Better Living Expert – Conquering Laundry Closet Chaos
After scouring the GTA for the best design destinations, Vicky Sanderson now turns her focus inside the home to uncover housekeeping practices and the latest products.
In so many homes, the linen closet is a chaotic jumble. Pity, because it can so easily serve instead as an organized and easy-to-use space that has everything needed to make bathing and going to bed just a little bit nicer for the whole family. Here a few tips that will help.
SORT IT OUT
Keep the linen closet for bath and bed linens only. Resist the temptation to use it as a catch-all—it’s simply not the place to stow the Christmas present your kid made you seven years ago.
If space is tight, have just enough linen that each bed can have a set on it and another set in the laundry bin, plus one or two more “emergency” sets. Keep in mind that a King set does double duty for two singles pushed together, which is a useful arrangement, for example, in a spare room. Consider that slim wool blankets take up less room and, while just as warm, are easier to store than bulky comforters.
Linens should be changed weekly. For a touch of luxury, change pillowcases midweek. Creating coordinated looks can be simpler if you stick to one colour, and having only white sheets and dark towels helps keeps the closet tidy. Similarly, restricting shams and throws to one colour family, whether solid or patterned, makes adding accents a breeze.
MORE SPACE SAVERS
Ideally, shelves in a laundry closet will be adjustable. But fixed can work too, especially if you remove one shelf to make room for oversized items like duvets. Using vacuum pack storage bags for space-gobbling, off-season items is another way to maximize space.
LINEN CARE & LAUNDRY TIPS
- Taking care of the sheets and towels is part and parcel of having an efficient closet. A linen-friendly laundry suite is key. Front loaders have been big for a while, but a new generation of top loaders combine the old-school advantage of a flat top (useful for folding items easily right out of the dyer) with terrific wash performance, and have cycles that can handle everything from dainty lingerie to dirty hockey gear.
- Larger capacity tubs also help with energy efficiency and mean fewer trips back and forth to the closet. The Whirlpool model shown here, for example, holds six cubic feet of dirty laundry, and is big enough for oversized seasonal items like comforters which, when washed and stored properly, will last longer.
- Take note that using too much detergent can irritate skin, damage fibres, and make linens in your closet feel less soft. Use detergent as directed, and consider a machine with precision dispersal feature.
- Use steam and gentle wash features for silk sheets (lucky you!), before packing them away for the season in tissue-lined storage boxes sprinkled with cedar chips or lavender to deter moths. To make the closet even more pleasant, treat yourself to a bottle of scented linen water, or line shelves with plain brown paper sprayed with room fragrance.