Organizing the Linen “closet” (Me and Martha Series)

To see all of my Me and Martha posts, click here.

Today I’m sharing some of Martha’s tips on organizing your linen closet.  If you remember, we don’t actually use our linen closet for linens, but the tips still apply.  We use a repurposed TV armoire because we keep other stuff (medical supplies, extra homegoods, extra towels) in our actual linen closet.  Here is where I started:

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It really wasn’t bad considering the way some of my linen closets have looked in the past.  Here are a few pics from Martha Stewarts Homekeeping Handbook and also her book Good Things for Organizing.

via Homekeeping Handbook

via Homekeeping Handbook

via Homekeeping Handbook

via Homekeeping Handbook

via Good Things for Organizing

via Good Things for Organizing

Here are some of Martha’s main tips:

  1. Get rid of what you do not use.  You don’t need 4 sets of sheets for one bed…  I was able to get rid of a few that were in our armoire.  I wash our sheets on Sundays and then we put the same ones back on.  The only difference is we change the cotton ones out in the winter for warmer flannel ones.  I kept an extra set for each bed and then an extra set we use for the fold out couch.  Here is my donate pile after going through everything.
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You can keep old sheets for drop cloths (store them in the garage), otherwise donate them to your local charity.

2. Keep extra comforters or linens that are rarely used in a storage bag.  We use these vacuum storage bags quite a bit.. They save so much room!

This is "before" I sucked it flat. lol!

This is “before” I sucked it flat. lol!

3. Learn how to fold sheets!  This is a big one.  Both of Martha’s book I mentioned give step by step directions on how to fold the dreaded fitted sheet.  It takes a while to master, but it’s worth the time.  Your closet/shelves will look so much nicer.

so much better...and neater...and a neatly folded set of sheets takes up WAY less space.

so much better…and neater…and a neatly folded set of sheets takes up WAY less space.

4. Sort linens by type, size, etc.  Martha mentions you can also put your set of sheets in one of the coordinating pillow cases for storing, but I didn’t do that.  I sorted by size, season, function (blankets on one shelf, pillow covers and pillows in a different section.

These are the extra sets of sheets I mentioned.  We have 2 queen beds, 1 full bed, and a full fold out couch.  And also our flannel sheets.

These are the extra sets of sheets I mentioned. We have 2 queen beds, 1 full bed, and a full fold out couch. And also our flannel sheets.

This shelf has extra decorative pillow covers (I change them out for seasons) and then 2 extra twin sheet sets.  Sometimes you need 2 extra when the kids are little.  Potty training and the sickies sometimes make middle of the night changes necessary.

This shelf has extra decorative sofa pillow covers (I change them out for seasons) and then 2 extra twin sheet sets. Sometimes you need 2 extra when the kids are little. Potty training and the sickies sometimes make middle of the night changes necessary.

This section has the vacuum sealed extra comforters and the bottom shelf is extra quilts.

This section has the vacuum sealed extra comforters and the bottom shelf is extra quilts.

Here it is all organized.

linen11

So much nicer!  And I even have extra storage space if needed now!

linen12

Mine and Martha’s side by side.  I am not as far from Martha Stewart and her amazing homekeeping skills as I once thought.  And you probably noticed above, I even bought little metal labels ($5 for a pack and I have a bunch leftover) for my linens too! Wheeeeee!

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One thing I can say about this challenge this month… Our house is getting so organized and that is a great feeling.

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