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How To Declutter Your Linen Closet

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There are many areas in your home that are easy to neglect to tidy up because they are “good enough” the way they are. One of these spaces is your linen closet. It doesn’t have to be a leaning tower of mismatched sheets and towels, I promise! 

So how do you declutter your linen closet?

This article will teach you essential tips for a DIY linen closet makeover including where to start, things you need to get the job done, and how to keep it from getting disorganized again. 

If you feel overwhelmed at the idea of decluttering your linen closet, you’re not alone. It can seem like a daunting task, but it’s worthwhile. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but there are decluttering principles that can be adapted to any lifestyle so that it makes sense for you.

Take Inventory

This is often the hardest step and will require some patience because it’s the epitome of something looking worse before it gets better. 

As you begin your decluttering process, take everything out of your linen closet and take inventory. Separate the items by type for sheets, towels, blankets, etc., and make note of how many of each you have, the condition, and your favorites or most used items.

This important step will give you a clear picture of what you actually have.

Oftentimes in these cluttered areas of our home, it’s hard to remember what’s hiding in there.

Things can easily become hidden as they fall out of rotation and you forget you ever had them in the first place. 

Trim The Fat

Once you have an idea of what you have in your linen closet, it’s time to streamline.

If you’re a minimalist already you may not have much to get rid of, but if you’re like most people you probably have several sets of sheets and more seasonal hand towels than you’d ever use.

What you want to do is get rid of are any linens that are stained, ripped, threadbare, or that you don’t use anymore for any reason. 

This can include things that don’t match your decor anymore if you recently updated your bathroom or bedroom or even sheets that are scratchy and uncomfortable that you hang onto “just in case”.

Ideally, you want to keep 2 sets of sheets per room in your home and 2 sets of towels for each person in your home. For specialty items like holiday or seasonal decorative towels, use your discretion but be realistic about what you will actually use. 

Once you’ve selected your “keepers” in each category, you can relegate your older items to be used for cleaning around the house or donate anything else to a homeless shelter or animal shelter in your area. Both are always looking for donations of sheets, blankets, and towels. 

Sort Items By Room

Woman hands neatly folded linens and towels

Most people have certain sheets and towels for specific rooms in their home whether it’s to match the color schemes or bedding made for a particular size bed. This is how you want to organize your linens.

This means sorting linens by room rather than by category. For example, put all of the sheets for the master bedroom together and all the sheets for additional bedrooms together. This makes it easy to find everything you need when it’s time for a change. 

Organizing your linens in this way makes it easy to grab your backup set of sheets or towels on laundry day. It will save you time and aggravation because you don’t have to sift through piles of sheets wondering which ones go with which room or bed.

Invest in Smart Storage

There is no shortage of bins, organizers, and shelving units that you can purchase to help declutter your linen closet. Whether you opt to purchase some fabric bins or invest in a full closet system, there are plenty of options. (source )(source )

What you choose for your linen closet storage will rely largely on the space you’re working with, your budget, and what makes you feel the most organized. Whatever storage solution you choose has to work for you because that’s the only way you will maintain it.

If you have a closet that is small and/or already has shelves, some nice baskets and organizers may be all you need to accomplish your dream linen closet. 

If you are working with a larger space or more of a blank slate closet, you can use this opportunity to design a purposeful space with a custom shelving system.

The key to this step is to buy things that you will actually use and that will hold your items in a way that is functional. This is not the time to buy cutesy storage baskets if they aren’t big enough to hold your towels. Measure everything and make sure it will all fit and work together.

Rehome Items That Don’t Make Sense

Linen closets can become something of a “catch-all” space in your house by collecting items that don’t really make sense anywhere else. As you declutter your closet, put these miscellaneous items to the side to sort through.

Go through the pile and find permanent homes for each item you plan to keep. Make a separate pile to toss or donate anything that does not serve you or you don’t need anymore. 

Make It a Family Affair

happy young domestic woman in pajamas posing with straw basket for linens storage

The only way a decluttering project is going to have any staying power in your home is if you let the other members of your home in on it. If you are drastically changing the way you organize your linen closet, they need to be brought up to speed on the new system. 

Whether you opt to clue your significant other, roommate, or children in on the new organization system after the fact or bring them along for the whole decluttering project, don’t skip this one! It can be a fun rainy day project to tackle together. Turn on some good music and get to work!

There’s nothing worse than putting in all the work to update and organize a space only to have it revert back to its messy ways in a matter of days because everyone still thinks you’re doing things the old way. Also, as they say, more hands make less work. 


Decluttering your linen closet doesn’t have to be a complicated task. Focus on finding a way to organize all the items that works for your lifestyle. 

Only keep the things you need and use regularly. You don’t need 10 pairs of sheets for each bed in your home and if anything is ripped or worn, get rid of it! And when it comes to storage solutions, less is more. Buy smart items that serve a purpose like fabric bins or baskets.