Simple Cloth Napkins

Every so often through my nearly 7 years of marriage, I’ve made a tweak to our daily lives that makes the day-to-day more functional and beautiful.

Perhaps the most obvious and ordinary change was to stop using paper napkins and use washable ones instead.

I grew up using disposable napkins, and in a family with eight children, who can blame my mom for not wanting to keep up with cloth napkins?

When I visited my to-be-hubby’s house for the first time, his mom set the table with kitchen washcloths/dishtowels.

The concept of washable, everyday napkins stuck with me, but it was a little while before I implemented it into my life. When we got married, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment with a complex-shared laundry room that was in a different building. It wasn’t horribly inconvenient for doing laundry, but it wasn’t convenient enough for me to want to do laundry more often than necessary.

After we moved into our own house, eventually I took the plunge and purchased some cute, colorful dishtowels at Target. I don’t remember how much they cost, but it wasn’t prohibitive, by any means.

They’ve held up very well I must say… No fraying, and very few of them are stained. I’m careful with the yellow ones–I don’t use them on counters and that sort of thing. They’re only napkins. I have a few heavier-duty green ones that I use to wipe the kids faces, and these are more prone to getting stained.

I do laundry every day, and unless the napkins are gross and need to be in a towels-only wash, I throw them in with anything.

Then I fold them and put them in their little basket in the dining room.

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I was thinking about this today, because I could use a few more now that Patrick sits at the table with the rest of us 🙂

On the whole, though, I need far fewer of these napkins than I originally thought. As long as I make sure to keep up with getting them off the table and into the laundry, we do quite well with our cloth napkins.

Which I guess brings me to my “overarching” home decorating philosophy.

Practical. Simple. Beautiful.

Usually in that order, too, though affordability typically trumps everything else, I’m willing to fork over more money for something that is truly useful and will make a positive difference for a long time.

What about you? Do you use paper napkins or cloth ones?

~ Lee

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