The linen closet is the landing place for some of our most commonly-used items (sheets, bedding, and towels), so it's essential to maximize the space for ease and convenience. Linen closet organization can be both functional and stylish—so when it's time to pull out a fresh set, your space can be clean and organized. Upgrade your storage with design tips from Monica Leed, the co-founder of Los Angeles-based Simply Spaced: A lifestyle company that focuses on "transforming cluttered spaces and minds." Whether you're rearranging your built-in shelving or looking for the perfect organizer, these tips can help declutter your space for easy access to your favorite items.
Get inspired with linen closet ideas for organizing your space to the max.
Edit Your Items
The first step to an organized linen closet is sorting out what you have: "One of the biggest issues with messy linen closets is too much stuff," Leed says. "After you edit, it's much easier to maintain." Saying goodbye to old linens is easy for some, but it can be difficult if you have a hard time letting go (take inspiration from Marie Kondo). If linens are stained, worn, torn, or you never use them, save the space for your favorite items. "In every linen closet we've organized, someone has pulled out a set of sheets that they say they may use someday, but never have," Leed says.
Contain With Consistency
"Most linen closets are simple shelves, overflowing and uncategorized with no containers or homes for anything—so everything gets stuffed in, topples over, and becomes a mess," Leed says. By adding baskets and bins, you'll be able to establish a home for each grouping: Linen storage bins are the expert's favorite for separating items by category. Conceal chaos and keep storage simple by using matching baskets.
Organize From Top to Bottom
Leed suggests keeping heavy, dark, or bulky items on lower shelves while putting bedding linens—those items with the most "slip"—on the middle shelves at eye level. Keeping your most-used linens on the middle shelves also makes it easier to take out specific items without toppling the stack over. If you happen to have larger, deep shelves, you can add shelf risers to maximize space and keep your arrangements in order.
Rely on Labels
Label bins, shelves, or linens themselves to hold yourself and your family members accountable. By making a designated space for each item, your household won't run into the trouble of not knowing where things are meant to go (even children). A professional label-maker is worth the investment, and it can be used for organization and decluttering throughout your home. This expert idea designates each bedding set by size with a simple safety pin and label to keep all-white linens from getting mixed up in the closet.
Learn the Art of Folding
Leed says the biggest mistake she sees when organizing closets is subpar or inconsistent folding. "If you learn it once, it becomes a habit," she says. "Folding with consistency keeps everything in check, and keeps slippery things like sheets and pillowcases from toppling over."
For towels, fold them to the size of your shelves with the fold on the outside facing you; this will ensure they stay plump and unwrinkled.
Start a Replacement Schedule
If you don't stick to a routine, you may end up with a cluttered space again. Leed personally replaces her towels as soon as they start to wear—just make sure not to keep the old ones. "It's not a terrible idea to set a reminder to replace things like pillows, towels, and linens every year or so, depending on use," she says. If it's hard to remember when it's time to check your closet, set a reminder in your calendar each year until it becomes a simple routine.
Go Vertical in Drawers
If your space has built-in drawers or you're utilizing storage containers to organize smaller closets, try arranging the items vertically. "Our homes can be vessels of inspiration or stagnation," says Leed, noting the benefits of organizing your space. When it comes to the linen closet, there's nothing more frustrating than pulling the bottom item from a stack only to unfold everything above it. Vertical folding eliminates the issue while making each item clearly visible for easy access.
Stock From Front to Back
In small spaces and apartments, linen closets often become the place for extra bottles of shampoo or conditioner, lotion, soap, and other miscellaneous items—especially if yours is located in the bathroom. To maximize storage space for the necessities, store these items from front to back when you have more than one of each. It's also helpful to place those less-used containers on lower shelving to keep your linens at eye level.
Organize by Room
When you're working with multiple bedrooms in the household, it's helpful to organize your linens by room. Store each family member's linens in a basket labeled by name, or dedicate one shelf per bedroom so each person knows where to find their sheets with ease. If some rooms share the same bedding, organize clean linens in individual bed stacks (fitted sheet, top sheet, pillowcases) to make grabbing a fresh set a breeze.
Opt for Clear Storage
Small items can make or break the functionality of a linen closet, but opting for clear storage is a simple solution. Closed-off bins are great for a sleek design when extra items are minimal, but glass or clear plastic containers make it simple to see where everything is. Don't forget the labels to find what you're looking for in no time.
Separate Pillowcases From Sheets
Every bed is different, just like the people who rest in them. By separating pillowcases from fitted sheets and top sheets, it's simple to pull out matching sets for various beds in your home. In this creative organization, the stylist used vertical drawer dividers to give each item in the bedding sets its own space.
When choosing bedding sets for your rooms, find patterns that complement each other (even when mix-and-matched) for easy styling that looks flawless in every room.
Organize by Bed Size
You may have multiple linens in your home that aren't necessarily dedicated to specific people, like guest bedrooms or children's rooms that share the same size of bedding. To keep things organized, separate bedding by size. Arrange king, queen, full, and twin sets in order on their own shelves or in bins, and reserve additional space for items like towels and extra blankets.
Make It Multi-Functional
If one linen closet has to be shared for multiple uses, get creative with bins and baskets to organize a multi-functional space. Most homes have more bedrooms and bathrooms than linen closets, so it's a common necessity to store more than just linens in this space. Arrange items by use to keep your shelving clean: Extra toilet paper or paper towels can share a shelf, while towels are easier to pull out when they're not placed next to small items that can be knocked over.
Your linen closet may not be a dedicated closet at all, but rather a built-in shelving unit located in the bathroom or mudroom. To declutter your space, use plenty of baskets, shelf dividers, and small bins for miscellaneous items. Keeping a uniform set of towels and bedding makes it easier to grab individual linens without clashing colors in mismatched sets.
Stack Between Shelf Dividers
If your closet has plenty of space but not enough various sections for organizing, invest in a few simple shelf dividers to act as cubbies on the shelves. This makes it a breeze to separate large towels from hand towels and other small items, along with creating dedicated areas for bedding and different types of linens. By using shelf dividers, each stack won't be at risk of toppling over when family members pull items from individual sections.