How to Keep Your Masks Organized During COVID

by Meghan Fowler

composite image of face masks and label maker and face masks on a hook

I’m a systems person. Not because I get such a thrill from the act of organizing, but because I’m actually super averse to tidying. Systems help guard me against the immanent threat of chaos and leave me free to do the things I love.

I don’t know if you resonate with this, but it’s as if my mind and my world mirror each other and I’m hard pressed to tell you which is chicken and which is egg in this analogy of my internal and my external worlds. I have a busy mind and often have lots of ideas on the go, and so many things feel more urgent than putting away the little things that creep onto our countertop. Couple that with the aversion to tidying that mounts progressively as the mess itself does, and BOOM: we have chaos. Messy space = messy mind. But conversely, tidy space = tidy mind. For me, having a system for how a certain genre of “stuff” is to be handled makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

I need systems; not because I’m organized, but precisely because I’m not!

The advent of masks introduced a whole new category of stuff that needed to be dealt with. Some of my family members need 2 masks a day and I could just imagine the counter-top (the repository of every homeless or transient item) becoming a clean and used mask nightmare. Pile of face masks

I needed a place where people could find their clean masks and deposit their dirty ones. And all of this needed to be in a central location so that maintaining this “workflow” would be realistic. Suddenly it occurred to me that the back of our basement door would be perfect, not least because it has yet to be painted so I could put all kinds of holes into it now, knowing that post-COVID (yes, that day will come!) when we do away with our mask-system we can just fill the holes and paint the whole darn thing.

So here it is – our mask organizing system in all its glory:

Mask organizing wall

Tools included:

  • 7/8″ screw-in cup hooks
  • Mesh laundry bags – These are so handy. For mask washing, yes, but also for washing polyester or acrylic items (the mesh hopefully reduces the amount of micro-plastics going back into the water system!), and for washing bras!
  • Label maker – I use the Brother P-touch H110 and it’s awesome. My sister is a bit jealous of it because mine’s nicer than hers. Soooooooo…. just saying. It’s pretty cool.
  • Masks, obviously. I made most of ours using this pattern (thanks Tiana’s Closet!). I have an Insta highlight all about my mask trial process and why I like this pattern best, so feel free to check that out.

hook with masks hanging from itSeriously, it’s the easiest project. Just screw the hooks in at equal heights and distances from each other, making sure that whatever you’re hanging on a given hook has room beneath and around it for things on the neighbouring hooks. Also make sure that kids hooks are at kid height. We did one hook per person (with a label on top). The laundry bag hangs in the middle. The best bit is that I can just throw the whole bag in the wash and dryer. It saves me finding masks attached to socks and elastics wrapped around underwear and all that nonsense.

So there you have it! Mask organizing heaven. Here’s another pic of the whole thing. Please take a moment to notice our weird cat door (we don’t have a cat):

Door with masks hanging from it. Little boys making funny face in bottom of image.

Thanks for reading along, friends! If you are interested in more Under the Elms content be SURE to follow me on Instagram, where most of the action’s at. And feel free to sign up for my email list too. I promise not to spam you!


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