Cleaning Out the Linen Cupboard & Laundry Room (Zone Defense)

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Are you on Zone Defense with us this year? This month we’re tackling laundry rooms, linen cupboards, and clothing storage. Get in the game!

So, last week, I said that we were going to clean out the laundry room and the linen cupboard, right? Confession: I didn’t really want to. Status quo has worked for so long, so well, why change?

It wasn’t really working, but lies and justification can sideswipe us when we least expect it, can’t they?

But, if I told you to do it, then I had to do it, too. So I did. It took me about an hour to an hour and a half, with interruptions and no music. Music might have moved things along a little more. Note to self: play music during the next project.

So, here’s the tour:

You’ve seen my linen closet before. Didn’t I just clean this sucker out? Apparently, in two years’ time, it’s a little worse for wear. This closet opens to the hallway here:

I started with the linen closet:

I completely emptied it. I moved the laundry table closer so I had space to pile things. All kinds of interesting things: luggage, baby blankets, baseball hats, toiletries, medicines, and oh yeah, sheets and blankets.

I’m a firm believer in using your space for the way you live. So, there aren’t any towels in our linen closet. They belong in the bathrooms. That’s just how I roll. So, typically, this is storage for linens (aka sheets and blankets) as well as other things that we need regular access to.

Here’s how it looks now. Whoohoo! I like to open the door just to admire it. Here’s what I did:

  • refolded the sheets and blankets
  • corralled the toiletries in the baskets that were already there: dental stuff, body stuff, hair stuff, bandaids, shoe cleaners/polishes/extra laces
  • tossed outdated medicines and old toothbrushes (I had a small collection of mystery toothbrushes that I had run through the dishwasher to sanitize, but I figured I could chuck them.)
  • discarded some old “stuff”
  • rolled the Tinkerbell sleeping bag
  • moved the luggage to an unused bedroom closet
  • reorganized the stuff that stayed: vacuum cleaner bags, baseball hats, etc

Next I headed to the laundry room. It’s got three upper cupboards and three lower cupboards and one drawer. Check out my unused storage.

Cupboard 1:

Cupboards 2 & 3:

As you can see, I have plenty of storage space that I was not using effectively. Time to fix that. So I did.

Previously, all the extra paper towels and toilet paper were in my closet. Yes, after I cleaned it all up, I tossed paper products in there! Scandalous! We don’t use paper toweling that often, but I bought this supply months ago at CVS on a great sale. Usually I have a big stockpile of laundry soap, too, but I’m running low on that. Looking for a good sale….

I consolidated the clothes care stuff on these bottom shelves.

On the other side I corralled all the cleaning cloths in a Sterilite box. Love those boxes.

One of my “donation stations” is under the laundry room sink. I had stashed all those clothes from my closet purge under there and conveniently forgotten them. Status quo, you know. So I emptied that out:

Looking good, eh? Check out what went out the door:

Four big bags, plus a small paper sack not pictured.

At this point, I’m feeling pretty good about my efforts. Until I remember The Drawer. Oh yeah. I almost walked away.


But, I knew you’d want me to do it.

Scary, isn’t it?

I wonder if I have junk drawers in every room of the house. I decided to go for it, and it wasn’t as bad as I feared. In fact, most of it went in the trash.

And guess what I earned for my pains?

I’m not sure how much the gift card is, but it has one of the kids’ names on it. So, I made seven cents. Cool.

And now, the laundry room really is clean and tidy. Yeah!

So, there you go: cleaning out the linen cupboard and laundry room. If I can do it, so can you! Head back to last week’s post for tips on how to get started cleaning this zone. And then come back and tell us how it went!

What’s your biggest laundry/linen cupboard challenge?

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  1. Very motivating! I have a linen closet and coat closet to clean out, but I don’t know what to do with some of the stuff so I put it off. Since it’s a rainy day, maybe today is the day! Any tips on where to store board games so they aren’t so messy?

    1. My sister takes all of the pieces out of a game and puts them in labeled Ziplocs. The boards stack nicely and take up very little space.

      1. That’s a smart idea. Because if they fall out, you are lucky to find the pieces. Thanks!

    2. I try to keep them in their original boxes, but I have a storage cupboard in the garage where we keep them.

  2. You are an awesome Mom and individual and I am always delighted with what I read from you. You make me realize that I am normal and that all of this stuff can me managed effectively. You are a beautiful gift from the Lord to so many you haven’t even met. That is your light.

  3. I have a large house – over 6,000 sq. ft. (houses are like that in CO). But it has terrible storage except for large walk-ins in each bedroom. My “linen closet” is in my 10 yr. old. daughter’s bedroom closet and it’s a disaster! My home and homeschool file cabinet is also in there – and it’s a terrible place to be. This weekend that will change!

  4. Way to go!My biggest challenge is keeping it organized.I am making a effort to try to keep it organized since I have it under control now.My son took a pickup load of stuff to our thrift store this week.Thank you for the motivation.

  5. The biggest challenge making it kid/husband friendly so they don’t make a mess “finding” something.

    Recently I saw the tip to put the folded flat and fitted sheets in one of the pillowcases to keep them together.I hope that helps to keep it tidy!

  6. You are so inspiring. Your spaces so pretty and inviting. Thank you for sharing with us and inspiring us!

    1. Well, thanks. They aren’t BH&G, but at least I’m getting out the junk. 🙂

  7. I don’t have an actual laundry room to clean out, so you would think that I could skip this one, but I didn’t. Our 60’s era house in SoCal has the washer/dryer hook up in the garage, and I use a cabinet to store my laundry supplies and cleaning rags. So there wasn’t really anything to organize there…my laundry room changes occurred in our bedroom closets, oddly enough.

    I re-vamped our laundry system from doing all 8-9 loads in one day each week to just doing 1-2 loads per day via a self-sorting system.

    We invested in a 6 bin canvas cube holder shelf for each of our children’s closets. Each label pouch on each canvas bin has been colored for the appropriate color of clothing that belongs in it when in need of washing. (Our kiddos are preschoolers, so writing the color wouldn’t work yet.)

    Voila! A self-sorting laundry system. I have set a certain day of the week for each of the 6 color loads. Each morning, I take the laundry basket to each closet, dump the appropriate color load from the corresponding canvas bin into the basket, and then take the accumulated laundry to the washer.

    Easy peasy.

    My preschooler and toddler are already figuring out how to sort their dirty clothes without assistance! And no more being trapped at home all day waiting to finish 8 loads of laundry as our old, wheezing dryer struggles to keep up with the washer. The master bedroom closet will be receiving a closet organizer system shortly, with 6 canvas-lined drawers in place. Til then, I just pull the right color of clothing out of our hamper each morning.

    The 6 bins separate our clothing loads–our other 2-3 loads each week come from towels, sheets, and cleaning rags. Sheets are washed as soon as they come off the beds, towels are pulled from the bathrooms immediately prior to being washed, and used cleaning rags are automatically dropped in a plastic grocery bag on a hook in my hall cleaning cabinet because I don’t want any yuck in with our clothes.

    I love the ease and efficiency of doing laundry this way! Wish that I had thought of it a long time ago!