Keep sets together and all your linens wrinkle-free with these tips.
folded linen napkins
Credit: Getty / Victoria Bee Photography

Linen napkins are making a comeback: You never have to worry about running out, and because you're not tossing them after each meal, you know you and your family are keeping more paper out of landfills. Here's the thing: If your napkin stash needs to be sizable enough to cover every meal, storage can become an issue. Fortunately, Kasey Moore, the CEO of Moore Organized, has some tips for keeping all your linens neat and orderly.

Sort and Separate

"When storing large quantities of napkins, I would suggest first organizing and separating them by fabric, style, and color," Moore says. "This way, it will be easier to find and grab the type you intend for." Lay all of your napkins out on a large flat surface, like your kitchen counter, and group them. This process will also let you know what you have and help you thin out any parts of your collection that you don't use, so you can dispose of napkins that have been damaged or stained over the years.

Fold and Store

According to Moore, linen napkins should be folded and stored in containers. "Each napkin should be folded to the shape of the container you're using," she says, "so there is no stuffing, wrinkling, or mess made when pulling them out." Her preferred method is to fold them into thirds and then stand them up, "filing cabinet style." This makes it easy to see your collection without moving them around or disrupting order. "Also, make sure they are being stored in a cool, dry area to avoid damaging the fabric," she notes.

Selection and Style

So, how many linen napkins should your stash have? This actually depends on how often you're using them. "If you love throwing parties and have enough room and storage for a large amount of different types and styles of napkins, amazing—the more options the better, in my opinion," Moore says. "But, if you aren't a frequent hostess, I believe three sets of good quality linens is the perfect amount."

Comments (1)

Martha Stewart Member
November 18, 2020
I love the idea of going back to a cloth napkin. From what I get from this article is at minimum we are to have three sets of different napkins. What is a set? 2,4,8,12? If there are only two in a family do they need three sets of 12?