Everybody loves having a fresh new towel ready for when they get out of the shower, the swimming pool, or the jacuzzi. Who doesn’t adore a fresh-made bed, tingling with the clean crispness of a new set of sheets? What’s a holiday dinner without taking out and draping grandma’s pristine tablecloth, so free of spots and wrinkles you could serve a senator, an ambassador—even the Queen? But wait—how come they’re all bundled together and crammed in this dusty shelf? And what’s that musty smell?
This will not do.
Organization is the highest goal of all life. Molecules are organized atoms. Cells are organized molecules. Bodies are organized cells. Societies are organized bodies. Nations are organized societies. Why do the ants eat in the winter while the grasshopper starves? Because the ants are organized. If the ants can do it, so can your linen closet.
Planning to Reorganize Your Linen Closet
When prepping for a big closet revamp, it’s important to plan ahead, weighing priorities, and find the ideal weekend afternoon to finally rationalize your linen and laundry closet layout. As you’ll need to buy, cut, and affix materials to idealize your space, it’s wise to set aside the time you need to do it right.
In order to successfully systemize your linen closet, first you’ll need to itemize all the goods which you currently or prospectively will store there. As you draw up your list, separate each item into categories based on function: is this fabric used in the bedroom, bathroom, dining room, or elsewhere? Sheets, of course, are bedroom fabric, while table settings go to work in the dining room.
Once you’ve developed categories by function, now delineate subcategories based on size, which is indicated by type. For example, place settings and tablecloths both go to work in the dining room, but due to their size difference, will live in different places in your closet. The same goes for pillowcases, children’s sheets, adult fitted sheets, extra wool or flannel blankets, and stuffed comforters.
Turning Your Linen Closet Dreams Into Reality
You now have a comprehensive list of everything that will go into your linen closet. Before you start buying shelving, ask yourself—do I want all of this to go in my linen closet? If you’ve got a full stock of textiles and enough (but not too many) extras, you won’t need to make additions or subtractions.
But if you’ve been perennially running low on towels, now’s the time to take note of it. If you have far too many left-over sheets for beds you don’t own anymore, now may be the time to purge them. Rightsizing your fabrics helps ensure your storage space continues to comfortably house your linens for years to come.
The next step is turning your list into a plan. Your list separated items by category, as well as by size/type. By turning that list into a table, you have a logical plan for your closet. Use size/type to arrange your closet vertically. Large fabrics, like stuffed comforters, should live in the bottom of your closet. Small fabrics, like pillowcases and place settings, should live on top.
Likewise, you can use your categories to arrange your closet horizontally. Bedroom fabrics can live on the left, while dining room textiles can live on the right. This is an ideal setup, which lends a consistent, soothing sense of order to an otherwise chaotic jumble of linens and miscellany. Of course, we don’t live in an ideal world, and some items might not want to fit where your plan says to put them. That’s okay. Still working from your plan, rearrange as little as possible to find the perfect position for each stack of cloth or sheets. It might look something like this:
Now that the plan is complete, all that remains is to follow it. Home goods stores or hardware stores will supply shelving and dividers. Install the shelves you need and no more. Base the distance between shelves on the measured size of your linens. Prefer lighter materials over heavier ones, especially for vertical dividers. Paint wood to complement the other colors in the room. Wire-frame shelves are useful in damp areas, like bathrooms. Baskets can replace shelves for the bottom row, providing a floor to keep comforters clean, and a lid to keep them in their place. Building Your Own Ideal Linen ClosetYou may notice that certain miscellaneous items have crept into this organizational scheme, such as curtains and children’s costumes. While these fabrics may not fit into the broader “bed, bath, dining” categories, they are nonetheless important household textiles. If you have them, and they’re a good idea to have, then they’ll need someplace to go. In most cases, the best place for them is the linen closet.
While you’re at it, now’s the time to think about lighting. The easiest way to be able to see your linens and sort them at the same time is with door-activated LED lighting. Turning on when you open the door, it keeps your hands free for carrying comforters or towels away to where they’re needed. The worst way to light your linen closet is with candles, for obvious reasons.
Delegating to a Custom Closet Designer is Smart Home Management
Now that you’re well-versed in an effective order of operations for reorganizing your linen closet, you’re probably wondering when you’ll ever be able to get it all done. Between planning, purchasing materials, and finally installing them, you may eat up multiple consecutive blocks of spare time. If your busy life—and let’s face it, it’s a busy city—doesn’t afford many contiguous openings, you may consider calling in custom closet designers to help. That’s not dereliction—it’s delegation.
Custom closet designers don’t need spare time to perfectly arrange your linens—it’s the sole goal of their waking hours. The best custom closet designers will meet with you, at your convenience, to talk over and measure your closet. They’ll develop a computerized model of your perfect space, and manufacture a high-quality storage solution specifically to fit your needs.
With cleanliness and timeliness topmost on their minds, your closet professionals will install the closet so unobtrusively the only way you’ll know they’ve come and gone will be the glow of light welling from your linen room to the rolling joyousness of Beethoven’s warmest symphonies, mingled with the sweet lavender of freshly-laundered fabric. There is heaven on earth: it’s where you keep your tablecloth.