As I mentioned a few days ago, I have relatives coming to visit very soon, so I’m cleaning out my linen closet. And since we set up our donations and yard sale boxes yesterday, today is a day to start seriously sorting.
Today I suggest sorting through your towels, hand towels, and wash cloths. If you have any that are unraveling or pilling, work on the problem or donate them and replace them, whichever works for you. If you have any that are actually stained, I’d consider using them for rags in the garage and replacing them if your budget permits.
If you decide to replace these linens, be sure of the quality of the ones you buy. The first towels my husband and I owned were ones I’d bought at Walmart for $2.50 each and saved in my hope chest until I married. They weren’t the fluffiest or nicest towels, but by my cutting the strings that occasionally popped up and doing occasional “maintenance” on them, they worked for us from 2009 to 2014. In 2014, we moved (again!) for a fresh start on life after a few years of hardships, and I bought four sets of Cannon towels, hand towels, and washcloths on sale from Kmart for approximately $50-75 total. Six months later, the hems on one towel and one hand towel had already come undone. (These continued to deteriorate quickly, and I would highly recommend staying away from Cannon towels.) I kept them, though, because I very much believe in the mantra “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” But in 2015, I started looking at the clearance racks at HomeGoods, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx and bought several big white towels for less than $10, white hand towels for less than $5, and white wash cloths for $3 or less. These have been the best quality towels I’ve ever owned (Hotel Barfour is my favorite brand, although I’ve found some Tahari towels that were good, too), and I would highly recommend checking out these stores for linens if you’re in the market for them. (I know some of you probably have political beliefs that prevent you from buying from HomeGoods, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx; I would suggest looking at Ross or Tuesday Morning instead.) Yes, they may be slightly more expensive than what you would pay at Kmart, Walmart, or even Target, but in my experience, the quality of their linens is worth the extra money. In fact, I spent roughly $70 on new towels, hand towels, and wash cloths just last night because I know these will last.
If you do discard some old towels, I would urge you to save at least a few of those in a Rubbermaid or Sterlite container for use in your garage. (From time to time, you need something to clean up a big mess like when your toilet has to be removed multiple times in two months because of plumbing problems or your washing machine in the garage starts leaking water for no foreseeable reason.) Alternatively, you can donate your old towels to an animal shelter.
One more thing: I loved color coordinating my towels to my bathrooms, but I’ve stopped that practice. My mama told me that she had found that buying white towels made keeping them clean easier, and she was right. I don’t use bleach a lot around our house, but I do alternate using OxiWhite and bluing agent (Use it carefully if you try it! Ask me how I know.), and I also try to dry our whites on the clothesline so the sun can bleach any stains or discoloring or yellowing that remain. None of my white towels, hand towels, or washcloths are yellowed or dingy or stained.
Time required: A little over an hour for me, but only because I actually went shopping about a mile away for new ones.