Using paper towels in the kitchen are one of those disposables that can be a drain on your budget and your trash. Yet, with a little forethought and planning you can have your big messes and clean them up with cloth too!
Here is a complete look at my cloth system. It is constantly evolving just like any organizational system, tweaking and changing with the seasons and needs of our family. So, what are the basics that come with having a cloth system?
- Initial Start Up Investment. You might have to spend some cash to complete this mission (unless everyone at your wedding got you kitchen towels, like they did me :)). The key is to make it easy for you, or it won't work. That means you need a few days worth of towels so that you aren't doing laundry after every spill.
-The categories you could use are Good, Dish, & Clean Up. Now that you know your mission you must decide your choice of weapons against the messes.
- "Good" doesn't mean these towels behave better than the others. It simply means these are the towels that hang out for us to dry our hands on. No spills or floor for these guys, they have the easy life.
-"Dish Rags" are only for use in the sink.
-"Clean-up" towels fall into two categories. The left-side ones are for the heavy duty messes. These messes are the ones that would usually have me reaching for the paper towels. Instead having designated heavy duty towels to turn to is key for me. The right-side ones are for my little ones. After they eat they use them to wipe their hands. You can't tell, but they are half the size of the "good" towels. They are like napkins for us.
Another tip is to hide the paper towels. If they are out in plain sight then it is going to be harder to say no. For guests when they ask I can redirect them and suggest they just use a towel or point them under the sink.
And lastly, always have a bucket or way to keep the towels till they are ready for the washer. Having them draped over something or spread out is key to not letting mildew or germs breed on them. Then when they are dry you can easily put them in a sack or bucket for the journey to the laundry room!
Now, nothing may happen over night, but by using a few towels here and there I really picked up the habit. I hope seeing my humble system in place inspires your own or keeps you motivated to keep up your own good work!