Not many of us are lucky to have a roomy linen closet including yours truly. And before I “Kon-Mari’ed” my linen closet, it was stuffed with towels, sheet sets, pillow cases, shower curtains, bath rugs, and comforters.
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Today, my horizontally challenged linen closet is so organized thanks in some part to Marie Kondo, but also to some bins I purchased by GUS (Great Useful Stuff). I also took the time to really assess my linen closet and make some minor adjustments so that everything fit perfectly and still looked pretty. Check out my photos below and follow how you too can make the most of your narrow linen closet.
Also, let me apologize now for the terrible lighting in my photos. This closet is located in the inner part of my home and is nowhere near a window where I could get some good natural light.
Using the Kon-Mari Method First
At the end of 2015, I was bitten by the Kon-Mari method. I can’t begin to tell you how much tidier my home has become since. I “Kon-Mari’ed” every possible room including my linen closet.
Below is how my closet looked after getting rid of a ton of towels, bedding, and other linens. I folded everything Kon-Mari style then stood them up vertically. I couldn’t believe the amount of room I had.
Despite loving my new roomy linen closet, it wasn’t exactly pretty. Also, I had recently organized my small master bathroom and needed to find a place for personal healthcare items. With its new roominess, I added it to the linen closet but it was not visually pleasing.
Getting Started on Your Linen Closet
Assessing Your Space
First, you want to take measurements of your linen closet. This includes measurements between shelving. My closet is only 31 inches wide (losing an additional 3 inches on each side due to the door jamb).
Vertically, my closet meets my ceiling at 8 feet. However, a foot of that space on top is blocked by the upper portion of the wall making it wasted space. My closet also has five shelves that are 13 inches apart.
Assess and Purge Your Linens
Next, you should completely empty your closet and categorize all the contents. I laid all my linens on my bed and grouped like items together. I suggest counting things like towels. Ask yourself if you have more than enough towels and other linens. If it is excessive, it’s time to purge.
I had three different towel sets when I started. I realized that two sets of towels were more than enough for my family and overnight guests. This was the same for bedding sets. All one ever needs is two bedding sets per bed.
After grouping your items, I suggest looking for an organizing system. This will not only keep all your things together but will hopefully make your closet look pretty too. Make sure that any system you order online gives you the dimensions for their bins (most do). When I went online, I found G.U.S. (Great Useful Stuff) linen closet storage bins.
These bins come in different colors and sizes. They use Velcro strips making it easy to put together. What I liked about these bins is that you can open the front panel to access linens at the bottom of your pile.
Using the measurements they gave, I folded all my linens as if I had their bins. I was able to determine that I needed 1 Large, 1 Small, and 3 Medium bins.
If you are keeping other items in your closet beside your linens, you may want to find bins for these as well. Because I keep personal healthcare items in this closet, I looked for nicer looking bins to keep them in.
Below, I purchased a clear acrylic bin from Bed, Bath & Beyond for my ointments, especially those that come in tubes. This bin holds things like cortisone, bug bite creams, petroleum jelly, and any other skin relief topical creams.
For cough and cold medicines, I purchased this hinged, lidded acrylic bin pictured below.
I, also, found this neat first aid box for my emergency stuff. I like that it has a handle so you can just grab it and go.
It also has a removable tray on top.
The best part is that big red cross on the front. This is great if you have kids. I wanted my boys to be able to recognize that it is an emergency kit.
Fixing and Adjusting Your Linen Closet
Before adding your bins, I suggest reassessing your empty space and shelving. Check to see if it could use a fresh coat of paint. If you want to get fancy, you can add some decorative wallpaper.
Since I needed to adjust the height of my shelves I removed them and patched up the nail holes that were left behind. After, I painted the inside of the closet white and waited for my bins to arrive before readjusting my shelves.
Using that Wasted Space on Top
Starting from the top, I placed my guest pillows upright to reach the ceiling using that wasted space. This shelf was at the right height preventing any cramming or squishing of the pillows against the ceiling. You can see this in the photo below. I was able to fit four fluffy pillows up there.
The second shelf was readjusted because I didn’t need a lot of space to house my personal healthcare products.
This allowed me to adjust the bottom shelf. I moved it up a few inches so that I could fit this oversized basket filled with bath rugs. The basket is from Kohls.Let others know how to easily organize their narrow linen closets by clicking here to tweet.Click To Tweet
The Total Reveal
So here is the closet all finished with bins in place.
On the shelf below my personal healthcare items, I used two medium bins to hold a set of towels and sheet sets.
Below that is a medium bin for more bath towels. I used the small bin to hold hand towels, wash clothes, and pillow cases.
Finally, on the last shelf, I used a large bin to hold 2 large quilts and a couple of shower curtains. This left enough room on both sides of the bin to store my tissue boxes.
These G.U.S. bins came with labels but I got creative and made my own like the one below.
Well, this is it. Here is a brief recap of how to get your linen closet organized:
- First, purge the stuff you don’t need
- Next, purchase the appropriate bins for the size of your closet AND the amount of linen and things you will keep
- Then, take good measurements and adjust your shelving to fit your bins
Finally, for your convenience, here are the links for products mentioned in this post.
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
- G.U.S. linen closet bins
- Interdesign Zia Clear Storage Basket
- MetroDecor Clear Storage Box
- First Aid Storage Bin
- Colonial Mills Basket
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