New Year’s Resolution: Organize your linen closet

Maybe it isn’t exactly your New Year’s Resolution, but we could all benefit from cleaning up the linen closet, bathroom shelves or wherever you stick your towels and extra sheets, right? Perhaps you’re finally ready to dig out your flannel sheets and…you have no idea where the top sheet is.

We’ve all been there, but it’s time to make changes. Get on track for a cleaner, tidier 2016 with these linen closet organization tips.

Before you start feeling overwhelmed, understand that reorganizing a linen closet can take as little as 20 minutes. Put on Spotify or catch up your favorite podcast while you dig out all your blankets, sheets, towels, wash clothes, dish rags and anything else you plan to store in this closet. For some steps, you may need to run to the hardware store or get crafty but that’s not required nor is it necessary to get started.
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Get started

Now, fold everything…neatly. Yes, fitted sheets are annoying but we have faith in you! Once you get one set of sheets folded, slide the bottom, top and one pillowcase into another pillowcase so all the pieces stay together. Then put it aside. Do this with each set.

Make space

If you have very limited space in your closet, consider downsizing. Get rid of the blankets, towels and sheets you don’t use. If anything is worn out or unusable, throw it away. Donate sets of sheets if you have more than 3-4.

Next, you may want to get fancy and buy those vacuum-sealed bags for out-of-season sheets and towels. Pack away heavy blankets and flannel sheets during the summer months to save space.

Another option is to get plastic tubs to put high up in the closet or at the bottom where they won’t be in your way. Then label the tub so you don’t forget where they are. We’ll remind you of this step again later.

shutterstock_129174005Plan and sort

Next, Plan where each category of linens should go. Towels and everyday sheets should probably be at arm or shoulder height; they’ll get the most use. Then spare blankets and guest towels go one shelf up or down from there. Seasonal or really rare items go all the up high or down on the floor, in a basket or (labeled) tub.

Get crafty

If you find that things are getting stacked too high on each shelve and it’s hard to get to the bottom item without making a mess, create micro shelves with plastic, wire or cardboard shelving. These items can be found at hardware or craft stores, or even Target. By creating smaller shelves and cubby holes, you won’t have to dig deep and mess up your nice piles just to find a specific pillow or blanket case. Everything else will remain untouched and perfectly folded.

Small baskets for wash cloths or wicker baskets for sheets are a great idea for staying organized and making the closet a little more appealing. That’s certainly not necessary if you like to keep things simple. Not everyone has a Pinterest account and three types of glitter.

shutterstock_203428204We suggest creating tags for anything that’s not visible. If you use baskets, tubs or crates, attach a sticker or tie on a tag that tells you what’s inside. That way, you don’t have to dig through every box when you need a beach towel last minute. It happens.

For the handymen and women out there, install a few towel racks to the inside of the door and voilá! You have more space. Rolling towels instead of folding and stacking is another way to get more into less space.

Not only will this help keep the closet looking organized (your mom will be so impressed), your sheets and towels will always be fresh, folded and ready-to-use.

If you’re looking for a local cleaner that will pick-up and deliver your Atlanta dry cleaning, visit DriveCleaning.com today.

5 overlooked household items and how to clean them

We regularly clean our bathrooms, clothes, and dishes but dirt can still find its way into other areas of our home. Did you know mattresses and comforters can double in weight from dust, mold, bacteria, allergens, and dead skin that accumulate when we sleep on them? After reading this, you might be totally grossed out by what you’re not cleaning in your home. Don’t worry; we’ll also offer ways to clean them regularly.

Mattress

Unfortunately, you can’t just take your mattress to the laundromat or dry-cleaners and expect it to fit (you’ve seen the Febreze commercials). But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, or can’t, clean it regularly to remove germs and dust. Though it may not be appealing, it is possible to clean stains from the mattress with a little elbow grease.

First, vacuum your mattress. This removes a lot of dust and dirt that can keep you from getting sick and protects it from future stains should any liquid be spilled on the mattress.

Upholstery cleaner and a sponge or cloth work for spot cleaning. For most stains, you can try an enzyme cleaner or rubbing alcohol. Often times even a citrus spray or mild dish detergent will work. For odors, try disinfectant and odor sprays to start.

You can also use a mattress pad to serve as an additional layer of protection between you and the mattress. It will absorb moisture and other dirt and can be easily thrown in the washing machine with bedding. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to clean your mattress, but it will make it easier to clean.

Comforter or bedspread

Just as the case with mattresses, it’s easy to forget your comforter gets as dirty as your sheets. In some cases, you can throw a comforter or duvet in the washing machine, according to the directions on the tag. Treat stains and problem areas with a pre-wash before washing.

However, it may be worth taking your bedspread to the dry cleaners. Most washing machines aren’t large enough to accommodate a comforter and you don’t want it to overflow or vibrate loudly when the load becomes uneven. Drying at home is tricky, too, because you’d want to hang it on a clothesline and no one has the room for that.

If it’s made of wool or you have concerns about the color bleeding, do not attempt to clean at home. Dry clean it every time.

In between washings, you can vacuum or air out blankets on a clothesline to remove dust and keep them fresh.

Shower Curtain

Shower curtains can generally be taken care of with a little all-purpose cleaner, but don’t hesitate to throw it in the washing machine every once in a while. Just use the gentle cycle and wash in cold water. Hang it up to dry, but don’t return it to the shower until it’s fully dry or you’ll just get it moldy again.

Rugs

Of course rugs and carpets can be vacuumed regularly but stains do happen occasionally. Instead of rearranging the furniture to cover them up (we know that’s tempting), tackle the stain with some shaving cream. With an old shaving brush or clean paintbrush, work the shaving cream into the stained area. Then, use a damp rag to wipe away the cream and stain. Blot dry with a fresh cloth, preferably a white one, so the color doesn’t transfer into a new stain.

Dry cleaning is also a great idea for small or area rugs that are hard to clean or have a lasting odor. It’s so much easier, too.

Pillows

Fluffing a pillow isn’t just for looks; this removes most dirt and dust, keeping the pillow light and clean. Many times, pillows can be thrown into the wash for a gentle cycle. Foam or polyester pillows can be hand washed, but never put the foam pillows in the dryer. Hang these to dry, rotating regularly.

For decorative and throw pillows, spot clean with mild soap or read the directions for hand washing in cold water. No matter the type or use of pillow, be sure to check for stains, tears and holes before washing.

As you can see, there are ways to clean many of these things yourself, but why waste the time and cleaning products when you DriveCleaning.com will pick up and drop off your freshly cleaned pillows, rugs and comforters?

What should or shouldn’t be dry cleaned?

Sometimes it feels as if dry cleaners and clothing manufacturers are in cahoots. You’ve just bought a gorgeous new outfit, maybe even on sale! However, once you’re home and take a look at the tag, it says “Dry Clean Only”. What? That’s so much work! Does it really need to be dry cleaned?

what should and shouldn’t be dry cleaned
Instead of relying on the washing instructions take a look at the fabric
Instead of relying solely on the washing instructions, take a look at the fabric the item is made from. The type of fabric matters a lot more than what the manufacturer may suggest. In some cases, the quality of your washing machine and your hand washing skills make a difference, too.

Fabrics that don’t need dry cleaning

  • More often than not, cotton does not need to be dry cleaned. However, you’ll want to machine wash cold or warm with similar colors. Most cotton clothing has been preshrunk, too, so drying in a machine is safe.
  • Synthetic fabrics. These include polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic and acetate. These won’t shrink, so it’s safe to wash in warm water. However, go gentle or low on drying because they can permanently wrinkle in a hot dryer. They also produce a lot of static in the dryer so use a dryer sheet or hang dry.

Fabrics that should be dry cleaned

  • With linen, you have a few options. You can hand wash in cold and air dry but it often requires ironing. Linen is made from flax fibers and is known for being cool and fresh in hot weather. If washed incorrectly, it can lose its crispness and clean finishing. Dry cleaning is often best for linen clothing.
  • Rayon is a tricky fabric because it’s considered semisynthetic. It is made from purified cellulose fiber. Dyes may bleed when washed and rayon can shrink or lose its shape when washed in warm water. Hand washing in cold water with mild detergent is an option, but it is generally safer to dry clean this fabric.
  • Silk is a natural material and thus is durable. Known to be a more luxurious fabric, it takes proper care to keep it soft and, yes, silky. The dyes in silk tend to bleed and that is why it should be dry cleaned or hand washed in cold water. You should also use a mild-detergent. Dry cleaning silk tends to be easier at this point, especially if it’s an article of clothing you really care about.
  • Wool is a sturdy fabric and should be dry cleaned whenever possible. When it’s not possible, hand wash in cold because it will shrink in any warm or hot water. It’s a durable fabric and will last a long time when cared for properly.

When it depends

As mentioned above, many nature fabrics can be hand washed and then air dried. However, this takes time and talent and you still run the risk of harming your clothes. If you’re particularly attached to certain articles or use them for work or dressy occasions, go ahead and dry clean. In some cases, items may be for household only like linen napkins, bed sheets or an apron. You may still prefer to use a dry cleaner but you can likely get away with hand washing them yourself.

If you have a really old washing machine, or rely on a laundromat to wash your clothes, opt to dry clean more often. You wouldn’t want a nice shirt or dress ruined because the machine is faulty.

Dry cleaning doesn’t have to be a lot of work

Lastly, dry cleaning does not have to be a lot of work. Professional cleaning will certainly save you from having to replace quality items in your wardrobe. Plan a certain time of the week or month that you can send off all necessary items to be cleaned. This will save you time and money when you’re not rushing off last minute to get a shirt cleaned for the next day. Don’t have time to make it to the cleaners yourself? No problem. DriveCleaning.com offers free dry cleaning pick-up and delivery right to your home!