Declutter the Linen Closet


1. to remove mess or clutter from (a place).

2. to organize and prioritize (one’s commitments, material possessions, etc.)

3. to let go

Declutter First, Organize Next. 

Pulling out what you no longer want is key to creating space and will make the organizing process smoother. Whether it’s clothing from a hanger, shoes from a rack, books from a shelf, paper from a filing cabinet, or toys from a bin, it’s time to make decisions on the things you are ready to let go. Focus first on decluttering. When the unwanted is out of the way, begin cleaning and organizing.  

Step One – Declutter the Linen Closet

  • Prepare a large, clean, and comfortable surface on which to work and fold. Avoid bending down and putting things on the floor and on surfaces where linens can pick up dust or animal hair. A clean bed, sofa, or dining table will do.
  • Have on hand plenty of trash bags for donations.
  • Prep a bottle of all-purpose cleaner or mild soap, and a clean sponge or rag.
  • Open the linen closet and take a few “before” photos.
  • Remove ALL linens from the closet. Sort like with like as you take them out: Bath towels, hand towels, sheets, duvets, comforters, pillows, dish towels, beach towels, etc.
  • Once sorted, you will know how much of each there are and which sets are matching or missing pieces. This is an important step toward LETTING GO. It’s easier to say goodbye to the old, worn, mismatched, and unwanted if you know there will be enough left to survive.
Allow yourself to let go and help others in need. Shelters always need old towels and small blankets for their ongoing intake and care for animals. You can also drop linens off at a homeless shelter or charity organization of your choice. Shelters accept new and used towel donations year around.

Step Two – Clean

  • Wipe the empty linen closet surfaces and walls with a wet and warm, soapy cloth. Regular cleaning will keep closets and cabinets in good condition. Allow surface to dry completely before putting things away.

Step Three – Fold & Organize

  • There are many great ways to fold towels and linens. Visit these Youtube “how to” videos to see my favorites. 1) Unique towel folding, 2) How to fold a fitted sheet, 3) Types of sheets and how to fold sets together
  • When folding towels, sheets, and blankets, consider the width, height, and depth of the area they are going back into. Fold in a way that allows the linens a bit of space between each other once stacked on a closet shelf (see above photo.) Room to breathe!
  • Put like items together (towels, sheet sets, blankets, etc.)
  • Take an “After” photo of your organized linen closet.


Isabella Guajardo, founder and owner of Bella Organizing, is a San Francisco Bay Area professional organizer offering home organizing and residential move management services throughout the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Call (510) 229-7321 or email for more information. Gift certificates are available.