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Tidy Up a Linen Closet

Organizing Good Things 2005, October 2005

Bed linens shelved by type -- fitted sheets stacked next to pillowcases -- quickly become disordered when you try to retrieve them to put together matching sets. Try this method instead: Slip each set into one of its pillowcases, and store the sets by size -- twin, full, and so on -- with colors, trim, or other defining details clearly visible.

Comments (59)

  • caroljan 3 Feb, 2011

    How do you fold a king-sized sheet set to fit in a pillow case?

  • everettsmom 25 Jan, 2009

    What an awesome idea! How do I not think of these simple solutions on my own?!

  • dmcbean 14 Jan, 2009

    This is the best idea. I have been trying for years to figure out how to keep all matching items to gether.

  • aing 14 Jan, 2009

    My own sister in law needed to change the crib sheet at Christmas and she exclaimed out loud when she saw the stacked sheets all folded to the same size in the linen closet. I was pleased that finally someone appreciated what I had been doing as a matter of course for years, unappreciated by my household of boys.

  • itsmissmia 14 Jan, 2009

    What a great idea! I'm going to do this right now. Thanks Martha!

  • fabianastolf 14 Jan, 2009

    I loved this idea...

  • citypixie 14 Jan, 2009

    When friends offer us use of a beach house, country house, apartment I always launder the linens we use. I love leaving the the clean linens in this fashion so that the host can easily re-make the bed/s for the next guest.

  • honeypot13 14 Jan, 2009

    wow.....this is a great idea! I am constantly re-stacking sheets that fall over when I go in to get something else. I love this!!!!! You're right FouFolle, I don't think you'll get a duvet cover in there, too.

  • FouFolle 14 Jan, 2009

    Do people manage to get a duvet cover, sheet and a pillow case all into one pillow case? I can't imagine how it would all fit!

  • cathrynmb 13 Jan, 2009

    This is indeed a great idea, however I like mixing up my sheet sets (all solid sherbet colors) - different colours for each: bottom sheet, top sheet, both pillows. It's like sleeping in a rainbow! ha,ha Also this way hubby and I can tell whose pillow is whose...

  • Marycassells 13 Jan, 2009

    I'm thinking of clearing out my linen cupboard so I can make a book shelf. We don't entertain that much and we have a lot of books. I will send the extra tablecloths and sheets to the Canadian Diabetes association.

  • motherpug 13 Jan, 2009

    I simply fold both sheets

  • bbuubbles 13 Jan, 2009

    I am going to try this but I have a few sets of flannel sheets in Queen size. Im not so sure a standard pillow case can hold the bulk. I may have to put top sheet in 1 case and bottom in the other. will see.

  • tess_of_st_paul 13 Jan, 2009

    I think this is a great idea, but I like mine better. -- I have one set of sheets for each bed. It gets washed, dried and put back on the bed right away. No folding or storage required.

  • pampatfish 13 Jan, 2009

    I first saw this on Martha's show years ago. I immediately organized my small linen closet this way and it is so much easier to find sheets ahd the correct amount of pillowcases for each bed right away!! One of the best tips ever besides the hydrangea one, I believe. I was surpursed it did not make her best tip list in one of the magazines.

  • ann3angels 13 Jan, 2009

    I started doing the set-in-case trick when I first saw it on Martha years ago. It is one of those things that every time I do it - I just feel so smart and organized. Now if I could just get those fitted sheets folded properly. I've seen that trick too, but I think my arms are too short.

  • TexasCarol 13 Jan, 2009

    I've been doing this for years and it does help. Just went and viewed the youtube on folding fitted sheets that Carolekam recommended and it's really helpful.

  • CRK9 13 Jan, 2009

    To learn how to fold fitted sheets neatly go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHTyH2nuFAw. They have a great video showing you exactly how to do it.

  • SMILETU 18 Oct, 2008

    I plan on trying this helpful hint using the pillow case to store a sheet set in. thanks
    Now I just wish I had a bigger linen closet for all the other pieces that are bulk.

  • Sherry2 9 Sep, 2008

    This is a very good tip which i have been practicing for years. In addition, I roll my towels as it is much easier to get to than pulling something for instance from the bottom of the pile. Also this method is a great space saver. Try putting a sachet of bath salts or potpurri, mild scent in the closet as well.

  • zinnia11 6 Sep, 2008

    In our family, the thing that works really well is the threat of not being able to attend the annual seafood festival. I have found that putting a little pressure on the parents and children manages to put the appropriate message onto the offending party.

  • zinnia11 6 Sep, 2008

    We have an old family tradition in our household that I hold dear to my heart. At the age of two for girls and three for boys, we require our children to start taking responsibility for their bedding. If the child is potty trained (and in our family, 11/2-2 years old is the norm) we require that the child learn how to make their bed properly,

  • dlc1968 6 Sep, 2008

    Completely awesome!! Would have never thought about this! What a quick way to make sense of this space!

  • pkildow 6 Sep, 2008

    At this point I lay it down, fold in the folded side on the left squaring and smoothing as necessary. To fit into half a pillow case, I fold the right side in just to meet the bulk on the left then fold the right again to meet the left side. Now fold the bottom up and the top down into thirds. After you do this once or twice, it is a lot easier than it sounds and does make fitted sheets amazingly close to flat for stacking.

  • pkildow 6 Sep, 2008

    over the top of the second corner (placement of this corner makes it right side out). Now you have three corners on your left hand. Bring the last corner which is hanging below up near your body and repostion your left hand into it placing the other three corners over it. You now have all four corners on your left hand. With your right hand, grasp the folded ends to the right and fold down what would be the sides of the sheet.

  • pkildow 6 Sep, 2008

    To tamarahavas, Martha hs a great way to fold fitted sheets that Ihave been using for several years every since I saw it in MSL. I don't have time to look for it now but I'm sure it is on her website, maybe someone else knows where. Basically you hold the sheet up with an end across the top and a hand in each of the corners, bring the corner on the right hand overtop of the corner on the left hand (this makes the top corner inside out) bring the corner hanging below on the outsied up and

  • djacquelynb 6 Sep, 2008

    Terriffic! Twice I have caught my teenage son with my "better" thread count double sheets on his twin bed! Argh! When asking him why, he feigned "how was I supposed to know?" I can hardly blame him, but this idea will help me keep the linens together and I will be able to show him exactly where he can find his twin bed sheets. Thanks alot!

  • culinarymom_marthastewart_com 6 Sep, 2008

    Thank you very much. My linen closet is a disaster. Now my maids will have an easy time matching my sheets and pillow cases together.

  • kabc401 5 Sep, 2008

    I must be ahead of my time. I have been doing this since my kids were little. It is a very good way to store. One thing I do is turn the storing pillowcase inside out so if it should happen to get soiled, when you put them on your pillow the right side will be clean. My friends thought I was crazy when I told them about this years ago, until they tried itl.

  • kabc401 5 Sep, 2008

    This is very helpful. I must be ahead of my time, I have been doing this for years!
    My friends all thought I was crazy until they tried it.

  • purr1358 5 Sep, 2008

    WOW! Fantastic idea....wish I had known this a long time ago!

  • DAMASA 5 Sep, 2008

    I Think this is a TERRIFIC IDEA !!!!! :)

  • lbuser 5 Sep, 2008

    This is a great idea. My linen closet has stacks of sheets and towels all tumbled into each other. This will really help. Now, if you could only come up with a tip for the towels that is equally wonderful.

  • Aimeetta 5 Sep, 2008

    I've tried to do this before and I just can't get the "package" to lie as flat as the ones in the picture. OCD yes, but it just looks better not as a lump too. i guess I will have to experiment with getting the folded sheets about the same width as the pillow case

  • dexterdoll 5 Sep, 2008

    We're getting ready to sell our home... this will look great to buyers !

  • SCoulson 5 Sep, 2008

    Pure genious!

  • tamarahavas 5 Sep, 2008

    Great idea, but how do you fold the fitted sheet so it fits inside the pillowcase without looking like a lumpy mess>?

  • lkaleher 5 Sep, 2008

    Great idea! With 4 kids and a husband always "pulling apart" what orgainization I do try and keep with the linnes, this may help solve some of the disorder!

  • Barbara_Beers 5 Sep, 2008

    Brilliant! I am going right to the linen closet to re-organize! Thank you.

  • Barbara_Beers 5 Sep, 2008

    Brilliant! I am going right to the linen closet to re-organize! Thank you.

  • BiancaHorkan 5 Sep, 2008

    This will really come in handy with my extra deep closet. I hope I can remember to do this when I get home. Thanks for the tip! -Bianca in Waterford, MI

  • MLuiken 5 Sep, 2008

    I love this idea. I have wondered why I couldn't think of a good way to sort and store bedding - thanks for solving this for me.

  • mastar19810 5 Sep, 2008

    Love this idea. Gonna organize the closet this weekend. Thanks.

  • modmate 5 Sep, 2008

    I love this idea! Thanks

  • modmate 5 Sep, 2008

    I love this idea! Thanks

  • petlover123 5 Sep, 2008

    That is a marvelous idea - and so simple. Makes you wonder why you didn't think if it yourself

  • terivanhecke 5 Sep, 2008

    I had read this once before and tried it w/ teenage sons - didn't "go over" well. But, they did appreciate it when I stacked the sheets, with the pillow cases sandwiched between fitted and flat. That way the pillow cases stayed with the sets and didn't fall on the floor of the closet "never to be seen again"!

  • Alabaxter 5 Sep, 2008

    Really useful would be a video showing how to fold fitted sheets so they lay flat in under 2 minutes.

  • cdneh9 5 Sep, 2008

    That is the best hint for keeping linen neat I have heard in a long time. I always hated that my sheets were not looking to great in my linen closet. Thanks

  • koolmomof6 5 Sep, 2008

    OMG! that's briliant! and so simple to do! thank

  • Anna_Marie 5 Sep, 2008

    This is such a simple thing to do, but such a GREAT idea! I love it!

  • Kmartha 5 Sep, 2008

    Ok this is one of those ideas that is so great and so simple I am irritated that I didn't think of it! THANK YOU

  • LMDC 5 Sep, 2008

    geez- what a great simple idea! duh! ;o)

  • mpegm 5 Sep, 2008

    This seems so intuitive onc you read th tip, but wow! HOw many years have I gone without it - not anymore!!

  • merrysage 5 Sep, 2008

    Practical and easy. I don't know who thought of this, but thanks!

  • dibird70 5 Sep, 2008

    What an absolutely great idea. My linen closet seems to explode when I open the door. Thanks!

  • dmmier 5 Sep, 2008

    This is the most fantastic idea and my closet is no longer a mess of piles!

  • kann3140 5 Sep, 2008

    Now, that's an organizing tool that I really LOVE! I already sort by size and have everything together. But, this will make my shelves look so much more 'organized'. Thanks!

  • atakashima01 5 Sep, 2008

    What a great ideal! This is great especially if you have Twin, Double and Queen sheets
    Annette