Linen Closet Overhaul

Even the most organized linen closets get messy! Here’s a recap of my recent linen closet overhaul and the steps I took to go from overstuffed to tidy! 

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Linen Closet Overhaul

Over time, things just get messy. You can see how my linen closet looked three years ago in this post. So how did it get to avalanche level? 

Well, I bought some new things and didn’t donate the old ones, which completely goes against minimalism 101! Included in this list are my oldest duvet cover, a set of flannel sheets that Thomas took one touch of and banned from the bed, and an old set of pillows I was holding on to “just in case we had 100 people spend the night at once.” 

All normal reasons to have an overflowing closet! 

Linen closets are particularly challenging to keep tidy because they’re a high traffic zone that get items swapped in and out each week or month. Plus folding giant bulky comforters isn’t exactly as easy as something like folding dinner napkins. Sheets and towels shift and fall over, and the closet looks messy and unorganized. It can also be hard to find what you need under all that fabric!

In my linen closet you’ll find big things (blankets and pillows) to tiny things (washcloths or cleaning supplies). The variety of contents makes it harder to find a storage design that works for the long term. But now I may have found one! Here are my tips for how I’ve decluttered and changed what goes on what shelf. 

My Little Helper

Linen Closet Before

The top shelves of the closet held the following:

  • A summer king-size quilt
  • Spare duvet covers and shams (x3)
  • Sheets for 3 sizes of bed (king, queen, twin)

The bottom shelf houses our cleaning supplies, plus a basket full of microfiber cloths that our house cleaners use. 

Here’s what I removed to donate:

  • Extra pillows 
  • The flannel sheets that I love but Thomas doesn’t
  • A torn sheet set (my oldest set)
  • A ripped duvet cover 
  • Cleaning supplies I didn’t use
  • The old access panel to the water shut off

Linen Closet After

After I removed the donate pile, I had a lot more space to work with! 

I took everything out and put each item back in as neatly as possible, giving the most used items the eye level spot. 

  • Duvets and shams on the top shelf
  • Sheets on the middle in fabric bins and labeled by size
  • Cleaning supplies (a nice box, cleaning tote, or a lazy susan works well!)
  • The kids’ winter duvet covers + cleaning cloth basket

Before + After

Much better, right?!

Tips For A More Organized Linen Closet

1. Add shelves

This might be a little bit of a “duh” but this closet was originally a hanging clothes closest. Our house didn’t have a linen closet, so Thomas added wire shelves. Obviously that provided MUCH more space! See that before and after in this closet organization post

2. Utilize Baskets and Bins

Using storage bins helps keep sheets and blankets together, makes them easy to find, and prevents them from coming unfolded. They can be used to hold washcloths and other smaller items too. I had these gray linen bins on hand from the last time I organized the closet. 

Vintage wooden boxes are not quite as common, but Etsy is a great place to find them. Like these!

I took a little round sticker and labeled it with a Sharpie – K, Q, or T – so I’ll know which white set is for which bed. 

3. Have 2-3 sets of sheets per bed

My general rule is 2-3 sets of sheets and/or duvet covers per size beds. That way you always have a spare and you can put the clean ones on while the others are in the wash. If you live somewhere with 4 seasons, you might also want both cold and warm weather options. I am always tempted to keep my bottom set (whatever is most worn out or what I like the least) “JUST IN CASE” but those times never come. Remember the more things you have in your house the more mental space they take up. The older I’ve gotten the more I have been able to let go of the “just in case” items in my home.  

4. Outsource storage to other areas 

I keep extra towels in a crate tucked into a nook just around the corner. And I store extra everyday towels in baskets inside our upstairs bathrooms. That means one fewer thing to need to store in here! Another example is toilet paper, which I store in a bathroom up high on a shelf in a basket. 

5. Leave room to breathe

This is really a tip for any space you are organizing: clothes closet, pantry, garage. Things need room to breath. The biggest difference between a tidy feeling closet and a messy one is likely the amount of space between things. If you’re working with a tiny bathroom linen closet, maybe have 2 sets of sheets instead of 3 to give that space. Or get creative with your storage and use under-bed bins for your opposite season bedding so your linen closet can be used for weekly linen changes. 

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