organise your closet
A La Carte Closet: How to Organise Your Linen Closet
  • Fiona
  • Organising Tips, Storage Solutions

We keep our homes in impeccable condition, or what we consider to be impeccable. The living room looks nice, stains are absent from the kitchen and the yard is cut and trimmed. You know you are missing something though. You consciously know what it is. You just do not want to think about it. We all have that linen closet. After moving in and settling down, we toss leftover sheets and items into that cramped closet and pray they vanish.

I am telling you to fight the urge to let that space sit by itself. It is time to overhaul your linen closet and turn it into a respectable part of your home again. There are many different things you can do with it, but the best fit is to customise it to the local needs of your house. We have collected the steps needed to deal with that messy closet and turn it into the storage space that your house wants and needs.

Cleanse the Dust Bunnies

The first thing you need to do is start with a clean slate. Every artist needs a blank piece of paper, for a little hyperbole. You need to dig into it that linen closet and take out absolutely everything. Once everything is removed, vacuum the floor and clean the cobwebs and dust clumps that may have formed. Next, go through everything you took out. It is time to sort these things into what you want and what you are holding on to.

We suggest taking anything that is dirty, tattered, or unused and measure its worth. Having keepsakes is an important part of any home, but there is a fine line between keepsakes and space holders. If it is time to split ways with it, then you know what to do. Some of these items just might need polishing up though. That old shirt may just need a bit of cleaning. A deflated football may just need some air to reinvigorate an old hobby. Regardless of what you decide, you should have a stack of clean items and an empty closet by the end of this.

The Road Map to a Better Closet

Compile an attack plan to approach the re-structuring of the closet’s contents. Linen closets get out of control by tossing unfolded fabrics in there without a plan. You are not going to make that mistake again right? Each shelf should have a unique and distinguished purpose. There are a variety of needs that need to be met and accessed in certain situations. To this end, you should invest in some containers. Plastic containers like laundry hampers and plastic cupboards can be purchased for cheap and can help you organise your linen closet seamlessly.

For the closet itself, we recommend that you should organise your closet by utility. The least used items should be set in the top of the closet. Up and out of the way, these are often only used for celebrations, gatherings, and other infrequent occasions. Your most used items should be placed anywhere between hip and eye level. Accessing these items often can be made easy by not having to search and stretch for them. Things like guest sheets, cleaners, and spare pillows will usually take up this space. You should place the heavier items towards the bottom. They can either be frequent or infrequently used. We say to place them down here because it is safer. There is no sense in risking a large heavy object dropping on top of you when you are just looking for some guest towels. It also makes access easier. No heaving and hoeing here just drag or roll the object out and push it back in once finished.

Whether you use our recommended order or you are inspired to a custom order, make sure everything is put away nicely. The plastic containers can help in this regard. It does not matter if your linens are clean and the closet is nice, if they are thrown in as a bundle the rest of the closet will slowly start to resemble the old mess it used to be. You get do all of this over again. How fun!

A Closet for Every Need

A linen closet need not be just for linens though. For instance, it does not make much sense to store spare bed sheets in a kitchen closet. You should organise your closet based on the “local” needs of your house.

Near bedrooms, the classic linen closet, you can store away bed sheets, comforters, spare pillows, sleeping bags, flashlights etc. The point of a linen closet near bedrooms is to be at a guest’s or your own convenience should the need arise. It will be much easier on your guests if they wander into an organised linen closet to retrieve an extra blanket in the middle of the night.

Temporary residence by Sarah (Rosenau) Korf 2006 | CC BY

Pillows in the closet. Temporary residence by Sarah (Rosenau) Korf 2006 | CC BY

Closets near the bathroom have a large variety of potential purposes. You have the needs of the bathroom along with the often required medical aspect of the bathroom. Spare towels and wash rags are a must. Extra soap, shampoo, and bathing needs can be stored away here to make room underneath the sink counter or in the proper bathroom closet. Storing cleaning supplies here can work as well. Though you may want to put these in the kitchen, it would not hurt to have them easily accessible at multiple points in the house.

You may also want to invest in a secure and sensible container for medicine to stow in a bathroom focused linen closet. Labelling containers for their contents (bandages, sterilizer, cough medicine etc.) can save time and ease the stress upon guests. It is a danger though, especially for families with investigative children, to leave medicine out in the open. We recommend storing medicines separately or in a locked medical case. Only things like Band-Aids and Neosporin should be openly available to all in a home with children.

Linen closets in the kitchen are just a few degrees off from the bathroom focused linen closet. You should store cleaning supplies, brooms, mops and out of place pots and pans here. These are not linen closets so much as they are regular storage closets.

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It is as simple as referencing back to this article whenever you need guidance. You shouldn’t have to though. It is as simple as outlined above. Take this as your wake up call. Break into that dingy old closet, get a plan of attack, give it a good cleaning and organise your closet.