Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Monthly Decluttering Project: Linen/Medicine Cabinet

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I consider our 'linen cabinet' to be part of our bathroom since it is actually in John's bathroom, but I know a lot of people have a separate closet for these things, or keep them in the bedroom closet.  In general, I'm talking about things like sheets and towels, including beach towels and guest bedding.  And I know that this space is often combined for people with medication and first aid supplies.  Just the way people have always organized their homes, I guess!

So what can you declutter from this area?

  • Extra sheets and blankets.  First of all, only keep sheets that actually fit the beds you currently have.  Then make sure you're only keeping the best ones, no rips or stains.  And finally, ask yourself how many sets you actually need.  Because do you know what's easier than folding a fitted sheet?  Washing it and then putting it back on the bed, straight out of the dryer.  That's what I do!  I keep just one extra set for each bed - (a) in case something happens and I don't have time to wash the sheets right before bed (looking at you, Hawkeye, and (b) they can be put on the couch or an air mattress if we have a lot of guests, which happens on occasion.
  • Extra towels.  I feel like we have more than necessary for two people, but John goes through them fast.  In general though, keep what you need to get through the week.  Also be honest with yourself about beach towels - how many are truly necessary?  We have just one each.
  • Medications.  Get rid of anything expired and then move them out of the bathroom (I explain why below.)
  • Containers.  They multiply, particularly those related to first aid.  There's 10 different bottles of advil and 4 boxes of bandaids, which is always crazy.  Combine what you can and take stock of what's there so you don't buy more thinking you don't have any.  Consider making a first aid kit with your personal essentials, so you can see at a glance what needs replacing.
  • Product overflow.  I think a lot of overflow of personal care products from the bathroom end up here.  Extra shampoo and little travel soaps you stole from hotel stays.  Start donating what you won't use and move what you will use into the bathroom if you can, so you see it front and center every day.
  • Anything that doesn't belong.  Candles.  The tape measure.  Christmas gifts you forgot you were hiding.

Even though I do consider the linen cabinet part of the bathroom, I kept it separate from the bathroom declutter process because it was a huge project all by itself.  Yep, our linen cabinet is a total mess.  It's a tall cabinet that's in John's bathroom and it currently looks like this:

Obviously, none of those tools and other construction related items should be in there.  We had a couple of things to fix in John's bathroom and the tools all got pushed into there and have never come out.  They need to!

There are also some medication things in there, which there shouldn't be.  Medication shouldn't be stored in the bathroom because the humidity and heat that gets trapped in there will cause them to go bad faster.  We keep vitamins in the kitchen, and the rest of the medication should go in there as well. The first aid items though can probably stay.

The bottom part doesn't look bad, but honestly that's because everything is in the wash.  It's not hard to keep this organized though, since I really do keep it to just towels and sheets.

As long as I can get that top section cleared out though, I'll consider this month a success.  Do you have a linen cabinet or closet?  Are you still storing your medication in the bathroom?  Hopefully this will help you start getting it all decluttered, and by the end of the month, I'll be back with organizing tips and tricks for these spaces.

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