Small Linen Closet Ideas When You’re on a Budget

We’re all spending more time at home right now.

And more time at home means more time to overanalyze every decorating and organizing decision we’ve ever made.

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I was never ecstatic about the pillows on our living room sofa.

I’m also thiiss close to moving the dang knife block on our kitchen counters again. Sorry, husband.

And, before this mini makeover, my small linen closet made me sad every time I opened it.

Give your linen closet a makeover on a budget

The walls of this old craftsman closet were a mesh of cold, dark plaster and cement. A depressing jail cell for my toilet paper and linens.

The shelf paper installed by previous owners was past its prime, tattered in places like an old book. The shelves were crooked (unfortunately I can’t fix that). Don’t even get me started on the contents.

Small linen closet with wire baskets and folded towels

So, I gave it a little TLC. Some paint, some decluttering, some rearranging, and new shelf paper, of course, and it’s like a brand new closet.

Small Linen Closet Ideas

I’m sharing some of my tips with you – I hope you feel inspired to give your closets some new life, too! Might as well while you are sitting home.

Let’s dive right in!

Declutter your closet

I’m not telling you to get rid of Aunt Edna’s quilt that she made you when you graduated from college. But I am telling you to get rid of Aunt Edna’s quilt if it means nothing to you. If it doesn’t spark joy for you, maybe it will for someone else.

When dealing with a small linen closet, space can be limited and needs to be reserved for important things. Like toilet paper.

If you have extra space in an attic or garage, buy an airtight plastic storage bin and store all your “sentimental but not needed right now items” in there.

I’ll give you an example. I have a bin full of baby clothes and adorable accessories that I am saving for my future grandkids. It sparks joy, but I can’t have it taking up precious real estate in my small linen closet. So, in the garage, it goes until later.

I recommend you do this with each item. Determine what’s most important, and find a place for the rest!

Pretty it Up on the Cheap

You don’t need a celebrity bank account to totally refresh your closet space. A little bit of SMART spending can go a long way. As in, paint and shelf liner.

I ended up using leftover paint in our garage to paint the backs and ceiling of the closet. This really brightened it up and made such a difference! It really makes the baskets pop.

I also bought a pretty shelf liner paper from Amazon. It’s incredibly easy to apply and can be removed cleanly if need be. Each shelf looks cleaner and brighter with just one application of this cheap paper!

Love this inexpensive shelf liner from Amazon!

Another cheap idea is to switch out the hardware. I put these matte black knobs on our cabinet a few months ago, and it instantly upgraded the whole look.

Black matte knobs can elevate the look of a plain white linen closet

Mind your Folds

Folding can be a art form. A nicely folded towel makes life feel a little bit sweeter. Those fancy hotels are on to something …

You don’t need to be Marie Kondo to have nicely folded linens and towels. A simple tri-fold is all you need. I could explain how to do that, but Martha Stewart does it best:

If you have linens that are tough to fold (cough, fitted sheet, cough), then store them in a basket where it will be contained.

Be Strategic with Baskets

Another way to keep a closet looking fresh and clean is to use uniform bins and baskets. Try to use all wire or seagrass baskets. You can mix them, but make sure to put them together on the same shelves if you can.

These wire baskets work great for your linen closets!

This makes everything look a bit neater to the eye.

Put smaller baskets at the top of your closet and larger baskets on the bottom, so it doesn’t look top-heavy.

But before buying anything new, look around your house! You might already have baskets or bins that could work for this purpose. I’m always a fan of using what we already have.

So there you have it. My top tips for organizing your small linen closet. My closet makes me happy now and this little project was just the thing I needed to lift my spirits. Even those crooked shelves are growing on me.

I hope you are all staying safe, healthy and SANE during this time of quarantine.

Thanks for coming to visit today and hope to see you again soon,

xo Karen