5 Tips to Organizing Your Linen Closet Like a Boss (+ Free Printable Labels!)

Hello, friends! I don’t normally post on Thursdays, but my poor baby girl has been sick this week and alas, I am now too. So, I didn’t get to post yesterday, but am today instead!

SONY DSCYou know when you move into a house and just try to unpack stuff and get it into a “space,” without really taking the time to organize?


That’s what happened to our linen closet. Even though we’ve lived in our house for 4 years now, it just was never at the top of my list. But, it’s been driving me nuts lately when I open it up to grab a towel. It stares me in the face begging to be organized. I’ve been putting it off to do other things since no one really sees it but me. And, occasionally a guest or two, which is usually family; so they forgive me.

But it was time. 

And so, I cleaned it out and organized it all into neatly folded stacks and bins. I can now open up the closet without stuff almost falling on me. Win!

In the process, I learned a few thing that were super helpful. I thought you might also find these tips helpful, so I’m sharing 5 tips to organizing your linen closet!

But first, a before shot; just because. I must really like you all to embarrass myself this much.

SONY DSCDon’t judge. It doesn’t look like this now!

1. Take Everything Out

I mean everything. Empty your linen closet out completely. This might seem annoying and take up a LOT of space while doing it, but it will make life easier when you’re putting everything back. Once everything is out, you can easily group it all. Everyone’s linen closet looks different and stores different things. That’s ok! Just organize everything into general groups: towels, bed linens, blankets, etc. When you go to put it all back in, everything will be neatly folded and you’ll have a fresh start to easily switch where things were kept before. You’ll definitely be able to get more in there!

2. Purge!

Now that you have everything out, you can start going through it all and decide what you want and need. Obviously when you haven’t cleaned out a closet in awhile, there’s junk stuff you find that you didn’t know you even had. I found a few things we bought when we got married and never used, as well as old sheets from beds we didn’t even have anymore! This all takes up precious space, and you know no linen closet has endless amounts of space.

Throw any old towels away, donate any bed linens that don’t fit your current beds (if they’re in good condition!), and sell anything that you think might be worth something. Trust me, you don’t beed 10 sets of sheets for your bed. So, Just do yourself a favor and get rid of it. Phew! Doesn’t that feel better already? I had a HUGE Goodwill pile by the time I was done sorting through everything!

3. Use Baskets or Bins

In my before photo, you can see everything was just sort of thrown in, without any rhyme or reason. I had no organizational tactics in place whatsoever. Without baskets or bins, it’s easier for a closet to get messy and out of control super easily. I didn’t want to spend much on this little project, so I found some little blue plastic bins at the Dollar Store. They were the perfect size to fit on my shelves and hold towels and random things. At a buck each, they were a steal!

SONY DSCIf you’re really pressed for space in your closet, you can roll towels instead of folding them. Unfortunately my bins weren’t big enough to roll my towels into, but it still works just fine for us! They hold our smaller hand towels and washcloths, cleaning rags, pillow cases, etc.

I totally haven’t mastered the whole folding-sheets-to-fit-into-a-pillowcase art, but I’m over it. If you can do that, I’m totally jealous and in awe of you. For me, throwing those things I can’t fold well into a bin is the best option. Find a system that works best for you and your family, and you’ll find it’ll be a lot easier to keep your linen closet in order!


4. Label all the Things!

Labeling makes life soooo much easier. Just do it! You’ll only ever have to do it once, and you’ll forever be organized. Grab some pre-cut labels from the craft store, cut your own out of paper, whatever; just label the items you stick in bins. Friends, I’ve even saved some time for you here and am giving you the tags I made for our linen closet. They’re simple, neutral, and easily attached with clothespins or string. It’ll take you literally 10 minutes to print, cut them out, and attach them on. No excuses!

SONY DSCNow I know not everyone has these exact items in their linen closet. So, if you need other ones, I also added a page that you can edit in your own label!

You can print your free labels off HERE.

(Just a word of caution; the labels look huge on the PDF. You might have to print them at a smaller scale and play around with what works for you!)

Don’t they just make those bins that much prettier?


5. Put Everyday Items in Easy to Reach Spots

Maybe this is obvious, but it’s still a good reminder. We use towels the most out of our closet, so I put those on the very middle shelf so we can easily grab one. Just below that are the hand towels and washcloths. At the bottom are blankets that we use more often in the winter. Above the towels I store our bed linens because they’re still easy to grab. At the very top, I put items I only use a couple times a year. That way, we aren’t having to reach down or up to get items we need on a regular basis.

SONY DSCSince you already grouped your items together, it should be easy to put them in order of necessary and most used. Your back will appreciate it! 😉

SONY DSC6. Make Your Linen Closet Smell Amazing (BONUS!)

Ok, so there’s really 6 tips. This one is just a little extra that I like to do. It’s totally optional. 🙂

But, who doesn’t love fresh smelling linens?

Got any of these lying around in your drawers?

SONY DSCMy grandma LOVED making little potpourri bags with her fresh lavender, so I have several. I’ve had them for years (they kind of get lost in my drawers!). But after awhile, they start to lose their lavender scent. So, I just freshened them up by pouring the lavender into a bowl, and adding 8-10 drops of lavender essential oil (find out how I get my lavender oil at wholesale prices!)! I stirred it a little with a spoon to coat it all, and then dumped it back into the bag.

SONY DSCI like to tuck the bag into my pillow case bin so they smell like lavender when we go to use them!

So now, my linen closet is ultra organized (and smelling good, too!). Organized = happy momma. I think organizing my junk drawers a couple months ago has been getting me in the organizing mood lately! Could be worse, right?

I love a good before and after…

5 Tips to Linen Closet Organization from Dwelling in Happiness

Have you organized your linen closet? What system or tips work well for you?

Happy organizing!

(I link up at these fun parties!)


39 thoughts on “5 Tips to Organizing Your Linen Closet Like a Boss (+ Free Printable Labels!)

    1. Ha! I hear ya, Kelly! I need to actually do my pantry next; maybe I’ll do the same and use Dollar Store bins, too! Hope you get to your linen closet soon, too! 😉 Happy Friday!

  1. This is great! I need to go through and clean out my linen closet again, it has been a year… My daughter loves to get the towels out to play with her dolls and she makes such a huge mess. I love the idea of using dollar store bins to keep them in, instead of just stacking them on the shelf! I also love the lavender tip!
    Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom recently posted…Thursday Fashion Files Link Up #5 – Chambray Dress Styled for Early SpringMy Profile

    1. Thanks, friend! My daughter likes to follow me in there too, and grab whatever she can to play with; which doesn’t help! Hopefully having the stuff in bins should keep her out… maybe. 😉 Dollar Store has some pretty good stuff sometimes! I love cheap! Have a great weekend, Carrie! 🙂

  2. I am so happy to see that your original closet looks just like mine does now and that there is hope for me. It seems that no matter what I do I cannot manage to keep it organized. I will be buying some baskets because now I can see they make a huge difference. Thanks!
    Crystal recently posted…20 Home Office DesignsMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Crystal! Ha, and I’m so happy to hear that I’m not the ONLY one that had a mess of a closet!! 🙂 The bins will totally help! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. You did a fabulous job, your linen closet looks great!! This is one area of my house that desperately needs some organization. My linen closet is like yours was, where stuff falls out the second the door is opened YIKES. I guess reading this post means I should no longer put off organizing mine. Have a great weekend!
    Pinterest Addicted recently posted…They Grow Up Too FastMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much! Isn’t it crazy how QUICKLY stuff gets out of order like that in our closets?! I’m really hoping the bins and labels will really help keep it cleaner! Thanks for stopping by, hope you weekend was great! 🙂

    1. Thanks, friend! Ha, I know, but I still cringe at the thought (and sight!) of the before! SO glad it’s not that way anymore. I should do my pantry next, that’s just as bad!! Hope you’re having a lovely week!

    1. Thanks Christine! I still can’t believe they are just Dollar Store bins!! In fact I was back there yesterday, and they had a ton more, and several more styles! Id only I had waited a few more days. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I would need an actual real linen closest (we sorta have open shelves – don’t ask) to be able to do this. My dream is to have a messy linen cupboard :p
    I purged our stuff to fit on our silly shelves and put all the purged stuff into containers because we are always needing an old towel for the pets or when fixing up our fixer upper. I should probably just donate the lot to a pet shelter
    Stella Lee@ Purfylle recently posted…Two Uses Tuesday Link Up 21My Profile

    1. Ha! This could totally work for open shelving, too! Bins are fantastic in any spot!! 🙂 Great idea to keep old towels though, I always end up tossing mine but then will randomly need one for a disaster spill of some sorts! Hope your week is going great so far!

    1. Thank you so much! Ha, I know what you mean! Everytime I go into the closet to put things away, my toddler is below me pulling stuff out! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, hope your week is going great!

    1. Thank you, Jenna! Baskets seriously help, so much more than I thought, too! I find myself keeping it perfectly clean when everything has its own little bin. 🙂 Hope your week is going great!

    1. Thank you, Julie! The baskets are a huuuuge help to keep it all together, and the labels are, too! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  5. LOVE the after – so pretty and organized! I think those little labels may be my favorite 🙂 I so wish I had a linen closet to keep all that stuff in – we just have an ugly wicker shelf in the bathroom that the previous owners left to house all our linen stuff, which means it’s in open view of everyone. Weirdly our whole house only has 2 closets, neither of which are for linens. Boo.
    Erica recently posted…Think and Make Thursday Party 25My Profile

    1. Thank you Erica! I love me some labels. 😉 And wow, that’s so crazy you only have 2 closets?! At least yours is now beautiful, right? 🙂 Is your house an older one? Happy Saturday!

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