How to Organize a Linen Closet

I don’t fold clothes.

I just don’t.

I probably should fold clothes but I gave it up when children started running laps through my sanity and now I practice the art of not-folding, instead. There’s no doubt in my mind, in fact, that wild monkeys fold more laundry than I do; it’s a darn good thing they’re out there flinging poo through their jungle, friends, or I might feel a little inferior.

To date, our bizarre home organization systems have worked swimmingly.

Mostly swimmingly.

Except for one fly in the organizational ointment. A teensy, tiny fly. A miniscule, baby fly. More of a gnat, really.




Alright. The truth is, there’s no ointment; it’s just a giant vat full of flies. But let’s pretend, for the sake of brevity, that there’s only one fly and a whole lot of organizational ointment. Yes? Yes.

The problem, then, is with the linens.

The linens. Blarg. The linens!

Linens can be confusing. Complicated. Hard.

There are just so many of them, you guys. And they each have their own needs. Their own niche. Their own preferences for how I treat them and demands for careful handling. They all — every last one of them — resist being categorized and contained, and they glory in tumbling all over each other and making massive, mountainous messes.

Or maybe I’m projecting.

But those piles of mismatched bath towels? The bottom sheets that are impossible to fold? The myriad kitchen towels and washcloths and bath mats and pillowcases? Oh, yes. I know all about them. I do. For years, I tried to find the right place for my seldom-used table cloths and linen napkins, and I agonized over what to do with all three of my aprons. Or, if I didn’t exactly agonize over it, at least I occasionally contemplated it, which is practically the same thing.

That’s why I finally invented the easiest, ACTUALLY MAINTAINABLE linen organization system in the world.



Your money back if you’re not 100% able to maintain the heck out of this system.

And I will share it with you here because I love you and I want your life to be as easy and effortless as mine.

So, without further ado, here’s how to organize a linen closet like a boss.

It turns out, the organization gurus were right all along. You just have to make a place for everything, and put everything in its place. Simple.

And here’s the detailed break-down, for you nuts-and-bolts people.

Genius, right?

I hope this changes your life as much as it changed mine.



P.S. We usually leave the linen closet door open. Which is AWESOME because you can see it from the front door, so it’s totally available to greet guests and welcome them to our lovely home.

Yep. That’s right. How to Organize a Linen Closet and a Bonus Hospitality Lesson in one post. I give and I give. 😀


P.P.S. A special thanks to Kendall Hoover of for using a Five Kids essay for her inaugural post in her Well Written Wednesdays series. Do you have a blog post to nominate for Well Written Wednesdays? Kendall is accepting submissions; just head on over and leave a comment with a link to your suggestion. Voila!



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66 responses to “How to Organize a Linen Closet”

  1. i love the system, but where are your sleeping bags, and the inflatable bed? am i the only one who has to stuff those in the linen closet?
    <3 to you and all of yours–waving in the dark tonight 🙂

  2. Long after it was writtne I am reading this post and laughing. As I sit here reading when I have 20 other things to do I have a basket of waiting to be folded laundry on the livingroom floor (that may stay there all week), a pile of folded clothes teetering on the back of the couch, a pile of semi-folded linens that have been waiting for a week to get put away, and a sock basket so full the socks keep falling out. Glad to see I am not alone.

    Recently someone stopped by my house and upon seeing the massive pile of unfolded laundry on the couch remarked, “Looks like laundry day at the Smith house.” I paused a moment and replied, “It’s always laundry day at the Smith house.” There is a constantly revolving pile on that couch!

  3. Oh, my….

    I love the idea of just leaving piles of things “waiting” to be folded, but alas I have 5 cats and we would carpet the world in fur if we tried that. Their most favorite thing is clean laundry…well, second to my husband’s sweaty, grass-stained nasty Saturday clothes.

    Thank you for today’s laugh. I feel so much better now.

  4. I can’t even remember how I wandered here, months and years past when you wrote this, but it SPEAKS to me. This is how we organize our linen closet. Even better, it has a sort of folding door that has jumped the rail, and now is jammed, in the folded position, in the CENTER of the narrow closet. So I have about six inches of space on either side, through which things get stuffed in and yanked out. And yes, it’s at the top of the stairs that are opposite the front door. Some day this will annoy my husband or myself to the extent that we actually fix the closet door. I think. Either that, or some day we will get too old for the stairs and put the house on the market, and that will inspire us to fix the door. Hard to say which will come first.

    Plus, I love the triple parentheses in your response above.

  5. oh, that is how you do it? Me too. I just failed to recognize the brilliance of calling it a system. Haha! Victory! I have a system!

  6. Oh my gosh. I just laughed so hard I cried. seriously. I stopped ironing my husband’s shirts & folding my panties when my first son was born and that is my deep dark secret…. your linen closet rocks. it’s perfect.

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