It can be gratifying to keep a clean, organized, and nice-smelling linen closet. An orderly linen closet makes finding items easy, and you'll easily be prepared to accommodate guests. A tidy linen closet also helps you know when it's time to toss tattered sheets and towels and buy fresh, new sets.
Here are 15 organization ideas for your linen closet.
The first step to a tidy linen closet is to declutter. Remove all the items from the closet, and sort them by type. Create keep, donate, and trash piles. Be realistic about whether you'll actually use all the items you plan to keep; remember the goal is not to have an overstuffed closet. Also, if you've been keeping items unrelated to linens in the closet, consider whether you have a more suitable storage spot for them to free up space.
Streamline Your Sets
When organizing your sets of sheets and towels, here are some general rules for how many you need:
- Keep two sets of sheets for each bed in your home per season. That means two flannel sets per bed for colder months and two cotton sets per bed for warmer months.
- Keep two sets of bath towels per person in your home. For a four-person household, that means you need eight sets of bath towels.
Adjust Shelf Heights
Having adjustable shelving in the linen closet is key. Don't just leave the shelves at the heights they came in; consider what's best for the items you're storing. This can make a big difference in the efficiency and capacity of your linen closet. Here are a few guidelines:
- Store large blankets and seasonal items on the top shelf; you'll want about 18 inches of height for these bulky items.
- Space shelves around 12 inches to 16 inches apart for towels.
- Space shelves around 10 inches apart for folded sheets.
If adjusting the height of your shelves isn't an option, instead use wire or plastic shelving inserts and dividers to create more efficient spacing.
Refresh Shelf Liner Paper
An organized linen closet is one that feels fresh and clean. In addition to wiping down all of the surfaces while you have everything out of the closet, replace any old shelf liner paper with new material. Using a fun, bright pattern on all the shelves is a simple and inexpensive way to make the closet feel more put together.
Label or Color Code Shelves
Label or color code the shelves in your linen closet with the items that belong in each stack. Use a label maker or colored slips of paper and tape. If you don't want to sort by item, another option is to label or color code shelves by person or by room. Then, all of the items—sheets, towels, etc.—that belong to that person or in that room will go on that designated shelf.
Coordinate Bins and Baskets
If you want an overall tidy appearance for your linen closet, stick with one color for your bins and baskets. A similar style, such as all woven baskets or all metal bins, will also keep the closet in uniform order. If you prefer to know exactly what's in each container, opt for clear plastic or acrylic bins. They'll still keep items organized and offer a neat view.
Employ Storage Bags
Place linens you don't use regularly, such as a seasonal duvet or extra guest pillows, in a storage bag to keep them clean. You can invest in uniform fabric bags for a tidy look. Or simply use the bags the items came in if you still have them. Space-saving bags that compress linens when you suck the air out of the bag can make a huge difference in freeing up closet space.
Stack and Roll
The way you fold, roll, stack, and store your towels and sheets makes a difference. Not only will proper folding and storing make your closet neater, but it also will make it easier to grab an item. Use the following tips:
- Stack towels with the folded edge facing out, so you can pull out one towel without toppling the rest of the stack.
- Roll your largest bath towels and bath sheets instead of folding them to save shelf space, and then grab them by the ends for easy access.
- Place sheet sets inside a coordinating pillow case to keep all the pieces together; stack them like sacks side by side on your shelves.
- Stack smaller items, such as cleaning rags, inside a canvas tote to keep them organized.
Consider adding a closet light to the space if you don't already have one. There are many battery-powered options available if you lack wiring for a light. Even a small light will help you see into all the corners of the closet in the dark, so you'll be able to find what you need and put things back into their proper places.
Take Up the Floor Space
Even the smallest linen closet has some floor space that can be turned into functional storage. Try to find bins that take up as much of the floor space as possible (so you're not wasting any), and store bulky items in them. You can even use the top of a lidded bin as another shelf to maximize vertical space. And if you have a little extra room, you can store a small, oddly shaped item, such as a handheld vacuum cleaner, on the floor as well.
Use the Door
Like the floor, the door is another often overlooked storage spot that can help with linen closet organization. Take advantage of this space with an over-the-door organizer. A door spice rack can hold small health and beauty aids. And an over-the-door towel rack can store larger items, such as table linens. You can even install towel rods on the inside of the door to hang towels and other items.
Rotate Your Linens
To make sure all your linens get an even amount of wear, create a system to rotate which ones you grab for use. For example, put freshly laundered linens on top of your stacks, and grab linens for use from the bottom of the stacks. (Or do the opposite, putting laundered linens on the bottom and grabbing from the top.) That way, you'll consistently make it through the whole stack. A benefit to this method is things will be less likely to get crumpled up and shoved to the back if you're regularly using all the items.
Don't Mix Linens
Just because it's the linen closet doesn't mean all of your household linens have to be in it. For instance, it probably makes more sense for your home to store kitchen towels somewhere in the kitchen. And you might want to put seldom used dining linens in an out-of-the-way cabinet or drawer. Do what makes sense for your lifestyle.
Keep Things Smelling Fresh
Keep your linen closet and its contents smelling fresh with these tips:
- Spray sheets with a light spritz of linen spray after they come out of the wash.
- Don't place musty towels in the linen closet. Instead, clean them with vinegar and baking soda to eliminate the odor.
- Add a small container of baking soda to the closet to absorb odors.
Make a List
If you store toiletries or cleaning supplies in your linen closet, keep a list of items that are running low. Simply mount a dry erase board or even just a small notepad to the inside of the door. As soon as you notice you'll be out of an item soon, put it on the list. Then, make it a habit to check that list anytime you plan to shop at a store that sells those items.