Here are my top tips for linen closet organizing, so you can find, remove and replace your sheets, towels and blankets, headache-free.
Sheets and towels, blankets and table linens… some of our bulkiest and most awkward to fold, items regularly need to be manhandled into one of our homes’ skinniest storage spaces. How often have you tried to pull out just one, only to find the fabrics cling to the stack, knocking over the pile—or slipping out altogether.
There’s got to be a better way, right?
Yes, there are better ways to organize your linen closet And some will work even if you don’t have an actual built-in linen closet (or freestanding armoire that serves the same purpose).
Tip #1: Streamline and Sort
As with any closet refresh, your job will be much easier if you start by emptying the closet completely. Wipe down shelves and dust the walls before re-loading. Is the closet smelling musty? Use baking soda and/or add a few drops of essential oil to a dryer sheet and wipe the space down.
Next, clean out what you don’t use, don’t need, don’t love. Decide which items are ready to be retired. Some you may need to toss, but those that are undamaged may be donatable.
- Sheets, curtains and so forth may be accepted at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.
- And towels and blankets that are too worn for people may be welcomed at the animal shelter.
This should leave you with only the items you and your family really want to use (and potentially a list of replacements needed!).
Now it’s time to sort what’s left.
- Do you have different sheets and towels for different family members, bed sizes, and/or guest room(s)?
- If so, make piles accordingly.
- If not, group by type of item (e.g., all sheets by set, bath/hand/beach towels each in their own pile, etc.).
- Are there seasonal and/or holiday linens? Separate these out, too.
Summer/winter rotations can be grouped together or, if you have a large number, put them in a storage bin in the garage, attic or other longer-term area.
If you have special linens for different holidays, these can be one group, or be separated by holiday if you have a lot.
Tip #2: Tackle the Big and the Bulky
Comforters: The biggest challenge with these is their puffy size. Large fabric bins or bags are among the best solutions for comforters and duvets. You may be tempted with plastic or other airtight containers, but these prevent good ventilation (which leads to musty smells, mildew and etc.).
As I write, its winter, and comforters may all be on your beds, but if you’ll store them in summer, don’t forget to reserve a space for them now. Since these won’t be coming in and out frequently, many people like to keep them in harder-to-reach spots like the top shelf.
Sheets: First decide what you are able and willing to do when it comes to storing sheets. If folding them is too difficult or not something you’re willing to attempt, storing them in baskets or bins will help contain them rather than ending up with a messy pile. You can also label the container with the room/bed it goes with.
Another way to store folded sheets is to contain the fitted, flat and cases inside one of the pillow cases. This eliminates the confusion of trying to find a matching set of sheets from separated piles.
Towels: First decide how you want to fold your towels. Don’t do what you think is cute and pinterest-worthy, figure out what you’re willing to do on a daily basis when pulling towels out of the dryer… There is no wrong way to fold them – it’s a matter of what works for you that you can easily keep up with, that makes the most of the storage space you have. Below are some common options.
Personally, I grew up with #2, and that’s what works in my linen closet. However, many people prefer the “square”/#1, or rolled/#3.
Tip: if your linen closet is jam-packed, consider pulling out the bulky beach towels in the off-season and storing elsewhere.
Tablecloths: These can be folded, but the weight of the fabric is likely to lead to wrinkles. An alternative is to roll them around a cardboard tube, pool noodle, or even piece of pipe insulation cut to measure. Hold in place with ribbon or clips, and store in a wrapping paper bin. Alternatively, you can hang them using pant or skirt hangers.
Tip #3: Make Baskets Your Friend
Why are baskets so helpful in organizing linens? Here are three major pluses:
- Containment: baskets prevent floppy linens from slipping all over the place. Stacks are history, and when it’s time to take a new set it’s as simple as pulling the basket down—no more avalanches when someone yanks what they need from a shelf.
- Grouping: You can group each family members’ linens together so there’s no confusion or needing to unfold similar-looking items to figure out which you need.
- Ventilation: Baskets are more breathable. And good ventilation is one of the keys to preventing musty smells from building up in your linens.
For those who like their stacks, using a shelf divider like this one will help them stay upright. This is specifically for solid wood shelves. If you have wire shelves in your closet, this one will work for you.
If you are trying to create a linen closet out of other closet space, and you have available hanging space, something like this could help maximize the vertical space while keeping linens neat and tidy.
Add simple labeled cards to each basket to help everyone know what’s where.
Using these 3 simple tips for linen closet organizing will go far to help speed your searches for bedding and towels, cut down on annoying wrinkles, and keep items smelling fresher too. If you’d like to cut down on organizing time itself, book a one-on-one package; we’ll get your closets sorted in no time!