The home that we live in now is our first home. We bought it sight unseen from several states away. It was a competitive buy and if our offer wasn’t accepted we wouldn’t have had anywhere to live when we moved for my husband’s job. I didn’t have a job lined up and I was four months pregnant when we moved.
Yeah… things were a little stressful.
We moved into our new four bedroom home with a small couch, a TV stand, one bed, and some bookcases. There were a LOT of things that needed to be done to make our house feel like a home.
Any closet that could be closed and clutter could be hidden was not a priority. By the time we were a little more settled, we had our daughter, and then COVID, and now I finally feel like we can give some other areas of our home some attention.
Linen Closet: Before
Yeah, this linen closet was pretty bad…
All of our closets are painted this light yellow color. I’m pretty sure it is original paint from when the house was built in the 60’s. We also had cheap plastic teal bins that store expired medicine and a strangely large amount of first aid gauze. There are about 6 extra old towels for “guests” and all my hazardous cleaning supplies and extra TP are stored on the floor. Well within reach of my toddler.
I’m sure we’ve all seen worse, but it definitely needed some attention and I knew there were a lot of things that I could easily change to make it work better for our family.
Made More Shelves
This closet was missing two of its shelves. I wasn’t utilizing the extra vertical space from the missing shelves, so I made the missing shelves out of ¾ inch plywood. I cut them to size and then tested them for fit. This closet is not square. So I had to do a lot of sanding to finally get the shelves to fit.
Once the plywood fit, I primed it with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer. It is water based so you don’t have any difficult clean up! You always want to prime bare wood before you paint it! It helps seal the wood to prevent stains, smooths the surface, and prevents the wood from soaking up all of your expensive paint.
Coat of Paint
I decided to paint it Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers and Youtubers use this color white. It is a very crisp white with maybe just the slightest hint of blue undertones. It reads very white.
I used a semi-gloss sheen because I wanted to be able to easily wipe down and clean the inside of the closet. It is also a small space, so I wanted it to reflect light. All different sheens of paints have their pros and cons. I suggest researching a bit before you choose one for a project!
Let Paint Cure
You have to let the paint cure. The back of the can always gives an amount of time that you need to wait to recoat or when it’s dry to the touch, but the paint will continue to be a little tacky and “soft” for another few weeks. (You could pretty easily make an indentation in it with your nail if you tried.)
It is best to wait around three weeks for the paint to fully cure before you rest anything on top of the shelves. If you are impatient you can leave indentations in your paint and whatever you sit on the paint can become a little stuck.
Storage Containers (free label download!)
I used the Kuggis storage containers from Ikea for this project. They were the perfect size and I love the pop of color that the turquoise has. (It does come in other colors!)
They also have lids! Which is perfect for hiding whatever is stored in the bins. I do love the look of clear storage containers, but there is too much pressure to keep the inside organized and nice. With a growing family and other things to do, organizing bandages is not at the top of my list!
I used my Cricut Maker to cut out vinyl labels. I think these really elevate the look of the boxes.
The vinyl SVG labels are available to download in my freebies library, which is available to all of my email subscribers!
If you don’t have a cricut or other cutting machine, you could also look for labels on Etsy, use a paint marker, or print them out on paper and tape them to the boxes. You don’t need an expensive machine to still make beautiful labels!
The first step to any organization and overhaul project is to purge. I went through everything in the closet and tossed a lot. We didn’t need all of those extra towels, or expired cough medicine, or the plastic bags that held our toilet paper….
After I purged I started seeing what categories all of my things naturally sorted themselves into. It is always nice to have a miscellaneous box for anything that doesn’t fit! Keeping everything in the boxes is also a great way to keep me in check. If something doesn’t fit, I should probably get rid of something else.
When I reorganized I also placed our fire extinguisher and cleaning supplies on the top shelf. I wanted to make sure these stayed as far away from little hands as possible.
I took the toilet paper and tissues out of their plastic bags and neatly placed them on a shelf. We aren’t always well stocked, but if you always make sure you have some TP and tissues in the first row, it will always look neat and tidy!
Our pool towels also went in a basket on the bottom. This is perfect for grabbing a quick towel when we head out to the pool and they didn’t really fit anywhere else in the house! Maybe in the winter I will switch it out to something a little more seasonal.
I’m so happy that I took the time and energy to redo this closet. Whenever I need to grab something, I can always easily find it. I love how the bins tuck everything away and it looks more organized.
It’s hard to describe the feeling, but whenever I encounter a cluttered space it just takes a bit more energy away from me. I leave that space feeling a little bit heavier and overwhelmed.
Having an organized and clutter free space gives me more energy and makes me just feel happier and balanced. After tackling this closet, I can’t wait to do the next!