If you snatch a sheet when youre really searching for a towel, or can never find a pair of matching pillowcases, it could be time for an overhaul of your linen closet. Here, Joy Mangano, Home Shopping Networks organizing expert, shows off the steps she uses in her own home
1. Make a Clean Sweep
First, empty your linen closet of everything, suggests Joy Mangano, president and founder of Ingenious Designs in Edgewood, N.Y. Then, decide which items really belong in your linen closet. I keep everything I need for my bedroom and bathroom in my closet, she says. Anything that doesnt fit into that category can go!
2. Keep Within Reach
Store items like towels and washcloths that are used year-round at eye level. Ditto for seasonal items. For example, right now, put summer blankets and lighter sheet sets at the top of your closet, keeping winter linens toward the center, where they will be easily accessible.
3. Invest in Order
Rely on baskets and containers to tame toiletries. Baskets that have waterproof liners are a plus if youre storing extra shampoos in the linen closet, says Mangano. They can also help keep tissue boxes and toilet paper clean and dry.
4. Create More Room
An Undershelf Basket (below, $6, containerstore.com
) slides right onto the shelf and keeps rolled-up washcloths neat and ready to go.
5. Splice Up Space
Make your shelves work harder to keep the peace! Slide-on Shelf Dividers like these (above, $7 for pack of 2, containerstore.com
are great for keeping stacks of towels from toppling over.
6. Divide and Conquer
Once youve weeded out all the torn and stained towels, sheets and blankets, separate them into piles. Then sort by season. If you want to go a step further, color code the items, too. The more specific you are, the easier it is to see where things belong.
7. Roll With It
If your closet allows, installing rolling drawers is a useful way to keep bulky items like extra pillows and heavy blankets out of the way.You can purchase a four-drawer frame starting at $36 and wire drawers starting at $11 from containerstore.com
8. Adapt to Your Situation
If you have less shelf space and more hanging space, drape your linens on hangers (Huggable Suit Hangers, $15 for 12, hsn.com
) to keep them neat and organized. Take advantage of extra floor space by keeping a toteable laundry hamper at the ready to transport linens that need to be washed.