The Great Debate: Towels in a linen closet or under the sink?

Ivy says:

Oh, Home Eccers, help me solve my great marital debate. Ever since we moved to a house with a linen closet, we’ve been having this debate a few times a year. When we moved in, my husband filled the linen closet with things like sheets and blankets and comforters and tablecloths.

A few months later when I got irritated with the arrangement, I moved the comforters and blankets to the closets of the room the comforter and blankets would normally live in, and moved the towels back in. This led to what will eventually be known in my household as the Hundred Years War. We just can’t seem to get an agreement on this.where to store towels

Here’s why I think the towels should go in the linen closet:

1. If the sink sprung a leak, the towels would absorb the water and we might not know right away. (yes, I know this is a fairly weak argument)

2. There’s not so much space under the sinks. It’s a better use of the under-sink space to store all the stuff that normally sits out on our bathroom counters.

3. Towels smell better when they’ve been living in the linen closet. I don’t know why, they just do. And is there anything better than a nice smelling towel right after you get out of the shower? I didn’t think so.

Now, here are Mr. Ivy’s reasons to store the towels under the sink:

1. You don’t have to remember to take a towel with you when you take a shower. If you forget your towel and you jump out of the shower, the towels are all right there in the bathroom. No dashing out to the linen closet, naked.

2. Most of the crap on the bathroom counters are mine and my daughter’s. If we don’t like looking at all that crap on the counters, we should consider owning less makeup and hair stuff. (As. If.)

bathroom cleaning

Tips to keep your bathroom squeaky clean!

3. If the sink did spring a leak, the towels would absorb the water before it damaged the cabinets. (eh. maybe.)

So, Home Eccers, what do you think? Help me solve the dumbest marital debate ever!

Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.



39 Comments

  1. KitKatKate on March 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I NEVER comment on blogs..but I felt it absolutely necessary to tell you TO PUT YOUR TOWELS IN THE LINEN CLOSET!! Just the thought of taking a towel from under the sink to dry off with is repulsive and makes me feel like tossing my cookies. My husband and I both agree on this (thank God).



  2. mom, again on June 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    oh, let him keep a few towels under the sink for his lazy can’t plan ahead self!

    I’ll just say that our bathroom sink leaked for along time before we knew it. We had a open, but plastic wrapped Costco humongo pack of TP under there which absorbed the tiny leak for a long time before we noticed. Oh. My. God. It was a huge bag of wet, mildewy, mush. If it had been towels, they would have been beyond use. No amount of washing would have made them acceptable again. Would have been pretty pricy to replace.

    So, how much do you want new towels, and how much does he not want you to buy new towels?



  3. Jasi on May 26, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    <3’s Lark. More minimalist than me. I luvs.



  4. WaterDancer on May 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    No matter where I have lived, under the sink has smelled. I would not store towels under there.

    If you have a towel rack in the bathroom, how can you forget the towel?

    If the sink sprung a leak and you didn’t know about it, the wood would warp and you would have to replace it, probably the floor, and maybe much more. Very expensive.

    Store the towels in the closet.



  5. Lowcountry Blogs » This, That, and Some of the Other on May 22, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    […] Did you ever think a bath towels could spark controversy? […]



  6. Lark on May 21, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    I don’t store towels. The grossest thing to me is to have them on the floor being stepped on (and who knows what else, with little boys in the house) when people don’t bother to hang them up, soooo I was washing loads of maybe-used-once-towels over and over. Not any more!! I GOT RID OF ALL MY EXTRA TOWELS. Now each person has ONE towel that is their very own (kids each have their own color and designated hooks) and I wash them ONCE a week. It is their responsibility to keep them hung up to dry. Even though they are used daily, I haven’t had a problem with “funkiness” as long as they are hung up every night. For guests I do have two towels in my linen box under my bed. I wash those if I know somebody is coming.



  7. Darla on May 21, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Linen closet.



  8. Org Junkie on May 21, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    I’m with you!



  9. Carol on May 21, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    What a timely post, I was just putting my towels away under the sink, and was thinking that there has to be a better place for them. We have a closet, but we keep all our cleaning supplies, and medicine and such in there, so no room for the linens. So this leaves under the sink, which isn’t very convient.

    So yes, we keep ours under the sink, but I would much prefer them in a linen closet.



  10. Amy A on May 21, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    We keep ours in a linen closet and my husband is in the habit of getting a towel as he passes the closet on the way to the shower. No problem. Your husband’s only real argument is that he will have to go out of the bathroom to get one if he forgets. How many times will he really forget? Not too many I’d think. Just makes more sense to utilize the space under the sink for what you described. Now, that means you should actually move your girly stuff under the sink and let him see that your method does keep things neater.



  11. Mom of three on May 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    You guys sure have gross under sinks. Mine are very clean. Never had a leak, but if I did, the towels would be handy. LOL
    Under my sink is dry, we have never had bugs (okay ants, but they have moved on), and we don’t have mold issues.
    Without a linen closet, I don’t have any other choice. I like that they are dry, not out in the open (don’t even go there after a toilet flushes, YUCK) have plenty of room, and believe me with my sense of smell, if they were musty, they would go.



  12. Linda on May 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    We have always kept towels in a linen closet. We actually have small linen closets in each bathroom here but in our other house it was in the hallway. I have never kept towels under the sink. What if the sink ever leaked??



  13. Julie on May 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Linen closet, definitely! Under the sink is for tampons and extra TP. After a few wet naked sprints to the closet for a towel, I bet Mr. Ivy will start remembering to bring one.



  14. sherry on May 21, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Make that 26 to 1 – Linen closet!

    No one has mentioned it yet — but I live in the Midwest and in the spring and fall we get centipedes. UNDER. THE. SINK!

    I won’t even elaborate. You see where I’m going.

    Sherry



  15. Tiffany on May 21, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Towels should go in the linen closet, but let your husband keep his towels under the sink. He will only want a few towels in there, which will not take up too much space. Then he can enjoy his stinky towels all he wants!



  16. Amanda on May 21, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Defiantely in the linen closet. The idea of storing fabric items under the sink grosses me out. That’s where the cleaners and toilet paper go.

    My hubby also had issues with remembering to bring a towel into the bathroom. For him, we got a cheap, over the toilet rack on which several towels reside for him.

    Those of you who use your towels several times: how do you get your hubby to do it? I suggested it to him once, so now he leaves them hanging up for ME to use again, he he always takes a fresh one.



  17. Jasi on May 21, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Linen closet. Where everyone has access.

    All of our textiles are white and almost (barring bed size) interchangeable from room to room. Each bath has one hand towel and a “guest” bath towel for show (or guests?). A hook behind the door holds our towels.

    Since you’re clean after a shower (presumably) we use our bath towel 2x maybe 3 before laundering. Wash cloths go directly to laundry, hand towels go to laundry bi-weekly during the bi-weekly bathroom wipe-down (a quick anti-bac clean). Otherwise all towels are refreshed weekly on the deep clean.

    Once you get into a routine like this, it’s super easy. Everything matches, everything is interchangeable and there’s always a spare on display, just in case.



  18. Mom of three on May 21, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Under the sink. We don’t have a linen closet, but if we did, I would still use the under sink. We go through so many they wouldn’t smell any less fresh and I like having them right there. We have drawers for makeup, blowdriers etc.



  19. half-baked on May 21, 2008 at 8:10 am

    I like Karen’s answer: Whoever does the laundry decides where it goes! I’d probably keep a towel or two in the bathroom for your husband, but I’d find a place for them that’s not under the sink. I store half of my towels in the bathroom on an open shelf, and the other half in the linen closet.



  20. Mommy on May 21, 2008 at 8:04 am

    the towels, sheets, blackets, and tablecloths all go in the linen closet. If their is not enough space, then the tablecloths go to the dining room and the bedding to the bedrooms, The towels remain in the linen closet, and 1 set in the bathroom on a towel rack.



  21. Heather on May 21, 2008 at 7:03 am

    @Kendra That towel rack was there when we bought the house. For some reason no one uses those towels. For the curious, it’s behind me in this pic



  22. AA on May 20, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Joining the linen closet chorus (:

    I’ve only met a few people who put towels under the sink and they are always a little “off” freshness-wise. I do agree with those who say to compromise with a few towels for him in the bathroom. Of course, it only takes a couple times of forgetting a towel to make it a habit to take one with you.



  23. R. Kristina on May 20, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    You made me laugh. Great blog. Found you via Whittaker Woman, via Organizing Junkie… keep up the great writing.

    -R. Kristina

    http://www.sharingnotes.blogspot.com



  24. N. & J. on May 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    We keep extra sheets, blankets and pillows in the linen closet because we live in a tiny apartment and there isn’t room in the bedroom closet. We also keep the bath towels in there and leave the two we are using hanging up on towel bars (we are big on decorative towels). The kitchen towels go in a basket on our bakers rack in easy reach in case of a spill.



  25. Kendra on May 20, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    How about letting Mr. Ivy have a few musty towels to skank under the sink…and you keep yours fresh in the linen closet. That way if the sink does leak, his will be there to rescue. Or you can be like Heather and just buy him a nifty towel rack. 🙂



  26. Shoofly Mama on May 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    I have never heard of storing towels under the sink. If you buy it at a white sale, it goes in the linen closet, which is lined with bounce sheets so everything always smells fresh!



  27. Meangoose on May 20, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I agree with Karen about the compromise solution. Put together a rack or shelf or basket for a few towels for hubby. Everyone else uses nummy fresh-smelling towels from the dry and beautiful linen closet.

    Under the sink is a storage space for cleaning supplies and possibly H&B A stuff.



  28. katie on May 20, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Eeeeewwww… I have never heard of putting them under the sink, but under-sink spaces have always icked me out, anyway. Men don’t ever seem to be bothered by these things.

    I would go with you – linen closet for the towels. Blankets and what-not in the rooms where they will be used if there isn’t enough space in said linen closet.

    And, if the sink did spring a small leak, those things could get mildewy before you realized there was a leak.



  29. Melinda on May 20, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Linen Closet. Under the sink for all the other stuff, and make sure you add child safety latches if you have one under 5.



  30. candice on May 20, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    I have always used a linen closet. Seems gross to have them with piping. But my closet is in my bathroom. So I would win both arguments. Lol!



  31. Lisa- Domestic Accident on May 20, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Linen closet. Much more circulation and less of a chance of exposure to moisture.



  32. Karen on May 20, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Whoever does the laundry and puts it away gets to decide where they go!

    Compromise is quite possible here. I’m sure that you can find room for one or two towels in the bathroom for your husband. Everybody else’s go in the linen closet. Installing an extra shelf, hook, or rack might help.

    But as far as reasons go, I actually find your husband’s reasons more compelling.



  33. Angela on May 20, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Towels in the bathroom equals more laundry. It contributes to laziness. There is no need to remember to bring your towel from the bedroom that you used last night and is otherwise perfectly fine to use. (We use the same towel for many showers here)

    Anyway we have too many blankets, but we also just relocated from Idaho to Texas and before needed all those blankets. So blankets have their own closet. Linens and towels go in the linen closet.



  34. Makeshift Mama on May 20, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I’m with you, Ivy. It can get funky under the sink, and who wants to wipe their clean body with even POSSIBLY funky towels? Um, no. Clean, crisp, neatly folded towels from the linen closet are the way to go. Purely for aesthetic reasons.

    Sometimes men are just too gosh-darn practical to understand…



  35. Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on May 20, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    At our last house there was no linen closet, so we put a shelf up over the door that you enter through (one of those plastic covered wire jobbies) and that’s where the towels lived.



  36. Connie on May 20, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    No towels under the sink. It’s not a linen closet; it’s a pantry for your extra TP and HBA.



  37. chocolatechic on May 20, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    OH…and if there is no closet in the bathroom, then I would put an inexpensive shelf of some sort in there to hold the towels.



  38. chocolatechic on May 20, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    I have always kept my towels in the linen closet.

    I have never, ever, ever put them under the sink. It is dank, damp and smelly. blech!

    Sheets/blankets/comforters have always gone either in the closet of the room of the bed they will cover…..or once cleaned, the blankets are put in a clean garbage bag and slid under the bed.



  39. Soire on May 20, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Bed Linens in the closet of the bedroom where the bed resides (Ie: Queen’s in my room, singles for the kids rooms), Kitchen towels in the bottom drawer in the kitchen, and towels for the bathroom in the linen closet outside the bathroom door!

    Under the sink is for the extra TP, and cleaning stuff and extra girly soapy stuffs!