12 Ways to Organize Your Linen Closet Like a Pro

First things first: Learning the best way to fold a fitted sheet!

August 23, 2023
Photo by Kostikova via Getty Images

This article was updated in August 2023 to include more of our favorite Shop products.

I’ve always struggled to keep my linen closet organized. It always starts out with neat stacks of sheets and towels, but then I’ll pull my favorite pieces from the bottom of a pile or knock over the neatly folded linens. Within a week or two, all semblance of organization has gone out the window, and it will usually stay messy (and frustrating) for a few months until I pull everything out and start all over again.

To break the never-ending cycle, I went searching for the internet’s best organization tips, and I found lots of different ideas that will help even the messiest people (a.k.a. me) keep their linens neat and tidy. Here are some of the best linen closet organization tips that came up in my search.

Sheet Folding 101

I didn’t learn the right way to fold a fitted sheet until I was in my late 20s, but let me tell you: It’s a total game-changer. This video details how to fold a fitted sheet into a nice flat bundle, and there’s even a convenient pocket where you can tuck matching pillowcases. Once you master this method, your linen closet will be infinitely neater.

Bring in the Baskets

As you browse through this list, you’ll notice that almost every single linen closet has one thing in common: lots of baskets! This particular closet uses pretty wicker baskets, but you can also opt for wire baskets or see-through plastic bins if you want to be able to see what’s inside.

Divide and Conquer

Shelf dividers are another must-have tool if you want to keep your linen closet tidy. They clip onto your existing shelves, and they’re unbeatable for keeping stacks of sheets and towels from toppling over. Plus, they’re easy to adjust, so you can move them around as needed.

Sort by Size

You can save yourself from trying to fit a queen-size sheet onto a king-size mattress with this easy organization system. Each of the baskets in this closet is labeled with a bed size, allowing you to quickly find the right size sheets for the bed you’re making. Some storage baskets have built-in labels, but you can also buy clip-on basket labels for just a few dollars.

Embrace Under-Shelf Space

If you have tall shelves in your linen closet, you can maximize storage space with an under-shelf basket—or two! They’re the perfect size to store rolled-up towels, folded tablecloths and more, and you can easily move them between shelves or side-to-side if needed.

Stack Vertically

Here’s a smart option for keeping hand towels and washcloths organized and easily accessible within your linen closet. With a row of narrow dividers, you can stack rolled-up towels vertically, leaving more spave for other essentials. You can achieve this with regular shelf dividers, but a stand-alone purse organizer would also be perfect for it.

Think Outside The Closet

If you have a small linen closet and a whole lot of linens, it might be time to find a secondary storage spot. This Instagrammer uses an armoire in the hallway to store sheets, and we love that the see-through doors give you a peek at all the pretty patterns inside.

Color Code It

Color coding is a polarizing trend—you either love it or loathe it—but if you’re looking for a way to make your linen closet more cohesive, it’s not a bad option. After all, similarly colored sheets, blankets and pillows are probably used in the same room, so it makes sense to store them near each other.

Use What You Have

This smart storage trick will save you from having to buy too many organizational tools. Once you’ve folded up a sheet set, simply tuck the whole bundle into one of its pillowcases. It will keep everything together, making it easy for your family to grab a complete set of sheets, and the bundles are easy to stack, as well.

Organize by Room

If you’re using a basket system for organizing linens, another option is to sort everything by room. This makes it easy to keep your master bedroom sheets and blankets separate from, say, the guest room linens, and it’s also handy for large families, as kids will know to grab sheets from their designated basket.

Hang It Up

Looking for a convenient way to store bath mats and tablecloths? I’ve always said that behind-the-door storage is underappreciated, and here’s another example of how it can maximize your home’s storage space. An over-the-door towel rack provides the perfect spot to hang up linens that you might not want to fold, and it will keep them easily accessible, as well.

Share the Space

Once you get your sheets and towels neatly organized, you might find that you have space to spare in your linen closet. If that’s the case, you can use the excess room to keep toiletries and personal care items—this system uses see-through plastic bins to organize tissues, first aid items, medication and more.

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suzy September 3, 2022
How disappointing. I was really interested in the organizational tips, but since I don't have an Instagram account, and don't intend to, I can't see the pics. I get that it's a licensing thing, but really. Super annoying. Actually, I'm to the point of discontinuing getting notifications from Food52...
Mocha August 22, 2022
I guess no one actually reads the comments since the video about folding sheets has never been posted despite numerous requests. Why bother with a comment section at all?
Sheppard August 22, 2022
Actually they did post the video. If you click on the hyperlink, it will take you to the video.
Francine W. August 16, 2022
Folding sheets on the floor? Not sanitary!
Jane August 9, 2022
I thought the article was helpful but I really want to see the sheet folding video. As a suggestion sources for the organizers would be helpful. Where can you find shelf dividers. I have looked at a number of sites with no luck.
skull F. August 8, 2022
Are they going to update this article? I would really like to see the video and pictures.
laila M. August 8, 2022
So....if I do not use Social Media, I cannot view the pictures? Really!? Why?
Suze August 8, 2022
Where's the video for folding a fitted sheet?
[email protected] August 7, 2022
Sheppard August 6, 2022
Can you please provide the link for the sheet-folding video? Thank you!
anho August 5, 2022
While I appreciate your ideas, I do not use Instagram, etc. Please just streamline your articles in order to read them.
Thank you.
Melinda S. August 5, 2022
This was THE most annoying article to read! No one wants to keep flipping back and forth to view pictures!!
Nancy L. August 5, 2022
A genuine waste of time. I don't use Instagram, Twitter, or any of the apps that require followers to succeed. Count me out if you're going to keep this up.
Mary August 5, 2022
Please stop this type of article. Why would we bother looking at future Food52 articles if this is what we can expect?
Katharine August 5, 2022
Would be an interesting article if we could actually see the images and videos.
Fidelma August 5, 2022
The links are missing or not running in the article. Looking for folding video ??
flycat August 4, 2022
Disappointed food52. You're better than this.
bsorrent August 4, 2022
Agree with other comments, why would you link to Instagram?? Where is the video on how to fold fitted sheets? I have become more and more frustrated with Food 52 of late as many of the links simply do not work. This article is useless. How could this format be viewed as helpful and/or acceptable to users?
Madeleine B. August 4, 2022
I don't use Instagram. Ditto on the other comments, this was a useless piece.
lrwatson August 4, 2022
Why did you not include screen grabs of the instagram posts instead of links? This makes a pretty worthless article without visuals. And no link to the sheet folding video has me think this article was written in under 5 minutes.
nancy B. August 4, 2022
I don't use instagram, please don't link