4 Things People Who Store Their Towels Properly Always Do to Keep Them Fresh and Smelling Great

We spoke to experts to get their top tips on towel storage so you can have luxurious linens whenever you need them

towels hanging up in a blue tiled bathroom
(Image credit: Studio Shamshiri, courtesy of 1st Dibs)

There really is nothing better than a long, luxurious soak in the bath after a long day, particularly if you're trying to banish those bothersome January blues. The perfect accompaniments to the best time of the day include your favourite scented candle, that book you can't put down, and, of course, a soft, fluffy towel to cocoon in before bed.

If your towels aren't quite hitting the spot (damp, rough, or mildewy ringing a bell?), then it could be down to the way you're storing them. Looking after your towels the way they deserve can have a huge impact on their look, feel, and overall lifespan. Luckily, we have collected these linen closet and bathroom storage tips from experts who always put theirs away properly, so now you can too!

1. Begin with decluttering

A beige-toned bathroom with baskets used to keep towels in

(Image credit: Michael Clifford. Studio credit Lisa Staton)

The first step in your journey towards your Pinterest-worthy towel storage goals should be a quick sort through your collection. Have you got a bleach-stained one from that time you tried (and failed) to box-dye your hair at home? What about that threadbare one that has sat at the back of your cupboard for years?

'Before you begin finding a home for your towels, you need to review them to determine the quantity. Typically, most people have way too many,' says professional organizer Ben Soreff from House 2 Home Organizing. 'Towels accumulate over the years but they don't tend to be eliminated. The towels are probably not keepsakes and most should be inexpensive. A quick review will determine which ones are damaged, stained and no longer useful.'

Two to three sets per person is more than enough, according to professional organizer and founder of Di is Organized Di Ter Avest. 'So before deciding where or how to store your towels, take an inventory and see if you can let go of some of them,' she says. Once you've thrown out or repurposed any towels (they make great dusting cloths) that no longer work for your space, you can turn your attention to storing them correctly.

2. Keep humidity away

a bathroom with integrated towel storage

(Image credit: Bess Friday. Design: K Interiors)

'I think the number one tip for towels is keeping humidity away,' says Alessandro Gazzo, cleaning expert at Emily's Maids. 'Towels are meant to absorb water and moisture, so they should be stored in dry, well-ventilated areas, away from the dampness of your bathroom where possible to make towels smell fresh.

Di suggests a linen closet, but if you don't have the space and keep your towels in the bathroom or laundry room instead, consider buying a dehumidifier. 'This could be either a small one for just that room or a large one for the entire home,' says Alessandro. 'If possible, store them in a way that air still flows between the folds, like in a pants hanger.'

3. Get organized

towels stored in a cabinet

(Image credit: IKEA)

Once you've determined where the best spot in your home to store your towels is, it's time to get organized. When it comes to bathroom storage, it's a good idea to separate larger towels, hand towels, and bath mats for easy searching, and consider using different colors for each family member. 

'Implementing a color-coded system for your towels is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Assign a specific color to each family member, such as green for mom, yellow for dad, orange for the son, and beige for the daughter,' says Di. 'This adds a personal touch and eliminates any confusion about towel ownership.' If you're keeping your towels folded in a drawer, dividers are a very helpful organizational addition.

4. Roll towels for a luxe hotel look

Rolling your towels to store them in a woven basket is a really nice way to make them more of a feature in your home, and it's an efficient way of storing large collections. 'A tip if you’re usually a bit messy or just not into organizing: roll your towels and place them in a wicker basket,' says Alessandro. 'I like this way of storing towels because you don’t need to be too perfectionist, you just roll them and place 5 – 8 in a basket and just take out the ones you need as you go.' To really nail the luxurious, hotel towel feel you can fluff them up with a quick tumble dry. 

But, you don't have to if you don't have the space for it or prefer your towels to be neatly folded away. 'Some people roll them, but whatever allows them to go in and out of the drawer easily is best,' says Ben. 'How to fold your towel will depend on the depth of the shelves or drawers in order to have the clean fold facing out,' adds Di, so keep this in mind when you're folding your freshly washed towels. 

Ottilie Blackhall
Trainee Writer

Ottilie Blackhall is a master’s Magazine Journalism student at City, University of London. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh, with a degree in English Literature and History of Art, she decided to pursue her love of writing and develop her passion for writing about literature and art. Having started a book review blog during lockdown, at City she is working on her portfolio.