(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Maybe it's my Dutch ancestors, I don't know, but I am totally particular about how I fold my laundry and how I organize my linen closet. My mother told me my persnickety ways would change once I had children. She was wrong. Here are my best tips for organizing the linen closet.

  • Purge your linens. Only keep the linens you actually need and use and donate the rest. A good rule of thumb is two towel sets for each family member plus one set for each of the number of guests you can reasonably expect to accommodate. This way, you can have one in the wash and one ready to go in the linen closet.
  • Keep like with like. Keep towels with towels, bedding with bedding, etc. But keep sets together. This allows you to pull out what you need easily, with as little disruption to other linens as possible. This also keeps small items like washcloths and pillow cases from getting lost. I typically tuck my pillow cases and washcloths inside a fold of the sheet or towel set.
  • Make everything a similar width. When you're folding linens, try to make their widths uniform. This way you can stack items neatly and avoid toppling piles. Uniform widths also give the closet as a whole a tidy appearance. To make different kinds of items the same width, you'll probably have to fold various sizes a bit differently, but that's okay.
  • Learn to fold a fitted sheet. It's possible (and dare I say, fun?) to wrangle fitted sheets into tidy quadrilaterals. Watch Martha to learn how.
  • Only folded edges should show. When folding, tuck straight edges into a fold as much as possible. Aim to have straight edges only in the back of the folded item (not on either side). Also pay attention to folding tags inward so they don't stick out. When placing items in the linen closet, only the folded edge should show. Place straight edges to the back.