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Weekend Project: Organize Your Linen Closet

tidy linen closet with white towels
Terekhov Igor/Shutterstock

The linen closet in most homes stores more than linens alone. It’s the place where all sorts of bathroom necessities are stored when not in use, as well as a place for extra bed linens and pillows for guests. Here’s how to keep it tidy.

An unorganized linen closet is usually not only messy but overstuffed too. You open the door to grab a new bottle of shampoo, and it’s nowhere to be found, buried in the cluttered cupboard. The washcloths are lost somewhere behind the bath towels. Make it easier to find what you need without riggling through stuff with this weekend project.

Purge Your Linen Closet

The first step in organizing your linen closet is to pull everything out of there. Make sure you have room to put all of the stuff on a bathroom counter or a swept and clean floor-space. Don’t worry right now about keeping your towels folded or sorting items. The only task here is to end up with an empty linen closet.

Once everything is out of there, do a quick clean of the shelves. This will get rid of dust and residue, leaving a clean starting space for moving everything back into the cupboard. If your shelves aren’t lined, now’s a good time to do that.

Sort and Organize

Sort items by what they are, keeping things used in the bathtub together and things used over the sink together. Sort bed linens into sets, and then put the sets inside the matching pillowcases (this saves space and makes changing sheets easier).

Keep towels of one type together, and fold them in a way that best fits the space you have for them. As you’re organizing everything in this manner, get rid of stuff that you no longer use. Throw away (or recycle) used items and donate new items you no longer need. If you keep medications and supplements in your linen closet, properly dispose of anything that’s expired.

Assign a Shelf to Each Person in the House

Unless you live alone, everyone needs some space in the linen closet when it’s used to house bathroom must-haves. If you have roommates, rather than immediate family members, in your home, you may need different shelves for everyone’s bedding and towels as well.

Designate a shelf to each person, lower shelves for children. Of course, if you already have separate shelves, this weekend project may take less time to complete since you’ll be sorting your stuff and leaving your roommates items as-is.

Utilize Bins and Baskets

white towels rolled up in a basket
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As you’re getting ready to put everything back in the linen closet, use some bins and baskets to organize everything better. Towels folded and placed in containers are less likely to flop over and get mixed in with other items in the cupboard.

Bins and baskets are great for bathroom items as well. If you can’t readily see what’s in a bin, label them so that you know what’s what.

Keep Most-Used Items in Easy Reach

Put overstock items in the back. Keep things you use most toward the front of the shelves for easy access. If you don’t have separate shelving for household members, keep overstock on the highest shelf.

Final Tip: Free Up Some Linen Closet Space

If your linen cupboard is feeling cramped, consider keeping some of the stuff in alternate areas. It’s better to keep medications in a cupboard outside of the bathroom, rather than in the medicine cabinet. Once you liberate your medicine cabinet from pill-storage duty, you can place things more efficiently.

Use that empty medicine cabinet to keep items you use at the mirror; including hairstyling stuff, extra toothpaste and dental supplies, makeup, and facial care items.

If you have closet space in bedrooms, keep sheets and blankets for each room on the shelf in the closet. This is especially useful for storing the linens for guest rooms and children’s rooms as the linens stay with the bed they are used on.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »

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