7 Steps for an Easy and Affordable Linen Closet Makeover

Does your linen closet feel chaotic? Is it bursting at the seams with hand towels, bath towels, sheet sets, and other household items – most of which you don’t even use?

I’m with you, sis. Case in point…

Meach's messy linen closet before her linen closet makeover.

Over the years, our hall linen closet has lost all sense of purpose and organization. It’s just become a catch-all for random items we’re not sure what to do with, plus all of the sets of sheets and towels we actually need.

And, if I’m being honest, most of the items in it don’t even get used. Like, ever.

So this week I decided that it was time for a linen closet makeover, and I documented the entire process so I could share it with you.

Scroll down to get the goods!

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My 7-Step Linen Closet Makeover Process

I bet you’re wondering – how can I make my linen closet more functional?

Your linen closet will feel more functional when it houses all of the items you need it to.

Additionally, you’ll be able to put things in and pull things out without effort.

Overall, it’ll be easier to maintain.

While the end result will vary, the process to get there is the same. So if you want to DIY your linen closet makeover, here’s what you have to do…

1. Declutter

This is the first thing you want to do before organizing anything!

Go through your linen closet and pull out items you don’t need and/or no longer use.

Fill a box or bag, then donate these items immediately. You don’t want to be tempted to keep them.

It’s especially important if you’re working with a small space, but regardless do not skip this step.

Storing things that you don’t need isn’t just a waste of space, it’s a waste of your valuable time, money, and energy.

Although it can be difficult in the moment, decluttering your linen closet will make it a lot easier to maintain long term. Be your own best friend and do the hard things now, that way you can enjoy the fruits of your labor later.

After that’s all done, you can move on to the next step!

Pro Tip: If this is an area you struggle in, try one of my decluttering book recommendations.

2. Make a List

The second step in creating an organized linen closet is to make a list of everything you’d like to store in your linen closet space.

If it feels like you won’t have enough space for everything on your list, ask yourself if there’s a better place to store something and narrow it down from there.

You can also star the items on your list that you’d like to prioritize, then work on fitting those into the closet first.

Keep editing until your list of items will undoubtedly fit in your closet. If you end up having extra space, you can always add more later.

3. Measure Shelf Space

Next, you’ll want to measure and document the shelf storage space for your entire closet.

Write down how many shelves you have, how wide and deep each shelf is, and how much space you have between shelves (top to bottom)

These measurements will help you to complete this linen closet makeover quickly and efficiently, so make sure you get them right.

4. Make a Plan

At this point it’s time to think through how you’d like to organize your closet space, so grab some paper and sketch out your ideal linen closet setup.

You don’t have to be an artist, but you do have to get detailed.

Here are a few examples of ways you can get super specific here:

  • Hand towels and wash clothes will go in fabric bins on a shelf with easy access since we grab them on a regular basis.
  • Extra toiletries will go in a plastic bin on the top shelf since they’re not needed as frequently.
  • Cleaning supplies will also go in a plastic bin on the top shelf to keep them away from the kids.
  • Bins will only be used for small items to keep this project under $X.

Whatever you decide, your linen closet should be organized in a manner that works for you and your family.

Making a plan may take a bit of trial and error, but it’ll make the rest of the process a lot easier.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to stick within a specific budget, make sure your plan can work within whatever you have in mind. My linen closet makeover cost me just under $150 all in. To me, that was fair and worth the time and energy I will save in the future.

5. Purchase Storage Bins

Now that you have your measurements and plan in hand you can order your organizers with confidence.

If your linen closet has wire shelves, I recommend plastic bins, clear containers, and/or fabric boxes.

If your linen closet has wooden shelves, you could do all of the above PLUS wire bins.

Personally, I just don’t think wire baskets look great against wire shelving. And they can be a little wobbly on the surface, too.

As for popular woven baskets, I never recommend them for linens. They tend to shed on cloth items like towels and sheets.

Be sure that whatever you buy coordinates. Your linen closet makeover will look a lot more cohesive. Small details can make a huge difference.

FYI: I bought all of my storage bins on Amazon.

6. Put it All Together

Once your storage bins are in hand, you can empty your linen closet to start with a clean slate. Then start putting your plan in place!

It’s a good idea to place all of your bins in the spots you envisioned before filling them. That way you make sure there’s enough room for them and everything works as you hoped.

7. Label Everything

Now that everything is in place, the last step is to label EVERY shelf and bin. This way everyone in your household is aware of your intentions for the space and can help to keep it organized. Without labels, your linen closet makeover efforts will be wasted in no time.

Depending on the types of storage baskets you purchased, you could use a label maker for this. Chalkboard tags and bin clips work great, too.

The Best Containers to Organize a Linen Closet

The best containers to organize a linen closet include clear containers, fabric storage bins, and/or plastic baskets. See below for my logic and shoppable recommendations.

1. Clear Containers

Acrylic clear containers are ideal for extra toiletries and products, so you can see everything you have on hand with a quick glance. This will make it easier to create shopping lists, and it’ll ensure no item goes to waste.

As you’ll see in the pictures below, I chose to use these large acrylic containers by M Design in our upstairs linen closet. They’re super sturdy, and I like that the front side is lower so I can easily reach in and out.

I also used a large clear zipper bag for storing extra blankets. I thought this was an easy way to contain them, and I like that I can pull the bag off the top shelf without its contents potentially spilling on me.

2. Fabric Storage Bins

Fabric bins are great for creating a cohesive aesthetic with minimal effort. They hide oddly-folded fitted sheets, colorful sheets, and mis-matched towels.

We actually own a bunch of colorful beach towels, but you wouldn’t be able to tell because I intentionally stored them in a fabric bin.

My husband and I stink at folding sheets, too, haha. But now that we hide them in these bad boys, that problem has been solved.

3. Plastic Baskets

These are typically the more budget-friendly option, and they’re equally as effective.

You can find some great plastic storage bins at Target, Walmart, At Home and even Dollar Tree. Amazon also has a ton of options, especially if you want to buy one size in bulk.

The only reason I didn’t go this route is because we’re trying to limit the amount of plastic we have in our home – just for some personal reasons.

But you do whatever you have to do to organize your messy closet. You really don’t have to spend a ton of money to make a big difference.

My Linen Closet Makeover Reveal

Here’s a look at my small linen closet makeover. I’m seriously so thrilled with how this little space turned out.

Meach's messy linen closet before her linen closet makeover.
Meach's messy linen closet before her linen closet makeover.
Meach's clean and organized linen closet after the linen makeover.
Meach's clean and organized linen closet after the linen makeover.
Meach's clean and organized linen closet after the linen makeover.

Everything in the entire closet has a place and a purpose now.

And I’m even able to keep things in there that didn’t fit before – like extra toilet paper and all of my DIY manicure supplies.

This storage space doesn’t just bring me joy, it brings Dane (my husband) joy too. We’re both happy that we won’t have to deal with digging through that mess just to find some extra sheets that actually match.

Shop My Linen Closet (Commissionable Links)

Click the arrows to scroll through, then click the photos to head to the product page.

All in all, I hope these simple tips help you to revamp your messy linen closet and create a space that feels functional for you and your family.

Honestly, you can knock this project out in just a couple of hours, if that. You just have to be really honest with yourself during the decluttering process, and extra thoughtful during the planning step.

If I have one regret, it’s that I didn’t do this sooner. And I hope that once it’s all said and done you’re able to say the same!

Before you go, here a few other related posts I think you’d like:

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