If You Constantly Feel Like You’re Digging for Sheets, It’s Time to Organize Your Linen Closet

published Jun 22, 2019
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(Image Credit: Ashley Poskin)

If you’re lucky enough to have a linen closet, you know how quickly they can become disorganized and messy. In my experience, a disorganized linen closet often leads to buying double (and sometimes triple) the amount of personal care items—only because you don’t realize you already have them. The trick to a clean, well-organized linen closet is creating an intentional space for everything.

Here’s how.

Start with a clean slate

Remove everything from the closet and put it on a large work surface like a dining room table. Toss expired items and donate linens and unused products you no longer need.

Organize by category

Create lots of little piles: first aid items, soaps and shampoos, toilet paper, skincare, makeup, bed linens, towels, etc. Go through the piles once more and toss or donate items you don’t need.

Consider the space

Measure the shelves inside the closet, carefully considering the current configuration—does it work, or should it be reconfigured? If you’re organizing a large space, consider adding more shelving. If you’re renting and installing permanent shelving isn’t an option, consider adding temporary adjustable shelving.

(Image Credit: Ashley Poskin )

Invest in containers, and label them!

Boxes, bins, and trays are so worthwhile when it comes to keeping small spaces well organized.

Soft side boxes with lids are great because they’ll keep things like bed linens clean and dust-free until you’re ready to use them, and if you add a sachet they’ll stay smelling wonderful. We also love these sleek options from The Launderess. When buying boxes with lids, be sure they come with a slot for a label so you know just by looking at them what the contents are! Boxes with lids are great storage for:

  • Bed linens
  • Guest linens
  • Soaps and other scented items.

Plastic bins are best for everyday items because they provide quick access to whatever you need and can be easily wiped clean. You can use anything from a shoe box or a Dollar Store bin to something more sophisticated, like this makeup storage unit. Whatever you choose, try to make it look as nice as possible in hopes that you’ll be inspired to keep it looking that way. Bins are great storage for:

  • Makeup and cleansers
  • First aid kits
  • Hair accessories, such as curlers and flat irons.

Trays are great ways to store small items. If you have little vessels that hold cotton swabs, powders, or jewelry, combine them all together on the tray. Constantly digging to the bottom of a bin to find your hairbrush? Designate a tray for it so you always know where to look.

Think vertically

If your linen closet has space to hang items, consider a hanging shoe organizer or sweater organizer. Shoe organizers are great for holding paper towels, and sweater organizers are perfect for storing all that toilet paper you brought home from Costco. They really do hold a lot and make for quick work when assessing your back-stock.

(Image Credit: Ashley Poskin )

Get matchy-matchy

If you’re able to, having a linen closet with matching towels and coordinating bins is, at the least, very satisfying to look at. No color competes with another for your attention, making it easy to find things. Another perk: You never have to worry about washing a bold color towel with a white towel, because they’re all the same!

Matching, all-white, high-quality towels have been on my “adulting” list for quite some time now, so I was excited to find these organic, long-staple cotton towels from a company called Weezie. Weezie is to the textile world what Kate Spade is to the accessories world: classic, quality, and fun. I initially came across them while searching for makeup towels because I was sick of staining all my washcloths.

(Image Credit: Ashley Poskin )

Fold linens according to your shelf depth

This seems like basic knowledge, but there are probably quite a few of us who fold towels the same we’ve always folded towels—no matter the shelf. The towels might look dumpy, and they’re probably falling off the shelves, but they’re folded, and the closet door shuts.

But there is a life beyond dumpy, saggy towels, and it’s waiting for you. There is a narrow towel fold and a trifold, or you could even roll it up like a jelly roll. And we can’t forget about the KonMari fold! There are so many ways to fold your towels, so play around and find which method works best for your shelves.

Store sheets in pillowcases

The best way to keep your sheets from wandering off from their set is to fold the top sheet, bottom sheet, and one pillowcase, and stack them. Then, store the stack inside the other pillowcase.

It’s a good idea to have at least two sheet sets so you can put on a fresh set while the others are laundering. Keep sheets stored on your linen closet’s upper shelves with a sachet—a few dryer sheets tucked inside work, too! Even better: Store your sheets in a labeled box with a lid to keep them dust-free and smelling fresh.

But what about all those other shelves in your linen closet? They can be used for extra blankets and pillows, and other occasional odds and ends.

(Image Credit: Ashley Poskin )

If you host out of town guests, consider creating a “Howdy” box for easy guest preparation. I filled ours with two bath towels, washcloths, a makeup towel, extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, bottles of water, soap, and shampoo. I store the guest bedroom sheet set on top of the box. It helps guests feel extra welcome, and makes preparing my home quick work.

A well-organized linen closet can be achieved at any price point, as long as you’re intentional with space and delegating what each box and bin will hold. Once you have the closet organized, keep an eye on it when you’re putting your towels away to make sure everything is staying nice and neat. And, most importantly: frequently toss or donate anything you find you’re not using to keep it from becoming cluttered!