a stack of white towels

A Guide to Storing Linens: How to Keep Storage Smelling Fresh

If you have a dedicated space for laundry and linens, it probably turns into a catch-all place for old sheets, towels, and blankets. And with kids tugging towels out from the bottom of the stack or the dreaded fitted sheet, it only takes a few minutes after laundry day for your linen closet to look like it was never organized in the first place!

And then there's the musty smell that comes with storing linens—it can make the entire area feel stale and uninviting. But don't worry, there are plenty of ways to keep your linen closet smelling fresh!

Why Do Linens Tend to Smell or Get Musty in Storage?

The musty smell that comes from your linen closet is caused by the combination of mildew and bacteria. The main culprits are moisture, warmth, and lack of air circulation. This explains why your linens may start to smell after a few weeks of sitting in a damp area or being stored in an enclosed space like a linen closet.

If your laundry isn't getting a good clean every time, the oils and residue that are left behind on the fabric can also contribute to a musty smell. And then there are moths—they love to feed on fabrics made from natural fibers like cotton and wool, leaving behind their own musty odor.

Tips for Storing Linens (For Closets & Storage Units)

1) Clean often: Wash your linens regularly to keep the bacteria, mold, and moths at bay.

2) Keep it dry: Make sure any linens you're storing in a closet or storage unit get plenty of air circulation by leaving space between items. Don't leave wet or damp linens in storage—they can develop mildew and musty smells.

3) Avoid storing linens in cardboard boxes: Cardboard absorbs moisture so try to avoid storing your linens in them. If you have no other choice, make sure the box is tightly sealed and placed away from any sources of moisture.

4) Organize the little stuff: For small things like face washcloths, doilies, and napkins, use wicker or wire baskets to keep them organized and dust-free.

5) Natural odor absorbers: Consider adding natural odor absorbers like baking soda, cedar chips, or lavender sachets to keep musty smells at bay. And these natural products are a bonus if you're worried about moths because while we love the smell of lavender or cedar, they can't stand it!

6) Be strategic with your folding: When you place your towels and sheets in the closet, place them with the smooth edges facing you. Instead of seeing all the creases and layers of folding, you'll just see clean, orderly lines.

7) Get creative with your space: Even if you don't have a dedicated cupboard for linens, you can use an armoire, dresser, open shelves, or even a nightstand to store them.

8) Go climate-controlled: If you're storing linens in a storage unit, it's best to put them in a place that's climate-controlled. If not, heat and moisture can wreak havoc on your fabrics.

9) Get the right sizes: Whether you're storing things long-term or just for a few months in a storage unit, it's vital to get the right packaging for your linens. For example, people often forget just how much space all of their bedding—pillows, blankets, thick comforters, quilts—take up. And if you need to store your mattresses, you'll want to make sure you have the right mattress covers to protect them from dust and moisture.

10) Organize frequently: To keep your linen closet fresh, you should dig in deep at least once a month and remove items that have been sitting in storage for too long. If you haven't used something in 6 months, it's time to either donate or repurpose it! Then you can refold, re-stack, and reorganize the remaining items from top to bottom.

With a few simple tips, you can keep your linen closet smelling fresh and feeling organized!

Make Your Organization Simple With Midgard Self Storage

We all have things we don't have room for at home but don't want to get rid of. Grandma's antique quilts or the linens you only use for a few parties throughout the year are clogging up your space at home and making your organization that much harder.

Instead of always trying to find a place for them at home, consider renting a self storage unit. You can find safe, climate-controlled units at Midgard Self Storage near you and make storing linens easy.

Look for your nearest Midgard Self Storage location and start organizing!