Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pantry/Dining Room Organization - Table Linens

ASSIGNMENT: Dining room linens. Wherever you store them, take them all out - tablecloths, placemats, napkins, and napkin rings. Wash or wipe down the insides of any drawers or shelves used.

Do you have "for good" vs. everyday linens? What shape are the linens in? Are they stained or ragged? If so, can they be treated or repaired? If not, do you really want to save them? Lots of questions, I know, but these are the things that need to be thought through.

If you have a nice tablecloth, but there is a permanent stain on it, maybe make it into placemats, napkins, cloths for side tables, or a smaller table cloth if you absolutely will do so soon. If the placemats are lined/quilted, maybe they could be made into potholders. Napkins: tell me ideas for reusing them. If they are not worth saving - well, you know what to do with them. 

I use cloth napkins every day - most of them were picked up at yard sales or thrift stores for 25-50₵ each. After becoming an empty nester, I did not need all of them. My favorites, I kept.

I had several that were not true to square or rectangle. It drove me crazy over time, I like symmetry. I paid it forward by donating them, plus my non-favorites, to a resale shop. 

Are there table linens that you never, ever use? Perhaps, Aunt Ethel gave you that 1960's-patterned tablecloth in the 1990's; you do not like it, but it was Aunt Ethel. Take a picture of it, and put it in a photo album alongside a photo of your aunt. Why hang onto something you do not like? Can you donate it to charity so some vintage-linen lover can buy it? 

Once table linens are sorted, it is time to fold them. To help you out, especially with round ones, I found a couple of YouTube videos:

Once folded, it is time to put them away. I recommend putting them back according to sets – holiday #1 with holiday #1, birthday with birthday, etc. Of course, you may want to store seasonal linens with seasonal decorations. Non-sets can be stored by color or use, such as outdoor, breakfast bar, or formal dining. 

Please comment below about how this project goes for you or any suggestions you may have.