As you can see, it was filled to the brim. Not only is this messy, but there is simply not enough air circulation in there. If I don't use something for a while, then it gets a musty smell and is no good to me when I want it.
I took everything off these three shelves. Sorting through I found things I could throw out, like old sheets and pillow cases that were worn thin, or stained and yellowed dresser scarves that have long since been replaced.
I found things I can give away, like baby blankets, pot holders and cushion covers that are too small for any cushions now in the house. I even found some sewing patterns in there. All that stuff can go find a new home at one of the local churches, where they sell used goods to raise a bit of money. I have a big bag of books for them too, but at least those were not in the linen closet.
I found some old curtains that are still in good shape, but I'll hang onto them for a few more months as my oldest son is moving and they may fit some of his new windows. If not, well, they are not going back in that linen closet, that's for sure!
There were also a few other things in there that need to be stored in more appropriate places. Some of it is beach stuff, so that can go to the basement for now. That's an ever popular storage spot that will also need to be reorganized....but not until the weather is considerably warmer than it is now. A stack of tea towels was also hiding out in the linen closet. I took them to the kitchen, but that just pointed out that the kitchen drawer where they should be is something else that needs to be weeded out. That's probably why they landed in the linen closet in the first place, but it was so long ago, I had forgotten that I put them there.
I noticed that cupboard is overdue for a bit of fresh paint though, so I'll try to be more prepared to take care of that job next time I clear it out. Actually, I bet most of the cupboards could stand a new paint job. Ha. That would mean the closet clutter would be all over the place for an extra day or so. It will take some convincing to get me to do that then. Maybe I'll have to settle for tidy. What do you think?