Organizing Linen Closets

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Getting rid of clutter is always the first step in organizing any spot in your home. The key to decluttering is to think about the function of a space — in this case, linen storage — then get rid of everything that doesn’t serve that function.

So, start organizing your linen closet by pulling everything out of it. As you do, throw away the following things:

  • Obvious trash (empty product wrappers, garbage)
  • Ratty towels (Donate them to pet shelters or veterinarian offices!)
  • Torn or worn-out sheets (cut them into lint-free cleaning rags)
  • Things that belong elsewhere in your home

Once you’ve got the closet empty, go ahead and give it a quick cleaning. It’s so much easier to do that when there’s nothing in the way. Then, read on for how to organize your linen storage to keep things tidy and easy to find.

How to Organize a Linen Closet

Organizing the linen closet makes it easier to put things away on laundry day. It also makes it easier to grab a change of sheets in the middle of the night. (Let’s face it, we’ve all been through that.)

A pile of towels

1. Choose ONE Way to Fold Things

Bath and hand towels: Folding bath linens in half lengthwise, then in thirds, takes up less space and makes sense if you also hang them from the rod that way in your bathroom. If space isn’t a consideration, and you hang fresh towels in the bathroom folded in thirds, save yourself time and fold them that way, too.

Sheets and pillowcases can easily take over a linen closet. Though it takes a little extra effort, folding fitted sheets pays off by keeping your linen closet looking tidy. Tuck the folded fitted and top sheets into the matching pillowcase, and finding all of the linens you need for a quick change is easy.

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2. Line and Divide Shelves

Banish wire shelf ridges with liners. Wire shelves are standard in new home construction, but they leave ugly ridges on towels and sheets. Plus, linen closets never look completely tidy when things are hanging between gaps in the wires. A non-adhesive shelf liner with locking tabs to hold it in place creates a solid shelving surface and is easy to clean, too.

Stop stacks from toppling. If your family knocks over neatly folded piles of towels or sheets every time they’re in the linen closet, try adding clip-on shelf dividers. Baskets or open-topped containers work, too, but only if your family is likely to put them back neatly.

3. Roll the Washcloths

Everyone needs a clean washcloth at least once a day, so it makes sense to ensure they’re accessible. Tucking rolled washcloths into a basket on an eye-level shelf (or lower, if you have kids) makes it easy to grab a fresh one without making a mess.

Organizing Linen Closets - A bar of soap tucked between folded towels

4. Prevent Musty Odors

An open bar of soap tucked between folded towels will give all of your linens a nice, fresh scent. That bar will also last longer than soap left in the wrapper since it’s had a chance to dry out a bit.

If dampness is an issue, stash an open box of chalk — even sidewalk chalk — to absorb moisture. Switch it out monthly.

Keeping a wastebasket and/or donation box in or near the linen closet is helpful, so you can quickly dispose of trash or set aside torn linens.

5. Light it Up

Dark linen closets are challenging to use and to keep tidy. Consider adding a stick-on light with motion detection. You’ll be able to see what you’re looking for without having to worry about turning the light off once you’re done. (They’re great on staircases and in hallways, too!)

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