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Linen closets are designed to store “linens,” such as sheets, towels, and curtains. While, in theory, they are meant for these items, our linen closets often become a storage facility for random things in the household, causing organizational chaos.

So if your linen closet is a beautiful mess (like mine) and you are struggling to find what you need among the piles of sheets and bath towels, it may be time to give that linen closet some love.

A linen closet makeover can help you create a functional and stylish space that easily keeps your linens organized and accessible.

Follow along as I share how to transform and makeover your small closet into a beautifully organized linen closet with these organization tips and ideas.

before and after linen closet

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Linen Closet Before Makeover

Before the makeover, the small closet was not very functional and had a hodgepodge of items – most unused or had nowhere else to go. To say it was a beautiful mess would be an understatement.

linen closet before

The linen closet was messy and unorganized, and it was time to add function and order to this messy closet.

linen closet close up before

Resources and Supplies

Linen Closet Organization Ideas

Step 1 – Remove Everything, Declutter, and Donate.

The first step in updating your messy linen closet is to remove everything and declutter the linen closet.

empty closet

Take everything out of the closet and sort it into piles you plan to keep, donate, or toss. Be honest with yourself about what you really need and actually use, and don’t be afraid to let go of items that are taking up valuable space.  

Donate, toss, or sell worn-out, stained, unused items. Try to resist the urge to keep things to fill in every inch of storage space.

Once you have your “donate pile,” take it to a local charity or thrift store that accepts linens. Not only will you be decluttering your closet space, but you’ll also be helping those in need.

Decluttering the linen closet will make it easier to see what you have and create a more organized space.

Step 2 – Take Inventory

Before redesigning the hall linen closet, I took inventory of everything stored in it. Having a clear idea of everything that must be stored and organized gave me a good sense of how to revamp the closet.

Step 3 – Prep the Closet

If you have wire shelving like I do, then you may want to consider updating the shelves for linen closet. Although wire shelves have become commonplace in many builder-grade homes and newer construction, they can look drab and industrial. Small items can easily fall through the wire cracks and bottles and extra toiletries often tip over due to the uneven wire surface.

You can update the wire shelving with this quick and easy DIY Wire shelves using foam board to make them appear as though they were custom-built. This is a great way to revamp and organize linen closet on a budget.

wire covers in closet

If you want to take your makeover up a notch, give the entire closet a fresh coat of paint or add wallpaper to the back wall. A paint job or wallpaper helps to give new life to any space – especially a small space.

Finish off the preparation of the closet by giving the closet a good cleaning so that you can start fresh and begin organizing your things.

Step 4 – Invest in Storage Solutions.

It’s important to have designated spaces for each item.  Invest in storage solutions that will help you keep everything organized and easily accessible. Add new baskets and bins to maximize vertical space and keep similar items together. Storage containers can sit on the floor or on the top shelf.

Use storage bins and baskets for all of your extra towels, another for wash cloths, and a third for colorful sheets. You can even use a storage basket to store your extra toilet paper. This not only makes it easier to find what you need, but it also helps prevent items from getting mixed up or lost in the shuffle.

baskets in closet

I like to use large white plastic baskets and compliment them with smaller woven and wicker baskets in neutral tones to add style and flair. Neutral tones like gray and white can create a calming atmosphere and make it easier to find what you need.

angle of linen closet

However, if you are on a tight budget, use items you already have around the house to create a neat and tidy space. With a little creativity, you can have a well-organized linen closet without spending a fortune on storage bins.

​Step 5 – Group Like Items

When storing your linens, stack them in groups with gaps in between to create a visually appealing and eclectic look. Try to group items together that are similar in size and use, like towels, hand towels, and extra sheets, for the best organization for linen closet.

Step 6 – Decant Loose Items

One great tip is to use pretty glass jars to store small items like cotton balls, bars of soap, and travel-sized toiletries. This not only keeps everything in its place, but it also adds a touch of elegance to your closet.

Plus, when guests come to stay, they can easily find what they need without having to ask. Just direct them to the closet and let them help themselves!

Step 7 – Fold Your Linens Neatly.

One of the most important steps in organizing your linen closet is folding linens neatly. This not only makes them easier to store but it also helps prevent wrinkles and creases.

linens in closet

One popular folding technique is to fold linens into thirds or quarters and stack them on shelves. Another method is to fold your fitted and flat set of sheets neatly and place each set into its respective pillow cases. This not only keeps your stacks neater but also ensures that you never lose a rogue pillowcase again.

Arrange your pillows vertically instead of stacking them. This small change not only adds some visual interest to your storage system, but also makes it easier to retrieve a single pillow without causing a domino effect of toppling pillows.

I use white linens and white towels, which helps create a cohesive look and reduces the need to match up fitted and flat sheets when making the bed. However, if you have colored sheets, you can still use this technique to organize your linens.

Step 8 – Use Shelf Dividers to Maximize Space.

Shelf dividers are a great way to maximize space in your linen closet. They can be used to separate different types of linens or to create sections for each family member’s linens.

You can purchase shelf dividers online or at your local home goods store or make your own using cardboard or foam board.

Step 9 – Prioritize Based on Frequency of Use

When organizing your linen closet, it’s important to prioritize the items you use most frequently. Keep your everyday towels and sheets easily accessible on the center shelf.

For less frequently used items, like blankets, cleaning supplies, mismatched pillowcases, or stained towels, consider organizing them with baskets or larger bins on higher or lower shelves to keep them out of the way.

You can also group items by category, such as keeping all your flat sheets together and fitted sheets, or simply organize the sheets by size, kind vs. queen.

Step 10 – Label it All

Don’t forget to label everything so you can quickly find what you need without having to dig through piles of sheets and towels.

Labeling encourages tidiness and makes everything easier to find and access in the closet. It also makes a big difference in the presentation of the closet.

With the labels, we can now check the front of the bin or basket on the high shelf and know exactly what’s in it instead of pulling the bins (some of which are heavy) to access it.

With everything labeled and in its place, you can easily maintain a functional and stylish linen closet.

linen closet makeover

Organizing your linen closet can be a breeze with these simple tips. I do hope you found this helpful. Don’t be afraid to customize your organization system to fit your specific needs and space. Remember, the key to a tidy linen closet is to only keep what you need and use, and to let go of items that are taking up unnecessary space.

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Please comment below to let me know what you think of these DIY linen closet makeover and linen closet ideas. Follow me on social media – Pinterest and Instagram or subscribe to my mailing list for other design inspiration, home improvement, and DIY projects.

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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