How to Organize Your Table Linens and Store Linens in a Small Space
How to Store Table Linens in a Small Space
When I had to move a few years ago, and I was forced to downsize from a 1,200 square foot apartment to an apartment that was just over 900 square feet, my whole life seemed to go haywire. I had to find different spaces for so many things that I had just taken for granted in my larger apartment. My table linens had formerly taken up several drawers in a chest, but now that I didn't have enough closet space and needed the chest drawers for other items, I had to find a brand-new solution to storing my tablecloths and runners. In addition, because many of my linens are antiques and somewhat fragile, I had to find the solution that would be the best for the delicate lace tablecloths, many of which had been made by my great-grandmother. Fortunately, the solution was waiting for me at my local store. I just hadn't realized that a different storage solution could be adapted for them!
I have about twenty tablecloths, eight table runners, and several table skirts. These linens take up a lot of room, especially when stored wrapped with acid-free tissue paper and only one item deep, but fortunately, the right solution to store them is easily available and inexpensive. Ideal storage for these items is something that does not put any extra weight on the linens, keeps them neatly folded, and easily accessible. That solution is a set of sturdy swing-arm trouser hangers. These hangers hold up to five tablecloths or runners, and can be hung over a door near the dining room for the maximum gain of storage space. Make sure to get the kind of trouser hanger with a plastic coating, so that if the hanger rusts, it will not ruin anything!
Be sure to get the swing-arm hangers, not the kind that are fastened on both sides, for maximum convenience.
To store your linens efficiently, measure the width of the trouser hanger bar, then the width of your tablecloth. Fold your tablecloth lengthwise to fit on the trouser hanger bar. (Almost all but the largest table linens will fit by folding them in quarters lengthwise.) Now, at the halfway point of the fabric, simply slide your cloth over the trouser hanger bar, and lock the bar into place. When you remove the cloth, you will have three soft lengthwise creases that can easily be ironed out in just a few minutes if necessary. The crosswise crease will be almost unnoticeable, unless the tablecloth has been hanging for a long time. To remove the tablecloths, simply unlatch the trouser bar from its resting place at the side of the hanger, and swing the bar outward. The fabric will slide right off the hanger, and leave the rest of the tablecloths undisturbed.
Be sure to not hang lace tablecloths together, to prevent snagging!
With an over-the-door valet (a bar that allows you to hang several hangers on it), I am able to hang six trouser hangers on a door near the dining room, and can easily get to any of my tablecloths, table runners, or table skirts in seconds. The best part is that my table linens receive less wear and tear, because the weight of other fabric is not pressing on them, and they never have unsightly creases caused by folding. And they never get a corner accidentally "flipped back" and creased. This method of storing my table linens saves me a bunch of time that was previously spent in ironing them every time I used them. And now I can keep other things in those drawers that used to be devoted solely to storing my linens!