5 ways to organize a linen closet — and keep it tidy

Messy gals, we see you

A linen closet with pillows, rolled towels, and bed linen on display.
(Image credit: Getty)

If there’s one messy area in your home, it’s going to be the linen closet. I mean, it’s a hidden space that no one sees but you, so it’s the perfect place to leave a mess.

While that might be true, leaving the mess is only going to make life difficult for you. Trust me on this, when you have a messy linen closet it becomes a challenge to put anything away or find the towels, bedding and sheets that you need.

According to Interiors Expert, Warren Kinloch, a linen closet should serve three purposes: provide ample storage, make things easy to find, and be appealing to the eye. He explains that: “It’s easy to mess this up by simply shoving towels in once dry or throwing clean bedding in unlabelled baskets, so keeping everything well organized and functional is key.”

Regardless of how big or small your storage space is, you don’t have to accept the clutter. Keeping your linen closet in check doesn’t have to be a hellish task. In fact, with the right processes and right storage setup, it turns out that it’s actually a fairly simple task. Who knew? 

Looking to clear the clutter once and for all and give your linen closet an overhaul? Warren has shared some actionable tips and advice for quick and easy ways that you can organize your linen closet and make the most of the space. 

What are the best ways to organize your linen closet?

1. Start with a clear out  

“If you already have a linen closet that’s seen better days, my first tip would be to have a clear out," Warren recommends. "Purge anything you haven’t used in over a year — whether that be old blankets or guest bedding. If you don’t use it, you don’t need it! This will help to create the space you need.” 

Set aside a couple of hours to go through the entirety of your linen closet and sort out everything that’s stored in there. Like Warren recommends, get rid of anything that you don’t use regularly — this should help to free up some additional storage space. 

2. Roll items rather than folding 

A great way to save space is to roll items - like large towels, sheets, and bedding sets —  instead of folding them. Rolled items can be more easily slotted into smaller spaces or storage baskets, should you opt to use them. 

“You could roll up your towels spa-style and place them in a circular basket (like this set that I have from Amazon) for a beautiful and functional look," said Warren.

A person rolling towels and placing them into storage baskets.

(Image credit: Getty)

3. Use labels to keep things organized  

Sick and tired of things getting messy? A friend of mine uses a label maker (like this mini Bluetooth one from Amazon) to keep her closets organized and, honestly, it’s life changing. I borrowed hers, made lots of labels for my linen closet, and it instantly upped my organization game. 

"If you’re using harder containers (like these stackable ones from Amazon), such as those made of plastic, you can apply labels to these. Not only will this save you time in future when going to grab something quickly from the linen closet, but it will also create more of a structured flow to the storage," Warren reccommends. 

To keep everything uniform, Warren suggests using the same color fonts and labels and explains that this “will have everything looking neat and tidy, and help you to keep it that way, knowing that everything has its place.”

 4. Learn to fold neatly  

Not a neat folder? Yup, me neither. But, if you’re going to fold items, it’s super important to be able to fold them neatly to really maximize space. A handy hack for neater folding is to use a folding board — like this one from Amazon. Honestly, I tried one out and it’s super simple to use, so now I recommend them to everyone.  

A person putting things away in a linen closet.

(Image credit: Getty)

5. Utilize baskets 

For keeping your linen closet neat and ordered, a hack I swear by is using baskets, and Warren agrees. 

He recommends looking at the floor space you have available and consider how this can be used. “This could be the perfect place for an aesthetically pleasing wicker basket filled up with extra toilet paper for your ease of use," said Warren. 

When it comes to choosing baskets, opting for a set — like these ones from Amazon — tends to work well. 

Beth Mahoney
Staff Writer

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a Staff Writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.