How to Organize Your Linen Closet, According to the Experts

Streamlining this space will make it easier to access bed sheets, bath towels, and more.

Your linen closet is a powerhouse—it holds spare bed sheets, extra towels, and even beauty supplies we don't have room for in the bathroom or bedroom. But being a storage facility for all of these everyday items means the space can quickly become unorganized. Rather than trying to maneuver your textiles into an already bursting space, opt for a total closet clean-out instead. Start by decluttering—then find a linen closet organization system that works for you.

organized mocha brown wooden entryway
Courtesy of California Closet

Take Everything Out of Your Closet

As your linen closet fills up, it's common for stray pillowcases and hand towels to get shoved into smaller nooks and crannies. For this reason, it's helpful to take everything out before trying to organize. "I always remove everything from the closet," says Malaika Lubega, professional organizer, interior decorator, and owner of Huza Home Harmony. "This step will allow you to access and assess all of the items in the closet including what has inevitably been hiding in the back."

Downsize Your Linen Collection

Though you may still love those sheets you got during a sale five years ago, hanging onto them isn't doing you—or your linen closet—any favors. "Don't hold on to old linens that you don't use," Almester says. "Sheets should be replaced every two to three years so it's a great time to go through what you have and donate what you're not using," says Missy Almester of California Closets. The same goes for towels: If they're threadbare or you've recently upgraded to plusher options, it's time to toss the extras.

Throw Away Old Beauty Products

Linen closets are also a hub for excess beauty items, like makeup, hairspray, and bath products. In the spirit of decluttering, you should also try to part with some of these items, too. Remove all items from your closet, toss what is expired, and donate things that no longer fit into your beauty routine.

Keep Like With Like

Now that you've decluttered, it's time to put everything back into your closet. First, start by organizing your items into sections. "Keep your linen collections together so they're easy to find," Almester says. "Fold the pillow cases and store them inside your flat sheet, and then fold your fitted sheet and fold it around the flat sheet and pillow cases." Additionally, bath towels and hand towels should be kept together as their own subsection of your linen closet.

Roll Your Towels

Roll—don't fold—washcloths and hand towels and store them in a basket to keep them contained. "These stay much neater over time as items are removed and tend to not stack as stably," Lubega says. Larger towels should also be rolled to converse space, but they don't need to be placed into baskets since they have more structure than smaller linens.

Store Beauty Items in Baskets

If you keep a shelf in your linen closet open for beauty products, you know how unruly these products can become if they aren't contained. "I allow space for back-stock items—extra toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, hair, nail, and other beauty products," says Lubega. Keep these items organized by storing them in separate containers. You can keep one for makeup, one for hot tools, one for bath products, and so on.

Store Ironing Board Vertically

Tucking away an ironing board is a surprisingly tricky task, but your best bet is to think vertically. "When storing an ironing board, create a vertical storage area inside the linen closet so you can fold it up to store nicely," Almester says. "If we're in a space crunch and an ironing board is a necessity, opt for a pull-out style. It takes up 2 inches of horizontal space and does a 360-degree swivel so you can iron in any direction."

Use Labels

Your new system should be designed to limit rummaging, which will ruin your neatly organized closet. To ensure this, use labels so you know exactly where to find what you're looking for. "I will generally label all the bins, containers, and sections so that overtime, regardless of who is restocking the linen closets, items land back in the intended place based on the initial system established," Lubega says.

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