Linen closets are a joy. Whether they are small or large, having the space to store sheets, towels, and toiletries is a huge help when it comes to managing the inventory of your home.
While I’ve never had a huge linen closet, I’ve always maximized the space I do have to fit as many sheets and towels as I can. Mostly because I’m a bit of a bedding hoarder and need all the storage I can get.
Since moving to our new house, I’ve been itching to get my hands on our linen closet. It’s located right between the bedrooms and offers amazing storage. It was, however, looking a bit rough.
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To give it some life, I took everything out, refolded, and reworked the layout so it was more functional and aesthetically pleasing.
How to Organize a Small Linen Closet
Sort, Purge and Donate
Always the first step. Always. You have to figure out what you have and make decisions about what you actually want to keep. This means limiting the number of sheet sets you have for each bed, donating towels that are stained or dingy looking, and removing items that don’t belong in the closet.
I had recently gone through my linens during my 31 Days of Decluttering, which made this step a lot easier. However, I’m always amazed that there is still more you can give away. This time I realized my white towels were beyond saving. After trying to bleach the towels multiple times with no success, I decided it was just time to call it and buy some new towels.
Bins and Baskets
Baskets and bins make excellent additions to linen closets, as they help corral smaller items and keep the closet looking orderly. Only after sorting and purging do you want to plan for and purchase baskets. This ensures that you purchase bins that fit your space and your storage needs.
I like to use a mix of wire or woven baskets for blankets and sheets and also clear bins for small items. Using a mix of materials helps give the closet visual interest and texture.
Deal With Extra Toiletries
Every home has a backstock of extra soaps, shampoos, and body care products. The question is, where do your store all these items that are just waiting to be used? Linen closets are often just steps from the bathroom or bedroom and can be the perfect place to store toiletries.
Organizing small items in clear bins can make it easy to see what you have at a glance, reducing the chances of buying yet another bottle of shampoo when you already have 2 waiting to be used.
And toilet paper…It seems like we are running out every other day, so having an easily accessible basket in our linen closet really helps us ensure we aren’t running into any paper-related emergencies.
These wire baskets are perfect for storing at the bottom of the closet and have plastic feet to make them slide easily without scratching the floor.
Organizing Medicines and First Aid
With kids in the home, it’s important to store medicines and first aid in a place that is easily accessible by the grown-ups, yet out of reach of the kids. That’s why I favor higher shelves in closets or cabinets for medication storage. Clear square bins are just the right size to hold various cold medicines, first aid, and digestive relief products.
I try to keep the bare minimum of what’s needed on hand, rather than a full medicine cabinet with everything I could possibly need. I do this for two reasons: 1) to prevent waste from products expiring before they are used up and 2) to reduce the number of items I have to store. I know there is a pharmacy just down the street, so I can easily pick up something if the need arises.
Interested in reading more? Click here to read the post on how I organize medicine and first aid.
Folding and Storing Sheets
Folded carefully, sheets can easily be stored in a linen closet without taking up much room. The trick is to tightly bundle the flat sheet, fitted sheet, and pillowcases so they stay together. I like to fold the pillowcases in half the long way and then wrap around the folded and stacked flat and fitted sheet.
You can also take the sheets and store them inside a pillowcase, thus keeping the whole set together and contained in a nice bag. Grouping by size can make it easy to find exactly what you need when you need it.
Don’t forget the door!
When it comes to maximizing storage space, thinking vertical is key. And if you have a door to your closet then you have prime real estate for storing items that otherwise may be awkward to find a home for.
I had been looking for a space to store an ironing board and am thrilled to say I can now hang one on the back of the linen closet door. Now, ironing is not a daily occurrence around here (or even weekly…) but when I do need to iron, it sure is nice to have a board to use.
With the addition of a few more Medium Wire Command Hooks, I was able to hang a lint roller and a cedar satchel to keep things fresh.
Even after I organize a space, my family is often asking where things go. That’s why for their sake (and mine!) I like to follow up any organized space with some bright, clear labels.
For the linen closet, I used my Brother P-Touch Label maker to quickly make labels for the medicine and toiletries bin. I used 24mm white on black label tape which can easily be removed if I change my mind and want to use the bin for something else.
I’m really loving how the linen closet turned out. It’s so much more functional and I get that sense of calm whenever I open the door. Plus, it sure is a lot easier to find things than before.
And if you would like to see a video of how I fold my towels and sheets, be sure to check out this video I made of my old (even smaller) linen closet: