This weekend I decided to tackle my linen closet / medicine cabinet / utility closet / cleaning supply closet. Basically the hallway storage where everything goes and you never have to look at it again. When we moved into this house a year and a half ago, we kind of just shoved all of the random things in here and never got around to organizing it, or even going through all of the things stashed inside boxes still. This was a big project for me and I will admit, I have been putting this off for so long only because there was so much unknown inside and I didn't want to deal with it. But, perseverance is important in reaching your goals and a goal for us this year is to live simply, as you may already know, because I say it one trillion times but really, go back to the basics. Get rid of the unnecessary, don't hoard all of the shampoo, you don't need 15 in your closet. (maybe I was preparing for a zombie apocalypse, I don't know.) Oh, that's just me. Well ok then.
Here is our lovely linen closet, this is the before. See what I am talking about when I say "hoarding." I mean, I am not like hoarder worthy to be on the TV show but I was working my way up to it for sure. That's when I like to say, "Cassidy, you are a straight up shop-a-holic, knock that ish off."
I don't even think these pictures do it justice of how much STUFF was actually in here. Medication that expired like 5 years ago! Dog medication from 07', yup, 07' guys. Like why, why do we have that!?
First step, empty it all out, every single thing, put it on the floor like Marie Kondo says and evaluate all of the things you have. Gross. It will surprise you, like why do I have an ugly brown hand towel, where did that even come from. No idea.
(this was only 1/2 of the stuff on the floor, the other 1/2 of the hallway was just old medications and misc. crap.)
It's all out, now wipe it down and here is your fresh start.
I thought about lining the shelves with contact paper but meh, I was trying to do this on the cheap and with as little effort as possible since this was already a big project for me, so kept it simple and easy for now, I can always go back later and line it if I decide to.
Now, the hard part. Go through every single item and donate what you can, if you don't use it, donate it. If it's trash, toss it. We had a lot of extra linens like old towels that were never used, old sheets, blankets, table cloths, etc., stuff we didn't use so, donate bag. THEN, the trash, there was so much trash, two large garbage bags worth of stuff. I don't even know how that happened but it did and man, it felt so good getting rid of it all. We had a separate bag of expired medications or medications that we don't use anymore because we use essential oils for basically everything now. We do have some prescribed medications still that are put away just in case, but we haven't needed them in months and months since starting our wellness journey with oils. The medications that we set aside, we will drop them off at our local Police Department so they can dispose of them properly, I believe Walgreens does prescription take backs as well. Just make sure you are disposing of medications properly, not down the drain, not in the trash, take the proper routes to dispose of dangerous things properly, for everyone sake.
I purchased my favorite things again from Walmart, the super functional Lazy Susan, and a few little baskets. All of these items are linked in my last clean your clutter post if you want to take a peek. Seriously, putting things in boxes, baskets, and on lazy susans has been a game changer. It is so much more functional for our family and everything has it's place now.
Since I threw out ALL of our cleaning products and only have Thieves cleaner now, the cleaning closet now only houses our spot cleaner, steamer, thieves cleaner and the microfiber cloths we use to clean with. It feels so empty now and there is so much room to grow if needed but a thing to remember is, just because you have the space, doesn't mean you need to fill it. It's ok to have empty shelves, it's ok to have one bottle of cleaning spray that you use on every surface of your house. It's ok, you do you.
I mean, look how freaking beautiful that is. Seriously. That's it, that's all of our stuff. I just repurposed those little plastic cubbies and organized our medications, dental stuff, nail polish, dog shampoo, etc. Everything has its place, it's labeled and easily accessible. And the lazy susans! The lower one houses mostly kid stuff, like back up medication if needed, thermometer, peroxide, rubbing alcohol, etc. The top lazy susan has our extra body wash, contact solution, sunscreen, etc.
We actually went out and bought a new set of towels, we had our last set for YEARS and they were tattered and falling apart at the seams, literally, so this was a good opportunity to refresh. You of course don't need to go out and buy new towels if you don't need them. We only bought 4 towels, two for me two for the hubs. The girls actually have one kid towel each hanging in their bathroom. You don't need 16 towels in your house, just get what you need. There is a little basket for wash clothes, another basket for hand towels, and the basket on the right top shelf is extra pillow cases for our bed and guest pillows as well as extra shams. The bottom shelf houses our beach towels, one for each person, and the box has the babies extra crib sheets as well as our extra set of sheets. We only have and need two sets of sheets for our bed, one to use currently and then when that one needs to be washed, you have another set ready to go. Again, get back to the basics, if this amount of towels or amount of sheets doesn't work for you and your family, adjust. Start small and work your way up if needed.
I hope this has helped you or inspired you to clean your clutter. Pick one small thing a month like I have, focus on that project whole heartedley. Don't overwhelm yourself trying to clean your entire house. One. Project. At. A. Time.
You got this.