If your linen closet is one of those doors you quickly open and shut for fear one false move may bury you under an avalanche of towels and blankets, then it’s time to take action. Getting your linen closet in order is easier than you think with the following game plan.

Empty. Yes, this is the hardest part, but it must be done. Take absolutely everything out of the linen closet first, even that impossible-to-reach stuff hiding on the back of the top shelf. Emptying the closet is the only way to guarantee everything will go back orderly.

Sort. Now, go through the contents and organize by category, ie, bath towels, hand towels, fitted sheets, flat sheets, pillowcases, table cloths, etc. The more granular you get, the more organized your closet will remain moving forward. Fold your categorized items neatly and place them into piles. Consider storing sheet sets inside the pillow case to keep them intact.

Discard. This is your most critical step: Get rid of anything you don’t need! If you haven’t used it in a couple of years, either donate it or pack it away in the attic if you think it’s something you may use down the line or want to give to a family member, i.e., curtains or children’s bedding.

Clean. Before you start putting items back, thoroughly clean your closet, including all shelves. Consider lining your shelves, which will help preserve your sheets and linens.

Restock. Now it’s time to restock your closet. Place the least frequently used items on the top shelf, the most frequently used items at eye level. Place smaller and miscellaneous items in baskets and storage bins.

Minimize. For seasonal items like summer beach towels and winter blankets, use space-saving plastic bags that shrink down in size. This will not only make room, but will help keep your closet that much neater.

Store. Use bins on the floor of the linen closet to store paper products, cleaning supplies, soaps, etc. Also place a foldable step stool on the floor to neatly remove items from the higher shelves without upsetting the entire pile.

Once your reorg is accomplished, stick to the new rules and you’ll enjoy a stress-free relationship with your linen closet for years to come!