How to Manage Without a Linen Closet in Your Home

My house, like many older homes doesn’t have a linen closet. While it’s quite possible that it never had a linen closet in the first place, it’s more likely that someone in the past converted an existing linen closet into a bathroom or absorbed the space to expand the size of another room.

Not having a linen closet means finding other locations to keep your towels, bedding and blankets. Over the years, here are some of the creative ways we’ve stored linens for our family.

Cedar chests

Cedar chests were once mainstay household furniture items that were used for storing sweaters, woolens, and off-season clothing. Our family is fortunate to have several of these generously sized chests, which are kept at the foot of our beds. Most cedar chests are large enough to accommodate a number of blankets, bed linens, and even a child’s collection of stuffed toys. When the lid is closed, they can provide seating for a bedroom as well.

Cedar chests are still being manufactured and range between $150-$500 in price depending on the degree of craftsmanship and wood used. Some great places to search for cedar chests include the following sites:

Old luggage

Steamer trunks and vintage luggage are also a great storage solution for bed linens and blankets. For one of my son’s rooms, we used great grandma’s old steamer trunk to store his quilts and wool blankets during the summer months. Vintage luggage, such as those great cardboard suitcases from the 1940s will also hold at least one set of linens and a spare blanket. Luggage has the advantage of being stored neatly under the bed where it is out of sight.

Installing closet shelves

Many older closets used to come with a double set of shelves. One shelf usually held clothes while the other was used for deep storage. If you have the space in your closet, why not add a second shelf for your linens? A wire shelf system from a place like is a low cost solution for creating a little extra storage space in your closet for bed linens.

Miniature dressers

Storing towels can pose a bit of a problem if your home wasn’t outfitted with a centrally located linen closet. In our home, we converted a vintage child’s dresser into a storage system for one of our bathrooms. These smaller dressers turn up frequently at thrift stores and estates sales, and tend to be slow sellers because of their diminutive size. While they might not work in a bedroom, they are perfectly sized to place in a hall or bathroom to create linen storage. Pint size pine dressers can often be found for less than $50.

Wire hotel towel racks

You’ve probably seen these industrial racks in hotel. Some of these racks are in the shape of coils, while others are a slatted shelf with a towel bar beneath. All of these are terrific space savers and let you store your towels in the very room they are needed. Here’s a fantastic link from with a great selection of towel storage systems that range anywhere from $15 on up to $8000.00

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