How to Organize a Linen Closet (Step by Step)

Is your linen closet stuffed full of everything from sheets to towels to bandaids and vitamins? Do you wonder what will fall out on top of you the next time you peek inside?

I’ve been there. My linen closet was a complete disaster for well over a year when we moved into our new home because I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out what to do with it!

Whether you have a small space or a large space, an organized linen closet is a super important thing to have. Making sure you have the right items (and not too much stuff) organized in the best way possible will make your life much easier.

Today I’m going to share some linen closet organization ideas to finally organize your linen closet and keep it organized all year long. No more scary linen closet or family members constantly asking you where something is, follow this simple step by step tutorial to get you an organized storage space that actually works!

organized linen closet

Think about it this way. You have a child who needs some Tylenol so you ask your spouse to get it. Rather than having to explain exactly where to find it, they know they can open the closet, find the container with the children’s Tylenol, get it and get on their way!

Are you ready for my before picture? It was not good!

linen closet before

A paint can perching on top of a rounded top container?? I was lucky I didn’t have a massive accident on my hand!!

Want to fix this situation? Let’s get started.

How to Organize a Linen Closet Step by Step

how to organize your linen closet

Paisley + Sparrow is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This post may include affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you shop using the links below at no additional cost to you. 

1. Remove Everything

The number one thing to do when you start to organize an area is to first declutter it and make sure you actually want everything inside!

To do this, you’ll want to first remove everything from your linen closet. Literally everything.

organized linen closet

Once everything is out you’ll want to clean out the inside of your closet. Wipe down all the shelves, vacuum the floor and make it sparkling clean!

2. Do Inventory & Purge Items

Once everything is out of your closet and your closet is clean, group like things together in piles so you can see what you have. For example, make a pile of all your hand towels, another pile for bath towels and ye another pile for beach towels.

Once everything is out and grouped together, it’s time to purge. Go through each pile and figure out what should stay and what should go.

Is there medicine that’s expired? Get rid of it.

Do you have 5 sheets set for your one king bed? Consider getting rid of 2 or 3.

Only keep what you actually need and use and donate what you can and throw out what’s left.

3. Figure Out What Should Go Back

You might be thinking, well, obviously everything that is left should go back in! And while yes, everything that is left could possibly go back in, does it make the most sense? Do you have the room for it all?

organized linen closet

When I first organized my linen closet, I had it full of all of our sheet sets and towels. And while a linen closet is meant to hold your linens, it doesn’t necessarily have to! I quickly realized that our sheets and towels worked better in other areas in our house that weren’t utilized very well.

For example, the sheets for our master bedroom (especially after I got it down to just 2 extra sets) and our bath towels could live in our laundry room while our kids sheets could be kept under the sink while their towels could stay in their bathroom closet.

If you have an extremely large linen closet by all means, keep everything together, but if you have a small linen closet like me, than try different things!

4. Plan Your Shelves & Floor Space

Put items that you want easy access to at eye level and on a lower shelf. Things that are more for occasional use such as extra pillows or extra blankets can go on a top shelf.

If you have adjustable shelves, now is the time to move them up or down to make them the correct height. We have wire shelves so unfortunately we were stuck with what we got.

The floor space is also a great spot for storing items, especially bulky items. You just need to figure out what works best for you! We ended up with a basket for toilet paper that could be used for the 3 bathrooms that were close to the linen closet.

linen closet basket with toilet paper

You could also place rolled up towels or paper towels in a basket on the floor, put a laundry hamper there or place bins of extra items for your guest room.

5. Don’t Forget About the Back of the Door!

Depending on the type of linen closet and door you have, consider using the back of your linen closet door for more organizing! You can hang your iron and ironing board, use hooks or a caddy for cleaning supplies or medicine or door rack for sheets or towels.

6. Utilize Baskets & Bins

Shop your house or go shopping to find storage bins that work well for your space. I personally find storage containers that are all uniform give you a clean look but you definitely don’t need to spend extra money if you have things at home that work. I found these sets of 3 baskets and I love them!

organized linen closet baskets with labels

Figure out what needs a bin and what doesn’t and what kind of bins would work best for what you need to store. It’s a great idea to put smaller items in a basket or bin to keep them from getting lost amongst other items.

You also need to make sure you get the right baskets for your space so get out that measuring tape before ordering anything!

I keep our extra hair products, toothpaste, etc in these type of bins since I don’t need to really see what’s inside. Same goes for extra medicine or things like our netty pot that we know we have but don’t need a clear bin to see it.

I use lazy susans all over my house (like for my hair products!) including our linen closet. This type with separate compartments make organizing even easier because you can separate everything by type! (Bandaids go in one compartment, cold medicine goes in another, etc.)

lazy susan of medicine

Some things don’t need bins such as your sheet sets. Fold your sheets so the fitted sheet and pillow cases are folded up with the flat sheet! That way you won’t need to go on a hunt for coordinating bed linens every time you wash your sheets.

Same goes for duvet covers! Fold the coordinating pillow shams in with the duvet covers to keep things organized. If you stack your towels or sets of sheets, using shelf dividers (I use these in my closet for my sweaters)could also be useful so things to fall over on one another!

organized toiletries

(If you want more tips for organizing your closet check out this post!)

6. Put Everything Back

After you have everything organized and in bins, put them back! As a reminder, put items you use most often in the most accessible areas and less utilized items at less easy to get at spots.

7. Label Everything

The very last thing you need to do is label everything that’s in a bin! I don’t label things that are in clear bins like my lazy susan since I can see what’s in there but I definitely label things in baskets that I can’t see into.

You can either label with a label maker if your bin or basket works with that or use label clips with label cards (like I did) to easily label what’s inside. This step is super important, especially if you have a family so any member of the family can go into the linen closet and find what they need without needing to ask!

basket with label in linen closet

And there you have it! Step back and enjoy your beautiful organized linen closet.

I hope this helps you finally organize linen closet with success!

If you want more, be sure to join the 30 day declutter challenge to declutter and organize your home in just 30 days!

About Jen

Jen is a mom of 3 who loves frozen cookie dough, plants and a generous pour of creamer in her coffee. Her biggest joy is helping others find joy in their life, style and home through tips, tutorials and encouragement. She also runs 2 additional blogs. Feel free to send Jen a message or join the fun on Instagram!

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5 Linen Closet Organization Tips
5 Linen Closet Organization Tips