The linen closet was kind of like neutral territory in our family. Its contents didn’t belong to any one person in the household so we were all responsible for its neat order or chaotic demise. For example, if stuffed, removing one towel may have created an avalanche of other towels and after every few weeks the supply usually needed to be replenished; i.e. someone had to do laundry.
Today we are more “green” minded and don’t hesitate to use the same towel or set of sheets more frequently, as less laundry (when possible) means less water usage. However, when linens don’t get used for long periods of time certain elements can make them less hospitable:
- Dust: As things sit around they collect dust. With linen closets, even if the door is closed dust will eventually find its way in. One solution is to place infrequently used linens in plastic storage bins on the higher and lower shelves. This will keep them fresher and out of the way making it easier to rotate through the regular ones.
- Dust mites: These little bugs aren’t visible to the naked eye but live in most homes in carpets, bedding, furniture and lots of other places including linen closets. They are one of the leading causes of daily runny noses, itchy eyes, and congestion across America. In order to reduce household allergens like the dust mite, sheets and pillow cases should be kept in a fresh and clean state whenever possible.
- Order: Households have a lot going on so it’s no surprise linen closets may not be a top priority on the to-do-list. Still, emptying it out every few months and reorganizing will benefit everyone, especially when they are on the run to work, school, or an activity. Make sure wash cloths go with wash cloths, shower towels with shower towels, sheets with sheets, etc. It will make guests more comfortable and it’s also a good opportunity to get rid of unnecessary or overused linens which can be donated.
With all that said, keep in mind being a parent has a lot of responsibility and sometimes it’s important to delegate some of the house cleaning. Regarding the linen closet, it can be a great project for the kids and it doesn’t require much supervision. It just guarantees you’ll always be in a state of linen closet bliss.
[Jakob Barry writes for Networx.com, a growing community of users sharing and monitoring home improvement projects allowing homeowners and contractors to get the most from their resources.]