Cleaning

Easy DIY Linen Cabinet Re-Organization

The Before/After of a successful easy DIY Re-Organization project!
Mom Improvement Presents: Easy DIY Linen Cabinet Re-Organization

My Linen Cabinet… is a disaster!

Easy DIY Clean Out the Linen Cabinet- follow along!
The “Before” shot!

For a few weeks now, my linen cabinet has been… a total and complete disaster.  I recently had to move a bunch of “grown-up items” to the upper shelf of the linen cabinet after I caught my son using my husband’s deodorant on his teeth.  ??????  I have no idea why, and he certainly couldn’t explain himself!

Add to that a load of laundry that I didn’t have time to put away (so I just shoved it into the linen cabinet), plus some sloppy sheet-and-towel-folding and miscellaneous trash = a complete embarrassment!

Easy DIY Linen Cabinet Re-Organization

If your linen cabinet is in good shape, pick another closet or cabinet that needs some work, and follow along!  We have only two objectives for this mission: a quick and clean project, spending minimal time and money!  The only thing we really need to focus on is creating lasting solutions for easy storage, so that we can maintain our beautiful hard work once it’s done!

Easy DIY Linen Cabinet Re-Organization: Problem Solving!
Problem Solving:

We don’t have a linen cabinet, closet or shelving of any kind in our downstairs bathroom.  So this linen cabinet has to store ALL our sheets and towels.

I want to continue to store a few adult items on that upper shelf.  Deodorant, my husband’s electric razor, toothpaste, etc.  It is the safest, easiest place to keep those things.  I want them to be out of the reach of the kids, but I also don’t want to store them down below the sink.  Toothpaste near plumbing and toilet cleaner is asking for trouble!

I wanted this to be an Easy DIY Linen Cabinet Re-Organization!  Including a better, easier way to fold and store sheets, towels and wash cloths so that I could find them and stop mixing up the different types and sets.

Take a second to set your objectives for your re-organization project.  Ask yourself these easy questions:

  1. What do I need to keep in here?
  2. Am I having problems keeping it organized?  Why?
  3. How can I solve those problems?

The Solution:

Easy DIY Linen Cabinet Re-Organization (or another closet you want to re-organize) will have a few basic materials.  These may differ based on what you need.

  • A pencil or sharpie (to mark your paper for cutting)
  • A couple of small boxes
  • optional: A roll of Con-Tact paper, or something similar (I chose this one– I got it at Target for $5.99).

Getting Started:

This will be the most helpful step in the Easy DIY Linen Cabinet Re-Organization.  Pull everything out!  Are there things that don’t belong?  In our cabinet, I found my son’s R2-D2 figurine… Separate the things that don’t need to go back in.  Then put them away where they belong.

Are there things that need to be washed?  I switched out my dirty towels for clean ones, and put the laundry in the laundry room.

Clear your work space as needed.  I folded everything nicely and stowed it away so that I wouldn’t trip over it while I worked.

Replace If Necessary…

I pulled out the old Con-Tact paper that was lining the cabinet.  If you have perfectly good paper in your cabinet, there’s no need to replace it, you can just wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

My paper was peeling off and didn’t look good anymore; most of the cause of this problem is, unfortunately, the type of shelf we have in that cabinet.  The easiest solution to this problem would have been to simply pull out the shelf and replace it.

If you need to replace a shelf or shelves, I would recommend looking at IKEA, they have some amazing closet/storage/shelving solutions for very reasonable prices.

Easy DIY Linen Cabinet Re-Organization
The old contact paper- peeling away and looking shabby!

A New, Fresh Look!

This was my favorite part of the whole project, and the thing that really qualified it, in my head, as an Easy DIY project.  After a good scrubbing of the shelves with a multi-purpose cleaner (I use this one), I replaced the Con-Tact paper.  Then, in a stroke of genius, I wrapped the two small cardboard boxes in the Con-Tact paper as well.  I realized this would make the cabinet look like it had a “theme”, as well as dress up the boxes just enough!

Why boxes?

I wanted to re-use.  We get a lot of cardboard boxes because we get so many products delivered from Amazon.  I like to try to use them all around the house in different ways.  Plus, it was free!

Final Touches

The last problem I had to solve was how to organize my linens.  I have lots of linens that are only partial sets- missing the fitted sheet.  I wanted to figure out how to get them to look nicer on the shelf.  Well, there’s a reason why Martha Stewart is Martha Stewart.  A search on YouTube for the “best way to fold sheets” brings up this video, with her absolutely genius hack.  Just a warning, that video is mostly a commercial for her sheet sets, but it’s worth sitting through because of the advice!

Ta-Da!

The finished product:

Easy DIY Linen Cabinet Re-Organization: the finished product!
All Done! So much better!

Some of the towels were still in the laundry when I took this picture, but you get the idea!  There is now a place for everything.  Wash cloths go in the bigger box on the lower shelf.  Towels in the back, hand towels in front.  Up above, our beautiful, matched, folded and organized linens!  And a smaller box for our “adult items”.  This is going to be so easy to maintain!  I am so, so happy I did this.  It looks so much better and I feel so proud!

What are you going to organize?  Send me pictures of the before and after!

 

40 Minute Focus Cleaning: How I Streamlined and De-Stressed My Cleaning Routine

Change your cleaning world and mindset with this 40-minute focus cleaning routine!
Mom Improvement Presents: 40-Minute Focus Cleaning

House Cleaning…

It’s a struggle, isn’t it?  Especially with little ones.  There are so many frustrations associated with cleaning, from finding the time to do it all the way to actually doing it.  I used to feel like such a failure because I would get so behind on my chores.  The entire house was so messy it made me feel depressed.  I would take hours to catch up on my cleaning… only to have my heart broken when it was messy again a few days later.

If this is how you feel, take heart.  First, remember how much you love your kids and how well you take care of them.  They are your priority right now, and you are absolutely allowed to fall behind on your cleaning.  There’s zero need to get down on yourself.  Give yourself a gentle hug, some kind words, and then we can get down to work.  I have a new system for you to try.  It has changed my world and my whole perspective on cleaning, and I hope it will do the same for you!

This focus cleaning schedule is changing my whole cleaning game plan!
One Step at a Time!

What Does Focus Cleaning Have to Do With Mindfulness?

There’s a simple reason why I call my system “focus cleaning”: because I’m focusing on cleaning!  Before I adopted this system, I was packing cleaning into stressful, frustrating periods of time.  For example, when I was getting ready to have friends over.  I was doing seven things at once: feeding the kids, making treats for guests, cleaning, doing laundry… that’s just not an effective system.  When I changed my methods and scheduled into my day a “focus cleaning session”, my mindset shifted so dramatically.  I focused on one cleaning task at a time, one room at a time, one day at a time.  That’s all mindfulness, baby!

Why Should You Switch to Focus Cleaning?

If you’re looking for ideas and inspirations for cleaning, I’m guessing it’s for a pretty simple reason.  You’re not happy with your system and you want to find a better way. Most likely, your chore list is long, and you try to tackle too many chores at once.  I understand. I will continue to push you in one direction, always, and that is the direction of a focused, intentional, habit-forming lifestyle. The key to changing your system may surprise you, but nonetheless, it’s true:

Spending hours on cleaning won't help you, but this new focus cleaning system will!
Clean Less, Not More!

40-Minute Focus Cleaning

Don’t get discouraged by the name.  This method can be adapted to any period of time, which is the beauty of it. I was inspired to create my routine after reading this post from I Heart Frugal. She created a genius system to clean your house in 25 minutes a day (check it out!).  I knew I could never be organized enough to clean effectively in just 25 minutes a day. But I wanted to clean a little bit, every day, and I didn’t want to clean for a whole hour. So I came up with my compromise: 40 minutes. I also figured I could sneak 40 minutes of cleaning time into most of my days without too much trouble. The time you choose can be more, or less, based on the size of your house, your daily routine, or how much time you want to spend each day cleaning!

Master Weekly Cleaning Tasks List
Click Here to See my Master List!

Start With Your Master List

If you click the picture above, you will see the list of weekly cleaning tasks I use for my house. Check Pinterest to find some really handy checklists and ideas if you aren’t sure what you should be cleaning on a regular basis.

You will notice, there’s a couple cleaning tasks on my master list that aren’t on my focus cleaning worksheet- that’s because they’re in my daily priority picker task list.  This allows me to sneak in a couple extra very short minutes of cleaning every day, which just helps to keep my system running smoothly.

Once I had my master list put together, I decided how long each task would take.  Then I grouped tasks together in a logical way. In general, the tasks for any given day occur on the same floor of my house. This allows me to smoothly transition from one room to the next.  Since I’m doing similar tasks in each room, I can gather all my cleaning supplies at the beginning of the session and have them right at hand when I need them.  Here is my Filled Out Focus Cleaning Schedule so you can see how I do it. But yours can, and might, look totally different from mine, based on your timing, the layout of your home, etc.

Cleaning is a challenge, but if you change your mindset, you can change everything! Check it out!
A nice, clean kitchen!

The Fantastic Upside to Focus Cleaning

Focus cleaning has made such a dramatic impact in my life. I feel so much more confident about my process.  I know what I need to do, and I don’t feel like I’m forgetting or neglecting anything. Even better that that are the results that you can see around my house!

Case in point, my kitchen: on my first day of focus cleaning, I didn’t finish wiping down all my appliances in the time allotted. I got my stove, dishwasher and coffee maker. That’s a key to this process: testing your timing (more about that in a second).  But, the next week, it didn’t take so long to wipe those appliances down, so I was able to move on.  I got The Kitchen Aid, the microwave, the fridge, too, all in ten minutes!  And now that I’m wiping them down on a regular basis, I can even take a few extra seconds to do some deep cleaning.  Like the hinges of the dishwasher, or use the special cleaning polish on my glass stovetop.

This is the great secret to cleaning that I was never able to appreciate or take advantage of before.  It gets easier and faster when you have a system in place. Because I clean the same things every week, they don’t have as much time to get dirty!

Clean less, not more! Change your mindset with a 40 minute focus cleaning routine!
Stick to your time limits!

Chart Your Progress and Look at Your Timing

Like every other goal we set or habit we track, this will be a process.  Especially if it’s a big change in how you are used to cleaning. I found it helpful to make myself a sticky note list for each day of the week, with each day’s tasks written on it. That way I could just carry the sticky note with me while I cleaned, and I could check off each task as I went along.  This meant I didn’t have to memorize my cleaning schedule or worry about forgetting anything.

In the beginning, I also kept track of how long it took me to complete each day’s tasks.  I thought it would be helpful to see if I was, week after week, ending certain days always having extra time, and other days not having enough time. This would have made it easier for me to switch around my task list so that the timing balanced out. Once I got used to my schedule, I am now able to complete all my tasks in my planned time frame.

However, if this isn’t the case for you, then don’t hesitate to change your plan. The point of a really good, effective focus cleaning schedule is to get all your weekly tasks done in as little time as possible. Don’t hesitate to change your strategy if a particular day is always giving you grief or you feel too rushed to get things as clean as you want them.  Track your schedule in your planner, use sticky notes, put something up on your fridge… make it convenient and easy for you to find and use!

Pick Your Days

My focus cleaning schedule is formatted for 5 days a week.  But if you have a particularly long master list of chores, or much less time you can devote to cleaning each week, then you could consider making your schedule a six or seven day list, just to give yourself the extra chances to get things done. Conversely, if you have extra time in your cleaning schedule or you can get your tasks done more quickly than me, you may not need a full five days!

I Want To Hear From You!

Give this schedule a shot, and then leave me a comment or send me a message! Let me know how it’s going for you or if you need more help, guidance or additional worksheets or trackers!  I truly hope this is the beginning of a new mindset for you on cleaning!  Let me know what I can do to help with that!