Opening the door of your linen closet to a fresh smell and tidy, well-organized items is so satisfying. Find everything you need quickly, linens and towels remain crisp and fresh, and you are ready for an overnight guest at a moment's notice. Tidying up your linen closet also makes it simple to recognize when it is time to throw out old or tattered linens or towels.
Here are our favorite 22 tidy linen closet organization ideas and how to get started.
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Declutter Your Linen Closet
Working with a clean slate is very satisfying and helps us to visualize our space. Remove everything from the linen closet and begin to sort. Evaluate each towel and sheet for holes, worn spots, etc and decide if it is time to throw it out and replace it. If there are objects in the linen closet that belong elsewhere, put them to the side to place in a more suitable spot in your home. A linen closet cluttered with stuff will never be a tidy linen closet.
Determine Your Linen Closet Needs
If you are struggling to know how many sets of sheets and towels you and your family need, use some simple guidelines.
- Each bed should have four sets of sheets- two cold weather sets and two warm weather sets.
- Each person in your home should have two complete towel sets that include bath towel, hand towel, and washcloth.
- Each bathroom should have two sets of decorative hand towels for each season or holiday.
If you find that your linen closet is overflowing, pare down to these guidelines to maintain a tidy linen closet.
Consider Your Linen Closet Space
Once your linen closet is empty, measure the spaces and draw them out on paper. If your shelves are adjustable, move them to accommodate the items you are storing. Visualizing your space on paper will allow you to create a plan for where each item belongs. If you plan to purchase bins or other organizational products, you can refer to the measurements to ensure you order the correct sizes that will fit properly.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Seasonal items such as heavy blankets and holiday towels can be stored on the top shelf.
- If storage space is limited, use large fabric bins to store rolled towels.
- Take advantage of floor space by using large fabric or woven bins to contain pillows, bulk toilet paper, or beach towels.
Clean the Linen Closet
While the linen closet is still empty, clean shelves, remove dust, and vacuum the floor so that your space is sparkling clean and fresh. Don't forget to look up and clean out dusty corners. Starting with a clean space is a great way to make sure that your linen closet maintains a fresh scent. Thymes Multipurpose Cleaner in Washed Linen is our favorite cleaner for deep cleaning our linen closets.
Create a Labeling System
Whether you use gift tag style labels, clip on labels or any other variety of label, using them as part of your linen closet organizing is essential. Once you establish the place for each item, using labels will help you to return objects to the correct place and will remind other household members to do the same. My favorite labels are Talented Kitchen and I use them in every room.
Use the Door for Additional Storage
Photo Credit: @nycneat_louisa
We don't often think of door backs as additional storage space and it is largely unused. If you have plenty of room in your linen closet, you can skip this. But, if you are a person who is always looking for additional storage, the back of the linen closet door is a clever use of space. And over-the-door hanging organizer can provide additional space for linens, toiletries, or even spare toilet paper. Hanging storage bags can be used on door backs also to provide additional space for beach towels or anything that needs to be stored. This over-the-door pantry organizer can double as a linen closet organizer to create additional space for toiletry back stock, laundry detergent or anything that needs tidy storage.
Rotate Your Linens Regularly
When you take proper care of your linens, they will last longer and you will sleep better. It is generally a good idea to launder your linens weekly to remove body oils and dirt. Keep folded extras in a cool, dry linen closet. You may be in the habit of washing, drying and replacing- so that one set of sheets is repeatedly used. Consider rotating linens to avoid the overuse of one set. To keep the extra set fresh and ready, fold and store in the linen closet with a dryer sheet tuck in one of the folds. If you love warm, fresh sheets, throw the extra sheet set in the dryer for a few minutes before making the bed.
Maintain a Fresh Scent
Laundering your linens and drying them thoroughly before storing them in the linen closet is the best way to maintain a fresh scent. Even the cleanest linen closets can smell a bit musty at times, though. Scented dryer sheets absorb odors and placing a few throughout the linen closet can keep your linens smelling fresh and ready to use. If your family is sensitive to scents, place an open box of baking soda in the linen closet to absorb musty smells.
Color Coordinate Your Linen Closet
Photo Credit: @rachelorganizes
If each bedroom and bathroom has its own linen colors, it is much easier to keep linen closets organized if they are color coordinated. Group each color towels together and each color linens together. Not only will your linen closet be more organized from a functional perspective, but it will be more aesthetically organized, as well.
Be Creative with Floor Space
Add Linen Closet Lighting
If you love bright, airy linen closets but yours is in a dark hallway, consider adding some lighting. For a quick fix, add a few motion sensor LED stick-on lights. If your linen closet is pre-wired, add a more elegant solution- like this flush mount LED fixture. A well lit linen closet is more functional and more beautiful.
Use Shelf Liner
Photo Credit: @makinglemonade
If you are stuck with builder grade wire shelving and don't want the hassle of changing it out, use shelf liner for a neater look. Wire shelving leaves those annoying bumps in towels and sheets and keeps them from looking and feeling their best. We love this gold and white geometric shelf liner. It adds some sophistication to any linen closet.
Explore Different Folding Styles
Inconsistent folding can hinder organization in a linen closet. Fold towels and linens to fit the size of your shelves and then stick with that folding style. If your linen closet is small, roll towels and place them vertically in baskets. Washcloths and hand towels can be tri-folded and placed in a basket or bin with the fold facing up.
Use Vacuum Sealed Storage Bags
If your linen closet is out of control with seasonal linens and bedding, consider using vaccum bags for space-saving storage. Available in multiple sizes, vaccum storage bags allow you to neatly and safely store seasonal items. Add items to the bag, suck out the air and store in a tidy basket for the following season.
Photo Credit: @sincerelykillc
If your linen closet doubles as toiletry storage, you will need a way to contain your back stock and keep everything looking tidy and accessible. Baskets, sliding drawers, and bins offer great storage solutions. Here are a few of our faves:
- mDesign has a great collection of affordable acrylic containers- perfect for storing lotions, cleansers, and hair care products.
- STORi stackable cosmetic organizer drawers are the perfect solution for cosmetic back stock or overflow.
- DIMJ Fabric Closet Baskets are a gorgeous solution for toiletries and back stock.
Organize By Room or Bed Size
Creating a space or basket for each room or for each bed size provides a system that can be easier to follow moving forward. It takes a lot of time to tidy your linen closet, so it is important to establish a logical system that can be followed to maintain your linen closet.
Use Shelf Dividers
Photo Credit: @organizewithtracy
If baskets and bins aren't your thing but you still crave a tidy linen closet, use clear acrylic shelf organizers. Keep linens in their designated places without stuffing them into baskets. These dividers give a very retail look- think Macy's home department.
Store Each Sheet Set In Their Corresponding Pillow Case
If you struggle to keep pillow cases with their corresponding sets or to keep fitted sheets paired to their top sheets, you will love this. Fold the fitted and top sheet and all pillowcases except for one. Then use the remaining pillowcase to contain the rest of the sheet set. The linen set will stay folded and neat and paired with its match.
If you are using a standard closet as a linen closet, use the hanging bar to hang your linens. They will stay airy and fresh and will be free of wrinkles caused by folding.
Redesign Your Linen Closet
Photo Credit: @gettingitdoneorganizing
Don't be limited by your space. If you linen closet isn't functional, remove shelves, rearrange your current organization and find something that is tidy and functional. Don't be afraid to gut your linen closet and install a shelving system that works for you. This Rubbermaid shelf system allows for custom configurations.
Add Design Elements
Add colorful shelf liners or wallpaper to bring out your design personality. We love this peel and stick wallpaper for a pop of color in a linen closet. Don't be afraid to add your personal design elements that bring you joy every time you open the door. And, if your linen closet it tidy enough, you won't want to close the door!
Small or Non-Existent Linen Closet? Create One!
If you have a tiny linen closet- or none at all, it is time to get creative. Here are a few ideas:
- Use a freestanding closet system. With options to customize, add shelves, bins, and hooks. Use hanging rods to hang linens. Many of these closet systems are so gorgeous you wouldn't want them behind a door.
- Convert an armoire into a linen closet. What appears to be a lovely piece of furniture can be transformed into a functional and tidy linen closet.
- Convert a bathroom cabinet into a linen cabinet. Maybe you already have a cabinet that could double as a linen cabinet. If not, maybe you can add one to your current bathroom configuration.