Towels are a necessity in every home but we often find that people buy new ones and hang on to the old favourites, or those that have seen better days.
If that is the case for you, or you no longer have any order or space in your linen closet, now is the time to attack those towels.
How many do you need?
That is a common question and it all depends upon your household composition, your lifestyle and also available storage space. There is no one-size-fits-all, but I would suggest the following:
- Bath towels: 3 per person (that covers one in use, one in the wash and a back-up, or a towel which can be used for guests). The exception would be if you also shower at the gym so you might need one or two extras for this purpose, again depending upon frequency of use.
- Beach towels: 1-2 per person, but this one is heavily influenced by your lifestyle as well. If you are a regular beach goer you may need two per person.
- Hand towels: A good rule of thumb is to double the number you use in your home. For example, if you have two bathrooms and a powder room that all have a hand towel in use, have 6 in rotation.
- Facecloths: This very much depends on your personal preferences and family composition. A number of people I work with never use facecloths anymore so they are just taking up valuable space in the cupboard. If you have little ones however, you might use a fresh one daily for bath time or for face clean-ups. If that is the case, you may need up to a dozen in rotation.
- Bath mats: Two to three per bathroom.
- Guest room: I am not a big advocate of storing things just in case a “special occasion” arises – life is too short. If you feel that you really must have a set of towels which are set aside for guests, put a strict limit on the number.
So how do we decide what stays and what goes?
Have you determined your ideal number? Work towards that by culling those that are too small or thin/tattered/faded/stained/[insert your criteria here].
If it isn’t quite that straight forward for you and you have a bit of a collection, revisit the criteria you created during Week 1 of our challenge to assist you in making decisions about these items.
If you have well-loved towels that are a bit thread bare or tattered, it is time to move them on to the cleaning category, to the shed, repurpose or discard.
If you would like to repurpose them, you will find 19 ideas here.
What do I do with the keepers?
If you have a large number of bath towels I highly recommend rolling your towels to store in the cupboard. They look good, but more importantly it is practical in that you will more likely use all of your towels rather than just those on the top of the pile.
If you have a small household and therefore a small number of bath towels, it is ok to flat-fold them and stack them neatly, but if you find that it is difficult to access the lower ones, revert to rolling them.
Hand towels, face cloths and bath mats can be flat-stacked neatly.
Store towels at eye level in your linen cupboard so they are easily accessed by all family members.
Towels can be used for such things as cleaning and mopping up water leaks. You may like to keep one or two in the laundry for this purpose. I also keep one for our pet crate which I use for visits to the vet. This one lives with the pet crate.
If you would like to know how to care for your towels, you can read this article from Huffington Post Australia.
What do I do with the ones that no longer have a purpose for me?
Assuming the towels are in decent condition, donation is the best option for your towels:
- Some Charity shops recycling clothing and textiles for industrial rages and textile by-products. Please contact your nearest charity to find out if they accept towels for recycling. Please ensure that they have been washed in advance of donating them for this purpose and label the bag appropriately.
- Pet shelters
- Animal rescue groups
If they are well worn, have holes or stains etc. they probably just need to go in the bin if they can’t be donated.
How did you go?
Feel free to share your successes, challenges and tips on our Facebook page.