Oh how I wish that we still gathered together for dinner in the dining room every evening, Downton Abbey style…
But, we don’t. At least, not in the Hines house. Most of the time our dining room serves as a study/office, but I still like to have certain things close by, ready for entertaining, which is how I happened upon a clever idea for cloth napkin storage.
Clever Cloth Napkin Storage
So, when I was reorganizing the kitchen, I moved the cloth napkin storage to the dining room, since that is where we use them.
Then, I got my chance to live out my Downton Abbey fantasy…
I set out the place mats then disappeared into the kitchen to wrap up dinner preparations. People started fixing their plates and making their way into the dining room when I remembered the napkins…
“You can use the napki….,” I started to announce, but stopped abruptly when I saw someone had put paper napkins at each place setting.
There went my fantasy.
What I was going to say, feeling so proud of myself for my clever cloth napkin storage, was that they could use the napkins in the bowl on the bookcase.
The ones that go with the place mats that were already on the table.
But, in the end it didn’t matter. People gathered and ate and went for seconds. Then, we enjoyed dessert out on the front porch.
As I sat with my family, I felt grateful for front porches and rocking chairs, blueberry cobbler and warm Spring nights…and dining Southern style.
But, I’m not letting go of the idea of using cloth napkins.
5 Ways to Store Cloth Napkins for Everyday Use
Now, if you don’t happen to have a bookcase in your dining room, you might be wondering how to store cloth napkins. Here are some ideas.
- the linen closet – This is a good idea for storing table linens that aren’t in use; kind of like back stock. This allows you to set up a rotation system. When the ones in use get dirty, pull some fresh napkins out of the linen closet. Once the dirty table linens have been laundered, store them in the linen closet.
- a kitchen cabinet or drawer – Keeping your cloth napkins in the kitchen might be the most convenient place if you’re using them everyday. If you don’t have room in your drawers or cabinets, use a cloth napkin holder or bowl on your kitchen counter or dining table. You could also store them in a storage basket placed above the kitchen cabinets or on top of the refrigerator.
- the laundry room – Designate a basket for kitchen linens and keep it in the cabinet or on a shelf.
- a buffet or sideboard drawer – Sideboards and buffets are designed to store table linens. Tuck your napkins inside the drawers or on a shelf behind closed doors.
- your pantry – You can either store them in a basket on the shelf, hang a basket on the wall, or if you have the space, use a rolling cart with drawers.
It may require some rearranging or editing to find a place to store your cloth napkins. Whatever you decide, make sure it works for your space and lifestyle.
If you use napkin rings, you can store them with the napkins. I’ve also stored them in a bowl on my dining table.
Table Linen Storage Containers
- linen organizers – You can use a linen organizer in an armoire, linen closet, buffet or sideboard.
- drawer inserts – If you keep your napkins in a drawer, separate them with drawer dividers.
- storage baskets – A shallow, lidded basket would work well in the laundry room, on top of the fridge or in the linen closet. You could even put it under your bed.
- storage boxes – You can use a storage box anywhere you’d use a storage basket. It would also also work well in a kitchen cabinet or buffet cabinet.
Where to get cloth napkins
I typically buy my cloth napkins at TJ Maxx or World Market. And I tend to go for all white for versatility. But, you could try Etsy for vintage or handmade cloth napkins.
- This shop has some really cute boho chic napkins
- Here are some cute farmhouse style ones.
- That same shop makes bulk family pack napkin sets.
- Linen Home Decor sells lovely linen napkins in on trend decorator colors.
- And if you want to get fancy, get you some white monogrammed napkins.
Benefits of Using Cloth Napkins
While I originally wanted to switch to cloth napkins for sentimental sake, I’ve discovered several benefits of using cloth napkins.
Save money – Most families go through disposable napkins quickly. We’re a small household and I felt like I was always buying new packs of napkins. It’s so nice to find simple ways to save money.
Reduce use of paper products – I love knowing I’m cutting down on the use of paper by using cloth napkins.
Durability – Cloth napkins aren’t easily wadded or torn up like paper napkins. Cloth napkins also last for a really long time. (A friend of mine uses cloth napkins that belonged to her mother.)
Decorative – Cloth napkins come in so many patterns and colors making it easy to change the look of your table with the seasons.
For more cloth napkin and entertaining fun, read:
I’m so excited for you to dive into the world of cloth napkins. It’s the subtle details that have a way of making the ordinary extraordinary, and I’m so here for it.
And since you’re invested in making your house a home, I think you’ll enjoy my book, Home on Purpose: Mindful Living in a Hectic World.
Ha! Isn’t that how it usually happens? I think just once…I’d like to dine as they do on Downton Abbey…just once. But, as we all well know…cloth napkins are not a necessity…just a nicety! 😉
Mrs. Hines says
I love the way you put that…” not a necessity just a nicety” And, just once would be fun, wouldnt’ it?
I love the blue and white cloth napkins. Will you please share the pattern and/or where you got them?
Mrs. Hines says
Yes…I got the napkins and placemats at Cost Plus World Market a few years ago. I’m not sure if they still carry them or not. I searched and found some similar ones at Wayfair. Here is my affiliate link if you want to take a look. http://shrsl.com/?ggh5
Hi. I love those cloth napkins too. I tried your link but it doesn’t work. Do you know where there is a similar pattern? Thank you!
Mrs. Hines says
I got the napkins at World Market three or four years ago. I searched, but don’t think they still carry these particular napkins. You might have love with Etsy or Ebay.
Dee Dee says
Hi. Thank you for your quick response. I see several others asked the same question. If you come across anything like those, please post a link. I looked but have not found anything close to that pattern. Thank you. Have a great holiday weekend.