Linen Closet Organization Ideas That Take 5 Minutes or Less!

Linen Closet Organization Ideas That Take 5 Minutes or Less!

Is your linen closet overflowing? Try these quick tips to restore order.

By: Marisa Torrieri Bloom

My home was built in the 1950s, so we don’t have much closet space. Our tiny linen closet on the first floor has just five shelves, so it can be difficult to keep organized the multiple sheet sets, bath towels, and beach towels for four people. What’s more, I have to use a stepladder to reach the top shelf, where there is more space, to fit the bigger towels. And sometimes I just don’t feel like doing that! The result: Every couple of weeks my linen closet looks like a tornado swept through it.

Apparently, even small closets can stay orderly if you follow a few simple rules: putting like with like, folding correctly, and establishing a sense of order.

So you don’t have to wade through sheets and towels when you need clean ones in a snap, a few professional organizers share five of their best quick ideas -- things you can do in five minutes or less -- to get your linen closet organized:

1. Encase linens. If you have just a few minutes between loads of laundry, “refold linens and store in one of the linen set’s pillow cases,” suggests professional organizer Diane Dunne of Dunne Organizing in Derby, Connecticut. That way, you can just grab a set and make your bed in minutes instead of digging around for pillowcases and sheets separately. Another benefit of doing this: You can tell quickly if something’s missing from the grouping, adds professional organizer Amy Irwin of The Occasional Wife in Atlanta, Georgia.

2. Purge as you go. A nice-looking closet is one that’s free of gross, old towels. And it takes just a few minutes to do an inventory and yank out the ones that are tattered. “If something’s raggedy, toss it,” says Irwin. Dunne suggests donating old towels to a local animal shelter.

3 . File the stacks sideways. Stacking your linens horizontally rather than vertically also helps keep your linen closet organized, says personal organization blogger and 20-time mover Susan Santoro. Filing sheets and towels horizontally keeps them from toppling over and you can easily shift the stacks right or left without ruining the neat order.

4. Label your shelves. Set yourself up now to save time later by labeling shelves so that you know what goes where. “I love my label maker for all organizational projects,” says professional organizer and mom Barbara Reich, author of Secrets of an Organized Mom. “Using a label maker means everything is the same font and size so the labels are not the first thing you see in the closet.” If you don’t have a label maker, a masking tape and a sharpie is fine, she adds. “Having everything labeled will mean there’s no question about what goes where and what does not belong in that closet,” says Reich. “It puts responsibility on the entire household to put things back where they belong.”


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5. Put like items together. “I’ve seen a lot of linen closets and the majority of them contain random piles of linens and towels -- sometimes folded, sometimes not -- on the shelves, a bag of wires on the floor, maybe a broom and some cleaning supplies, and then three or four random things that have no business being in that closet,” says Reich. Putting like with like -- kids sheets with kids’ pillows, and beach towels with other beach towels, for example -- will show you what you have, making it easy for you and your family to find what you need. “It also shows you what you need to stock up on, when you're getting low and need to do laundry, and what you’ve been hiding in that closet that can probably be thrown out,” she adds.

What are your tips for keeping your linen closet in order?

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is a freelance writer and guitar teacher who lives with her husband and two young sons in Fairfield, Connecticut.

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