Step 1 :: Before we even take a look at what we have, let's think about what we need. The fabric items we might consider include towels, sponges or washcloths, napkins, placemats, tablecloths, table runners + potholders. Consider the necessity of each category.
Just of few of my thoughts:
- kitchen towels + potholders can be both useful + beautiful
- we like washcloths rather than sponges or brushes...food washes off of washcloths, they can go into the washing machine + they are reusable for years
- we don't use napkins...we use the sink if we need to clean our hands during a meal (which almost never happens)...no dirty napkins to wash
- it's easier to wipe the table than to clean placemats, tablecloths or runners
I suggest writing these numbers down, because it might be hard to remember them when we are looking at our things. I'd suggest considering how many people live in your house at the moment + how many of each item are necessary to make it through one week (considering laundry).
My personal thoughts: 3 towels, 3 washcloths + two potholders are enough for us
Step 4 :: Shop your collection for the number of each item you decided would be enough. (Don't worry. We aren't necessarily deciding to get rid of our leftovers.)
- Pull out anything that is ready to become a zero-waste, cleaning rag. Washcloths + napkins might already be the right size for rags. Kitchen towels can be cut in half + hemmed along the cut edges for longevity (but it's not necessary).
- A pretty holiday tablecloth could become a gift or could be cut up to make reusable gift wrap...furoshiki, bento or drawstring bag style.
- Make bulk bags
- Use as reusable tissues
- Carry a napkin to avoid needing disposable napkins or paper towels when you are out of the house. They also come in handy when buying bulk treats like a bagel or cookie (non-Covid times).
- Use fabric for patches, quilting supplies, pillow cover
Of course, we may decide to keep a few things that aren't necessarily necessary right now. These extras might stretch the need to buy anything new for a while. The key is to remember that we have "enough".
Step 6 :: Use your curated collection of kitchen linens + implement any new habits/methods. Observe the feelings these changes bring. :)
Find all of our experiments with less in the kitchen here: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05.