Really, how many towels and pillowcases does one family need?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 06-07-2009, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I did a major purge before we moved in April, but I think I was too conservative. How many towels/washcloths/hand towels does a family of four +pets (two parents, twin three year old humans, a yellow lab, and two kitties) really need? I have these scenarios in my head of all of us getting the stomach flu and getting sick and needing tons of towels.

What about pillowcases? I guess one for each bed pillow plus one spare per pillow?

I'm drowning in linens. I already pared us down to two sets of sheets per bed, which was a huge step for me!

SAHM to twin kindergarteners

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#2 of 13 Old 06-07-2009, 11:14 PM
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I downsized linens when we moved, and it's worked great for a year now.

Each bed (me/dh, dd, and ds) has one mattress cover and two sets of sheets with two pillowcases each. (All four of us use two pillows at night.) Our guest bed gets one set of sheets.

Towels - I have eight towels, eight handtowels, and eight washcloths. Four each to use, four to wash.

I also have a bunch of beach towels/cleaning towels in the bottom of the closet for messes/outside stuff, etc. There are about six, I think, for "just in case" stuff.

The bonus of downsizing - it all fits in the closet now. I just didn't *need* all of that linen!

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#3 of 13 Old 06-07-2009, 11:57 PM
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I've always kept one set of sheets to use and one to wash per bed, except only one set for the guest bed.

One towel to use and one to wash per person, plus two extras. This allows for the extras and the clean "wash" ones to be used for guests. I have a bunch of facecloths because I like to change those at least once a day. I guess the facecloths work out to three per person. I also have three towels for messy work or for when a kid is sick. I only have two handtowels and I only ever put them out for guests.

Gee, that all sounds like a lot! Hmmm.

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#4 of 13 Old 06-08-2009, 12:39 AM
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We have two sets of sheets for our master bedroom. The kids each have 2 sets, plus one extra. We have one mattress cover per bed, plus I have 5 waterproof pads like they use in the hospital. I keep each child's bed double sheeted with the water proof pads inbetween. Neither child is 100% night-time dry, tho DD is close. But the double sheeting the bed makes it really easy to swap out at night. I will keep this system for the next several years to be ready for stomach bugs too.

I have two sets per guest bed too.

The kids have a pile of baby and kid sized bath towels - maybe a stack of 10 towels. We use them up weekly. DH and I each have 3 sets, and we have 6 guest sets. Note that my sister had 3 kids so when they come, it's 5 extra people and DH has 3 sibs so when everyone descends on us we can run short. Also there is not enough room to hang all the towels for everyone so I end up running laundry more often just to keep ahead of things getting musty.

I keep a lot of the guest bedding in plastic tubs rather than in my linen closet, that helps keep clutter down.
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#5 of 13 Old 06-08-2009, 01:27 AM
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I have 2 sets of sheets (1 flannel/1 cotton) for each bed and 8 towel sets (bath, hand, washcloth) plus each girl has her own hooded bath towel.

Summer: crafty mama to 2 little girls and wife to Bob
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#6 of 13 Old 06-08-2009, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Whew, I finished destuffing the closet and it looks awesome now!

I put the sheets for my kids beds in their underbed totes, and reorganized the shelves so I can see everything. When we moved in back in April I kind of threw things at the closet and they landed wherever the wind took them.

SAHM to twin kindergarteners

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#7 of 13 Old 06-08-2009, 03:04 AM
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We have one towell each, however we are replacing these with organic bath robes (one each) as its much nicer to get out of the shower and feel warm, plus you can walk around getting your clothes for the day without being naked

We dont use face washers or hand towells. But when I used to we had two hand towells. And we still have four facewashers just because I havent seen a need to give them away since they take up so little space.

As for sheets we co-sleep so only need the one bed size. We have 4 pillowcases and two fitted sheets. I dont used flats so we dont have those. I also have a spare quilt cover, but it rarely gets used as its a bit nicer so would only be if we were having guests (we have a very open living house- no doors). When my kids get a bit older Im going to get a bunk for them and I would have a fitted for both beds and probably one spare. I tend to use the same sheets anyway and they are easy to get dry by the afternoon anyway. We line dry, even most of winter (but Im in Australia so its workable). But we have a dryer any way so really spares are just in case disaster of some kind strikes in the middle of the night
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#8 of 13 Old 06-09-2009, 03:58 PM
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2 regular sets per bed, 1 flannel set per bed, 12 towels (those include 4 beach towels), 8 hand towels and no washcloths (I don't like them).

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#9 of 13 Old 06-10-2009, 03:38 AM
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Two sets per bed plus a spare set for if guests stay.

Towels are two sets each as well, but I recently bought some new towels and can't bring myself to get rid of the old ones even though they no longer get used so towels are bulging again.

It's a Delight-Filled Life.

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#10 of 13 Old 06-10-2009, 10:02 AM
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My 3 year old has allergies so I switch her pillowcases a lot. She also is just about night trained but not quite. I couldn't do without 3 sets of sheets for her bed right now. (I stole one set from off the trundle bed.)

My DH and I have two sets of sheets - flannel for winter and regular for summer. I'd like an extra of each so that we don't have to try to get the bedding done all in one day but never seem to get around to it.
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#11 of 13 Old 06-10-2009, 04:15 PM
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Two sheet sets per flannel and one regular. I wash and remake the beds in one day so I do not need multiple sets. During the few times when illness has been involved, we might end up with the wrong season sheets on a bed until I can get the other set washed and dried....or the offending set gets puked on again....but that is the only real "issue" with not having more sets. Plus one additional regular set for the guest bed. We do have an inflatable bed and futon in addition to the guest bed. We have yet to have them all in service at the same time. But if we ever did, the circumstances would be extenuating enough that I would have no problem borrowing extra sheets from friends or asking guests to bring their own. In these cases, we would put the camping sleeping bags into service as blankets for the extra beds....since we do not have extras of those anymore either.

For towels, we have 8 bath towels that double as beach towels, and two hand towels. We have no linen closet so having more is a problem. This allows up to 5 guests at one time. Again, we would borrow if we ever had more people here.
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#12 of 13 Old 06-10-2009, 04:18 PM
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DS has three sets of sheets and pillowcases and he's got two of his own towels, hand towels and washcloths. H and I, on the other hand, are busting at the seams with towels and hand towels!! I think we have 10 towels, a few hand towels, and some cheap washcloths. Pillowcases and sheets - one set. I should probably buy another set just for when the others are washing.
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#13 of 13 Old 06-24-2009, 04:09 PM
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We have 4 bed linen sets per bed (2 summer, 2 winter) and enough bath linens to dry off a small country: I did pare down the towels and will be doing so again in July. I want to replace some with new ones & only keep the better ones.

A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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