8 Linen Closet Organization Tips + Makeover Ideas

Are you tired of rummaging through piles of towels and linens in your linen closet? Does it seem like no matter how hard you try, you can't quite tame your linen closet? These practical linen closet organization tips will help! You can maximize your linen closet storage and transform it into a functional and beautiful space. Plus, I'm sharing some of the best linen closet makeover ideas from around the web to inspire you!

collage image of organized linen closets

The linen closet in our current house is a mess that I plan on tackling it soon! While I'm VERY grateful to have a linen closet (I've lived in houses that had none), we haven't done much to organize it since moving in nearly three years ago.

I plan to use many of the linen closet organization tips that I used when I transformed the linen closet in our old home years ago because it worked out so well! It stayed tidy and organized for years before we moved into this house. So let's look back at the tips I used and will repeat in this house!

This is what our linen closet looked like before. I had some systems in place, but the towels were a mess, the closet door storage wasn't optimized, and it really just needed to be reworked and organized. I realize this may not look like a huge mess to some of you… but just keep reading and scrolling. You'll see what I mean if you take a closer look.

messy linen closet

Because it was such a small space, it only took me 2 days to reorganize it and give it a major facelift! So imagine what you can do in just a few hours to get your linen closet under control. Let me show you how it turned out, and then I'll share my best tips and some great linen closet organization ideas to make yours equally beautiful and useable. 

organized linen closet with floral wallpaper

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8 Linen Closet Organization Tips

Tip #1: Empty your entire linen closet. 

Take it ALL out! This is the step in the process when you need to purge anything you no longer want or need. That means old beach towels, sheet sets and by all means, get rid of everything that has expired. I was shocked to see how much-expired medication we had! You will probably be shocked by what you find–we were able to purge old hooded baby towels. Clearly, we don't need those anymore! Get rid of as much as you can–some things can be sold online or you can donate useable items. Toss everything else.

Tip #2: Give your linen closet a facelift. 

I have always found that when I give a room or closet a fresh coat of paint or otherwise spruce it up, I'm way more motivated to keep it super organized. Closets can start looking dingy over time and this one was no exception! It was a sad color that somewhat resembled a manilla folder and had scuff marks all over it.

Giving the walls and the linen closet shelves a fresh coat of paint did wonders for our hall closet's appearance. We took it one step further and added this removable wallpaper to the back wall. It was a total splurge, but to say I was happy with it is an understatement. And because I loved how it looked and wanted to see the wallpaper, keeping it tidy became a priority.

photo of linen closet organization using bins to store similar items

Tip #3: Organize by category.

One of the reasons maintaining linen closet organization can be hard is because of the huge variety of items that are usually stored in them. Linen closets can store everything from bedding to medication! So it's very important to group similar items together, such as towels, linens, bedding, and blankets. Designate separate shelves or storage bins for each category so that everything is easy to find and put away.

Tip #4: Maximize all available space.

This is by far one of my favorite linen closet organization tips… Make the most of every inch of your linen closet by using the door and any blank wall space for vertical storage! Install hooks on the walls to hang items like towels or robes. Over-the-door organizers or hanging baskets can be used to store smaller or infrequently used items. By using vertical space to store smaller items, you can free up valuable shelf space for larger items.

This made a HUGE difference for us. The plastic shoe hanger that was on the back of the door before was a cool idea in theory, but it was hard to keep things tidy in those flexible pockets. Luckily, we already owned the Elfa system door rack and we knew it would be perfect since we used them when we revamped the kids' closet organization and they are awesome. So after giving the door a fresh coat of black paint, I quickly installed the track and wire baskets and basically quadrupled our storage.

elfa door storage system in closet

Tip #5: Use clear containers to keep small items organized. 

I bought these clear containers to hold all kinds of small things that need to stay together and would otherwise instantly become clutter, like batteries. I also use one to hold sewing kit items so that it is fast and easy to fix a torn stuffed animal or sew a button on! Anything loose that easily makes a mess should go into a container–ribbon, clothespins, cotton balls, swabs. Evaluate what YOU need to stay organized.

batteries in clear container

Tip #6: Use canvas bins to store your towels and linens. 

One of the things we did was store our towels and linens in large canvas bins. Why didn't I think of this before?! We had a stack of old canvas bins (these are similar) that we used to use in our guest room. When I realized they fit on our linen closet shelves, I loaded them up with our towels and sheets. No more messy stacks of mismatched towels! I love how tidy the canvas bins make the closet look, and it's super easy to slide them out to find what we are looking for.

photo of towels stored in canvas bins

Tip #7: Use small organizing bins for small items. 

This may sound SUPER obvious, but when you store small things (like bottles of medicine or bandaids) in big drawers or bins, it will be a disorganized mess. You need your storage bins/drawers to be similar in size to what you are storing! I organized all of our medication in these plastic woven storage bins. And I even went a step further and used IKEA Skubb boxes inside to keep things even more organized by type and category. Another small woven bin holds all of our ace bandages and other first aid supplies.

over the counter medications neatly stored in containers in bins
first aid supplies neatly stored in containers in bins

Tip #8: Have a designated spot for everything. 

This is not specific to organizing your linen closet. It's just a good organizational tip in general. When you have a designated spot for everything, it's FAR more likely to get put back where it belongs. For example, we created a designated spot on the back of the door for all of our sunscreen. Our giant pool bag fit perfectly at the very bottom of the closet. Since we had a designated spot for everything, it was easy to always put everything back in the correct spot. I promise that doing this works if you make the effort! Also, it helps kids because they know where everything is and don't dig around in your neat and orderly closet, and can easily help themselves if they need something. Win-win!

sunscreen stored in door storage basket on linen closet door

If you are looking for something we used in our linen closet, you can find it below!

Click on any image below for full product details.

Linen Closet Makeovers for Inspiration

I love what we did to our linen closet, but I realize we all have different needs. While the basics of organizing your closet are the same for everyone, I do think specifics can vary from home to home and family to family. There are so many amazing linen closet ideas. I wanted to share more ideas with y'all to inspire you to get yours functional and pretty. Check out all these genius linen closet ideas!

Organized Bathroom Linen Closet

Lauren from Bless'er House has a bathroom linen closet, which I think is probably very common. She uses glass jars for soap and cotton balls, baskets to keep things orderly, and makes sure all her bath towels are folded exactly the same. Everything looks neat and pen its place!

Wire Basket Organization

I love how cohesive and practical this linen closet organization is! Using these wire baskets gives everything a uniform and tidy look, but you can still see what is stored inside them so it's easy to find what you are looking for! I love that she even stored pillows and blankets neatly in the bottom.

Wallpaper and Coordinating Shelf with Bins

Kate at Domestikated Life created a linen closet in her guest bedroom. She used wallpaper and coordinating drawers in the closet to create a cohesive and organized look. The wallpaper dresses it up and the shelving unit is perfect to hold all the items typically found in a linen closet like toiletries and toilet paper.

Pretty Neutral Closet with Stencils

Jenni from Dear Lillie Studio gave her linen closet a total makeover and created a neat, organized, neutral closet. She painted and stenciled the walls and then organized it in a way that hid all the things she didn't want to see (like colorful sheets and towels!) so that her neutral aesthetic is perfectly preserved. Even your closet should reflect how you want your home to feel!

Labeled Shelves

These labeled shelves by The Happy Housie are an organized dream! You never have to wonder where anything goes, and the labels make it so easy for anyone in the family to grab what they need from this organized linen closet.

Labeled Baskets

Labeling your storage baskets is a great idea if you want more versatility in your linen closet. It is easy to reconfigure where your baskets are and move things around as needed. I also love how cute the tags look hanging from the baskets.

Wallpaper and Nailhead Trim on Shelves

Megan Pflug did an amazing job creating a dream linen closet in a bathroom. She made over her closet with wallpaper and painted shelves with nailhead trim and then made simple stacks of towels, washcloths, and blankets and added a pretty basket for small items. She also added a hook on the door, perfect for a towel or robe! Just a few small improvements made a huge impact!

Cedar Closet DIY

This DIY linen cedar closet DIY blew my mind. Rachel took a normal messy closet and made it into a beautifully organized cedar closet masterpiece in one weekend. She removed the wire shelving, added the cedar, put in new shelves and then added in her bins and baskets. They don't even all match–but keeping them in the same color palette keeps it feeling cohesive and organized!

DIY Fabric Wallpaper

Jen from Tatertots and Jello created a high-end look that is actually a simple trick with DIY fabric wallpaper. This is an easy project for small linen closets, and looks great once you have all your items back in and organized! She uses large and small wire baskets to bundle similar items and hangs the iron and ironing board on the door, which is a great space saver.

Wood Covered Wire Shelves

These wood-covered wire shelves by Flavia at Neat House Sweet Home are another great way to cover wire linen closet shelves! Flavia also added canvas tote baskets to hold their stuff, making it easy to grab what they need, so nothing gets pulled down and stacks don't end up unfolded and crazy!

Are these amazing, or what? I LOVE them! So many great linen closet ideas–no matter your style or space, I hope you are inspired by some of these ideas.

Your linen closet deserves as much attention as any other space in your home. I know dragging out every sheet, pillowcase, and all those medicines and bandaids can seem overwhelming. But I promise you that it is so worth the hard work. It may be tucked away behind closed doors, but with these linen closet organization ideas, keeping linens and towels will be stress-free and enjoyable! You can not only maximize your storage space but create a closet that looks beautiful. So, take some time to give your linen closet a little TLC and transform it into a beautifully organized space for your home.

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