I’m still nesting y’all.

If you are just joining us on this organizing journey, it all started as a distraction.

I just dropped two of the cutest blue-eyed, blonde-haired girls at college.

Enough. Said.

I wanted to spend my days crying.

I wanted to spend my days with the covers pulled up over my head eating Oreos and watching the episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelai drops Rory off at Yale in her dorm room and doesn’t really leave for two days and buys the entire dorm pizza and coffee.

But instead?

I’m organizing.

It’s making me feel better than eating cookies.

And today?

I wanted to share with you the best tip (along with six others) that I may or may not have discovered that keeps everything so much better organized in this space we call the linen closet.

Are you ready for organizing instead of cookies, too?

(total aside: maybe we could treat ourselves to one of these after we’re done.)


Here’s what the linen closet looks like now.

I can hear you talking at the screen.

Here’s what you might be saying:

  1. Where’s all your stuff?
  2. Where are your comforters?
  3. I need way more stuff in my linen closet than that.
  4. I love it.

I get it.

I understand.

I have lived with a linen closet for YEARS that was FULL, FULL, FULL of linens and sheets and towels and all the stuff.

But you know what?

I didn’t really need all those linens. They were just taking up space and collecting dust and living with the creases where they had been creased for a zillion years because I NEVER USED THEM.

So I took a look.

A LONG HARD LOOK at the linen closet and how it functions and what I actually needed in there and came to a few (albeit controversial) decisions.

Here’s what I decided I needed for the linen closet.

(total aside: this is just for the beds and 2 bathrooms upstairs. The downstairs bathroom and bedroom have their own linen closet).

Also, please note that we have a basket in this space for towels and we wash them twice a week.

  1. 10 white fluffy amazing towels (I ordered these sets and LOVE THEM. They are really good size 27″ x 54″ made from Egyptian cotton and they have held up wash after wash. Also—they are super absorbent and cozy, too.)
  2. 10 white hand towels (I ordered this set and LOVE THEM. They are really good size 16″ x 30″ and they look like spa towels.)
  3. A set of these black makeup removal washcloths for my face. I saw a similar set at Leslie’s house in Waco and thought what a brilliant idea to save on all the make-up stains I was always trying to get out of my washcloths. In full disclosure six is not enough. I need to order another set.
  4. Bins for sheet sets. I’ll get into that later.
  5. A large basket for beach towels. I’ll get into this later.
  6. Several lightweight blankets for summer. I’ll probably adjust this slightly for winter.
  7. This diffuser from Mrs. Meyer’s that makes the entire linen closet smell amazing. I’ll get into this later, too.


I know it seems like we need more stuff in our linen closet. But I don’t think we really do. Take a long, hard look at all those extra linens taking up space in your linen closet and evaluate. Do you really need everything in there?

Barring an entire troupe of circus performers coming to my house, this is enough to keep us functioning and going and more importantly.


Here are my best seven tips to organize the linen closet using this system.

1. Evaluate

Take everything out of the closet and look at each item carefully.

Are there rips?

Are there tears?

Do you have too many top sheets and not enough bottom sheets? Do you have matching sets? Do you have pillowcases that you’ve not used for YEARS?

2. Donate

Divide everything into three piles.

Decide what you truly need and what you want to keep (we’ll address those in a minute). Then toss everything that’s truly damaged.

And donate the rest of all those sheets and towels to your local animal shelter.

3. Put matching sets of sheets in bins

This is the key to my entire system.

I already had these bins from another closet, but I found these and these that are SUPER similar here.

The key is you want them to be sturdy with lids.

Upstairs we have three queen/full-size beds and one twin trundle bed. So in each tote, I put a queen-sized fitted sheet and flat sheet and matching pillowcases.

One extra set in each bin for each bed.

Then I put an extra set of queen-sized sheets and extra pillowcases in an additional tote (you know for when the circus performers come to town).

Usually, I just wash the sheets on the bed and put them right back on. But if I need an extra set of sheets for the bed? I just pull down the tote and open it up and everything is there smelling great (you can add in a little sachet for each tote) and dust-free.

See what I mean?

Why would I need more sheets than that?

4. Make everything smell great

I love, love, LOVE these cardboard diffusers from Mrs. Meyer’s.

The peony is my favorite, but they have tons of other scents, too.

It’s a cardboard tube that you open up and add the beads to it to scent it.

Then you adjust the openings on the cardboard tube to release as little or as much scent as you want.

You can see it here.

5. Store beach towels in a large basket

At the very top (you can see it in the corner) I added a large woven basket for beach towels.

I just fold them and tuck them in there when not in use.

I love this basket because it’s roomy enough to hold 5-6 beach towels (especially if you roll them up).

6. Keep towels in one color

I like white.

It’s just pretty and easy and I can use bleach in the load without worrying about it.

If you are looking for laundry tips–I have the POST for you.

You can see TONS of ideas for stain removal and laundry fixes here.

7. Fold your towels in thirds

This is the way my mother-in-law showed me and I still fold them like this.

I fold them in half and then fold them in thirds.

It just makes everything stack so well and keeps them fluffier.

So let me know what you think.

Do you like my system?

Could you use it?

Is there something else you think I should have added to the linen closet?

My towels and I want to know. 🙂


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  1. Image for Deb Deb

    Hi! Great linen closet organizing ideas! However, my linen closet also is home to all my “medical “ supplies. Bandaids, bug bite stuff, rubbing alcohol, etc. Any “pretty “ and practical storage ideas? Thanks so much! You’re my hero!

  2. Image for Betsy Betsy

    You’re a girl after my own heart! I donated all patterned and different color towels and went all white. It’s just my husband and I now so I have 3 sets in case we have a guest. My linen closet was packed with so many linens I never used. Dust ruffles attacking when I opened the cabinet door! We went with different style wood frame beds that you only use a mattress on!!! Yayyyyyy! Out went the dust ruffles. I’m just loving all the space and less stuff.

  3. Image for JC JC

    How did you know I needed this exact inspiration!! Ordered my covered sheet storage boxes. :) I am going to incorporate everyone of these ideas. Organization brings me peace and joy and my husband LOVES organization, so it is a marital blessings, as well! The only thing I missed, was what do you do with your seasonal blankets, duvets, and comforters? I think I see a blanket and coverlet (?) on your top shelf. I can't wait to implement this!

  4. Image for Renee Renee

    Love your organization and the all white towels. As I give away old towels, I am replacing with big, white and fluffy ones. And it’s ok to cry about your girls at college. When our 1st born son went to Vanderbilt in 1995, I cried all the way back to Va— 8hrs! You have to remember that Nashville was a long way from Arlington, Va. This was just when everyone was getting a PC- there was very little email at the time and no cell phones. Nashville seemed an entire country away. I would open his closet just to smell his clothes!!! I was a mess! He’s now 44, has given us 2 of our 5 beautiful grandchildren. It’s been many years but I can still see him standing in the Vanderbilt parking lot— wearing a red Ralph Lauren shirt and khaki pants…. — as his Mom, Dad and younger brother drove away. I still tear up at this memory. Pitiful… Grandchildren

  5. Image for Layla Layla

    Hi, Love these ideas! I definitely need to get rid of stuff and do this. Thanks for sharing! PS your smile is contagious

  6. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    Do I need to worry about these warnings I get when I attempt to use the links you provide?: Your connection isn't private Attackers might be trying to steal your information from www.ojrq.net (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID

  7. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love this!. I fold my towels the same way and use white towels also. I change up my bed linens by season, so my bins also include a quilt and duvet cover. Love your ideas of the covered boxes. I use the boxes/bins for giving gifts too. :)

  8. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Love the tips and feel your heart pain missing the twins! I've added cedar blocks to my linen closet....love the little bit of cedar smell they provide. Reminds me of my Grandma's cedar chest and cedar closets!

  9. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Great post and I too need to get rid of some of my bedding, no telling what all I have I don't need. Thanks and have a great day!

  10. Image for Kimberly H Kimberly H

    I love all these ideas! I roll my bulky items (extra or off season mattress covers, comforters, etc) tightly in plastic wrap and write on the side what it is with a Sharpie.

  11. Image for Michelle Crowley Michelle Crowley

    This post comes at the perfect time for me! I'm extra motivated to clean out and purge all the "extra" from my home. I spent the last week in Idaho purging, packing and moving my parents. They had 40 plus years of "stuff" that we had to sort through. In the end we got rid of 22,000 lbs. of this "stuff". This is NOT an exaggeration for effect! We weighed each and every load! It was insane what they had saved all these years. There were loads and loads of Old linens. I'm now extra committed to just keeping what I need and use!

  12. Image for Laura Laura

    I found that placing each clean sheet set inside its matching pillowcase works wonders! Twist or fold the open end of the pillowcase with the sheet set inside and place on the shelf. If you have extra cases just fold them neatly and stack on the sheets before shoving them in the case. I might have learned this from Ms. Stewart. And buy some Oxi Clean powder for whites! Works like a dream!

  13. Image for Rebecca Mercer Rebecca Mercer

    Karianne, I have been following you for only a short time but you are so joyful My heart is lifted each time I see your darling self, and you are such an inspiration. Your home is beautiful and I love your ideas. Rebecca

  14. Image for renee renee

    I see what you mean, but I love sheets. I changed the bed today and I like having a new (different) set on the bed. So I’d need more than 2 sets. Plus I have a couple of flannel sheet sets we use in colder weather. I wanted that diffuser but the are sold out!! I’ll have to Google and see if I can find one!

  15. Image for Denise Lauder Denise Lauder

    We just moved to a new state and I came to the realization during packing and unpacking that I don't need linens for the whole circus. You are so right. Love the idea with the bins. Going to try it.

  16. Image for Crystal Brown Crystal Brown

    I went through both my linen closets in a fit or organization fever last year and am happy to report I'm still organized! Yay me! I keep 2 sets of sheets for each bed, one on the bed, and the other in a basket.... like you I usually just put the fresh from the dryer sheets back on the bed, and need to remind myself to use the second set now and then just to keep it from getting musty. (will need a couple of those cardboard diffusers!) I also have to control my table runners and extra blankets, but I went through those and each bed has one extra blanket. I really edited my table runners. One for spring/summer, one for fall/winter. That's it. And I don't always use table runners and can't remember the last time I used an actual table cloth! (are we still friends?) One note: I do agree it's a good idea to separate into Keep, Toss and Donate piles. But be careful what gets tossed. I recently learned that discarded clothing is clogging our landfills with man made fiber debris that takes DECADES to decompose, if it does at all. Some actually turn into little pellets that end up eaten by unsuspecting birds... clothing that ends up in the waterways (how does this even happen?) causes problems when fish eat the polyester fibers/beads and then the natural food chain occurs.... yikes! It was suggested to me that I cut up anything that can be used as a rag for dusting, cleaning, washing the car, etc and donate the rest of the fabric scraps to Goodwill to be sold to organizations that use the scraps to make other things. My county has one Goodwill that accepts bags of fabric scraps. Call the regional office to locate the nearest shop. And yes! to donating old towels and blankets to animal shelters, you have a good heart! Thanks as always for all your tips and inspiration!

  17. Image for Diana Diana

    You were the FIRST blogger I ever followed ... all these years later, you still make me smile! Do y9ou have a post on your weight-loss journey? I am 30 pounds into my 100=pound weight-loss journey and need inspiration. You look like you feel wonderful! God bless you! Diana

  18. Image for Donna L Simpson Donna L Simpson

    After reading this post I am excited about organizing my linen closet! I also keep too much 'stuff''. It's 11:30 pm, hmm, is it too late to begin this project tonight...just sayin'!

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