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5 Creative Ways to Store Linens to Keep them Fresh and Organized

Have you ever pulled a sheet out of your linen closet to make your bed, only to find it smelling musty and old?

It’s a common problem. There’s no “Use By” date on your linens when you put them away. Unless you make a conscious effort to rotate them manually, you’re always going to use the newest first until there is no other option.

Stale, musty linens and towels are typical in small linen closets that don’t get a lot of fresh air. But if you revamp your linen storage, it’s possible to have fresh, organized linens at your fingertips.

Use these five storage ideas to adjust your linen closet. You’ll never smell revolting odors on your bedding and towels again!

1. Only Keep the Good Linens in Your Closet

You don’t need every sheet and towel in your closet. Some of them may not fit your bed, and some may be too stretched-out to be useful.

Go through everything in your storage space with a critical eye. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit well or have matching pieces.

For some people, it’s hard to get rid of a perfectly good towel, tablecloth, or duvet cover. Keeping them in your closet and not using them can be hazardous to your health, though.

Closets get damp and musty, allowing bacteria to grow and thrive. Linens that don’t match are usually ignored and avoided, letting this bacteria and the musty odor spread to fresh sheets and towels.

If you’re hesitant to toss your mismatched linens, don’t! Instead, put on your DIY gloves, cut the linens into pieces, and repurpose them into cleaning cloths and rags.

2. Fold Your Sheets Right (Or Fake It!)

Just like with your clothes, there are expert ways to fold your linens and tricks to keep them fresh.

Disorganization can quickly spread, so if you haphazardly fold your sheets and towels, the rest of your closet is likely to get messy, too.

Don’t worry if you can’t master the fitted sheet technique. You can master the art of storing your sheets backward (with the neat, folded side out) instead. This ensures that everything lines up neatly without the struggle of getting the elastic edges perfect.

This technique is especially necessary if your linens are stored in a visible spot. Linen shelves that aren’t in closed closets can still look nice if everything is organized and folded correctly.

For added freshness, place an acid-free sheet of paper between each item as you fold it. This minuscule separation increases air circulation to prevent the damp, musty odor.

Related: 5 Cool Storage Tips to Transform Your Laundry Room

3. Get Handy Baskets for Your Items

Baskets are better for linen storage than plastic bins. Plastics don’t release humidity, so your linens can get musty or even moldy.

Certain baskets, such as cedar and seagrass, add a natural fresh scent to your sheets and towels. In addition to the pleasant odor from the baskets, you can always add sachets for added fragrance and freshness.

Wire baskets are good too, although they don’t smell as nice as fiber ones.

There are a few more reasons to use baskets as linen holders. Items like washcloths and hair towels don’t store well and take up a lot of space.

And if you’re constantly putting clean towels on top of the unused ones on laundry day, the unused towels will become musty and contaminate the fresh ones.

Using small baskets makes it easy to rotate the older towels to the front. Plus, large baskets for rolled or folded linens keep them from sitting on dirty, dusty shelves.

As an added tip, baskets with handles make it easier to move your heavy or awkward linens around.

This organizational strategy improves the overall look of your closet. More importantly, it keeps your linens fresher and healthier.

4. Combine Your Bedding Sets

Manufacturers find it possible to pack an entire set of sheets and pillowcases into one neat cube. So can you!

If you’d rather have your entire set in one easily accessible place, try this hack:

Fold your sheet sets and tuck them inside of the matching pillowcase!

Sheets aren’t the only linens that come in sets. Most of us want the linens in our bathrooms to match, too.

Towels and washcloths can be placed in baskets or folded and stored together for grab-and-go use. Remember to avoid using plastic bins, even though they are shower-friendly and can be tempting.

Related: 7 Practical Storage Solutions for Organizing Your Laundry Room

5. Don’t Forget the Details

You’ve chosen baskets, rolled your towels, and folded your linens. But you’re not done quite yet!

A truly organized system is one that accounts for every detail.

You’ve already organized your closet space. Now it’s time to go the extra mile and add a few small details to optimize your closet.

Tags and labels on each basket remind you of what’s where at a glance. It’s the perfect solution to the problem of lost linens. With every bin labeled, you’ll know exactly where everything is.

Unless you have a completely dry closet, you’re going to have a slight odor problem. This is because there isn’t a lot of airflow going on in your closet.

The last thing you want to inhale after a long day is a musty bedsheet. So, pick your favorite scent and add a sachet bag of that fragrance in the back of your closet.

There are also linen sprays that you can use on your sheets and linens to keep them smelling fresh and clean. Spritz a few pumps on pillows and comforters before bed to add a pleasant aroma to your room.

Some scents are natural bug repellents, too. Lavender, cedar, and peppermint are popular fragrances that also drive moths and other bugs away.


It would be easy to leave your linen closet a mess, but the disarray is literally bad for your health. With restricted airflow and the natural dampness that comes from long-term storage in a dark area, old linens are hotbeds of bacteria and mildew.

With these creative organization techniques, you can keep your linens fresh and orderly. Unexpected overnight guests or accidental spills aren’t stressful when you have linens clean and ready for use at a moment’s notice!

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