Today, I want to share with you my favorite tips and tricks for clutter free linen closets. Now is such a great time of year to start getting organized before vacations get into full swing, seasonal guests start to arrive, the littles go back to school, and before the holidays and the new year have a chance to sneak up on us too. As you well know, they will be here before we know it!
We’ve been trying to get back into a few of our routines, declutter our spaces and to simplify as many things as we can while we have the time. Sometimes, despite our best efforts though, we still find “hiccups” along the way.
And by “hiccups” I mean someone has crammed the towels into the shelves of the linen closet so tightly that as soon as you try to pull one towel out, the contents of the entire shelf spills onto the floor… or there are no washcloths…or the toothpaste is MIA…or it’s time to change the sheets on the bed and you can easily find a flat sheet but the fitted sheet is nowhere to be found.
Does that ever happen at your house?
Our Old Reality
I can relate to these “hiccups” because I used to live them. No playing, my linen closet used to look like this…for YEARS!
I know, right? It’s totally embarrassing but that was my reality. I’m sharing this with you because I know there is someone reading this post right now that wants to live a more organized life and just doesn’t know where to start.
The exciting thing is there’s hope. That messy picture? It was taken in 2014 when I got serious and completely decluttered and organized the linen closet. 4 years later it looked nearly the same…
While we’ve recently updated our linen closet a bit, I can truly say this system works! There are definitely a few tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way though that have helped up to keep the linen closet tidy over the years.
Here’s a look at how we do it…
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
As you’re organizing your linen closet really think about how the space can best serve your current needs. Decluttering is the unofficial Golden Rule of organizing so before you head to the store in search of pretty boxes, baskets and bins declutter the mess.
My best advice is to lay each item out by category and decide what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away. It goes without saying you’ll need to make sure your linen laundry is caught up so as your decluttering you can go through all the items at one time.
Keep Like Items Together
Once you’ve decided which items you’re going to keep, divide and separate towels, bedding, pillows, and blankets by placing them on different shelves in baskets, bins or boxes if you have room. If not, no worries, place all the towel sets together, all the bedding bundles together, all the blankets together…you get the idea…like items with like items.
Utilize Bedding Bundles
Utilizing bedding bundles means tucking the fitted sheet, flat sheet, pillowcases and even matching shams if you have them into a single bundle. I usually put each piece of the set into one of the pillowcases. That way, I know the entire bedding set will be together when I’m ready to change out the linens and put fresh linens on the bed.
After I have the bedding bundles put together, I place each bundle into a container so that each canvas box holds a complete sheet set. If you don’t have containers for each set though, don’t sweat it, just lay the bedding bundle on the shelf.
Label Your Baskets and Containers
I know might sound a bit repetitive but label your baskets, bins, boxes and containers even if the contents seem obvious. This will allow your family members or even guests to find things easier as well as to pitch in and help put items away.
We’ve used these paper tags made from sturdy card stock for years and they’ve worked well. We’ve ordered luggage tags similar to the tags we used in the pantry makeover for a budget friendly update. The luggage tags didn’t make it in time for this post but I’ll be sure to update all the pictures as soon as they arrive!
Leave Room in Your Linen Closet for Bulky Items
Most likely, you’ll have several items in your linen closet that won’t be able to fit in a basket or container. Be sure to leave room for bulky items like thicker winter blankets, quilts and extra pillows on shelves.
Recently, we transitioned our blankets to the baskets under the console table behind the couch. That way, it makes them easier to access during movie night or when we want to curl up and read a good book. This might be another option for you to consider as well.
Use a Variety of Containers in Complementary Colors to Avoid Visual Clutter
Items stored in the linen closet will come in many different shapes sizes. Similar to leaving room for bulky items, you will also need to leave room for items you have multiples of like toilet paper.
We recently also added another basket for seasonal fabrics. And two banker boxes for related sewing notions to the bottom of our linen closet as well. My new office will be just across the way and I wanted to make sure I can reach those items easily whenever I need them.
Maintain Your Linen Closet System
This is probably the hardest of all the tips to actually follow through on especially when life starts to get busy and linen closet items start piling up. The easiest way to keep your linen closets neat and tidy though is to continually make sure you’re not bringing home more items than you have room to accommodate.
If your baskets or containers are spilling over or are filled to the brim, you need to go through them again and eliminate the excess. When you find something you love and can’t live without donate the same amount of items you brought home. For example, 2 vintage pillowcases in means 2 vintage pillowcases out!
Taking the time to organize closets, drawers and cabinets can be overwhelming at first but it is absolutely worth the effort. You don’t have to organize it all at once! Just take it in chunks and knock out one drawer at a time, one shelf at a time, one container at a time until you get it all finished.
Cultivating an attitude of “a place for everything and everything in its place” makes it easier to…
- Find what you need when you need it
- Put items away
- Stop buying multiples of the things you already own
- Help to create a cozy, cluttered free environment in your home