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7 Steps for Tackling Your Linen Cabinet

Written by
Emily Mitchell
PHOTOGRAPHS BY
Laure Joliet for Parachute

So you’ve decided to embark upon the project of optimizing your linen storage. Perhaps your home is endowed with a dedicated linen closet, but said cabinet causes you to wince anytime you so much as attempt to extricate a washcloth. Perhaps you have multiple storage spaces, such as under the bed containers, a trunk stationed at the end of your bed, or a refashioned broom closet — and now you’re looking to simplify. No matter! As with any project, let’s break it down into some straight-forward steps.

01

Make Space

Start by taking inventory. Set blankets, quilts, sheets, towels et al, on a bed or clean surface. This will allow you to sort what you already have and identify if your collection can be edited. Are there any pieces that have been excluded from your rotation for over two years, or which have become overly pilled, stained, or threadbare? Heirlooms and sentimental childhood blankets are exempt…for now.

As you go through your items, fashion separate piles for items that can be: donated, discarded, or repurposed. You can get creative with reusing items here. For example, old towels can be earmarked for drying your pet when it rains, or cut into squares to make kitchen rags and even transformed into DIY Halloween costumes.

01

Make Space

Start by taking inventory. Set blankets, quilts, sheets, towels et al, on a bed or clean surface. This will allow you to sort what you already have and identify if your collection can be edited. Are there any pieces that have been excluded from your rotation for over two years, or which have become overly pilled, stained, or threadbare? Heirlooms and sentimental childhood blankets are exempt…for now.

As you go through your items, fashion separate piles for items that can be: donated, discarded, or repurposed. You can get creative with reusing items here. For example, old towels can be earmarked for drying your pet when it rains, or cut into squares to make kitchen rags and even transformed into DIY Halloween costumes.

02

Identify Gaps

Now that you’ve pared your collection down to essentials, you can identify any gaps that may exist. At least two sets of linen and two complete sets of towels per bedroom will serve you well – luckily our bundles include everything you need this side of the mattress. That’s not to say that a third set won’t save you unnecessary stress when your Sunday laundry night gets…backlogged. As they say, don’t underestimate the power of a matching towel set.

02

Identify Gaps

Now that you’ve pared your collection down to essentials, you can identify any gaps that may exist. At least two sets of linen and two complete sets of towels per bedroom will serve you well – luckily our bundles include everything you need this side of the mattress. That’s not to say that a third set won’t save you unnecessary stress when your Sunday laundry night gets…backlogged. As they say, don’t underestimate the power of a matching towel set.

03

Sort and Order

First, group sheets according to bed size. If you have unique sets for each room, for example, you’re going to find it eminently helpful to have those stacked together. Next, group complete towel sets with one another. Last, be sure to corral together miscellaneous items, such as workout or yoga towels, and keep them neatly bundled.

03

Sort and Order

First, group sheets according to bed size. If you have unique sets for each room, for example, you’re going to find it eminently helpful to have those stacked together. Next, group complete towel sets with one another. Last, be sure to corral together miscellaneous items, such as workout or yoga towels, and keep them neatly bundled.

04

Keep Priorities Within Sight

When divvying up storage real estate, consider how often you reach for certain items. Let those more popular items occupy the easier to reach places. This may mean keeping the sheets at arm’s reach, while stowing seasonal quilts up above. Unless you are working with a unique accommodation (see: under the bed), be sure that all items are within eyesight.

04

Keep Priorities Within Sight

When divvying up storage real estate, consider how often you reach for certain items. Let those more popular items occupy the easier to reach places. This may mean keeping the sheets at arm’s reach, while stowing seasonal quilts up above. Unless you are working with a unique accommodation (see: under the bed), be sure that all items are within eyesight.

05

How to Stack

There are various ways to approach folding, but no matter what method you choose, stick to one convention and stay with it. When all your linens are neatly assembled, your life will be that much easier.

For sheet sets, you can start with the more voluminous items, such as a top sheet, at the bottom, and lightest items items, like pillow cases, on top. As for that contentious fitted sheet: the struggle is real. Fortunately for you, it does not require the precision of a trained scientist or the coercion of a partner, just follow these simple instructions.

And those matching fabric pouches that your Parachute bedding arrived in? Don’t toss ’em! Repurpose them into storage casings – keeping extra creases at a minimum while also reducing space. Larger items like duvets and seasonal bedding can be contained in bedding bags, which have cotton panels to prevent dust and humidity from getting in. As we’ve by now learned: Natural fibers need air to breathe! Never store your bedding in plastic containers – these trap moisture and result in mildew – and avoid cardboard, which may transfer acids to the fabric.

05

How to Stack

There are various ways to approach folding, but no matter what method you choose, stick to one convention and stay with it. When all your linens are neatly assembled, your life will be that much easier.

For sheet sets, you can start with the more voluminous items, such as a top sheet, at the bottom, and lightest items items, like pillow cases, on top. As for that contentious fitted sheet: the struggle is real. Fortunately for you, it does not require the precision of a trained scientist or the coercion of a partner, just follow these simple instructions.

And those matching fabric pouches that your Parachute bedding arrived in? Don’t toss ’em! Repurpose them into storage casings – keeping extra creases at a minimum while also reducing space. Larger items like duvets and seasonal bedding can be contained in bedding bags, which have cotton panels to prevent dust and humidity from getting in. As we’ve by now learned: Natural fibers need air to breathe! Never store your bedding in plastic containers – these trap moisture and result in mildew – and avoid cardboard, which may transfer acids to the fabric.

06

And Now For Storage Containers...

Now, on to the fun part! Keep additional housekeeping items contained in practical wire baskets (because your detergent and wool dryer balls need a home too). Muji, the pared-down purveyor of home goods, offers a host of delightful options as well. That said, you don’t necessarily need to invest in new storage solutions. A particularly pleasing leftover holiday gift basket or a sturdy shoebox, for example, can be easily up-cycled into a new caddy for tissue boxes or toilet paper. For added pleasure, organize baskets with hand-lettered or printed labels using a label maker while channelling your inner professional home organizer.

06

And Now For Storage Containers...

Now, on to the fun part! Keep additional housekeeping items contained in practical wire baskets (because your detergent and wool dryer balls need a home too). Muji, the pared-down purveyor of home goods, offers a host of delightful options as well. That said, you don’t necessarily need to invest in new storage solutions. A particularly pleasing leftover holiday gift basket or a sturdy shoebox, for example, can be easily up-cycled into a new caddy for tissue boxes or toilet paper. For added pleasure, organize baskets with hand-lettered or printed labels using a label maker while channelling your inner professional home organizer.

07

Even More Space

If at this point your armoire is still at capacity, you may consider some artful re-merchandizing. Try moving all or part of one collection, like a towel set, into its designated bathroom. If your bathroom storage is already at the threshold, it may be to time send in the reinforcements.

The over the toilet solutions have come a long way since the dorm room days, and there are some lovely and affordable pieces to be found. If the floor-plan of your bathroom accommodates, a ladder shelf against a wall can make for another appealing option. Added bonus, you can place pretty points of interest, such as a scented candle or a linen mist in between shelves. You may even consider rolling and displaying wash cloths on a tray or in a basket. 

When in doubt, just remember that the goal is simplification, not perfection.

07

Even More Space

If at this point your armoire is still at capacity, you may consider some artful re-merchandizing. Try moving all or part of one collection, like a towel set, into its designated bathroom. If your bathroom storage is already at the threshold, it may be to time send in the reinforcements.

The over the toilet solutions have come a long way since the dorm room days, and there are some lovely and affordable pieces to be found. If the floor-plan of your bathroom accommodates, a ladder shelf against a wall can make for another appealing option. Added bonus, you can place pretty points of interest, such as a scented candle or a linen mist in between shelves. You may even consider rolling and displaying wash cloths on a tray or in a basket. 

When in doubt, just remember that the goal is simplification, not perfection.