FRANCIS BRENNAN shares his tips on keeping your LINEN CUPBOARD tidy and manageable …
Once you’ve emptied your dryer and taken the clothes off the line, it’s time to open the linen cupboard – to find that a whole lot of things crash out on top of you! How many of us store all kinds of things in our hot presses or airing cupboards? Ironing boards, vacuum cleaners, laundry baskets … often other things creep in, too: the table cloth that’s only used at Christmas, bathroom supplies, the mop and bucket. Before you know it, your linen cupboard can become home to a whole host of clutter. However, with just a few small adjustments, it can be a joy, with everything you need for bed and bathroom at your fingertips. Here are a few hints to help you to organise your linen cupboard:
- Get someone handy to drill a hook onto the back of your linen cupboard door for you to hang the ironing board. Many DIY stores also have a handy wire storage rack for the iron, so you can keep it above the board.
- Buy plastic storage boxes to keep toilet rolls and bathroom accessories tidy. Keep the loo rolls handy, so that you don’t have to rummage through everything to find them.
- Buy shelf dividers so that you get more from your shelves and can store an extra layer of things at mid-level.
- Store the things you use the least up high, where you only occasionally need to wander.
- Think about whether you really want to keep Aunty Maeve’s linen tablecloth on a shelf at the top of the hot press – you could store it somewhere more convenient, so that you have it at hand when you’re having a dinner party.
- Roll towels into Swiss roll shapes, rather than storing them folded flat. This means that you can take a towel out of the pack without the others all tilting sideways!
- Fold your matching sheets and duvet covers and pop them inside the relevant pillowcase, so that you can find the whole set when you need it. Look at keeping groups of items in handy bags: that set of sleeping bags that you use for camping holidays can be stored in a tied laundry bag, for example, or your holiday swimming togs can be kept in a tied sports bag.
- Buy vacuum bags for summer/winter duvets, as you store quite a lot in the bag once the air has been sucked out of them. The same goes for blankets and comforters. Do this seasonally.
- Every so often, sort through sheets and towels in your linen cupboard and discard any sheets that are too worn to use any more.
- Think about how many sheet/duvet sets you really need. Three is about right, I think. One for the bed, one for the washing machine and another as spare. Any more will fill your linen cupboard with rarely used ‘stuff’.
- Keep a separate shelf for: duvet/sheet/pillowcase sets; towels, cleaning equipment, medicines (a high shelf is advisable for these and they should be kept in a box that can’t be opened by small hands).
Now your linen cupboard should be just the way you want it.
Check in next week for the sixth part in this weekly series from Francis Brennan …
Excerpted from Francis Brennan’s Book of Household Management, €16.99, published by Gill Books, out now.
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