9 Simple Steps for a Perfectly Organized Linen Closet (on a Budget)


Do you have a linen closet?  Amazing!  This is the perfect space to store items that don’t have a set area in your home and of course linens.  Having said this, does your linen closet look like it’s about to bust open and throw everything out onto the floor?  You are not alone, but it doesn’t need to be this way!  

This space often gets misused but it has amazing potential for organizing many different items and still looking nice.  If you want to learn how to get your linen closet looking beautiful and organized, keep reading below!

Step 1: Take a before picture

This is a very important step that many people forget.  So, let me be the first to remind you to go take a few pictures right now before you touch anything! 

Without a picture, you will never have a true visual of how much the space has changed for the better and we deserve that satisfaction after putting hours of hard work into the space.

organizing your linen closet

Step 2: Take everything out of the linen closet

I normally would not recommend taking everything out of a space because it can very quickly become overwhelming and hard to manage.  However, since the linen closet is a small space, this would be a good time to remove everything so that you can see exactly what is in there. 

Is there anything that can immediately be thrown out or put into a donation box?  

Now, is there anything that should be stored somewhere else in the house?  That was put into the linen closet because well, that’s where everything goes that doesn’t have a set place in the house? 

For the time being, just put those items in a box to look through later.  Label the boxes so that you know what you want to go through later and what you have already determined can be donated (check out this post for quickly determining what to donate and how to tackle clutter spots).

Step 3: Measure the shelves

Ideally, after the steps above are done, you will only have blankets, sheets, pillowcases, towels, and maybe extra toilet paper or shampoo that you don’t have room for in your bathroom remaining to go back into the linen closet.

Next, measure how much space you have to work with. 

Measure the height between each of the shelves, measure from the back of the closet to the front and measure the space across one of the shelves.  This will give you a good idea of what size containers you will need to buy and how many you can fit on each shelf.  

How to measure the shelves

Step 4: Organizing inside the linen closet

If you have several different size beds in your home, it is worth purchasing a bin for each sheet size. 

If you have multiple sheet sets per size, I would recommend folding everything nicely and then putting the fitted sheet and top sheet inside the pillowcase for each matching set. 

Then when you want to use that particular sheet set, it can be easily pulled out of the linen closet and you will have everything you need!  Perfect!

You should only need a single bin to contain all of the guest towels.  If you have more than will fit in one bin, then you should try to donate some of them.  You don’t need 15 guest towels!  🙂  I have an extra bin for beach towels since they are fairly big and therefore take up more space.

I also have a bin for extra blankets that are not specifically for beds.  You should only need one bin dedicated to extra blankets.

Step 5: You have extra space!

Remember that the bottom of the linen closet is also usable space!  Measure the area from the bottom shelf to the floor to see how much space you have and then buy some containers for that space.  This is where extra items could go, such as shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, Kleenex boxes, etc….

Step 6: Let go of the guilt!

If you are having a hard time letting go of items because of who bought them for you or if somebody gave them to you because they no longer used them, let go of the guilt and donate! 

It is not worth the stress of having extra things in your house that you will never use just because you think it would upset somebody if you got rid of them.  Truthfully, the likelihood that this person ever even realizes that you donated their old stuff is very low. 

Unless they come over to your house and look through your linen closet.  Who does that?!? 

Any damaged towels or blankets do not have a place in your home.  You are so much better than that and deserve to have nice towels and sheets! 

If there are any linens that you are not ready to part with yet but that don’t get used often, buy some Ziploc Space Bags or something similar. There are different bag sizes available based on what you plan to put into them. 

To use the bags:

  • put the item(s) into the bag
  • then put your vacuum hose onto the hole at the top of the bag
  • turn the vacuum on and that will suck the air out of the bag

This will make the items more compact.  Don’t forget to seal the hole in the bag when you’re done!

These bags can then be stored at the very top of the linen closet one on top of the other.  I even used one for a large fluffy comforter and the bag quickly compressed it to a more manageable size and saved a TON of space.

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Step 7: Creating labels

Labels don’t have to take a lot of time to make or cost a lot of money.  You could:

Option 1: Purchase a cheap label maker.  Type out what can be found in the bin (eg. king-size sheet sets) and stick them right onto the bins.  

Option 2: Type labels on your computer and print them out, then cut out each label and cover them completely with a piece of packing tape.

* Packing tape is clear and wide, so it will cover the whole label to keep it flat and it will stick to most materials.  There are many free attractive printable labels online that can be downloaded if you don’t want to create your own.  

Option 3: You can purchase a cheap laminator for making your labels stronger. 

* Print out a sheet of labels (free printables available here in two colors and two extra sheets of blank labels), stick the full sheet of labels into a plastic sleeve (most laminators come with a few to try out), and then feed the plastic sleeve with the labels in it through the laminator. 

After the sheet has cooled down, you can then cut each label out and attach them to your bins.  Use tape, glue or ribbon (use a hole punch and then put the ribbon through the hole).  You can also purchase Velcro pieces to attach the label to the bin.  Velcro makes them easy to move around later if you want.

laminate labels

Any of the above options would look nice and last a long time. 

I do not recommend rolling up a piece of tape to stick to the back of a paper label.  While this is a quick option, it won’t last.  The edges will start to roll up to the point that you can longer read the labels and it will just look messy.  It’s worth investing a bit more time into making the labels more sturdy.

Step 8: Put it all away!

Now that you have your gorgeous bins and they have all been labeled, fold everything nicely and put it all in the designated bins. 

Once everything is in the bins, you can just pop them into the spots that you have already measured.  

Step 9: Take a step back and admire your work

Good work!  You are done and your organized linen closet looks amazing!  Remember to take a picture now that the work is done.  Compare your before and after pictures to see how much this space has improved and be proud of your accomplishment. 

Every step you take to make your space more organized will save you time.  Which will help you accomplish more each day.  Now that you know exactly what is in your linen closet, everything will be quick to put away!

My Linen Closet

The picture below is my linen closet!  It is a small space, but I was able to fit 6 decent-sized bins, plus I used a basket under the bottom shelf to store toilet paper and Kleenex and after using the Space Bags to store comforters, I fit everything in with some extra space to spare!

my organized linen closet

I used the South Shore Furniture Storit bins.  They are sturdy bins that are able to hold a couple of sets of sheets in each.  My bins had the design on the inside, but otherwise, the bins below are the same.  I love them!

Conclusion

A linen closet is easy to forget about when organizing your home.  This is because the contents are typically hidden behind a closed door where only you would see it.  Out of sight out of mind, right?  Wrong! 

A linen closet is a great space that can fit more than you realize.  If organized appropriately, it will not only be functional but will look pretty too!  Set aside one afternoon this week and follow the 9 steps above to get a beautiful and more usable space! 

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