Home How-To Best of Blog: How to Organize Your Linen Closet

Best of Blog: How to Organize Your Linen Closet


Along with the sun and warm breezes of spring comes the not-so-awesomeness of spring cleaning. If you’re planning to tackle some cleaning projects this weekend, we’re here to pitch in. Check out our foolproof guide to how to organize your linen closet.


  1. First, clear out anything that isn’t really linens (that’s sheets, blankets, towels, matelassé shams, tablecloths, napkins,  etc.). Then do an inventory check of what you have. Stained or torn towels or sheets can be repurposed into cleaning rags and painter’s drop cloths, while blankets or bedcovers that are past their prime can be washed and then donated to your local humane society or animal shelter, where they’ll become snuggle-worthy beds for some sweet dogs and cats.



  1. Install adjustable shelving, like these lightweight, affordable units by Elfa, from The Container Store. Systems like these allow you to reposition brackets, shelves, and hanging bars as needed to customize your closet and give you the exact amount of space you need for each category of linen.


  1. Start by putting the items you use the least frequently up on the top shelves. Bulky items, like duvets, or decorative pillows  can either go up top or on the bottom of the closet, on freestanding wire racks (never directly on the floor!). This helps keep often-used items within easy reach in the center of the closet.




  1. Organize shelves by either by room—master bedroom, guest bedroom, kids’ room, bathroom—or by type of item (sheets, shams, towels, etc.). If you’re storing them in bins, label the bin with the name of the room for quick access.


  1. Banish the plastic. Plastic and vacuum-seal bags are a humid breeding ground for mold and mildew, and once they’ve set in, good luck removing the stains or smells. The gases present in plastics can also leach out into your fabrics over time, turning it yellow. Instead buy a handful of inexpensive king-size cotton pillowcases and store your clean, dry sheet sets inside.


  1. Try not to stuff the shelves tightly. Not only will this encourage wrinkling and reduce much-needed airflow around the fabric, but it will also make it that much harder for you to pull out needed items without yanking out everything on the shelf.




  1. We love this little trick from BHG: Pick up an over-the-door towel rack—no installation required!—and hang your folded table linens over each bar to keep them from getting wrinkly in drawers. Vintage linens can be folded and stacked, with acid-free tissue paper between each piece, in a canvas storage bin.


BHG over the door towel rack linen storage

Photo via Better Homes and Gardens




  1. Maximize towel folding. Towels can be a space sucker, but there are a couple ways to handle them. If storing them on shelves, maximize space with the hotel fold: first fold them in thirds lengthwise, then in half into a rectangle. Turn the folded edge out toward the front of the shelf for the neatest look. If you’re really short on space, opt for a round storage bin or hamper that you can store on the floor of the closet, then roll your towels into cylinders and prop them on end inside the storage bin.




  1. Keep a basket or bin full of travel-size toiletries—like all those mini shampoo and lotion bottles you pinch during hotel stays, or the thousands of travel toothpaste tubes and extra toothbrushes you’ve collected from the dentist—on hand for when guests visit. True, these aren’t linens, but unless you’ve got a dedicated spot to store them in the bathroom or the guest room, the linen closet is a natural spot.


  1. Include a decorative bowl filled with baking soda on the smallest shelf. This will help absorb any funky odors and keep your linens smelling fresh. You could also opt for a dried-herb sachet—lavender and rosemary are classics—tied to a shelf bracket or inside the door handle to banish any mustiness.



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1 comment

Cynthia A. Collins June 19, 2016 at 7:57 pm

I love the hints for a neat linen closet. My question is how do I store a King size comforter during the summer months? I was going to buy a vacuum storage bag but I am leery of potential staining and smell. It certainly won’t fit into a king size pillow case. Your thoughts?


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