Much like a junk drawer, linen closets tend to be breeding grounds for disorganization. They quickly become cluttered as yet another one-off sheet is purchased from Homegoods and stuffed into the back of the closet, and downright frustrating when you grab the full fitted sheet while rooting around for the king fitted.
1. Purge, Purge, Purge.
A theme that repeats through all organization projects, the first thing you have to do is edit your linen collection.
I held onto a plaid Ralph Lauren pillow case through 4 moves over 5 years in my early twenties. I thought it was the perfect mixture of "Connecticut Preppy" and "Beach Chic" and represented the kind of décor I'd one day decorate my beach house in...in about 30 year's time if I was lucky and won the lottery.
After years of neglect (it never matched any of my other bedding) I finally parted with my favorite pillow case. The moral of the story is: if you haven't used something for 6 months, it's time to sell or donate. If you're having trouble "letting go," see my no-fail tips in Stop Hoarding Clutter
2. Go All White.
This one's a no-brainer. Nothing will make your linen closet look more organized than monochromatic sheets, towels, pillow cases and coverlets. If you're afraid this will become a boring décor scheme, think of the fun you'll have choosing colorful and flashy blankets, throw pillows, and shower curtains.
3. Label the Shelves.
Easier for you and easier for house guests, labeling the shelving of your linen closets (or the baskets you store you're bedding and towels in) is a quick and easy organizing trick. Get out your label maker or Japanese Masking Tape and label away. Just remember to keep things simple: "full size" is perfect, "full size sheets for pull out couch" is over-wrought and may earn you a reputation as a organization freak.
Check out my favorite label maker.
4. Get the Wrinkles Out
Aside from editing your linen collection down, nothing will make your closet look better than ironing its contents. Sheets will fold more easily and your bed will look more restful with a wrinkle-free dust ruffle. Confession: I never iron. Much to my Mother's horror, I don't even own one. I honestly rather scrub the bathroom than get out an ironing board and plug in an iron. As an alternative, I purchased a clothes steamer and have never looked back. If you're lazy like me, a Jiffy Garment Steamer is worth the money--both for your linens and your clothes, drapes and outerwear.
5. Organize your toiletries.
Create a bin or basket to store trial sized toiletries--the kind you pick up in hotel bathrooms or “gift with purchase” items.
6. Invest in Shelf Dividers.
Shelf dividers may seem fussy, but the ability to divide blankets from duvets from comforters from table clothes is priceless when several different people (and the occasional house guest) is retrieving items from the closet. Also think about dividing bedding by size: full, queen, king, twin, etc. Not too mention shelf dividers just make everything look a lot neater. Check out my favorite shelf dividers.
There's really nothing quite like a beautifully made bed or a stack of fresh-from-the-dryer towels. Creating an organized and clutter-free home for your linens is a quick and impactful organizing project. But wait -- there's more!! Check out pictures in our Linen Closet Peep Show for inspiration.
7. Separate out guest linens.
You may not even have separate guest linens, but if you do, consider separate them out and storing them separately for easy access. If you have a large linen collection, store them in a plastic storage bin and label them.