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How to Organize Your Linen Closet

How to Organize Your Linen Closet

A functional linen closet is more than folded towels stacked neatly on shelves. It needs to be arranged in a logical order so it’s easy to access what you need. To maintain an organized linen closet, you should have a coherent system. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the current state of your closet. Follow these simple steps and your linens will be neat and tidy in no time.

Toss Out Surplus Linens

Sheets and duvet covers

Before you can arrange all your linens, you need to weed out the unnecessary items. If you, like most people, have worn-out and unused sheets and towels cluttering your shelves, it’s time to let them go. Start by taking everything out of your linen closet so you can start with a clean slate.


As you sort through what you have, toss or donate sheets that don’t fit the beds in your house, anything with holes, and stained and discolored linens. To create a little extra space in small linen closets, store seasonal items elsewhere and only pull them out when appropriate. Pool towels, holiday tablecloths, and winter blankets don’t need to be available all year long.


Divide Items by Type

Linens divided by type

Now that you’ve discarded the excess, you can start organizing what’s left. Before restocking the closet, sort everything by type and category. For instance, bath towels go in one pile, while hand towels go in another. If you have a lot of sheets to organize, divide them by bed size. You should also separate all your miscellaneous items, like cleaning supplies and bulk toiletries, into logical groupings. Sorting the contents of your linen closet into piles will help you visualize your organization needs.


Incorporate Decorative Baskets

Linen closet organized with decorative baskets

With everything in front of you, take note of the small items that require additional organization. Decorative baskets, boxes, and trays are helpful to keep small items where they belong, and they add a certain visual appeal to your closet. Choose coordinating baskets in a neutral color scheme that fit the height and depth of your shelves. As you decide how many baskets or bins to include, make sure to leave shelf space for larger items and linens.


Fold to Save Space

Towels folded to save space in linen closet

When your linens aren’t folded to fit the space, you end up with towels hanging over the edge of shelves, stacks of washcloths leaning into each other, and forgotten items shoved to the back where you can’t reach.

The solution to those cluttered shelves is simple: change the way you fold. There isn’t one perfect way to fold your towels – you need to fold them based on the space they will be stored in. The two main methods are meant for narrow shelves or deep shelves. If neither of those methods work in your space, try rolling them. Rolled towels stack nicely and leave plenty of extra room on your shelves.


Get Creative With Sheet Organization

Sheets folded and stacked on shelves

With your small linens and miscellaneous items tucked away in baskets, you can move on to sheet storage. Sheets are notoriously difficult to organize. They’re hard to fold, tricky to stack, and difficult to keep in place. Look for creative ways to store your sheets to create a system that won’t fall apart over time.


You can store sheet sets within one of the included pillow cases to keep all the pieces intact. You might want to reserve a few of your baskets for sheets in certain sizes. Storing your sheet sets vertically inside baskets or bins is the easiest way to find the exact set you’re looking for, and it keeps you from rifling through stacks and mussing up piles in the process. Perfect your sheet folding with this guide on How to Fold a Fitted Sheet.


Stack by Priority

Linen closet stacked by priority

Your baskets are arranged. Your linens are folded. Now it’s time to restock your closet. As you choose where to put your stacks of towels and sheets, consider what linens you use most often. The main, eye-level shelf in your closet should house the items that you need on a regular basis, like towels or toilet paper. Put your least used linens, like seasonal blankets or extra guest pillows, out of the way on the highest shelves. A large basket on the floor of your closet is a great place to put frequently used throw blankets – roll them tightly to save space and create a clean look.


Label Everything

Labeled basket

A linen closet is only functional if anyone who opens it can find exactly what they’re looking for. If you’re the only one in the family who can find things and put them away properly, it’s not an effective system. Make it easy for everyone by labeling everything. You can hang cute labels from basket handles or affix them to the shelf below the item. Enhance the aesthetic with alluring fonts and color-coordinated labels.


Utilize the Inside of the Closet Door

Back of the closet door storage

Many people use linen closets to store more than just linens. First aid kits, toiletry extras, paper goods, and cleaning supplies are other common items that you might need to make space for. If your shelves are full, create overflow space on the inside of the linen closet door. Affix storage solutions, like wire baskets or hanging wall shelves, to the door for miscellaneous items. The inside of the door is also a great place to hang an ironing board or cleaning gadgets like brooms and mops. Whatever option you choose, make sure that it’s narrow enough for your door to close comfortably.


Ward Off Moths

Ward off moths in linen closet

Now that your linen closet is organized, functional, and easy to use, you’re almost ready to close the door on this organizing adventure. There’s just one last step to keep your linens fresh: eliminate the possibility of moths. Fabric-eating moths keep themselves hidden. You won’t know you have a moth problem until you find the pesky holes they leave behind in your linens and clothes. The best practice is to prevent them, so they never become a problem. Placing a bowl of moth balls in your closet, out of reach of children, is an excellent preventative measure. Moths also dislike cedar wood. You can incorporate cedar into your closet with boxes, shelves, or hanging cedar pieces.

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