How to Organize Your Bathroom & Linen Closet

Some of us are fortunate enough to have a bathroom linen closet in addition to our medicine cabinet and under sink storage.  However, this can also present its own unique challenges – and more space, generally means more places to stuff things. No more “stuffing” things in closets and corners!

The solution pictured here is a before and after of a bathroom linen closet we organized for one of our clients.  Using this as an example, we will walk you through the organizing process.

When approaching any organizing project, there are several key steps that will help create the most efficient solution possible.  The bathroom linen closet is no different in that it follows the general organizing process— the only difference is in its physical space and contents (what you store).

Wait!! Before you go shopping for every organizing product under the sun, go through your items!  In addition to finding the right products and using them correctly, one of the MOST important steps, that should be your first step, is to purge and sort your items.  Don’t store items you will never use – make a fabulous organizational masterpiece for the items that you DO use!  This also ensures that you don’t waste time and money organizing things you don’t need. 

The rule of thumb: If you don’t love it, use it or need it, be like Elsa and let it go!  If you are still stuck, we always like the saying “when in doubt, throw it out”.  If you are questioning it that much, it probably doesn’t fall into the love it, need it or use it categories.

The next step is evaluating the space, assessing the items you have to store and creating an organizational plan.  Take an inventory of what you have and also what kind of space it takes up.  Next, take a measurement of the closet space you have and decide what kind of commitment you want to make to your space (temporary solutions or more permanent ones).

OK!  Now you are ready to shop!  Here are a few of our favorite items that we use frequently and are used in the example above.

Shelving!  You know at Organization Made Simple we love designing shelves.  But shelves aren’t “just another pretty face”!  Shelves are functional and help you take advantage of the vertical height in your closet so that you allow yourself the most storage space possible. Additionally, it is important to use the right shelves. Adding shelves that aren’t the right solution don’t help your organizing goal in the end. Determining the shelving that is right for you depends on your budget, decor/aesthetic, functions, and limitations of the shelving and the physical closet space, recognizing your needs now and considering possible future needs.  Even if it costs you a little extra to get the right type of shelving at Organization Made Simple we believe the investment is well worth it.  Even though many of the solutions we build are “built in” you may be surprised to know that they are very easy to de-configure and reconfigure into a new space if you move – that means you can take it with you!  The solution above is a great example of built in shelves that can easily be taken down (AND with no holes left in the wall. Yes! Really!). 

In the bathroom linen closet solution (pictured above) we took out the old shelving that was made of a “less than ideal” material, and replaced it with sleek, sturdy steel shelving (no its not wire, its epoxy coated steel and it doesn’t wobble, fall off the wall, or disappoint.  And yes, in case you think you misheard me… can be easily taken down and reinstalled if you move).  We recognize this look may not be for everyone, which is why we offer a variety of different shelving and materials – there are endless possibilities!  (We can build anything you dream up!)  However, for the purposes of this example, I will highlight some of the awesome features of the pictured solution, which is one of our most popular shelving materials. 

1)  Its made of epoxy coated steel and incredibly durable.  It is pictured in a sleek platinum finish that will help conceal any imperfections you may cause over time (spilled shampoo/makeup stains/etc.)  Side note: It also comes in other finishes with customizable melamine, wood, etc. 

2)  The steel wires are very close together which not only increases its strength, but it makes it much easier to set bottles and other items on shelves without the items tipping (no balancing acts!).  We also always add a thin frosted plastic liner to the shelves, which is designed to fit on the shelves perfectly and creates a flat surface.  Because of the way the liner and the shelves are constructed, the liner does not move or shift, which is also a wonderful feature.  Having a solid plastic liner on your shelves, especially in a bathroom linen closet, allows for easy wipe down and cleaning – with what other shelving can you take the top layer off, wash it and put it back on like new again?  Genius!  No more dripping through wire shelves all the way to the floor, (and dripping on everything in between). 

3)  The shelves are not only adjustable vertically, but because it is a modular solution, additional features such as drawers, baskets, wood shelves, etc. can be added at any time. As your needs change, it can grow and change to accommodate them! There are also lots of cool accessories that work with the shelving to make a customized solution, tailored specifically to you!

Once you have the right foundation (Awesome shelving described above is a bonus, but not necessary. We can create solutions to fit anything, even if you want to keep the shelves you already have!), it is important to choose completion products that will compliment your shelving, solve organizational needs, make items visible and easy to access, and use your shelves most efficiently for optimal storage!  A few items I want to highlight in this solution:

1)  We chose baskets that look great, are durable, easy to wipe down, and will not be damaged from being in a bathroom environment.  Although these baskets appear to be wicker, they are constructed of a strong plastic and lined with a linen insert (that can be removed and washed!). Additionally, they are a perfect fit for the shelving, so they use ALL of the shelf – no wasted space. Efficient! 

2)  Clear bins with lids are one of our “go-to’s”.  They are great for stacking and help to compartmentalize all of your items, while still allowing them to be visible and accessible. I f you don’t know you have it, you wont use it!  The best part about these bins?  They are very reasonably priced AND they are always in stock.  It’s SO frustrating when you do a project and a few months later you need to buy just one more bin, and they don’t make it anymore. With these bins, you will always be able to get one more!  After all, you probably went shopping again after we made you get rid of all your bathroom items that you didn’t use!

3)  Labels – we LOVE labels!  Labels on shelves, labels on bins, labels on baskets…. labels everywhere!  With this labeling system there are no excuses that you “cant find something” or you “put it back in the wrong spot”. Remember, from now on, you aren’t allowed to shove things in closets or corners – the same goes for bins! The labels will remind you to put items where they belong. (And the same goes for everyone else in your household!).    

Side note*  To make the perfect label every time, I love the label maker from The Container Store.  It is so easy to use, and you can get refills for it at almost any office supply store.  

Before & After Of Our Linen Closet Organizing Project

Before & After Of Our Linen Closet Organizing Project

Even Costco carries refills too!

So now we have our perfectly organized bathroom linen closet!  That wasn’t so bad, was it?

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Remember: If you get overwhelmed, need a little guidance from an expert, or are praying that magical organizational elves will come in the night and do your project for you, Organization Made Simple is just a phone call away!!!!!