A Hard Working Linen Closet

Linen closet cover

Linen/Hall Closets are essential.

Many linen or hall closets have to work really hard to accommodate our storage needs.  Many of my clients have linen closets that must do “double duty” and serve as storage for much more than linens.  Today’s post is a quick organizing idea that maximizes the storage in small hall or linen closets.

I wish I had a before photo of this hard-working linen closet.  It serves as towel, sheet, kitchen overflow and extra product storage for a family.  Many people just give up and begin to stuff items into small spaces because they feel little hope that it can actually accommodate their needs.  Don’t give up on those small closets…. they surprise and amaze me all the time with how well they can function

To get your small closet to work harder, here are a few helpful hints to get you started.

Empty out the closet completely.

I know, it seems overwhelming.  Empty out the entire closet and wipe down all the shelves and flooring. If this is where the clean laundry will go, it needs to be clean.

Categorize what the closet needs to store.

Ask yourself what needs to be stored in the closet.  This is the most critical step and often requires a little creativity.  Consider what items could be stored elsewhere.  Could your bathrooms store towels instead?  Could cleaners be located in another place such as under sinks, the garage or in individual bathrooms?  Are there any items in the closet that you don’t need often that could be stored elsewhere? (These centrally located closets are PRIME STORAGE REAL ESTATE and not the ideal local for infrequently used items.)  Are there any contents that simply just need to be put away in other rooms?

linen closet #3

Purge, purge, purge….be honest with yourself about your needs and habits.

How often do you do laundry?  If you do laundry at least once a week then do you really needs four sets of sheets for each bed?  How often do you go swimming/to the beach?  Does each family member really need more than one beach towel?  Are the linens located in your closet in good repair.  Would you put these towels out for guests?

My professional recommendation-one I subscribe to myself that really works-is that each bed in your house needs no more than two sets of sheets.  Each bed needs two, nice sets of neutral sheets so that you have a set to put on the bed while waiting for the other set to be laundered.  Evaluated the sheets you do have and consider purchasing new sets if the sheets you own are old and not functioning well.

Purchase a bin for each size of sheet in your household.

This makes a huge difference in sheet storage for clients!  If you only have queen beds, one large bin for all the sets of sheets will suffice.  For those with multiple-sized beds, consider several bins to house the sheet sets. Corral any other items that need to be stored in the closet as well.  Pulling out a bin or box from a tall shelf is so much easier than individual items and maximizes space.

linen closet #1

linen closet #2

Fold sheets properly.

Sheets don’t have to be folded perfectly, but folding them in sets (the fitted sheet nestled inside of the flat sheet with its accompanying pillowcase) makes life easier.  I will defer to Martha Stewart for the proper way to fold fitted sheets.  After folding the fitted sheets, fold the flat sheet and put the fitted sheet in the center of your new bundle. Duo Ventures has one of the best tutorials for how to bundle newly folded sheets and a great article on linen closet organization.  Definitely worth popping over to check out.

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Duo Ventures Linen Closet and Sheet Folding Instructions

Make it smell nice.

Okay, this step is completely optional, but I think it makes a huge difference in a closed space such a small closet.  Try tucking fabric softening sheets in your linen bins or put an absorbent cotton ball soaked with your favorite essential oil or perfume near your linens.  I am a big fan of the White Cotton scented sachets from Kirklands as well.

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Take a minute and put items back where they belong, just like moms have nagged us to do since the beginning of time.  Also, do not add items without subtracting something in order for the newly organized closet to stay uncluttered.

Bins and editing a linen closet can make such a difference.

Linen closet cover

Happy Organizing!-Lorinda with Vacaville Organizer


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