Storage for Bathroom and Hallway Linen Closets Starts with Shelving
The best organizing ideas for a linen closet often hinge on its location. Linen closets are usually positioned in either a hallway near the home's main bathroom or inside an individual bathroom or bedroom. The location will determine the storage requirements. A hallway linen closet is often pressed into double duty for storing both bed linens and towels for the bathroom in addition to personal toiletries like extra bottles of shampoo, conditioner, etc. The closet is frequently shared by all family members. A linen closet that is located inside a bathroom or bedroom, on the other hand, needs to serve the function of that room only. The closet can be smaller without impacting storage.
The basis of any good linen closet organization is a lot of shelves. For maximum storage, make sure yours has both static shelves and pull-out shelves to ensure small items don't get lost in the back.
Shelving is the backbone of every successful linen closet. There are several types of shelves used in linen closet design — mainly the standard adjustable shelf, cubby shelves, and pull-out shelves. Use all of them in your linen closet design for maximum storage of many different items.
Linen Closet Organization Basics:
Standard Adjustable Shelves
Standard adjustable shelves are shelves that can be easily moved by placing the pegs that support them into a different hole on the side panel. With the exception of the top shelf, these shelves should be placed about 14 inches apart. The top shelf can be difficult to access depending on the height of your door. To keep it accessible, this shelf can be more than 14 inches from the ceiling. Place it about 81 inches from the floor and use it for bulky items like pillows and comforters. Use the other adjustable shelves that are located 14 inches apart for bed sheets, light blankets and towels. The 14-inch height allows for comfortable 12-inch stacks of linens and thick towels on the shelf. Try not to stack anything higher than 12 inches because it will tend to fall over, even if shelf dividers are used.
Many homeowners use their linen closet as a surplus medicine cabinet. Because small items tend to get lost in the back of standard 14-inch-deep shelves, consider installing pull-out shelves for these items instead. Pull-out shelves are the staple of pantries and were invented to help organized small canned goods and bottled food items. However, they work exceptionally well in linen closets as well. A cross between a shelf and a drawer, they are mounted on slides and have low sides that form a kind of box similar to a drawer. The sides are not as high as a regular drawer, but high enough to keep small bottle of toiletries from rolling off the shelf. The ability to slide them out like a drawer allows for greater visibility of small items. Nothing gets lost in the back.
Pull-out shelves are more expensive than standard shelves. If your budget is tight, use a standard adjustable shelf and group the small items in baskets or decorative boxes. Assign each family member their own storage box on the standard shelf for a budget friendly alternative to the pull-out shelves. You can even color code the baskets and towels so each family member has their own color.
If you use bath sheets or your shelves are too narrow for a neatly folded sheet or towel, roll them instead of folding and then stack them on the shelf. You will fit more items per square inch this way. Sheets should be folded lengthwise together as a set with flat sheet, fitted sheet and pillowcases all together. Place the fitted sheet on the inside and the flat sheet on the outside for a neater appearance. Bath sheets or beach towels should be folded lengthwise to a 14 inch width and them rolled so that they will fit properly on a standard 14-inch-deep shelf.
Use mirrored doors or hang a mirror on the door of your linen closet. It can be placed on either the front or the inside of the door with equal effectiveness depending on your preference. The linen closet is a good central location for this wardrobe essential. Although mirrors don't actually add space, they can make a small area appear larger and less cluttered.
Divide and Conquer
If the linen closet is simply too small to accommodate everything that needs to go inside, consider adding a small armoire/wardrobe style closet or clothes dresser to the bathroom or bedrooms that can be dedicated to linens. This way you end up with more overall storage and you can separate out the bed linens from the bath towels, allowing more space for each.
When it comes to linen closets, it's really all about shelves. You can never have enough. Include regular adjustable shelves spaced 14 inches apart as the backbone of your storage. These are useful for storing 12-inch-high stacks of folded linens. Use cubby shelves for beach towels and other oversized linens that are best stored rolled rather than folded. Add pull-out shelves with low sides at waist level and below to handle cleaning supplies, small toiletries, and medicine cabinet overflow. Mirrored doors can make a cramped space look less crowded. Finally, if you simply cannot fit it all inside your existing linen closet, consider adding a new wardrobe cabinet or small dresser to the bedroom or bathroom just for linens. Try applying these 5 tips to your linen closet and you're sure to end up with more organized storage for your home.