Organizing Your Linen Closet

Space-saving strategies and inexpensive storage can help you "think outside the closet" when tackling linen closet organization.

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Organized Linen Closet

Put Items in Their Proper Place

As the mainstays of the linen closet, it's important to keep towels and bedsheets front and center. Kendall-Tackett recommends active storage: keeping your frequently used items accessible. That means storing seasonal or occasional items in the back or top of the closet, or in another place entirely, like the front hall closet. Things like beach towels should be stacked behind regularly used towels, or higher up with other less-used items. And bulky items like comforters, quilts and pillows that are for guests or that are rotated seasonally can be stored in vacuum-sealed storage bags called Space Bags. "Space Bags work wonders," says Peterson, "They're good for sealing [linens away] from moisture and bugs."

Towels
To get the most storage space for bulky towels, it's best to fold them in thirds lengthwise, then into a rectangle. Place on shelves at your eye level or below, so the edges face toward the back for a neat appearance. If your closet is on the smaller side, consider rolling your towels for extra space.

Sheets
A clever way to corral multiple sets of sheets is by storing them neatly in a matching pillowcase. "It's always a good idea, especially if you're a busy family, to have two sets of sheets for each bed," says Peterson. If you have lots of beds in different sizes, try buying different-colored sheets for each one so you don't mix them up. Then, stack sheets in collapsible linen storage containers like the ones from KangaRooM Storage. Their three sizes of canvas containers come with preprinted labels and fold flat when not in use.

Dining and Antique Linens

Things like tablecloths and antique linens should be hung on a non-wire hanger. Otherwise, fold them flat and stack them on a shelf lined with acid-free tissue paper. If you prefer to store your linens in baskets, be sure to find ones with a lining to prevent snags. Dinner napkins and table runners are best grouped together. If you don't use them that often, be sure to keep them on the sides or at the top of the closet, or in a storage space in your dining room.

Toiletries
When it comes to toiletries, having a well-stocked linen closet can be a tremendous timesaver, says Kendall-Tackett.

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