Custom design lets you turn a hall closet into a well-organized linen closet. Here’s what to consider before making the switch.
Last week, I was visiting a friend at her gorgeous Georgetown home, and it was impossible not to notice how meticulously organized it was. Georgetown residences have a reputation for impeccable interiors and beautiful architecture, but I was still impressed by how efficiently my friend was able to use her space. The neighborhood has some of the highest prices per square foot in all of DC, which means residents don’t usually have a lot of extra room. And if you, like my friend, enjoy hosting houseguests, this can be frustrating.
But as my friend demonstrated perfectly, you don’t always need more space. Sometimes you just need to know how to use what you’ve got. And one of her secrets turned out to be her reach-in linen closet. She’d organized a hall closet beautifully to make up for lack of storage in her laundry area and guest room.
Linen closets aren’t usually seen by guests, but when carefully planned, you’d be surprised at how much of a help they can be (and how much you can fit inside them).
Design Elements to Include in Your Linen Closet
Shelves. Lots of them. Linen closets typically hold sheets, blankets, and towels, all of which store well on shelves. I’d recommend your shelves be no less than 10” apart, as this allows you to stack multiple items in each category. You’ll also want them to be adjustable so that you can reorganize when necessary. Do make sure to leave extra space between the last shelf and the floor—there are other items you might want to store here. (More on this below.)
Pull-out Laundry Hampers. Laundry hampers in bedroom closets are usually intended to hold the clothing of a particular guest or family member. But I’ve found that when bedding gets changed, having a central location for used sheets and towels keeps bed and bathroom sets together. (Towels, in particular, always seem to have a way of disappearing). This can streamline your process on laundry day.
Large Baskets. Some of my clients prefer slide-out chrome baskets, and some prefer baskets that sit on the floor. Either way, items like large comforters should be folded and placed into baskets to keep them contained—otherwise, they have the habit of expanding. They’re usually too thick to stay folded, and you’ll be left wondering why there’s suddenly no room on your shelves. Baskets help prevent the issue.
LED Lights. Linen closets usually don’t come with their own lights unless they’re walk-in spaces, which is rare in Georgetown. Adding LED lighting allows you to see everything clearly and choose appropriately colored items on the first grab. Without good lighting, white and ivory can look surprisingly similar.
How to Organize Your Linen Closet
By category. Even if you do nothing else, grouping your items by category and putting one category on each shelf will make your closet more organized and cohesive. Categories I typically see in a linen closet are towels, sheets, blankets, and beach towels, but if you have other items that need to go in this space, that’s totally fine. Just try to reserve one shelf for each type.
By style. Once you’ve broken everything down by category, take it a step further. Within towels, you’ll have bath towels, hand towels, and face towels; within sheets, you’ll have flat sheets, fitted sheets, and pillowcases. Some people like to store their sheet sets together as one, and if you prefer that approach, go for it! Either way, this type of organization has practical benefits. Because you’ll know exactly where everything is, you won’t have to move items around as you hunt for the right set of hand towels. This usually means you can fit more in the space because everything will stay neatly folded.
Speaking of folding, you don’t have to perfect the art, but everything should be folded somehow. For tricky items like fitted sheets, I usually suggest folding awkward corners inward so that when you open the door to your closet, you see even lines instead of loose ends.
Custom Storage Solutions for Your Georgetown Home
A well-organized linen closet is a godsend when you’re preparing for visitors. If you’re dealing with a particularly small home, you might also consider other custom storage options, whether that means renovating your guest room closets too, installing a Murphy bed, or making the most of garage cabinetry. Whichever way you go, you’ve got plenty of options, and we’d love to help you figure out the best solution. Get in touch for a free design consultation to get started!
Lead image credit: Flickr user Pieter van der Meulen (CC BY 2.0)