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Linen Closet Ideas: Tips and Tricks for Smart Organization

by Household Essentials • July 31, 2019
If you’re looking for some linen closet ideas to keep your space neat and organized, then look no further. The linen closet is an important storage space in any home, but it can quickly turn into a disastrous catch-all for anything that needs to be shoved into an available closet. Here are a few tips for organizing your linen closet and helping it stay that way.
Declutter non-essential or unused linens/items
One of the most essential tasks when organizing any space is to declutter. If it’s been a while since your last purge, chances are you’ve accumulated some towels, linens or other items that you don’t use quite as often as you’d like to think. Maybe you bought a new set of towels and haven’t gotten around to ridding yourself of the old set, or maybe you’re holding on to some specialty items that you keep around “just in case.” Do you actually use your St. Patrick’s Day table runner, or should you just part with it? Be honest with yourself about what your home needs and what you truly want to prioritize in your space.
Clean and line your shelves
A crucial part of decluttering and organizing is making sure you’re putting items back into a clean space. After all, what’s the point of putting clean linens into a dirty closet? Give your shelves and the nooks and crannies of your closet a good wipe down, dusting or vacuuming before proceeding.
After you’ve cleaned the shelves and closet, lining your shelves (if they aren’t already lined) is the next important step. Certain kinds of wood and melamine shelving can discolor or fade linens over time, and rougher spots on unfinished shelves can sometimes cause snags and other wear on delicate items. Solve this problem by covering your shelves with a liner. A liner creates a protective barrier between items and the shelf material. Shelf liners come in a variety of styles, colors and patterns, so you’re bound to find one that fits your linen closet. Some liners even have added benefits, like liners made of aromatic cedar that not only protect your linens (and won’t stain like other woods) but also have natural moth- and other pest-repelling properties. As if that weren’t enough, cedar also naturally freshens your linens and wards off mildew and mustiness.
Especially delicate or precious items can be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper before storing for extra protection against yellowing.
Sort and organize linens by category
Once you’ve got your shelves covered and you’ve decluttered, group your remaining linens by category. What this looks like is broadly up to you. You can group sets of linens or towels together by location (guest room, kid’s room, master bedroom, kitchen towels, bath towels) or size (full, queen, king, hand towel, bath sheet) or use (everyday, special occasions, holidays), whatever is the most appropriate for your home.
Once you know how you’ll be organizing items, use boxes and bins to organize and sort so you know where everything is located. Coordinated sets of boxes or baskets, like this basket set, contribute to a cohesive look that makes your closet look and feel more organized, which helps you keep it organized for longer.
Instead of or in addition to baskets or bins, you could also use adjustable shelf dividers. Under shelf racks can also add some additional space to your shelves.
Keep essential items handy
Keep more frequently used items (such as your everyday towels and sheets) handy and easy to grab in the center of your closet and more infrequently used items (special occasions, holidays, guest room linens) on the shelves that aren’t as accessible. 
For bulky items you don’t want to part with but don’t use too often (inter duvets, quilts, etc.), vacuum bags can help you reduce the storage space necessary, as well as keep items fresh from year to year.
When storing linen sets, store them as a set, with everything you need to dress a bed included: fitted sheet, flat sheet, pillowcases. Fold and tuck the sheets and extra pillow cases into one pillowcase, keeping the set contained.
Label your storage
Bins and baskets are great for keeping things organized, but not if you don’t remember what’s stored in which basket and have to dig through everything to find what you’re looking for. Labels will help you (and others in your household, including guests) know just where to find or store things. For items that are stored directly on shelves, label the shelves themselves.
Make use of door space
Adding storage to the back of a linen closet door will help you get more out of the space. An over the door rack can add additional storage space for small items, such as hand towels or wash cloths, cleaning products, or even small toiletries for guests to use. A shorter rack could store ironing supplies, or even your iron and ironing board. A small towel rack, like this one that attaches to a door hinge, could be a good spot to place regularly used bath towels.
Keep your closet fresh
Lastly, after you’ve got everything organized, it’s time to take some steps to ensure your items stay fresh, as well as organized. Keeping items fresh is especially important when linens are stowed away for longer periods of time. When linens aren’t frequently used, they can take on stale or musty odors and can become nests for small insects and pests.
There are a few things you can do to ensure freshness in your closets. Musty or mildew-y odors (and sometimes, in extreme cases, even mildew or mold growth) are often caused by moisture. Using a dehumidifier or desiccant product, such as Damp Rid, will draw moisture out of the air and prevent musty odors.
You can also use an open box of baking soda to absorb bad odors, like you would in a fridge. Cedar blocks or other naturally aromatic cedar closet pieces can not only improve the smell of your linen closet by adding the scent of cedar and repelling mildew and musty smells, but they’re also well known for their moth- and pest-repellent properties. Sachets are another attractive solution. These can often contain cedar, as well as other aromatic materials, such as lavender, to keep closets smelling fresh.
It’s important to know that cedar’s scent, and therefore its benefits, can fade over time. To ensure that the cedar in your closet stays fresh, you can lightly sand blocks or balls to release new aromatic oils, or mist sachets with a spray made from natural cedar oils.
With these linen closet ideas handy, you’ll be well on your way to a refreshed and reorganized closet in no time!

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