How to organise your linen closet

Original article appeared in Temple and Webster Journal by Victoria Baker.

Linen Closet

Photography – Denise Braki. Styling – Jono Fleming.

Four steps is all it takes to achieve linen closet nirvana, says Adelaide-based professional organiser Sarah Shanahan. Follow her guide, shop our sale for towels, sheets and storage, then you’ll Love Your Linen Closet too.

Sarah Shanahan

Portrait by Jane Cameron, courtesy of Fête magazine



Can you share your method for organising a linen closet?

1.  Begin by pulling everything out. Clean the cupboard and sort into two piles: Donate and keep.

2.  Sort the keep pile into sheet types, ie single flat, single fitted, queen flat, queen fitted, pillowcases etc etc

3.  Label. Get a labeller and label your shelves – it makes life so much easier. With four teenagers in the house, I love that they can go straight to the linen closet and know exactly where to find their sheets etc.

4.  Donate older blankets and throws, especially in winter when they’re most needed.

Laundry organisation

Image via House of Philia

What do you think are the biggest don’ts for linen closets?

Letting things creep into the closet that don’t belong, just because you don’t have the right spot for it right now. This starts bad habits and eventually a chaotic linen cupboard. Invest in a cane basket and place at the bottom of the cupboard for all foreign items, if you must!

A big no no is no order at all, fitted sheets all lumped together, so that you have no idea what size it is. Zone your linen cupboard and it will flow smoothly.

Organising your linen closet

Photography – Denise Braki. Styling – Jono Fleming

How many sets of sheets do you recommend per bed? 

Two per bed is my rule, maybe three but there really is no need for any more than two.

I have tried the Martha Stewart idea of storing the flat and fitted sheet inside the pillowcase. It looks great and works well, but for my household I like to keep them in their separate piles, clearly labelled.

Organising your linen closet

Photography – Denise Braki. Styling – Jono Fleming.

Do you have a trick to folding fitted sheets?

I have seen and tried the Martha Stewart trick of folding a fitted sheet but to be honest it’s not for me! In our house I’m just happy if it’s folded any which way and put in its right place! But go for it if you have the time!

Photography – Denise Braki. Styling – Jono Fleming.

Photography – Denise Braki. Styling – Jono Fleming.

What does an organised linen closet say about you?

Everything! A lot can be said for connecting a linen closet and how it is maintained, to the way the rest of the house is maintained. If mine gets messy I feel out of balance with the rest of the house, that’s why I love what I do I suppose. I’m a big believer in having an organised, calm home throughout. A place for everything and everything in its place!

What do you think are the biggest obstacles to organisation in general?

1. Time! People are so busy these days with families having both parents working and kids involved in so many things. Something has to give and it is usually the home and its organisation

2. Getting started! Once people feel overwhelmed with lack of organisation in their home they often feel overwhelmed and paralysed as to where to begin…. that’s where I come in!

3. Teenagers! They aren’t great for being organised, it’s just not on their radar. I know, as I have four teenagers.

A bedroom in Sarah's Adelaide home

A bedroom in Sarah’s home, via Instagram @sarahshanahan_lifestyle

What’s your advice on making sure organised also looks beautiful?

This is crucial to me as I love interior design. Baskets are my favourite organising tool; they can be so beautiful as well as handy. My golden rule is to keep it simple. Have only in your house what you need, use and love. There are so many gorgeous products out there to keep you organised that suit any taste and budget.

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