Organising the tea towel drawer

16 June 2011
Last week I challenged myself to clean out the bottom of the dresser where I keep my tablecloths. I also decided at that time to clean out my tea towel, pot holder, tea cosy drawer. Well, life got in the way and I've only done one of those jobs - the tea towel drawer. So today I'll show you what I've done and also, hopefully, complete the task by cleaning out the bottom of the dresser.  If you've tidied your cupboards alongside me, please post a link to your before and after photos to inspire me further.

This was the drawer before I took it apart.

I sorted everything into groups and separated the old tea towels too thin or holey for further service. They were cut up for the rag bag.

I had more tea towels than anything else but I also had pot holders, net and cotton jug covers and cloth napkins.

 Why do I have all these tea towels?

Here is the finished drawer - cotton tea towels and terry towels at the front and jug covers, pot holders, napkins and tea cosies at the back.  It's much better. I can see at a glance everything in there and I'm not pulling this way and that trying to find a pot holder when a saucepan is about to boil over on the stove.

I have a free run now - I sent my book related work back on Tuesday, I worked at the Centre yesterday and today is all mine.  I'll be making soap, cleaning out the bottom of that dresser and sorting out some sewing I want to do. I'm going to enjoy this day. I hope you do too.


  1. Oh yes, I can relate! My tea-towel drawer stays in fairly good shape due to the fact that we must use 4 tea-towels a day, so it is emptied frequently -- but the games cupboard, there's another matter. I made the mistake of tackling the games cupboard this week, because the littles keep pulling out all the games and losing all the bits. So I decided to relocate the games to a high shelf in the homeschool/craft cupboard. I had to remove two shelves-worth of books to put all the games in, after they were sorted (which took a very long time). What to do with the books? Well, I tried to assimilate them into my already-full bookshelves, which I am still doing now, 4 days later. Books everywhere. Of course, I also completely filled up the original games cupboard with cookbooks from the pantry and elsewhere. I wish I had taken photos. Enjoy your day, Rhonda Jean!

  2. I thought about you cleaning out your dresser with the tablecloths as I was given a beautiful antique tablecloth this week - it is decorated with the most exquisite cross stitch and it is just glorious! I daren't use it when we are actually eating for fear of staining it!

  3. I don't believe you can ever have TOO many tea towels - especially during the Holidays when extra hands and towels are needed in the kitchen to help with the clean-up. What you've accomplished so far looks GREAT!

  4. Your challenge actually has become my summer cleanup. My mother passed away in February, and I had spent a good deal of time at her home with her before she died. I confess my home fell under dust and clutter since then.

    When I saw your challenge I felt like a fog had lifted and I have been working fast and furious ever since.

    I am thankful for this simple challenge.

    Take Care


  5. Thanks Rhonda for that post I do feel inspired to get to my cupboard. I didn't get to it over the weekend for one reason or another. Maybe today,but we are half expecting some little visitors so maybe not. Kate

  6. Your drawer looks great Rhonda!
    I keep mine in a basket in our linen press and only have enough to fit into the basket otherwise they just go crazy! Labelling the basket helped all the children to learn where to put them once we had folded them.
    I went tea-towel shopping though just yesterday (at my local op shop)for one that has some blues and greens that I can staple down and stretch over a canvas as a little special 'art' work to hang near the baby's changetable. I didn't find one that was suitable but I'm on the lookout!
    Thanks so much for popping into my blog the other day :)
    Lusi x

  7. I have a basket under the sink for tea towels and all the other kitchen linen goes in a kitchen drawer. See if you can make simple wood dividers for your drawer it really stops them all getting messy again. (My mum has that in her dresser and it works so well!)

  8. ooh, I love this post. I'm just crazy about vintage or vintage-looking tea towels. I'll never buy another terry cloth towel, because I don't think they absorb water as well!

  9. Rhonda,
    I suppose everyone has their own system that works for them.
    I don't have many kitchen linens - 2 big ones (passed down from my grandfather who loved to bake) to rest and cover baked goodies whilst they cool (a must since in the tropics we have some pesky flies), 4 light small ones to cover dough whilst it rests, 2 oven mitts and an extra all purpose tea cloth. For these, I have a basket on the kitchen counter.
    I also have a towel on the fridge door's handle for when I need to give something a quick wipe.
    I have an extra white lacy tablecloth and a colourful one for special occasions. These are kept in the linen closet.
    That's it. Sweet and simple. And it works for me since I don't have much cupboard space.

    Trinidad & Tobago

  10. I have a rare day off today and most of the daily-type stuff is caught up. Yippy!

    I wanted to join your challenge last week but that didn't work out, either.

    BUT, today is a new day and I am working on tidying my sewing stuff; fabrics, patterns and material. I have 2 dresses that I have taken apart to turn into patterns (they fit perfectly but are worn out - I can't just toss them in the rag bag!). They need ironing and marking up to prepare them for the next step: lay out and cut out. I hope to get at least one to that point so I can begin sewing tomorrow.

    I am very excited about it because I meet up with a few friends once a month to sew (and tomorrow's the day!). We bring our portables, notions and projects and work for 5 or 6 hours, non-stop without little fingers and interruptions, chatting all the while. Blissful.

  11. Seems I sort a similar drawer to this at least 4-5 times a year! I DO have a lot of dish towels. I like to have fresh ones conveniently located and prefer the linen ones to terry cloth.

    I enjoy posts about these most basic/simple subjects. I always get an idea or two to implement in OUR house.

    (Congratulations of getting the most recent book material sent in!)

  12. Tea towels are FAB! That's why you have so many!

  13. I too have been sorting out drawers and shelves. I say I am not a collector but wow I seem to collect an aweful lot of information. So it is all sorted now into neat folders where I can find the information quickly when needed. One room finished and just about to start on the next one. Feels good. Cheers, Wendy

  14. I very much enjoy days like that - where you can stay home, get caught up on a few to-dos, make or organize some things and have a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. It always feels so good at the end of the day.


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