Don’t you love looking at pictures of beautiful linen closets where everything is neatly folded and organized by color?  I seriously can’t get enough of them.  Of course, for most of us, that’s just not reality.  Our closets are stuffed full of God knows what, and they’re certainly not arranged by color, size, or even function.

The linen closet is often one of the most disorganized areas in a home. Whether it's big or small, deep shelves, built in or DIY, we're all in need of ideas for organizing it. Here's a hint; step 1 is to get rid of what you're not using!


When’s the last time you went through your bedding?  I’m betting a long time ago.  I actually had sheet sets for bed sizes we don’t even have in our house.  They’re just going to waste and taking up space.

We also have bedding sets that have been put aside in favor of newer ones.  With those, it’s a toss up.  If you have the space, maybe hang on to those extra sets in good condition.  You never know when the stomach flu will hit and you’ll need to change sheets several times a night.  If you don’t have space, don’t feel bad about letting these go.  Another family will be happy to have them.

And if you’re not already doing this, start storing your sheets in a pillowcase from the set.  It helps keep your linen closet neat, and you won’t have to dig around looking for all the different sheets in a set.

Bath Towels

How many towels does one family need?  Seriously.  Even if you figure 2 towels per person, plus a couple of extras for guests, that’s about half of what most of us have.  Well, guess what?  It’s time to clean house!

Put aside the number of towels you need, choosing the ones you really want to keep first.  Go through the rest and decide if they’re in good enough condition to be donated, or if you can tear them up and use them for rags.  Do not put the rag towels back on the shelf.  They go in the basement or garage, or wherever you keep rags.

Kitchen towels

Does anyone dry dishes anymore?  Even stuff I hand wash gets put on the drying rack and dries on its own.  Of course, we can’t get rid of all kitchen towels.  What would continuously knock off the oven handle, throwing us into an overblown rage?

Okay, really, take a look at how many kitchen towels you have.  You probably have tons, some you’ve even forgotten you had.  Some that are too ratty to hang in the kitchen.  Some that match your decor from 10 years ago.  And of course, some holiday kitchen towels.

For me, the maximum number of kitchen towels needed is 7; one for each day of the week.  The rest?  Rags or donation.  Personally, I don’t swap out my towels for holidays, so those get donated, too.  If you use yours, cool.  Keep them!

Where to donate linens

Much like clothing, linens are widely accepted at most charities.  Churches, thrift stores, and women’s shelters can all use them.  If you feel up to it you can have a tag sale to make some money off your nicest stuff.

Now that you’ve cleared your house of all those extra linens, trying applying the 1 in, 1 out rule.  For every new linen item you bring home, get rid of one from your closet.  Unless your situation changes, you don’t need any more!

Next week: Home Decor