How To Organize A Linen Closet

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A well organized home simplifies life, allowing you to quickly find what you need, know what you have and avoid unnecessary purchases.

Keeping linens and cleaning supplies stored in an orderly fashion will make housework a little bit less of a chore, and help you speed through your to-do list.

Cleaning Supplies

The first step in organizing is to know what you have, and get rid of what you do not need.

Take all your cleaning supplies out of the closet or sink area where you store them. Look over all your supplies. Throw out anything that is:

  • Expired
  • Unlabeled
  • Specific to an item you no longer own
  • Wipe down the shelves in your supply area thoroughly. You are now ready to organize your cleaning supplies in the fashion that works best for you.
  • If you live in a large home, or a multi-storied home, it is easiest to keep a small stock of cleaning supplies in each room where they are used. If in a small home or apartment, a centrally located main storage area will work best.
  • It usually makes sense to keep kitchen-specific items under the kitchen sink. Use a plastic basket to hold your dishwasher detergent, extra sponges and scrubbers, liquid dish detergent for washing dishes by hand, and specialty products such as granite or stainless steel cleaners used on kitchen surfaces.
  • Keep a small plastic organizer caddy with a handle to hold the items you use most frequently. This will make it easy to move smoothly from room to room while cleaning, using your time efficiently.

Your cleaning caddy should contain:

  • Paper towels or cleaning cloths
  • Gloves
  • Squeegee
  • Glass/surface cleaner
  • Disinfectant cleaner
  • Sponges
  • Any supplies you use in several areas of your home
  • Keep your caddy near the front of your storage area, ready to be grabbed as needed.
  • Use plastic baskets or dividers to organize your less-frequently used cleaning supplies, or unopened products. Keep items of a nature together, with floor cleaning products in one section, toilet and bathroom cleaners in another, and specialty products where they are easily seen.
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Fresh, clean linens make getting into bed a delight. Keep your bedding neatly organized so that changing sheets on laundry day is less of a chore.

Take out all of your bedding items, and go through them one by one. Dispose of or donate any linens that:

  • Have holes or frays
  • Are stained or worn through
  • Do not fit any of the beds currently in the house
  • Are printed with designs your children have outgrown
  • Are mismatched to any current set of linens
  • Limit yourself to no more than three sets of sheets per bed. Two is ideal, giving you a clean set of sheets ready to go on laundry day.
  • Keep sheet sets separated by bed, with a small stack of neatly folded sheets for each bed in the house. It will be much easier to change the sheets if you have the clean set together and ready.
  • Extra blankets, comforters and pillows should be stored on the highest shelf in your linen closet, leaving the lower shelves for items used more frequently. You can also store an extra set of sheets for the guest bed on the highest shelf.
  • To make your linens extra fresh and pleasant smelling, line the shelves with scented liner paper, or tuck a packet of lavender scented potpourri in among the sheets.
  • Keep table linens, such as cloth napkins and tablecloths, folded and stored together. If you have antique table linens that are infrequently used, keep them loosely wrapped in acid-free tissue paper to avoid yellowing of the fabric.
  • Shelf dividers make it much easier to separate linens, and keep them from jumbling together. You can purchase inexpensive dividers that slide over the shelves in any bed and bath store.


As with your bed linens, sort through all your towels, and dispose of any that are worn out, frayed, ripped, stained or designed for young children in a household where everyone is older than ten.

Keep your towels folded and separated by type. Limit supply to:

  • 3 sets of towels per person
  • 6 washcloths per person
  • 1 or 2 beach towels per person
  • 1 or 2 sets of guest towels
  • 3 hand towels per bathroom
  • 6 dishtowels
  • 1 or 2 bathmats per bathroom

Rotate your towels so they wear evenly by placing freshly washed towels at the bottom of the stack.


  • Don't allow your linen closet or cleaning supply storage area to become a jumble of items that don't belong.
  • Take the extra few seconds to put items in their designated space.
  • If you haven't used something in a year, dispose of it.
  • Keep a small bag or basket for holding clean rags.
  • Use storage containers such as baskets, plastic organizers, shelf dividers and shelf stackers to optimize your storage space.
  • Keep cleaning supplies in their original containers.
  • If you have young children, keep a lock on the cleaning supply cabinet, or store supplies in a high area out of children's reach.

Once you rid yourself of clutter and unneeded items, it's easy to keep your linen closet and cleaning supplies organized. Take the minute or two for putting items away in their designated space each time you restock, and enjoy a simplified housework routine.

Last Updated: January 18, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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