Are you ready to get organized?! Take a look at these 7 inspiring linen closets and learn the 5 elements of linen closet organization that you can easily recreate in your own home.
Nearly every time the husband get sick he buys a new package of cold and flu medicine.
Why? Well, because it’s nearly impossible to find anything in our linen closet. It’s a complete disaster.
I bet we have at least 5 different kinds of cold and flue medicine in there…but good luck trying to find them.
It’s not like I haven’t tried to organize the linen closet before. I have! But nothing seems to work long term. Eventually, stuff just gets shoved in there with no organization at all, and then we find ourselves in the messy situation again.
That’s why I’m taking on our linen closet (and some open shelving) for the One Room Challenge this fall. It’s time to dig deep and do it right. .
No, I’m not going to wing it. Over the next 6 weeks, our tiny little linen closet will be transformed from disaster to dream. And I’m ready to jump right in.
The Linen Closet Right Now/Before
Here’s a quick look at our linen closet as it is right now. What a mess!
Our Open Shelves Right Now/Before
And here’s the open shelving I mentioned as well. I can’t believe we let this sit out in the open for all our guests to see!
So, now it’s time to get to the inspiration, right? Not quite!
Putting Together a Good Organizational Plan
A good design plan starts with inspiration.
That’s right. It doesn’t start with purging, or pulling together a shopping list, or even identifying what projects to make.
You’ve got to first figure out what inspires you.
The easiest way I’ve found to do that is to start with browsing sites like Pinterest and Google Image search for your project. Keep an open mind and don’t worry about looking for anything specific.
All you want to do is collect a bunch of images that you love.
Only then do you pull it all together.
You see, when you put several images together that inspire you, you are better able to see what the common elements are. And that’s what you want to focus on when designing your final space.
Let’s take a look at what that means for linen closet organization and open shelving, shall we?
Linen Closet Organization – The Plan
Credits: 1 – 5 Steps to the Perfect Linen Closet by Bliss at Home, 2 – A Little Peek at Our Linen Closet Makeover by Dear Lillie, 3 – Laundry Room Organization Using the NEAT Method from The Pottery Barn Blog, 4 – Pin Stripe Linen Closet from Better Homes and Gardens, 5 – Organized Linen Closet from Honey We’re Home, 6 – Linen Closet Organization from Waiting on Martha, 7 – Paulette Pantry used as a linen closet from How to Decorate by Ballard Designs
All of the linen closets above are beautiful on their own. But when you see all the pictures together, the common design really becomes obvious.
The overall feel is neutral and sophisticated. While brightly colored plastic bins are inexpensive, the inspiration photos show I need to steer away. Otherwise, I’ll be disappointed in the result.
Here are the 5 main elements of linen closet organization that are clear from these inspiration photos:
Baskets are a great way to store the ugly items in your linen closet. Not only do they add visual texture, but they make it easy to keep similar items together.
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Wire or metal baskets are sturdier than woven baskets. They’re great for large, similar items, like toilet paper and paper towels. They also add a bit more dimension and visual interest to your linen closet organization.
Apothecary jars are a beautiful way to store things like cotton balls and q-tips. These jars from Anchor Hawking come highly recommended. But, if you have three little ones in the house, like us, you’ll want to find a safe solution. (Update: We found the PERFECT solution! Click here for details)
Our linen closet is barely two feet wide, and the shelves are only about 11 inches deep. That’s not a lot of storage for a family of five. Adding storage to the back of the closet door is going to be crucial to keeping us organized.
Obviously we attempted this before with the hanging shoe bag. And as you can see from the before pictures, it didn’t work at all. I recommend sticking to narrow shelves or hanging rods. That way you can keep things a bit more organized.
The space between the floor and the bottom shelf is usually the tallest. That means that it is easily the space that gets stuffed with the heaviest and bulkiest items. Make life easy for yourself and use rolling or sliding storage on the floor whenever possible.
Open Shelf Organization and Styling – The Plan
Credits: 1 – Unknown Source via Dawn Radke on Pinterest, 2 – DIY Between the Studs Shelf Closet Makeover by Remodelando la Casa, 3 – Trimmed Storage Niche at Better Homes and Gardens, 4 – Bathroom Storage Shelves by Stacey Risenmay (Not Just a Housewife), 5 – Open Shelving by Aimee Weaver Designs
Here again we can see several common elements among the inspiration pictures:
Creative Built-in Storage
I’m not sure we’ll be able to do anything built-in, but I love the idea. It’s especially functional for shallow shelves that are created between studs.
The beadboard on the back of several of these shelves adds so much texture without being fussy. It’s a great way to make the a set of open shelves look nicely finished.
Boxes to Corral Clutter
Both open and closed-top boxes are a great way to keep clutter from spreading all along the shelves. Plus, they look pretty, too!
Plants and Greenery
You don’t really NEED plants to make open shelving look nice. But adding a natural touch with a small plant or two makes a space feel much more refined. (Even if it is a fake plant!)
Now, It’s Your Turn
Hopefully you can now see how important it is to create the right kind of design plan for your space before you get started. Armed with this, and the 5 ways to recreate the perfect linen closet organization, we can both now begin the journey toward a less-cluttered life.
Though, honestly, if we can just avoid having 5 or more boxes of cough and cold medication at any given time, I’ll be happy.
What are your best linen closet organization tips?
Do you prefer colorful or neutral closet storage?