July 2019

How to organize a linen closet

At Garnet Hill, simplicity has always been central to our design philosophy.
Our home organization strategy shares that philosophy. 

An easy way to simplify: organize a linen closet, an often-overlooked space that can be a valuable storage area. Even though it’s mid-summer, it’s not too late to accomplish this traditional spring-cleaning task. 

Use these space-saving ideas to re-imagine your storage for bedding and bath:

Less is more

As you evaluate what’s on the shelves of your linen closet, keep items that are in good condition or used daily, recommend Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, authors of The Home Edit and creators of the Home Edit System. “Purging anything that’s worn or unnecessary gives you more space for the items you actually use,” they say. 

If you have room, store sheets in closets in the rooms where they’re used, suggests Renee Carman of Mandeville Canyon Designs. “I recommend having two sets of sheets for each bed in your home,” she says. “I’d rather rotate two sets of really high-quality sheets than own multiple sets because the quality of your sheets affects how you sleep.” 


SIDE NOTE: Choosing the right sheets
Here’s how some of Garnet Hill’s most popular sheets stack up:

  • Percale sheets are cool and crisp
  • Sateen, which has a higher thread count, is smooth and dense
  • Flannel is great for cold-weather sleep conditions
  • Relaxed linen is breathable, ideal for year-round use

Group by color

If your linens and towels are the same type and size, group them by color, especially if they come in a set. Group sheets by size—king, queen, twin, etc.—and identify them with a label or color clips that represent the different sizes.

Roll, don’t fold

People love “tidying up” expert Marie Kondo’s folding methods for a reason: her rolled towels and sheets take up less space, making storage easier and allowing fabrics to breathe. “Her folding technique is brilliant,” says Carman. “You can really get your sheets and towels into a smaller container.” Another storage tip: place sheet sets inside their corresponding pillowcases (“It helps you easily identify the set you’re looking for,” say Shearer and Teplin). If you switch out linens in winter, store the heavier items at the top of the closet so they don’t take up lower shelves. And if you don’t have a closet, stack rolled towels on a bench or upright in a basket.

As for folding those pesky fitted sheets, Shearer and Teplin suggest folding them on a flat surface, when they’re fresh out of the dryer. Fold the sheet in thirds lengthwise by bringing one long side in across the center, then repeat on the other side (you’ll finish with a long, narrow rectangle). Fold the rectangle in half widthwise and roll from one side to the other. Then store the sheet upright in a bin. Loosely folding sheets, blankets, and quilts gives them space and keeps them plush and fluffy.

Bins and baskets

Photo courtesy of The Home Edit

Plastic bins and baskets help keep your folded and rolled towels and linens in one place and easily identifiable. Carman prefers Rubbermaid or Closet Maid containers, 12” x 18” or smaller (depending on your space). “Decide whether you prefer baskets or bins and then use that style consistently to maintain visual order,” Carman says. “Measure your space first and plan a little open space because that’ll make it visually appealing.” Adding a lavender-scented dryer sheet or sachet to each container will make your sheets and towels smell nice, too. And don’t forget to label what’s in each bin.

For more inspiration, check out more of Garnet Hill’s bed and bath collection.


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