House For Six

Tackling Towels

Deme Crinion3 Comments
I've deemed February the month for us to tackle what lurks behind closed doors....doors to closets and cupboards to be exact.  One of the worst concealers of chaos are the doors to our linen closet. It houses our medicine, linens, blankets, towels and a handful of "I don't know what to do with this" items. 

We're giving this closet a complete overhaul - pulling everything out, purging/donating, organizing what we decide to keep and giving the inside a good makeover (both aesthetically and functionally).  Aside from heavy winter blankets, towels are the biggest space stealer in this closet.  And our stockpile was sort of comical. 

We had actually done one purge of towels a few months ago, but this pile here includes every bath towel that was camped out in that linen closet as of last weekend.  This does not include the 3 towels hanging on the kids' bathroom hooks or the two towels the hubs and I are currently using. 

Separated, we have 3 beach towels on the left, 6 guest towels in the middle, and 4 colorful striped "extra" towels on the right (there are 4 more of these in another cupboard for a total of 8). 

So the question is, how many towels does one really need?  I think that depends on what you really use.  When we have guests, it's typically our parents or 2 adults crashing here at a time.  Occasionally, we'll have family with kids visiting or a few more family at once.  So here's what we decided to do...

-The three striped beach towels will stay.  They are large, soft and have the kids' names on them.  Since they're only used during the summer, we're moving them to another small closet that houses our summer beach bag. 

-We're giving away the purple and blue guest towels (4 total) and are keeping the 2 tan towels.  We've had these towels since we were married 7 years ago, so they feel a bit warn and have a few spots from random laundry incidents.  We're keeping the two tan ones as extra's for me and the hubs and they're moving to the linen closet in our master bathroom.

-We got 4 fresh new towels for guests (and will have our 2 tan extras as back up if needed). 

-Right now the kids use a hodge podge of towels in the toddler variety.  The kids are getting bigger and the towels are getting shorter.  A friend made a really cute hooded towel from a regular sized bath towel and washcloth for Sully, and it's the perfect size. So I got three soft white towels from Target and some colorful washcloths to make the kids their own big-sized hooded towels.  We do things color coded around here :)

We typically don't do baths everyday, so I usually have an off-day to wash towels.  I might end up making a an extra towel for each that can be used for any little overnight guests.

-Those 8 multi-colored towels are a little rough but got a lot of use last summer.  It was great to have a few extra towels handy for the impromptu sprinkler play date with friends, or the random let-me-throw-myself-fully-clothed-into-the-water-table incident.  So, I'm keeping these but moving them to a big plastic tub that will be stored in our backyard shed.

In a way it doesn't feel like we pared down too much since we replaced what we gave away.  But I feel much better about having donated all the mismatched and worn towels, knowing that we now have the right towels to meet our family's day-to-day needs....and that we won't be handing our guests a scratchy old towel as a warm welcome.  Moving the less used towels to the places they are mostly frequently used and accessed made much more sense and freed up valuable space!

How do you decided how many towels is a "reasonable" amount for one family...and one closet?