31 Days of Decluttering, Day 13: Linen / Medicine Closet

Are you decluttering your home, too? I’d love to be able to share your success story with other KOAB readers! Please consider submitting the before & after pictures of your decluttering project — you can do so HERE.

Before & After Linen Closet

We have this funky little closet outside of our bathroom. It’s like a walk-in closet, but the only person who can walk into it comfortably is my 5 year old daughter. The rest of us have to walk in at an angle!

In any case, the closet has a lot of shelf space and is an excellent place for us to store linens as well as overflow toiletries.  (All of my stockpiling friends will appreciate this!)

The only problem is that until an hour ago, it was totally disorganized. So when we needed a band-aid or some Benadryl, it took us 15 minutes to find it (using the “dig through every container until you locate it” method).

After about 45 minutes decluttering this morning, the closet is much more functional now!

First, I tossed a ton of meds that had expired in 2013 or before. The ones that expired in the past 18 months, I kept for now – my was-a-medic-in-the-army husband tells me that most meds are good for several years after their expiration date. And this Harvard study says 90% of meds are good for up to 15 years after the expiration (thanks, Susie!).

I’m not playing a pharmacist on the Internet, though, so please do your own research and don’t rely on me. Do, however, read this link about safely disposing of your medications – both over the counter and prescription.

After dumping the expired meds, I also went through my stash of free samples and only kept the ones we have a good chance of using (or putting in our guest room when we have company). The others I bagged up to donate.

Everything remaining got sorted into a labeled tub/basket/bin. I also refolded the towels and sheets, grouping them by color and size — just ‘cuz they look better that way! (If it looks like there are fewer towels in the “after pictures”, there are — I pulled out my kids towels and put them upstairs in their bathroom.)

My after picture is another example of my really wanting to run out and buy all matchy-matchy containers, but I once again decided to just go with what I already have on hand – some of which, fortunately, do at least match.

labeled tubs

I’ve had these turquoise baskets, for example, for years – some of them are a bit broken or bent, but they still work just fine. (I got them at the Dollar Tree – I think they were 2 for $1, but they may have even been 3 for $1.) So far, I haven’t had to spend any money on the organizing part of this challenge – so I consider that a pretty big “win”.

Are you joining in with me on this 31 Days of Decluttering challenge? Let me know what you decluttered today?

31 Days of Decluttering

Do you, too, feel the need to get a better handle on the stuff in your house? Join me for the 31 Days of Decluttering challenge! Maybe you’re willing to take on one project a day (remember: small ones count!). Perhaps you’d rather pick four problem areas, and give yourself a week to work on each one. Maybe you just want to tackle your basement for once and for all. It’s all good! Everyone is welcome to join.

Day One: Decluttering the Toy Storage Closet
Day Two: Decluttering the Top of a Bedroom Dresser (Finish What You Start!)
Day Three & Four: Decluttering the Master Bathroom
Day Five: Decluttering My Desk
Day Six: Join the Decluttering Challenge
Day Seven: Decluttering the Computer
Day Eight: Decluttering the Night Stand
Day Nine: Decluttering a Kitchen Counter in Less than 10 Minutes
Reader Share: Decluttering the Front Door Hallway Table
Day 10: Decluttering a Bedroom Closet
Day 11: Taming the Paper Clutter
Day 12: Decluttering the Coat Closet


  1. Lisa Helprin says

    I am very much enjoying and being inspired by your organizing projects. I would like to comment on a previous post about your bedside table – I believe that you implied that you take Advil regularly. I am not a doctor and I realize that you may be following sound advice in taking Advil. But still – Advil and other such meds can be harmful and it is possible to treat the symptom but ignore the problem and it may be best to eliminate the problem rather than treat the symptom. Mothers sometimes do not put themselves first where they should, you know.

    • Mara Strom says

      That’s so sweet of you to be concerned. I’ll have to reread that post, because if I said that, I didn’t mean to. I do take Advil on occasion, but usually not more than once or twice a month if that 🙂

  2. I am too being very inspired by your decluterring challenge! I enjoy your posts a lot. Yesterday I reorganized the shelves (with books and games) in my daughters’ playroom. It is such an amazing feeling to look at the results! And the whole family appreciate it too!

    • Aw, that’s really awesome for me to hear! Thank you! And I know the whole family definitely appreciate it. My daughter was so excited to show my husband this linen closet. 🙂

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