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Clever Organization Hacks – A Linen/Guest Closet And The Smartest Vanity Org Products

When we first brainstormed for organizing stories I ranted about my biggest pain points in the mountain house – (the ‘no mudroom entry’ which we already covered) followed shortly by two more – my lack of a proper linen closet, and my exploding products in the vanity. You’ve seen it on my stories, likely – and it’s nothing to be proud of, but it’s also just the reality for those of us who don’t have the right systems or products to meet our more “challenging” personalities.

So these two projects were inspired by my struggles, styled with 100% Target (not my old sheets or products like you saw in stories since we already moved) to give you an idea of what you could do if you also have these issues.

A “Custom” Guest Room + Linen Closet, Without Any Nails Or Screws

Big Cubby Shelf (coming soon) | Queen Linen Blend Quilt Mauve | Reversible Printed Voile Ditsy Floral Quilt Off-White | Bed Pillow | Suitcase | Duvet Cover (on bed)

It’s so simple and yet full of clever ideas. We used the simple white cubes with linen bins to store linens for each room – I’M DOING THIS FROM NOW ON. Each bin is one room’s sheets/pillows and backup sheets pillows. You might have more flexibility, but likely if the beds are different sizes you want them labeled or put in a bin so you aren’t guessing just to be wrong. Up top, we stored any extra blankets, seasonal linens (Christmas/easter tablecloths), and pillows.

Horizontal Shoe Shelf (coming soon) | Vertical Shoe Cubby (coming soon) | Large Woven Milk Crate | Short Rectangle Basket | Large Navy Travel Pouch | Green Loaf Bag | Black Dot Pencil Case | Steamer | Lint Roller | Round Multi Weave Rattan Tray | Black Sneakers | Red Slip Ons | Tan Mules | Black Leather Mules | Woven Water Hyacinth Rectangular Basket

The system is totally modular so you can customize how you put it together, and yet once stacked to your liking it looks custom and intentional. The more horizontal shelves with the linen bins act as drawers for your guest, while the shoe cubbies give them somewhere to unpack those should they be that type of person. It’s such an easy system that once set up is simple to repeat and maintain.

Felt Hamper | Pink Waffle Towel | Underbed Fabric Bin with Lid | Silk Eyemask | Light Pink Pajamas | Graphic T-Shirt | Racerback Tank Top| Tie Dye T-Shirt | Fabric Bin with Lid Light Grey

The basket on top holds any other guest personal items (cosmetic bags, for instance, and Emily B even included a steamer and lint roller (I want to be her guest).

Hangers | Striped Shirt | Black Striped Shirt | Black Pink Shirt

I was extremely excited to hear that we didn’t have to return these samples to Target and I got to keep this system. I feel like a better human being already to offer this to our guests as well as keep it so organized. This could also be great for toys, seasonal clothes like sweaters/snow clothes.

How To Organize Your Exploding Vanity

Vase | White Branch Stem | Soap Pump | Candle | White Wood Tray

It always looks good from the outside, but for me, without any organizational tools, it always was exploding, especially since quarantine where I stocked up on all things ‘self-care’ and have more products than usual. We shot this in our guest bathroom, but you get the idea.

Wood Handle Tiered Slide Out Organizer (coming soon)

So satisfying. Here’s why this works:

  1. We used all the same basket, black metal with wood handles, just in different sizes and functions.
  2. We dedicated certain baskets to ‘every day,’ ‘backup,’ ‘hair product,’ ‘hair tools,’ and ‘cleaning supplies’.
  3. The system on the left is removable, so the top ”every day’ basket can be pulled out to use on the counter then stored back on the shelf. So genius.

Bottom Left Drawer: Black Metal Tumbler | 3pk Medium Green Storage Trays | Polish Remover | Olive & June Nail Buffer | tenoverten Non-Toxic Nail Dryer Drops + Vitamin E | tenoverten Nail Polish – Clif | tenoverten Nail Polish – Austin | tenoverten Nail Polish – Jane | Trim Cuticle Nipper | Black Metal Tumbler | Sonia Kashuk Professional Complete Brush Set | Milani Cheek Kiss Cream Blush | Honest Beauty Luminizing Glow Powder | Jason Wu Beauty Hot Fluff Lipstick | Benefit Cosmetics 24hr Brow Setter Clear Eyebrow Gel | JAPONESQUE Extreme Eyelash Curler | NYX Professional Makeup 3-in-1 Eyebrow Pencil | NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Eye Pencil All-in-one Eyeshadow & Eyeliner Multi-stick | Pixi by Petra Eye Reflection Shadow Palette Natural Beauty

Top Right Drawer: Acrylic Drawer Bin | Native Sensitive Fluoride Natural Toothpaste | Native Limited Edition Holiday Sugar Cookie Deodorant | Toothbrush | Black Metal Tumbler | Hey Humans Body Lotion | Sun Bum Mineral Spray Sunscreen

Bottom Right Drawer: Odele Volumizing Shampoo | Odele Volumizing Conditioner | Odele Smoothing Shampoo | Odele Smoothing Conditioner | Anomaly Deep Conditioning Treatment Mask | Hey Humans Body Wash | Kristin Ess Weightless Hydration Daily Scalp + Hair Mask

The two-tiered system is designed to fit on the left side of the plumbing, which works well in most vanities. Again the top acts as a shelf, with the bottom more of a pull-out drawer. The little plastic bins are designed to work so well with this (and come in different colors). The larger pull-out drawer is perfect for well, larger products. You’ve got options!

Counter Basket: Hydrating Watermelon Sheet Mask | Fruit Enzyme Pineapple Sheet Mask | Vitamin C Cherry Sheet Mask | Urban Skin Rx Vitamin C + E Glowing Moisturizer | Versed Day Maker Microcrystal Exfoliator | Versed Skin Soak Rich Moisture Cream | Cocokind Resurfacing Sleep Mask | Cocokind Probiotic Acne Serum 1.5% BHA | Gua Sha Tool | Cotton Rounds | 4pk Small Green Storage Trays | Pixi Clarity Cleanser | Versed Back-Up Plan Acne-Control Body Mist | Sonia Kashuk Lip Scrubber | Sonia Kashuk Rose Quartz Roller | Sonia Kashuk Facial Dry Brush | Cocokind Organic Rosewater Facial Toner | Versed Baby Cheeks All In One Hydrating Milk

The basket on top of the “shelf” (as we styled it) is for your everyday routine so that you can easily pull out and then store neatly – not a million products on your vanity top (true story). It has handles that make it easy to transport and the shelf system was designed to have room for tall things on top in most vanities.

Top Left Basket: Black Wire Basket | Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Liquid Hand Soap Refill | Rustic Palo Santo Candle | Cider and Oak Candle

Bottom Left Basket: Black Wire Basket | Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner | Grove Co. Reusable Cleaning Glass Spray Bottle with Silicone Sleeve – Bright Lime | Grove Co. Reusable Cleaning Glass Spray Bottle with Silicone Sleeve – Polished Gray | Grove Co. Reusable Cleaning Glass Spray Bottle with Silicone Sleeve – Sparkling Orange | Grove Co. Multi-Purpose Cleaner Concentrates – Orange & Rosemary | Grove Co. Glass Cleaner Concentrates – Orange & Rosemary | Grove Co. Tub & Tile Cleaner Concentrates – Citron & White Rose | Ultra Strong Citrus Tall Kitchen Trash Bag

Top Right Basket: Black Wire Basket | Welly Flex Fabric Bandages Block Geo | Multi Salon Clip Set | 4pk Small Green Storage Trays | Scunci Barrettes | Kristin Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray | Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave In Conditioner | Phone Cord Hair Coil Set | scunci 2cm No Slip Jaw Clips | Kristin Ess Satin Skinnies | Cantu Style Carbon Fiber Combs

Bottom Right Basket: Wood Handle Tiered Slide Out Organizer (coming soon) | Conair Double Ceramic Hair Dryer | Kristin Ess 3-in-One Flat Iron

I love how they all work together, you can see through the wire so you know what you have, but it still looks cohesive. The ‘hair tool’ basket is also a drawer unit which means that you can use it as a shelf if need be.

Greenery With Rustic Ceramic Pot

On top of the toilet, Emily Bowser created the loveliest assembly of feminine needs – which Target all sells, which I kept and am so proud to offer to our guests. It has all the needs – Ibuprofen, feminine wipes, panty liners, and tampons (all earth-friendly). Yet discreetly displayed 🙂 Let’s make this more normal, kay?

Rectangle Woven Basket with Lid | Woven Canister | Woven Vanity Tray | Cora Organic Cotton Tampons Mix Pack | Cora Organic Cotton Ultra Thin Super Fragrance Free Pads with Wings | GoodWipes Flushable Down There Rosewater Cleansing Wipes | Room Spray Brown, Vetiver and Cedarwood | Ibuprofen

We styled out the rest of the bathroom with some new products that we love.

Bath Rug | Chambray Shower Curtain | Waffle Bath Towel Set | Medium Scallop Basket

How cut is that basket??? The vanity tray, vase, and faux branches are also excellent for styling and look really high-end.

I always use January to reorganize my whole house and reset, and I know I’m not alone. I hope some of these tools, products, and ideas can help you guys feel a little more in control, reduce the chaos in your life and make your home and brain calmer after the holidays. Happy organizing. xx

*Art Direction by Me
**Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp
***Styled by Emily Bowser

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2 years ago

Is the bottom half of the handled tiered slide out organizer (“coming soon”) tall enough to look hold tall spray bottles straight from the store (e.g., sink cleaner)? There was a similar Target (BrightRoom, I think) item featured in a recent bathroom/closet organizer post and it would have been perfect except it wasn’t tall enough.

🥰 Rusty
2 years ago

I like the overall ‘system’, spesh being able to see what’s in the baskets.
I’d feel treasured to have that set-up as a guest.
It seems super-functional and cute and stylish at the same time.
Impressed at the ‘do-ability’ of the concept. Anyone can do this. Yaaay!🤗

I’ve slowly, a couple of items at a time, been organising some shelves that house “pandemic supplies.” (The border of my state, Western Australia, comes downfortge very first time in 2 years, since Omicron has breached it and finally, we have Covid here. Yes, I’m so grateful to have lived without it until now).

2 years ago

One thing I do not understand about the storage cube with fabric drawers is- why not put a real wood bureau in the closet instead? The cube plus all those fabric basket drawers are for sure more expensive than a solid bureau from fb marketplace and cheaper than a new one of same materials as the cube.

🥰 Rusty
2 years ago
Reply to  Laria

Good point.

2 years ago
Reply to  Laria

This was my first thought, too. This system is likely better than a (new) cheap dresser, though, and more available/accessible than finding and acquiring something secondhand for someone who just needs a solution.

2 years ago

Please tell me where to find that vanity.

2 years ago

I’m really curious…what is the “hack” here? I’m just seeing links to organizational products (as cool as they may be) doing the job they were designed to do. Same with lumbar pillows & colored towels…throwing the word “hack” in the title of a product round-up feels a lot like clickbait.

2 years ago
Reply to  L

I’m sure there’s some SEO reason to use the word hack, and I try not to begrudge any content creator who is offering their information for free the use of tools like that. All that said, I do actually think there are a few “hacks” here:
1) using the bins for linens means that if you need to change sheets in a room, you can grab the bin for that room and take it with you there. That would be more efficient than my current process.
2) using the shoe cubbies for non-shoe storage honestly wouldn’t have occurred to me, but I think it’s a good idea and leaves a lot of flexibility depending on what you/your guests need during a particular visit.
3) I think it’s smart to put the “everyday” items together in the vanity in a basket that you can grab out. I tend to sort by type of product, but this idea would make my day-to-day easier.

For me, it’s fair to call these re-worked uses of organizational products “hacks,” even if they’re not exactly MacGyver-level. Words certainly matter, but also it helps to keep things in perspective!

🥰 Rusty
2 years ago
Reply to  K

K, that was so eloquently and clearlycommunicated.
We might need reminding from time-to-time, that this is, in fact, a business. 👍

2 years ago

Any chance you could remind us once these products become available? Really interested in a few but know I won’t remember to check!

2 years ago
Reply to  K

Or maybe as a Target ambassador you could suggest that if they are going to ask you to blog about “coming soon” products, perhaps they could add a system on their website to be notified when a product will be available. I know they have that feature for existing stock and if they are going to ask bloggers to promote new products, it would be in their best interest that we be taken to a page where we can be notified when the products being promoted will be available.

I am in the same boat as “K” above– I love some of these and they would solve some organizational issues I have in the bathroom, but I will more than likely not remember to check for them in a few weeks (?) or whenever these products actually launch.

2 years ago

I have been looking for a solution for my feminine hygiene products in our toilet room of our main bedroom for the longest! We are limited on space in our vanity and I get so tired of having to dig them out every time I need to use something. Long story short, I was delighted to find this combination of products! Thank you for sharing.

2 years ago

Target pieces are so cute and functional, love the wire baskets. My current vanity bin situation is all plastic and they collect dust and hair! I share a double vanity with my husband and he just leaves everything out anyway, I wonder if medicine cabinets work better for sharing bathrooms with the organizationally averse people in our lives?

2 years ago

Storage suggestions for pedestal vanities would be great, too. This was a great idea for a post, as it’s a fast fix without having an expensive, custom company come in and/or adding a closet. Maybe an in-depth post on organizing your linen and cleaning closets? How to fold/organize sheets for maximum space efficiency & towels – large/medium/small; in a cleaning closet – wall broom attachments, shelving, travel cleaning bin, plus what has to rest on the floor, and takes up space (vacuum, bucket, steamer). Would love this!

2 years ago
Reply to  A.B.

I actually really like the idea of storage/hacks for pedestal vanities! If anyone on staff has a pedestal vanity/a vanity without a lot of space or storage, how do they maximize it?

2 years ago
Reply to  AG

I have two pedestal sinks in my primary bathroom, and I added a small cart that fits between and underneath them. I added cute rope baskets from Target, and it looks nice. I also have medicine cabinets above the sinks.

2 years ago
Reply to  A.B.

Hi A.B. and AG,
I used to have a pedestal sink bathroom and wrote a post about it on the little blog I had at the time. Lots of ideas here if you’re interested, hope this helps!

2 years ago
Reply to  A.B.

Suggestion from Amazon! Under-the-Sink Bathroom Quality Pedestal Storage Rack with 2 Shelves & Hand Towel Bar, Chrome Plated

2 years ago

Great post! I love all the organization tips. Thanks. 🙂

2 years ago

How to clean the guest closet felt laundry hamper? Looks like a spot clean only? How does it handle wet or soiled items?
How to clean thick basket weave baskets atop toilet tank? Vacuuming required? Not sure a dust cloth or swiffer would do good enough job. Easy to clean items are SUPER WONDERFUL!

2 years ago

I love this – SO neat, tidy and organised, meaning it’s quick and easy to find everything.

2 years ago

Love the baskets, but even more than that, the outlets on the shelf in the cupboard. What an ingenious idea!

2 years ago

Where are the wood closet doors from?

2 years ago

I think for the linen closet the “solution” wastes too much space and a guest would find such a closet to be less than useful. For my linens, I have an Ikea wire bin shelving unit that goes floor to ceiling in the closet nearest the bathroom. the drawers are FUL and the rest of the closet can be used for hanging clothes and storing things on the floor. The bedding (fitted sheet, top sheet, pillow case) goes into the one other matching pillow case and is put in one of those wire drawers with several others. The spare towels if they don’t fit in the linen closet are rolled up all Marie Kondo like and are on a shelf above the toilet in the bathroom. There’s no wasted space like with those linen baskets. For things that may be confusing, e.g is it a “queen” or “twin” sheet set, I write it in maker on an index card and clip it with a clothes pin. the vanity solution also wastes too much space. I fit a full 12 pack of TP plus all cleaning supplies, hair care, soaps, etc, plus a first aid kit under the sink using wire… Read more »

2 years ago

Why can’t I pin any of the pictures in the blog posts? No icon comes up and post info not listed on Pinterest. I can only save as a photo image 🙁 Any suggestions?