How to Organize a Linen Closet

Keep pairs of sheets together by tying them with a ribbon

How to organize a linen closet

Do you find yourself tugging at a towel from a jumbled mound of linens threatening to topple out? Is it a struggle to find a matching set of sheets on laundry day? Is your linen closet jammed with so many linens you hardly use that you can’t find the ones you need? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then it’s time to reorganize your linen closet.

From start to finish, we’ll walk you through creating an organized linen closet:


Make finding your linens an easy task by paring your linens down to the essentials. Take inventory of what you’ve got and toss incomplete or mismatched sets, worn-out or stained linens and anything you no longer use. Consider donating your old bedding and turning towels into cleaning rags.

A good rule of thumb is to have two sets of sheets per bed – one for the bed, one for the laundry. Unless you change towels daily, three sets of bath sheets (towels, hand towels and washcloths) per person in the household and a couple of sets for guests is adequate. As for blankets, one for summer and a couple for winter is ideal. And some may switch from a heavy comforter or duvet in winter to a lightweight quilt for summer.

How to organize a linen closet


Next, sort the linens into several categories. Divide linens you regularly use by room: bedding for each bedroom and towels for each bathroom. Set aside extra pillows, out-of-season bedding and any bulkier, less frequently used items for separate storage. These are the items you won’t be reaching for on a regular basis.

Designate Storage Space

Where you store your everyday linens is largely going to depend on the closet space in your home. If you don’t have a central linen closet, then you may opt to store linens right where you use them in each room, which can make them easy to find when you need them.

Those who lack closet space have several storage options. For bedrooms, consider storing linens in an armoire or a storage bench. An étagère, corner cabinet or even an attractive laundry basket provide convenient storage in the bathroom.

As for those out-of-season and bulky items, now is a good time to place them in large zippered storage bags to keep them from getting dusty. Allocate them to a top shelf or under the bed, so they’re out of the way of frequently used items.


Plan to store your everyday linens front and center. How you fold and organize them is equally important for convenient putting away and taking out.

Keep pairs of sheets together by tying them with a ribbon

Bedding – There are three easy ways to store your sheets to create one easy package – pick one:

1.) Tuck the folded fitted sheet and pillow cases inside the fold of the top sheet.
2.) Bundle sheet sets together with a pretty ribbon.
3.) Fold the flat and fitted sheets and place them inside the matching pillow case.

Sort sets by bedroom, color or size – labeling shelves is a great idea – and neatly stack them on the shelf with the folded edge facing out.

Fold wash cloths inside of bath towels to keep them together

Towels – If you mix and match towels, keep separate folded stacks of bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths. For matched sets, place the folded small towels in the fold of the bath towel to keep it together. And if you have a central linen closet, group each room’s towel sets together.

Regardless of how you organize them, it’s best to fold towels in thirds lengthwise, then into a rectangle. Place on shelves with the folded sides facing out for a neat appearance. If you’re short on space, you can also roll your towels.

Place towels folded side out for a neat look

Keep It Neat

Once you’ve purged, sorted, and organized, create a system in either your linen closet or a storage armoire that helps you stay organized. Some of our favorite tips include using baskets to group like items with like. This way you can keep items organized by room or bedding size.

Use hanging labels to be sure everything returns to the right place

We also like to use labels, making it easy for guests to find a spare towel or for a helper who just wants to put something back in the correct spot.

Lastly, remember to regularly rotate your linens, so they become equally worn.

For more organization inspiration, browse our storage and organization ideas, or browse our bedding and bath items online.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Laisa Barton

    April 5, 2017

    Thank you for sharing your ideas on linen organisation. I love the grouping together of items because I am forever getting lost in my cupboard looking for the correct pair. This way, I can go straight into the cupboard and pick out what I want without messing up the rest of the stuff.

  2. Reply

    Ashley Berry

    April 29, 2016

    I really wish you’d bring back these baskets! I have been searching everywhere for greyed wicker baskets in this shape and size and have been completely unsuccessful. I saw this pin on Pinterest and got super excited when I saw this site was run by Ballard Designs (which I love) but saddened when I saw the comment saying they have been discontinued.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      May 2, 2016

      We are so sorry to hear this.

  3. Reply


    April 30, 2015

    Could you specify which baskets and labels are used? I’d be very interested in purchasing these items for my own linen closet.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      May 1, 2015

      Hi Elisabeth!
      Thanks so much for your comment. We’re thrilled to hear that you found this post helpful! Unfortunately the Kubu Baskets used in this linen closet have been discontinued, but we do have a ton of similar options available. You can browse them all here. We do still have our Hanging Label Holders available which would certainly work with whichever baskets you choose!
      Happy Decorating!
      The How to Decorate Team