Linen Closet Organization (2013 Update)

I tend to revisit high traffic areas of the house once every twelve to eighteen months to clean up, clear out, and reorganize where needed.  We have two linen closets on the second floor of our home, which we use to store linens, of course, but other frequently used items as well.  I tackled both our hallway and bathroom linen closets recently and made them more functional with a few slight changes, tweaks, and swaps.

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Our hallway linen closet is narrow but deep.  I hung an Elfa closet I designed in the space when we moved into our home six years ago.  One of the things I love most about Elfa is how flexible it is!  The only part of the system that is drilled into the wall and thus stationary is a top bracket from which you hang standards that shelves clip into.  I didn’t need to make any major structural changes with this closet, but I did want to swap out the open style bins I was using for closed boxes.  I had purchased eight large Garden Bloom DecoBoxes from The Container Store last summer for a master closet project that didn’t pan out, so I put them aside with my extra containers stash knowing they would find a place and a purpose in my home at some point.  Since I stopped storing our most frequently used sheets and towels in this closet earlier this year, I decided using boxes with lids for the longterm linen storage I now keep in there would be preferable.  The DecoBoxes worked like a charm!  I love that they have slight openings at the cutout handles to allow airflow through the bins, but the lids keep dust at bay.  I have a lot of room to grow in this closet with three empty boxes at the moment.  Plus, these extra master bedroom linens could easily be stored in our ample master closet in the future if we needed to dedicate this space to accommodate other storage needs.

OJ|OLJ 7:19:2013_2Aside from clearing out unused cleaning supplies, the only other change I made to the hallway linen closet was a very slight but a particularly effective one.  I use two stacks of the Like-It Translucent Stacking Drawers (on sale now at The Container Store!) on the floor of the closet to store small, loose household necessities.  Because of the way the closet is set up, the right set of drawers can only be pulled out about half way before they run into the molding along the doorframe.  This proved a challenge when accessing cleaning supplies, which I keep stored in two of the large stacked drawers.  I simply swapped the two stacks, so that the cleaning supplies are now located on the left side where there is enough room to pull the drawers out all the way.  The other stack houses smaller items such as tissues, lightbulbs, and power accessories that can be easily accessed from the drawers that only open halfway.  I also labeled these drawers for easy identification.  With just a few small changes and without having to purchase anything new I was able to improve the functionality of our hallway linen closet to suit our current needs.

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I made only minor changes to our bathroom linen closet as well, keeping what worked and modifying what could work better.  I love having the laundry bin resting on the floor for easy access (especially important when living with a less organizationally-inclined person!).  I still use the six 3M Command hooks I hung previously on the lower walls of the closet to keep used washcloths and sweaty workout clothes out of the hamper until laundry day to avoid general ickiness.  I kept the same Elfa closet components I originally installed but added one shelf I happened to have already to store our extra towels.  I also adjusted the other shelves to make enough room to keep the six large Tribeca Bins (no longer available from The Container Store) I have been using since my last closet organization.  This linen closet is both narrow and shallow, making the space at the very top of the closet that extends beyond the door frame extremely difficult to access.  Dead space like this is one of my organizational pet peeves!  I finally figured out a way to utilize it, although I don’t actually need the space at the moment.  I was able to fit two clear storage boxes I had on hand on the top shelf of the closet.  I keep my out of season candles in these two bins.  There is enough room to stack several more of the same sized boxes (the Men’s Shoe Box from The Container Store) in the case that I’d like to store more candles or other items I don’t need to access on a regular basis.  No more dead space!

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The main changes I made to the bathroom linen closet focused on micro organization.   As much as I love using boxes and bins to store things, it always bothers me when loose items flop about inside of larger containers.  I started to work on using smaller containers and dividers in my Craft Closet during my recent Home Office organization.  This inspired me to tackle micro organizing the open bins in my bathroom linen closet as well.  I made a few purchases from the gift container section of The Container Store to aid in this pursuit.  I picked up several Small White Folding Mesh Cubes and Mini Party Totes as well as two Linus Handled Bins (on sale now!) to help corral the loose items in my large Tribeca bins.  These relatively inexpensive items ended up being great choices and I know I will get much use out of them even if I decide to repurpose them in the future.

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I wanted to share some detailed shots of my micro organizing efforts.  All of the photos are numbered and in order from the top shelf of the closet going down:

1. Out of season candles and decorative candle sleeves.
2. Out of season bath and body products (left) and speciality cleaning supplies for jewelry and makeup brushes (right).
3. Don’s extra toiletries (left) and my extra toiletries (right).
4. First aid (left) and medical supplies (right).
5. A closer look at how I stacked the two Linus Handled bins in the First Aid container to maximize space.
6. Extra hand towels, washcloths, hair towels, and spa head wraps.

I share my Linen Closet Organization in detail in this video shown below if you’re interested in a closer look:

All in all, I am quite pleased with the result of my linen closet updates.  I was able to repurpose organizational aids I had on hand and only purchased a few smaller items to help with micro organization.  These simple changes have had a huge impact, however, making our upstairs linen closets extremely neat, functional, and perfectly suited to our current needs.

I hope this inspires you to revisit your linen closet and make any necessary tweaks and changes to improve its functionality as well!  Happy Organizing! 🙂

*I am not affiliated with any of the brands or stores mentioned in this blog post or video.  All opinions are my own.*


12 thoughts on “Linen Closet Organization (2013 Update)”

  1. Wow, so much to organize! My apartment isn’t that big but you really gave me al lot of tricks to organize.

    Thank you very much.

    Greetings Anouk

  2. Great post! You really give some good ideas! I’ve been watching your YouTube channel for about 2 years now and I have to say, you are the most realistically organized person I’ve ever seen. Most ‘organizers’ advise people to pare down and only keep the necessities. You seem to be able to have everything you want to have and keep it organized. Kudos to you!

  3. Great job as usual Jen, and as always thanks for the inspiration! This may have to be the next thing I tackle in my house!!!

  4. Hi Jen! Love the look of your linen closets! There is something very soothing about seeing all those bins lined up! I also LOVE your genius idea of hanging little command hooks over the laundry basket for wet wash cloths- I hate having them laying on my sink and keep decorative hand towels on the towel bar, so this is a perfect solution for me! Hope you and Don are having a blast on vacation!

  5. I have some of those little totes and I put my wax cubes in them for the wax burner…

    Jen, CAN YOU PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE find the time to do a detailed post or a video on HOW TO MAKE A BED FEEL LIKE A HOTEL BED. It seems silly but your bed looks as comfy as a 5 star hotel bed. I’ve only been using a fitted sheet and when I watched your video, I saw you had a lot of layers. I’m missing something, girlfriend! Please tell us what all is on your bed on where you got it so we can get some ideas!


  6. I like to clean out our cabinets and closets every two to three months. It’s so easy for things to get cluttered. I love the idea of using storage drawers and baskets too. They’re easy access and if you get the clear ones, it’s easy to see what’s I them.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your organization videos! I became a housewife as a teenager and am now 22. Your videos have really taught me a lot and are very motivating. 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing this. Am a new follower on youtube & hopped over here and so far you have inspired me to organise my note stuff I carry around and now I am wanting to get storage for my cupboard as the towels and bedsheets are taking over and I am sure after I organised it we could get alot more in there! Am thinking of carrying this over to my wardrobe too as that is in dire need of tidy up.

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