linen closetNot every home has a linen closet.  If your home has one, there are a couple of places where they may be located. Either in the bathroom, or they may be found in the hall outside the bathroom.  Typically, they are not just used to store linens.  Most likely, they are used to store towels, bed linens, personal care items and more.

The location may determine what type of items you store in your linen closet. If it’s in the bathroom, consider the humidity that accumulates due to lack of air circulation, even with an exhaust fan, so you don’t end up with musty smelling towels and linens.

If that’s an issue, store bed linens in the room where the linens fit the bed, such as in a container, or space bags, under the bed, or on a closet shelf. If those options are not viable, use a natural freshening agent to keep odors out.

A linen closet that is located in the hall near the bathroom, doesn’t typically have the issue of humidity that may cause a musty smell. They still don’t have great air circulation, so there is nothing wrong with using a natural freshening agent to keep things smelling fresh.

Let’s talk about the size of a typical linen closet.  They really aren’t that big.  The overall width is usually about 2 – 3 feet wide, and the depth of the shelves is usually about 15 – 18 inches.  The number of shelves varies, and sometimes the shelves can be adjusted which helps to maximize the space. When you think about how bulky these items can be, you may not be able to store many bed linens in this space.

For those homes with one linen closet, be very selective about the items you store in this space. If space is an issue, and you have multiple bedrooms, consider storing bed linens in each bedroom as mentioned above.  Then you can use the space for extra, or inventory of personal care items.

Check out the list below for the storage best practices that I thought of, other than what is mentioned above.  If you have others, please share them in the comment section below.

Storage Best Practices

Store Like Items Together

Store categories of like items together. Some examples are, bed linens, towels, and extra personal care items. If possible, use one shelf for each category, such as towels on one shelf, bed linens on another shelf, personal care items on another shelf.

Folding towels in thirds is a good space saving technique. Also, storing a set of sheets in their pillowcase is another space saving tip.

Separate personal care items into categories & use small bins for each category. Examples of these categories may be, first aid, eye care, teeth care, over the counter medicines, makeup, body cleansing, etc.

A bin placed on the floor for bulky paper products, such as toilet paper or boxes of tissues, works very well.

The key to this concept is to keep your supplies proportionate to the size of your linen closet. If you need more space, a good purge may do the trick. Another option is to use up items before you buy more, to keep your inventory at a reasonable amount.

Containers & Labels

Clear containers are the best choice for storage in any situation.  You can see the items at-a-glance so there is no doubt as to what is stored there.  If you would like something more pleasing to the eye, there are many options to contain items. Baskets and decorative bins come in all shapes and sizes but make sure you label the contents so everyone knows where to find, and put back items after use.

Adjust Shelves

If possible, adjust the shelves in your linen closet to fit the height of the items stored on each to maximize space. This requires a little pre-planning before acquiring storage containers.

Closet Door

This is sometimes, an untapped source of storage. Depending on the type of door, you may be able to install an over the door pocket organizer, or narrow shelving unit. These are great for storing smaller items such as, hair care products & tools, cleansing products, first aid, makeup, etc.


This may seem a little nit-picky, but to get even wear out of your towels, rotate the stacks every time you put clean towels away. If you have multiple people using the towels, it may not be an issue because you may end up with a natural rotation.