This mission probably won't take you too much time, but do actually do it. I can't tell you how many people have said to me, as they've done this mission, that they were surprised by the sheer number of these cloths they actually had in their kitchens, and they didn't realize it.
You know you'll need to do this mission if the drawer, cabinet, or other area where you store these items is hard to close, overflowing, or so junked up you can't find what you're looking for.
For example, one reader, Reba said: "I will admit, when I started, I thought, 'I have a handle on this mission, there won't be much to get rid of.' But I was wrong. I have some new-found cabinet space. Woohoo!" Here's the photo she submitted of the items she decided to get rid of.
How Many Kitchen & Dish Cloths Should You Keep?
This is a common question I've received when we do this mission, but it is also quite subjective and something hard to make a rigid rule about.
The best advice I can give is to make sure you keep a good enough supply of both kitchen towels, as well as dish cloths and kitchen rags to have enough to use between launderings, and I suggest washing these types of items after each use (or at the end of a day of use at the least).
That might mean you need enough kitchen towels for about a week max, if you do laundry that infrequently.
Of course, you also need to only keep enough to fit into the space you've got for them, which might mean you'll need to change your routine some and wash cloths a bit more frequently than you have in the past.
Tell me in the comments below how many you've kept and why, which can help others with guidance when choosing a good amount for themselves as well.
Which Ones Should You Declutter?
First get rid of the stained, ripped, frayed and worn out cloths and rags that you always try to avoid using anyway.
That's the obvious ones to declutter, and then just keep decluttering until you have the amount you need and that will into the space you've got available to store them.
Don't Forget To Deal With Seasonal & Holiday Tea Towels & Kitchen Cloths
I know a lot of people love to have seasonal cloths for their kitchen, and that is perfectly fine. My personal suggestion though is to not keep those in your kitchen taking up space year round.
Instead, keep those cloths with that season's decorations and take them out when the season begins, and then return them back to this storage area when the season is over. That way you don't forget to use them when they're appropriate but the rest of the year they're not taking up valuable space in your drawers or cabinets.
What Should You Do With The Cloths You Declutter?
Another frequent question I receive during this mission is what to do with the cloths you declutter.
There are most certainly a lot more ideas than what I'm suggesting below, so be sure to give your additional ideas below in the comments.
If they are nice, you just have too many, donation to a charity that helps families who need general household items is a great idea.
In addition, those which are extremely worn or stained may move from being nicer kitchen towels to cleaning rags within your home, so you are moving them to a grimier purpose in your own home.
Remember again, tell me your ideas below!
So, without further ado here are photos sent in by readers who've already done this mission. These photos also give you several ideas for how and where to store your dish cloths and kitchen towels in your kitchen in case you need or want to move them from their current space.
I Had A Lot More Dish Cloths & Towels Than I Realized!
Laurie stores her cloths in her cabinet right by the sink, and she sent in this photo, saying, "I had waaayyyy more than I thought! The cabinet is deep, so I actually bought more thinking I didn't have enough! Now, I only have ones in there that I am not embarrassed by : )"
Dana also decluttered and she showed this after photo, above, saying, "Ok, so I had two drawers full of this stuff and things I didn't even remember I had! I had 5 oven mitts. For gosh sakes I only have two hands! Unless I was fitting an octopus to do my baking, I pitched all but two! Lol. Went from two drawers to one!"
Great job Dana! Make sure to also check out the declutter potholders and oven mitts mission for even more ideas and inspiration for getting rid of these types of items, which are often stored in the same place as your kitchen and dish towels.
In addition, if you want to separate out various types of towels from one another inside your drawer you can keep some in a small shallow basket, similar to how a reader, Chelena, did it below. She said, "Here is my drawer. That's a Tupperware ice cube tray!"
Today's mission includes whatever kinds of cloths you've got in your kitchen for wiping up spills, cleaning dishes, or whatever use you have for them.
The photo above is from a reader, Susan, who explained, "We ditched paper towels this year, so this is my drawer of unpaper towels for scrubbing counters and messes and extra homemade baby wipes that I reallocated for cleaning baby hands after meal times.
Same size drawer as my other towel drawer, and when all are clean, the drawer is completely full. The tube there is extra (clean) produce bags. My mom saved them when I was a kid, and they always seen to come in handy."
Storage Idea: Hold Your Dish Cloths & Kitchen Towels In Basket Or Decorative Container
As you've seen these photos from readers showing how they did this mission you've simultaneously seen the two most common ways to store kitchen towels and dish cloths, either on shelves in your kitchen cabinet or cupboard, or in a kitchen drawer.
But there are other alternatives as well, and if you don't have a lot of storage space in your drawers or cabinets, this one might work for you -- use baskets or a decorative container to hold them.
That's exactly what a couple of readers have done. The picture above is from a reader, Sabrina, who as part of this mission moved her baskets to a new spot.
In addition, the picture below is from another reader, Tamara. She said, "Dish towels 7; Rags 5; all gifts which fit beautifully in the space I budgeted for them. I think they look kinda like a bouquet."
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!