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Spring Cleaning: Linen Closet Rescue Mission

linen closet rescue mission

Do you have any little dark secrets in your home? Like a closet that is so disorganized and messy that projectile flying items may launch out at you upon opening the door…

I admit it. I have such a place. And it was time. Definitely time. To face IT. The linen closet. And to hope that no injuries occurred in the process. Brace yourself.

before organizing the linen closet top shelves at thehappyhousieYou can see that the upper shelves were barely used and a complete waste of space.

But the real danger comes lower down…

The lower shelves were so stuffed full that they were trying to push the closet door right off it’s hinges. Some innocent bystander was bound to get hurt at any moment (since our hallway is often full of loitering  innocent bystanders).

before organizing the linen closet at thehappyhousieThe first step was to remove everything from the closet. Then: PURGE. I was able to donate one large garbage bag full of bedding and towels that we no longer use or need.

Then I wanted to ‘pretty up’ the builder boring wire shelves. I decided to use foam board and some contact paper.

I measured the shelves and then measured and marked the foam board so I could cut it to size.

Measure and mark foam board

I used my rotary cutter and mat to cut the foam board. This works much better than scissors for creating a smooth edge. You could probably also use an exacto knife and cut it on a protected surface or mat.



I cut a piece of foam board the same width and depth as the size of the shelves. I also cut a strip to cover the front of the shelf edge. In the picture below, the two small pieces on the end are just waste. (Idea: If your shelf is wider than the foam board you could connect two pieces of foam board together to create the size you need using packing tape.)



I then taped the lip on with packing tape and then covered the whole thing with pretty contact paper.



I think that the new foam board lined shelf looks much spiffier than the builder basic wire shelves.


With the shelves in place it was time to reorganize and start placing linens back into the closet. I had a few baskets that I was hoarding not using so I was able to organize “like items” together in baskets.

In order to help us remember what goes into each basket I created some simple faux chalkboard labels out of black foam board and white picture frames (glass removed).

First I cut the black foam board to size using my rotary cutter and mat.

P1080902Next I painted some thrift store wooden frames with white craft paint.

P1080896Then I put the foam into the frames and wrote my label using chalk (TIP: sharpen your chalk for eaiser labeling).

P1080908I attached the framed chalkboard labels to the baskets using a little bit of hot glue (not a ton in case I want to remove them one day… just enough to hold them in place – they aren’t going to get jangled around a lot).

chalkboard labels for organizing the linen closet at thehappyhousie


The last step was to label the two galvanized buckets that I was using to store some items on the top and bottom shelves… I chose to use Martha Stewart chalkboard labels for these.P1100210


buckets with chalkboard labels at thehappyhousie


As the finishing touch to the closet I crafted up a sign to hang on the wall behind the shelf that sits at eye-height. I will be back soon for a simple tutorial on that.

Here is the newly finished linen closet…. no longer a danger to all those innocent bystanders loitering around in our hallway. Big sigh of relief.

Organized Linen Closet at thehappyhousie2 Organized Linen Closet at thehappyhousie3 Organized Linen Closet at thehappyhousie4 Organized Linen Closet at thehappyhousie

































Have you a scary space like this? Have you taken on any spring cleaning or organizing projects lately? I would love to hear what you are up to! Leave a comment below.. I read and respond to all comments left:)

I linked this up with the Spring Pinterest Challenge at Young House Love,  Bower Power, Sparkle Meets Pop, and Red Bird Blue. The original pin that inspired me to confront my fears was some linen closet inspiration taken from Simplicity in the South. Thanks for the inspiration Tricia!!

Thanks for reading. And remember my housie friends, HOME isn’t built in a day. Enjoy the journey!








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  1. Krista,
    Great job but what was the cost of that foam board and contact paper? I have those same wire shelves and I hate them. I’m thinking for replacing them with wooden shelves we took out of my DH’s closet. I keep my sheets in plastic zipper bags that linens came in but they seem to take up too much room and are always falling down off the shelves. I have tried placing the matching washcloth in with the matching towel and DH keeps forgetting they may be inside the towel and tears up any organization I have looking for the matching washcloth. Have tried to get him to use nylon net puffs with bath wash to shower.. Using liquid bath wash would cut down on soap scum on the ceramic tiles and a little dab will do you but” you can’t teach an old dog new tricks applies here.” I like the idea of using baskets to put the folded linens in, with a tag attached as to what bed they fit on(Full or Queen size). I saw somewhere on somebody’s blog that the lady buys all her towels and washcloths the same color. Makes it look neater and no need to tear everything apart looking for the matching washcloth. That blogger said when the linen closet door is open and in full view..it looks neater and more organized. I think she used all white towels and washcloths if I remember correctly. I’ve got some thinking to do. Sounds like a good January project..catching January sale and after Christmas sales.(Maybe!) In the past when we have bought shelving, think it was pine boards, you still get that wood smell even after you painted the shelves..I wonder if we used a stain primer, like Zinnser then covered them with contact paper, if that would remedy that problem? You can always wipe contact paper down so easy if something is spilled on the shelves. There are so many pretty baskets or storage boxes out now days.
    Will need to go over your pictures to see how you attached labels. Thanks for sharing your ideas..I’m sure I can use some of them!

    1. Wooden shelves are ideal but these shelves were fairly new so I knew we wouldn’t be replacing them for a while. The foam board and contact paper probably cost me about $5-7. I bought the foam board at the Dollar Tree and found that cute contact paper there as well! It was a good score. Ideally I would love to have thick white painted wooden shelves, but that is on the one day list. I used a little hot glue to attach the frames to the baskets. If I ever want to remove them I can heat the glue up a little with a hair dryer and then pull them off. I didn’t use much- just a few dabs to make them stick. I think you could also use some good double sided sticky tabs instead if you didn’t want to use glue! Thanks so much for your visit and comments Betty!! Have a fabulous weekend:)

  2. What an inspiration. I had been planning to use baskets and had gotten bogged down in thinking they have to be uniforn but now I’m thinking: different sizes and types and labels, labels, labels. Thank you!

    1. Hi Charlotte! So glad to inspire! I didn’t want to go out and buy a whole new set of matching baskets when I had perfectly good ones sitting unused. They might not be exactly what I would pick now but they are just fine and do the job- plus it is the labels that count. Good luck with your organizing project!

  3. Wow what a transformation… It looks so nice now. Can you believe that I had for so much time those shelves and never thought of doing that. Gosh! That is such a great idea! I have a Link Party every Sunday to Wednesdays, It would be so cool if you could join me if you’d like!

    Hope you are having a lovely day

    Cami @ TitiCrafty by Camila

  4. Your before looks like my closet! Are you sure you weren’t at my house? 🙂 I guess that means I need to clean mine out. I love the way yours turned out. Stopping by from Alderberry Hill.

    1. Hi Angela! Lol… it wouldn’t be much of a transformation if it didn’t start out horrendously! Thanks for the visit and comments!

    1. Hi Sherri!
      So glad you found some interesting tips! good luck with your craft room organization – the contact paper covered foam board is really quite easy and not very expensive, but makes quite a big difference!

  5. I found you from the YHL link up and man do I love a good organizational project. Isn’t it such a relief to see a much more organized and pretty space? And oh my… your linen closet is now GORGEOUS!!!

    1. Thank you Stacey! I agree, it does create a sense of relief! So thrilled you came by to visit… hope to see you again:)

    1. Hi Melissa! Lol! I know the feeling… mine was like that and I have a few more dangerous closets lurking throughout the house:)

    1. Hi Amber! As you could see mine was in pretty desperate need of some attention as well:) Would love to see what you do with yours!

  6. Krista! every time I open one of your e-mails I know I am in for a treat! I love everything about your linen closet ; you are super creative! I should hire you to organize mine 🙂 I love the frames and the “fresh linen 5 cents” sign! I have a scary closet too (the one in my main floor)

  7. Will you please come live at my house? My linen closet needs you. 🙂 Martha Stewart will be proud to see how you’ve used her stuff to beautify your house, one shelf at a time!

    1. Hi Sinea! Lol… Yes, I am working really hard to make Martha proud. If she ever responds to my invitations for tea I will definitely make a b-line to show her the linen closet before I serve her on the patio. Thanks for funny encouraging comments!

    1. Thanks so much Abby!! I think the shelves are soooo much better now. Of course my ‘dream’ closet involve thick pieces of wood painted out a fresh white with white paneling lining the interior of the closet… but a little bit of foam board and contact paper makes a good second choice:)

  8. Your linen closet looks fantastic. I’ve been working on a room/area per month and plan on doing my linen closet during May. I love the idea of the picture frame labels.

    1. Hi Al! I love that idea… stick to one space per month. I have a terrible habit of drifting all over the place and having way too many things on the go at a time. Perhaps I should try your approach! Thanks for your visit and kind comments!

  9. Love it Krista! I re-did my bath linen closet early spring, but that foam board Idea of yours is great! Would love to add one to mine! Thanks!!!!

    1. Hi Christine! I hear ya… I still have a few dangerous ones lurking behind my closed closet doors… always more organizing to tackle at our house… one thing is finished and other things seem to fall apart:) How does that work?!?

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