) by nail care, foot care, and face. I was excited to be able to use my "new" bamboo boxes.
The left bin has my foot care stuff. Again, I have way too much and lots of duplicates. I guess I need to start giving myself pedicures to use this up. The right bin has my nail polishes, clippers, and related stuff.
Here are my cosmetics. I reused the tea cup and the small tin barrel (in front) which were holding other items before.

I got the idea from to use my scrapbook supplies to make labels for the front of the bins. I had this green and white polka dot chipboard letters for years. I got them from the dollar spot at Target. Finally, I'm using it and I like the result. I had to piece together several letters to make the "f" in foot. It's hard to tell from this picture.

The medicines went on the shelf below along with other items I organized. Again, I used chipboard letters to label the front of the medicine box. I need to decide how to label the other two boxes next to it. I might break out my Cricut or dies to make labels for those boxes. 

The wooden box to the right of the medicine container has rubbing alcohol (3 bottles!), hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel. I also bought this box from the thrift store for .95, which was on sale for half off of the regular price of $1.91. It was originally a wine box that contained poinsettias as a gift. However, it was empty when I bought it. Isn't it cute? I'm not sure what to label this box.

The box to the right of the wine box is one of the stacking bamboo boxes. It contains lotions and other skin care items and will be labeled "skin".

Okay, one more time. Here is the before and after:

Before -- On the left picture are toiletries and a portable radio from the top shelf, two bins of nail and foot care on the right of the middle shelf, and all of the items on the next shelf below. On the right picture, the first aid kit in a tool box from the floor level. You can't see the tool box first aid kit because it's behind the mess on the floor.
After --  Items from four shelves are now place neatly onto two shelves. I still need to label the last two boxes (right).

Yay! Two shelves down, four more to go.

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