Linen Closets

Linen closets are used for storing bedding, linens for kitchen and dining room (tablecloths, table runners, dinner napkins etc.), bath towels and toiletries. An organized linen closet will not only look nice, but will also simplify your life because you can see everything at a glance and retrieve what you need and put items back quickly.

Take everything out of the closet. Group items into categories like sheets, comforters, blankets, pillows, toiletries, tablecloths, table runners, dinner napkins and so on.

Adjust the height of your shelves if possible by moving them up or down to accommodate items. A height of 10 inches for sheets and table linens, 12 to 16 inches for towels, and 18 inches or more for bulky items is considered ideal. If you have fixed shelves in your linen closet, you can optimize the available space by using stackable baskets/boxes/totes.

The best way to organize the closets is to assign shelves for each category of items like towels, bedding, toiletries, kitchen/dining room linens and seasonal items.

Assign shelves according to usage of items. Put frequently used items in the middle shelves for easy access. Place seasonal and other seldom used items on higher shelves. Always store daily or often used items at eye level and in the front when keeping them in linen closets.

Assign a shelf, preferably a middle one, for towels since they are the most frequently used item in linen closets. Fold and stack bath and hand towels with the folded edge facing you. This will make it easier to pull one out without disturbing the rest of the stack. Use baskets/boxes/totes for washcloths because they are small and can easily topple over when stacked. If you use baskets to store hand towels as well, you can stack both baskets. You can store beach towels on the same shelf behind these baskets if space permits. And when you want to take the beach towels, just take the baskets out to get to the beach towels. Otherwise store them with other seasonal items. Shelf dividers will keep taller stacks tight and separate, especially towels.

Fold and put sheets (flat and fitted) and pillow cases for each bed inside one pillow case (from the same set) to keep all pieces of a bedding set together. You can store this in the plastic bags the sheets came in or other plastic bags. Label them by room or size (master bedroom or twin). If you have the same size bed in multiple rooms, then it will be better to label them by room. Stack the bags to optimize space. You can store seasonal sheets (like winter flannels and summer cottons) behind everyday sheets or with other seasonal items depending on space availability.

Put freshly laundered towels and linens on the bottom of the stack if you want even rotation for towels and linens. It will be much easier to take from the top of a stack than from the bottom.

Store bulky and rarely used items like blankets, comforters, quilts and pillows on the top shelf of the closet. To maximize space, store them in space saver bags. These reusable bags compress when the air inside is taken out using a vacuum cleaner. They are available in a variety of different sizes and shapes. Manufactures of these bags claim that they are airtight, watertight, mold, mildew, bug and odor proof. You can use the same shelf to store seasonal items like flannel/cotton sheets, beach towels and frequently used blankets (blankets used when watching TV/movies or for making play tents) if space permits.

Assign a shelf for toiletries. Group like items together (like soaps, shampoos and body lotions) and keep them in boxes or totes before putting them on the shelves. This will make it easier to find and access what you need and also see which items need to be re-stocked. Reuse baby wipes or similar containers to group soaps, perfumes, cosmetics etc.

Similarly, designate a shelf for tablecloths, table runners and dinner napkins. Keep holiday/seasonal ones on the bottom and everyday ones on top of the stack. Use boxes/totes to store dinner napkins so they won’t be lost among larger items.

You can use the bottom shelf of the closet (which is usually the floor) for hamper(s) or toilet paper and bath tissues.

Label the shelves and containers so that family members know what goes where.

Utilize the closet door especially when space is limited. Use an over the door organizer to store toiletries, over the counter medicines and first aid supplies (band-aid, saline solutions etc.). Use the top shelves of this organizer for medicines so that they are out of reach of small children.

If your closet is small, store tablecloths and dinner napkins in the kitchen or dining room and guest towels and sheets in the guest bedroom. Also consider limiting to three sets of sheets per bed and three sets of bath/hand towels and washcloths per person. Consider buying duvets instead of bulky comforters.

If you have linen closets both inside the bathroom and outside in the hallway, use the bathroom linen closet for bathroom necessities like towels, toiletries and bath tissue. Assign shelf for each category.

Organized linen closets will save you time and frustration. It is important that you maintain it.

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