More skeletons in my closet!

Ok, so....yeah. 
I took this photo. 
Of my own laundry closet.

We don't have a laundry room, just a deep closet that houses our washer and dryer and some shelves. And also apparently a wild animal lives in there somewhere, because really that's the only explanation for this catastrophe. Yes, people, I am human, and you now have visual proof that despite all of my tips and tricks posted here, my house is NOT 100% organized.  I couldn't possibly have staged this photo if I tried, so rest assured it's a completely authenticly embarassing mess.

This space is in many ways "Prime Real estate" in my home because it's located just off of our living room/kitchen/entryway, and the deep shelves make it the perfect place to stash stuff in a hurry.  There are double doors that close it off so that we can keep up appearances around here- but honestly, with the amount of laundry that I do around here, it's open A LOT.  This was also the closet that we  stored lots of our Christmas presents prior to Christmas, so as all of the presents came out of this closet to go under the tree, it all just sort of unwraveled.  While I was tearing through the house trying to find place to put everything away after Christmas, I stopped for a minute, vomited in my mouth a tiny bit, and realized that I could not continue on with my day until I did something about the shelves.   


So here's what I did. 

#1) I threw out or moved stuff that does not belong in prime real estate (aka used often), or is not directly laundry related.  
We keep a spare blanket or two up there for snuggling on the couch, extra toilet paper, stuff that my husband needs to grab quickly in the morning if he plans to head to the gym after work (basketball, a towel, usually his gym bag), and at the moment a few spare boxes and bags for gift wrapping.  The rest of the junk on the top shelf was relocated to it's appropriate home, or thrown out.  This closet had somehow become a place to just throw stuff when I was too lazy to put it away correctly, so now I've finally taken care of all of that.   

#2) I refolded the towels, and bagged up all of the misc laundry stuff.
One red bag holds unmatched socks (that I sort through and attempt to match up weekly), one bag holds extra cloth napkins and place mats, one bag holds rags for cleaning.  No matter how many times I fold and refold the rag piles, they always look like junk, so now they are just as easy to get to, but out of sight.  (We don't use paper towels in this house by the way, so we have TONS of old towels and washcloths that I use daily to clean up messes).  Oh, and the red bags are the re-useable grocery bags from Target.

 Now that I look at it, I think I could use another one of those bags to collect all of the misc laundry stuff like dryer sheets, bleach pens, and fabric softener balls- and I'll tuck it in that left corner next to the detergent.

Sooooooo, the towels....oh I have no excuse for the way they looked in the top photo other than the fact that we were storing presents and stuff on top of the piles, and just never bothered to take care of them properly as we rummaged around through the closet.
So- what's the correct way to fold towels?  Well, actually there are lots of ways, but one secret I will share with you from my days of working the towel aisle of a retail store: fold them in a way that hides the "rough edges"
Example: rough edges

Example below: smooth edges. Same towel, not refolded, just turned around.

Technically the correct way to display this towel (at least in the world of retail), would be like this:

This way, NO edges are showings.  (Again, same towel, just different positioning).  But the dimensions of my shelves lend themselves better to aligning the towels the other way, and in reality, this is my laundry closet, not aisle D21 at Target, so I decided not to drive myself crazy over it.
Another tidy way to display towels is to roll them- again facing them with the smooth edges outward.

And while we're on the topic of folding- in case you store your sheets and towels together like most normal people, here's a helpful link to Martha Stewart's tutorial on How to fold a fitted sheet.  I honestly know very few people in my generation that know how to do this correctly.  I know that my mother showed me REPEATEDLY  how to do this growing up....but my sheets are NEVER as flat as hers or Martha's are.  But, at least now you know in theory how to do it :)
As a side note, we do have a linen closet as well where we store extra sheets and bath towels, but the beach/gym towels reside here on the main level because I hate to climb the stairs- and we use these towels on a very regular basis for swim lessons, gym trips, and in the summer- outdoor kiddie pool and sprinkler play. But, I should probably tackle my other linen closet as well now that I think of it...

Do you have a closet like this, that you just shove stuff in and shut the door?  Hopefully this has inspired you to do a quick fix and then keep that door open proudly! AND, hopefully by showing off one of my most un-organized spaces, you will still read my blog, but know that I'm just like anyone else trying to organize my very normal house one step at a time. 


  1. I'm jealous. I would love to have laundry on my first floor! I hate that I have to go to the basement to do it. :(

    I think your laundry closet looks great!

  2. Nice! I have a laundry closet too. It is on my list ths year.

  3. Visiting from "52 Weeks of Organizing" ... very fun to read your post and see your organizing project this week! And fun to read your tips ... have fun with your new blog; looks like you have a lot to share.

  4. I'm a 52 organizer too. I did that same thing this week, but with different stuff as we have a closet that stores our towels. Our laundry room has its own room which means more mess and so I ended up cleaning it too. Great job.

  5. I have a shelf above my washer and dryer in my laundry room that looks just like your before pictures. I've already decided on my next organizing project for this coming week but I think I'll tackle that area next. The funny thing is that my cabinets are really very neat in the laundry room - it's just all the stuff that you can see that looks so messy! Your post inspired me.


  6. Hi
    This a nice job you have done...i am going to have panic attacks when i see my laundry room getting messy ,but its all get better when i organize it..:)

  7. i totally agree with the towel thing :)

  8. 52 week'r here too. I think the same wild animal got loose in my entire house!! Loved your post, great job!

  9. I have SEVERAL places I just hide stuff and shut the door. lol That would by why I'm doing this 52 Weeks of Organizing deal. Actually I've always wanted a laundry closet so I could just shut the doors on the whole mess : )

    Great job!



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