Rags, Rags & More Rags!

 Hi, Bettina,

Question for you: how many rags is enough rags?  What is a good place and a good way to store them?  I have 90 million rags in a pile in the bathroom closet. I think 90 million is a bit too many. I don’t want to store them in the garage because the rodents make nests out of them.

 Your pal, Cathy

Hi, Cathy,

 Yes. I agree 90 million is too many.

 First lets talk about what constitutes a rag. I divide them into two distinct categories.

 1. Cleaning cloths. Usually linen or at least all cotton and flat. Old dish towels, napkins, face cloths, diapers make great cleaning cloths. I use these to clean and then they get washed (in a separate load with bleach). This cycle continues until they become rags.

 2. Rags in my world are cotton and disposable. They could be terry cloth, linen, or flannel, just not polyester. If they have polyester in them they dont absorb well.

 They are also flat. I dont care for socks, underwear, old pjs. Anything not flat with a seam or waistband? 🙁

 The biggest difference between rags and cleaning cloths is that rags get tossed after they’re used. I often reach for them instead of paper towels when wiping up messes, paint, and caulk.

 Sort your rags into these two categories, or at least cull out the misfits and just throw them away. You can have too many of anything!

 Once you have determined how you use rags, the next consideration is frequency. How often do you use them? For what purpose? Do you toss them or wash them or both?

 Choose a container or bag that fits the space you’ve designated and that holds however many you need. Fill the container half to 3/4 full. Even rags are best stored when there is a little wiggle room in the container.

 Keeping them in one place helps you to know how many you have. Sometimes you can make the argument to have them in two places, but the same rules apply. One known container, not full.

 Remember to keep only the cloths and rags you like–the rest will just get in the way. Keep a reasonable number of them and there will always be more where they come from.

 Thanks for the question. I love questions.  Bettina

Bettina Blanchard

About Bettina Blanchard

It’s not what we have, it’s what we do that makes life fun. Professional organizer, business owner, radio show host, accordion player, I love to live and write about finding the balance between having and doing.