Organizing the Linen Closet

Get tips on how to keep your linen closet organized.

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7. Make bedding bundles.
If you use sheets in sets, store them that way, in a "bedding bundle." Fold both sheets, and all but one pillowcase. Tuck the folded linens inside the remaining pillowcase and fold the "case" down around the linens into a tidy packet.

8. Use the shelf system.
Sorting through different-sized bed sheets can be an exercise in frustration - just ask any parent who has had to change a sick child's bedding in the middle of the night. If space permits, store sheets on different shelves in the linen closet, or label closet shelves with sheet sizes.

9. Introduce a family color strategy.
Make it easy to get the right sheets on the right beds by designating a color, pattern, or style of sheet for each size of bed: plain white sheets for the infant crib, patterned sheets for children's beds and solid colors for the parental double bed. That way, you will know at a glance which sheet belongs to which bed.

10. Make bath bundles.
For easy storage and instant access, make bath bundles: sets each containing a bath towel, hand towel and washcloth. Place the folded hand towel and washcloth in the center of the folded bath towel, and roll the three towels together from the short end. Store the rolled bath bundles on their side in the closet, stacking them as needed.

Housework Hacks: Folding Linen
The word "shambles" must have been invented to describe linen shelves after a late-night rummage for a warmer blanket. Carelessly folded linens invite the risk of an avalanche; they tumble and fall to the floor at the slightest provocation. Keep stored linens easy to find and easy to store with proper folding techniques. Think of it this way: better to fold the linens right just once, than to refold them poorly once each time you visit the shelf for a fresh towel.
  • Flat sheets. Fold in half lengthwise, quarter them, and then fold in half again. Depending on the size of the sheet, flip the remaining rectangle into halves or thirds to make a smooth fabric packet.
  • Pillowcases. These look prettiest (and sleep best) when you avoid creating sharp center creases as you fold. To fold, grab the pillowcase by the top corners and shake it smooth. Fold in half lengthwise, then in half again. You'll have a long, slender strip of pillowcase; fold gently in half, then in quarters to store.
  • Hand towels and washcloths. Folding in quarters makes sense for hand towels and washcloths, as they're used more often-and more quickly-throughout the day. To fold a hand towel, hold the two upper corners of the towel's short side in your hands. Bring your hands together, being sure the right side of the towel is on the outside of the fold. Tuck the folded edge between chin and chest as you grasp the towel halfway down the length. Drop the top half over the bottom. Hang the towel or washcloth, or set aside for the linen closet.

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Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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