21+ Smart Tips for Organizing Your Linen Closet

Imagine opening your linen closet and admiring the clean, organized shelves. With these helpful organization tips, you can.

Published December 8, 2022
Various household items such as pillows and quilts standing in the white cupboard.

If "open the door gently" is a common phrase used around your linen closet, it might need a little TLC. Because who wants a pile of pillows flying out at guests? No one. But with closets, it's hard to know where to start.

Organizing your linen closet is pretty easy if you take it one step at a time. Start from the ground up and then kick it up a notch with a few helpful tips and tricks of the trade.

How to Organize Your Linen Closet in Easy Steps

Take a simple step-by-step approach to get your linen closet tidy and keep it that way.

  1. Remove everything from the closet.
  2. As you remove items, sort into categorized piles. Toss any items you plan to purge in a donate box or garbage container.
  3. As you sort, make a shopping list of any linens you're short of or that need to be replaced.
  4. Once you've sorted everything, fold all linens and place in groupings that make sense to you, such as washcloths, guest towels, sheet sets, etc.
  5. Sort and group other items that live in your linen closet as well, such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, and paper products.
  6. Vacuum, wipe closet interior clean, and install any foundational elements like shelf paper, hooks, racks, or additional shelves.
  7. Put everything back in your closet.

Tips and Tricks for Organizing a Linen Closet

Of course, those are the basics for a good old linen closet cleaning, but you can use some of these easy tips to go the extra mile for an attractive linen closet that makes the most of the space you have while staying clean and organized all year long.

1. Use Color-Coded Containers

If you're tired of digging through baskets and bins, but you like how containers keep everything out of sight and organized in your linen closet, then buy color-coded containers. Whether it's plastic bins in complementary colors or wicker baskets with different colored lining or in different shades of wicker, you'll know at a glance where things are. Color-coded containers let you know what's there while hiding a multitude of linen closet sins.

2. Add Clear Tackle Boxes for Small Items

When you are looking for storage boxes for your linen remodel, venture into the sporting goods aisle. There's an array of clear plastic fishing tackle organizers that will work well for small items like extra soaps, makeup, hair products, first aid, cotton balls, cotton swabs, lip balm, etc. These boxes have a handle that folds against the lid, so they're stackable but also easy to grab and go if you need what's inside.

Cropped Hands Of Woman Putting Duvets In Shelf

3. Use Old Muffin Tins to Organize Hair Products

Don't throw away old muffin tins. You can repurpose them in your linen closet. Line the bottom of your baskets with a muffin tin or two. Use them to sort ponytail holders, bobby pins, barrettes, etc. They work great to keep everything in their own separate compartment, and if you're recycling yours, they won't cost you a dime. If you don't have any to recycle, you can probably find some at the thrift store for super cheap.

Old muffin pans also work for holding soap containers you need to flip upside down. The product is at the bottom, and no spills will happen in your closet.

4. Add Hooks

Put S hooks on the front-bottom of wire shelves or screw in hooks to the walls or door to hang oddly shaped towels like kids' character towels. Hang a reusable grocery bag or tote from a hook as a grab and go bag or caddy. Create a shower time grab and go caddy for each one of your family members with shampoo, face wash, body soap, etc. Then, you won't have them lying around in the bathroom or taking up space on the shelf. You can also house grab and go travel toiletry bags here.

5. Use a Spinning Desk Organizer for Toiletries

It's hard to find shampoos and deodorants when you have multiple people in your house that use different items. Plus, drawers can easily get cluttered. Grab a spinning desk organizer out of your office. These don't take up much space, and everyone can easily spin it to find what they need. It's like your linen closet version of a lazy Susan.

6. Line Wire Shelves With Cardboard and Contact Paper

Line wire shelves with a large piece of cardboard you've covered with contact paper to make a shelf cover so items won't fall through holes. That way, you won't have anything slip through to the floor.

7. Fold Towels Properly

You might not think much of folding your bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths. However, simple folding techniques can make your linen closet look sleek.

  1. Fold bath towels in half lengthwise.
  2. Start at one end and fold the towel three times.
  3. Stack all the towels, so all the folds and seams are the same way.
  4. Fold your washcloths and hand towels in half.
  5. Roll them.
  6. Place them neatly in a basket or on a shelf.

8. Store Sheets in a Pillowcase

Fitted sheets can be a nightmare to fold. Guess what? You don't have to be great at it. Find all the sheets and pillowcases that go with one sheet set. Fold everything and put it in one of the pillowcases. Voila! You have a set all together, and it looks tidy.

9. Roll Comforters and Bulky Bedding

Bulky bedding can take up a lot of space. To store it neatly in your linen closet, fold into thirds lengthwise and roll tightly. Tie with a ribbon to keep it rolled and store it neatly on a shelf.

10. Use Standing Wire Shelves or Under Wire Bins

Standing stackable wire shelves and under wire bins can help break up the space and use every available inch at your disposal. For example, you might roll and store washcloths in an under-shelf wire bin and put toiletries in containers on the wire shelf. This is great for those small linen closets where you need to make use of every available inch.

11. Use Stackable Plastic Drawers

Plastic drawers are so helpful in your linen closet. The drawer is often a bit see through to allow you to see what's in them. You can also stack things on top of them. For example, you can stack drawers to make the best use of shelf space. You can also put your lift-top see-through containers on top of drawers. Therefore, you can pull open the drawer to grab a washcloth and flip open the top of the container to grab your acne cream at the same time.

12. Use Shelf Dividers

There is nothing more frustrating than folding all your washcloths, stacking them neatly, and having them all fall over. Avoid this by adding shelf dividers. Shelf dividers allow you to use one shelf for towels, hand towels, and washcloths. Shelf dividers also ensure your towels aren't falling into your basket of toiletries.

13. Keep Cleaning Supplies in an Easy-to-Carry Caddy

Cleaning items in basket

You don't ever grab just one cleaning product. You typically need them all if you are cleaning the bathroom or bedroom. So, putting all your cleaning products in an easy-to-grab caddy makes your life easier. Grab it and go!

14. Use Large Bins to Store Bulk Unopened Items

Bulk toilet paper or soap just makes sense, especially if you find a mega deal. But trying to establish where to put it all isn't the easiest. Big baskets help here. Throw all your unopened bulk items in a large basket at the bottom of your linen closet. Then you can rotate them in as you run out of stuff.

15. Use Priority Placement

You use things in your linen closet daily - towels, washcloths, soaps, toilet paper, etc. Those things that you or your family are constantly reaching for should get priority placement. Put them on the closet shelf at eye level. That way, everyone can easily find what they need when they need it, especially for those everyday items.

Store the things you don't need, like seasonal comforters and beach towels, at the bottom or top of your linen closet. Don't let them take up the essential spaces.

16. Make the Most of the Back-of-Door Space

The back of the linen closet door is valuable real estate. Grab a back-of-the-door shoe rack organizer, wire shelves, or some over-the-door hangers. Use that space to add essentials you might not have any room for, like irons, ironing boards, toilet paper rolls, soaps, shampoo, etc.

Towels can take up a lot of space, especially if you want them to look neat and tidy. Save yourself some space by putting an over-the-door towel rack on the back of the door. You can simply roll your towels and pop them in.

17. Label Everything

Cropped Hands Of Woman Putting Stickers On Sheet Container

There's something so satisfying about using a label maker, so now is your moment to bust it out. Add labels to any containers that need them. Everyone will know where to put things and find them, and you'll save yourself a lot of headache later.

18. Use Plastic Bins for Liquids

If you keep things like shampoo or cosmetics in your linen closet, plastic bins are a lifesaver. If you've ever had a container malfunction in storage, you know what I'm talking about. Cleanup is not fun. Save yourself a lot of hassle by storing anything liquid in a metal or plastic bin. That way, if you have a top that's not tight or a leaker, you just rinse it out and move on.

19. Keep Pillows Vertical

Extra pillows can take up a lot of space in your linen closet. Storing them vertically on the top shelf can give you a little more bang for your buck. And if you have several pillows, you can even stack them vertically.

20. Add Fragrance

Scented sachet with aroma beads and dried lavender

Worried about that musty smell that can sometimes gather in your linen closet? Add a few scent beads in a glass jar for freshness. Open the door and smell that fresh linen smell!

21. Make It Pretty

You decorate the rest of your house, so why not your linen closet? Add a few little fun decorations like a picture or flowers. These add pizzazz and give everything a homey feel.

More Tips to Keep Your Linen Closet Organized

Linen closet organization isn't a once-a-year thing. It takes constant vigilance for your closet not to turn into a raging monster spitting stuff at you every time you open the door. So, reevaluate your organizational tactic, especially if something isn't working. Try out a few other tips to keep everything running smoothly.

  • Declutter often.
  • Clue the rest of the family in to your organizational system and ask that they help you keep it up.
  • Use top or bottom shelves for seasonal items, like beach towels.
  • Limit groups to twos and threes to make them visually appealing.
  • Be mindful of your color palette.
  • Leave space for things to breathe so nothing smells musty.

Ideas to Organize Your Linen Closet and Keep It That Way

Are you afraid to open your closets? They can get overwhelming pretty fast. Stop worrying about dodging falling pillows by trying a few linen closet organization hacks. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to organize.

21+ Smart Tips for Organizing Your Linen Closet