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Ideas to Steal: 7 Smart Tips for Storing Linens and Keeping Them Fresh

Linen closets tend to start out organized and lovely, but at some point (enter: life) they often devolve into a pileup of good intentions gone awry. Here, seven ideas to steal from some of our favorite linen closets, to help you keep your sheets, blankets, and towels nice and tidy—all the time.

N.B.: Featured image by Simon Brown for Living Life Beautifully, from Required Reading: Living Life Beautifully.

1. Fold towels and sheets so that the edges face the back.

After you fold your linens, stack them on the shelves, with the edges facing the back for an orderly look. That way, you don’t have to see a whole lot of folds or messy edges when you open the door. And to learn how to master the dreaded task of folding a fitted sheet, see Expert Advice: How to Fold a Fitted Sheet, Step by Step.

Linen Closet Bestegarsverksted Crop
Above: Perfectly folded antique French linens spotted on Bestefars Verksted. See 12 Armoires as Linen Closets.

2. But roll them if you are short on storage space.

A great space-saving way to organize your towels (and throw blankets, too) is to roll them. This comes in handy particularly with shallow shelves.

Linen Storage Armoire Interior Magasinet
Above: A small armoire in a bathroom seen on Interior Magasinet.

3. Consider ventilated shelves.

Linens can get musty just sitting behind closed doors. Proper air circulation can help fight humidity and stagnation—and ventilated shelves can go a long way toward encouraging airflow.

Amanda Pays Corbin Bernsen Laundry Room Remodelista
Above: Slatted shelves in a wall of built-ins ensure air circulation where the linens are stored. See Rehab Diary: Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen Air Their Dirty Laundry. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

4. Corral the little stuff.

Oftentimes, it’s more than just linens that are stored in a linen closet. Adding baskets, bins, and hooks, can help organize toiletries, and small linens (such as facecloths or pillowcases) in a neat and artful way.

Linen closet meets utility room in an armoire photographed by Mari Eriksson of An Angel at My Table.
Above: Linen closet meets utility room in an armoire photographed by Mari Eriksson of An Angel at My Table.

5. Protect against moths.

Moths happen to the best of us. To combat the linen-devouring insects, make sure everything you store in your closet has been laundered (moth larvae like to nosh on keratin, a protein found in our hair, nails, and skin). And for extra protection, add cedar blocks or lavender sachets to your closet. Moths hate their scents, but—added bonus—humans tend to enjoy them.

Justine bought a cedar-lined cupboard from a local antiques shop to hold the family’s towels and linens at their Cape Cod beach house. See The Soulful Side of Old Cape Cod: Justine’s Family Cottage. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: Justine bought a cedar-lined cupboard from a local antiques shop to hold the family’s towels and linens at their Cape Cod beach house. See The Soulful Side of Old Cape Cod: Justine’s Family Cottage. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

6. Add a folding board.

If you’re building a linen closet from scratch, consider adding a built-in folding board.

Luxe linen closet. LSL Architects' refurbished 18th century farmhouse Les Baux de Provence. Katrin Vierkrant photo.
Above: Located off the laundry room, this luxe linen closet has glass-fronted, lacquered pine cabinets with pullout shelves. See The New Provencal Style: An Artfully Reinvented French Mas. Photograph by Katrin Vierkant, courtesy of LSL Architects.

7. No closet? No problem: Display your linens.

Having a linen closet is a luxury—particularly if you live in an apartment. If you don’t have a dedicated closet for your linens, there are myriad other ways to store and organize your towels and sheets. Armoires, carts, and other storage furniture certainly do the trick. Or you could simply add some wall-mounted open shelves to a bathroom.

 Hooks on a wall and open shelves mean a corner of any room can be turned into a linen cupboard or closet. Photograph by Simon Brown for Living Life Beautifully, from Required Reading: Living Life Beautifully.
Above: Hooks on a wall and open shelves mean a corner of any room can be turned into a linen cupboard or closet. Photograph by Simon Brown for Living Life Beautifully, from Required Reading: Living Life Beautifully.

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