How to Keep Matching Sheets Together in the Closet
A new set of sheets is perfection straight out of the packaging—the way they're wrapped, wrinkle-free, around the cardboard to form a perfect rectangle is something most people will agree is hard to top. But after a few washes—and maybe some less-than-perfect folding of the dreaded fitted sheet—that previously perfect set of sheets can turn into one big jumble of fabric. Multiply that by a house-full of beds, and it's easy to understand how a linen closet can become one big mess. That's why it's so important to adopt a method for keeping sheet sets together. As it turns out, there's no one single best way to do this; instead, you should figure out that method that works best for your organizing style, who else will be accessing the sheets, and your closet configuration. Before you do anything else, pare your linen collection down to the essentials. "The biggest challenge to keeping matching sheets together is having more sheets than you need," says Kelley Jonkoff, a certified KonMari consultant in Raleigh, N.C. "When there are more options to sift through, especially if they are similar to other sets, they more easily get mixed together and reach disarray." A good rule of thumb is to have two sets of sheets per bed.
Once you know what you're working with, designate which sheet sets will go where. Categorize your linens in a way that makes the most sense for you—by size or by room, for example—and, especially if more than one person will be handling the sheets, label where each set should live. "If many hands are reaching into that closet to put sheets away or pull them out to use, labeling eliminates the guessing game of where to place them and which ones to use," says Cary Prince, a certified professional organizer in Los Angeles. Beyond labeling, the best way to store your matching sheet sets will depend on what kind of space you have available. Linen closets are typically filled with shallow shelves, but a closet with a rod can work, too. However you choose to physically store them, it's essential that you come up with a system, says Jonkoff. "It's much nicer to interact with your linen closet if you're not feeling exasperated every time you open the linen closet door," she says. Here are five pro-approved ways to keep matching sheet sets together in a linen closet.
Fold Matching Sheet Sets Inside a Pillowcase
For a neat-and-tidy look, fold your fitted sheet, flat sheet, and one pillowcase into a rectangle. Then, tuck the entire bundle inside the other pillowcase so everything is flush with the opening. Fold any extra fabric in to make a rectangle. Stack these bundles according to size (twin, full, queen, and king) or by the room you use the sheets in (master bedroom, kids' bedroom, and guest bedroom). The pillowcases will hold the set together and keep from sliding around. "This method keeps sheet sets together, makes it easy for whoever is putting the sheets away, and is a breeze for the person who is taking them out to make a bed," says Prince. "And, for aesthetic purposes, the closet immediately looks more organized and manageable." If you have lots of sheets, consider adding shelf dividers to keep the stacks straight.
Fold Matching Sheet Sets Inside a Pillowcase, 2.0
Here's a riff on folding matching sheet sets inside a pillow cover: Knot the edges of the pillowcase to create little bundles that can be stored upright. Popularized by lifestyle blogger Jessica Bruno of Four Generations One Roof, this version is a little less precise on the folding front, but it's still a handy way to keep everything together. "Tying them is cute and functional—especially for kids—as it's easy to grab and carry the bundles," says Bruno. "The knot acts as a great handle!"
Store Matching Sheet Sets Inside Bins
Storing sheets in baskets or bins, organized by size or by room, is another easy solution. "Baskets and bins are great, because they contain well and you can take them out to see the contents," says Jonkoff, who says that they are especially nice for closets with high shelves. Within the bin, you have options: Jonkoff prefers the KonMari style of folding linens, so they can be "filed" vertically inside the bin, but Prince notes that bins can also be a good workaround for folks who don't like to fold, since the sets will stay contained inside ("Drop that set into the basket and voilà: you're done!"). For silk or satin sheets, it may be easier to roll than fold them; store them on their ends inside a bin. Prince recommends canvas bins or wire baskets, as sheets can get snagged on a natural-weave basket.
Hang Matching Sheets Sets from Hangers
Sturdy hangers can hold a set of sheets each—and that cuts down on folding time, too. "This is also a good solution if the place where you'd store them is hard to reach, like the high shelf in a closet," says Prince. One caveat: Jonkoff warns that hanging sheets can get dusty if they are not rotated often, so if you don't switch out these sheets often (say, in a guest room), consider enclosing them in a hanging storage bag.
Use a Hanging Organizer to Store Matching Sheet Sets
Another solution for a closet with a rod: Storing sheets in a large hanging organizer. Often marketed for bulky items like sweaters, each cloth shelf in a hanging organizer can hold one to two sheet sets, and the cubbies keep them contained. Use this when you want to create a shelf-style system when you don't have shelving.