Flour Sack Family

Inspired by Rebekah and Justin Rhodes over on AbundantPermaculture.com- we are going to “just start planting”. In an attempt to get caught up on all we want to share, we are going to throw some stuff in the dirt and see what comes up. Enjoy these non-polished, less than perfect posts EVERY DAY this week. Check out the bottom of this post for the whole series.

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How We Family: The Ins and Outs of Being a Flour Sack Family


Flour Sack Towels

Everything and More

Slowly but surely we are touching every item in our house, and taking time to make choices that help our family lead more intentional, sustainable, waste free lives.For our family, the tool with the most impact has been the humble available nearly anywhere Flour Sack Towel.

Here’s how we use these AWESOME tools in every room in our house. I have numbered the ways for easy reference and included a fun checklist if you would like to make some simple changes in your home as well.

The Bathrooms: We use towels in each bathroom (1) to dry hands after washing, but on a larger scale, recently made the switch from loads of big fluffy towels to one turkish towel and one flour sack towel each (2) for bathing. (We did keep a few fluffy towels for guests but since we are MOVING TO ITALY we donated those to our local animal shelter.) This keeps our laundry loads small and drying is a breeze (literally, outside). I also cut one towel into several smaller (3) face wipes to use with micellar water or witch hazel. Doing this replaced my need for cotton balls and harsh scrubbing as well.

The Kitchen: All (4) drying and (5) wiping is accomplished by flour sack towels. We ditched our salad spinner and (6) dry all produce by towel too. For lettuce, simply rinse like you do and gather inside a FST. No more paper towels or disposable wipes either. I added loops to the towels in the middle of the factory seam so they hang nicely next to our sink. If I had added loops on the corners, like I did on the bathroom towels, they would have hung too long and dipped into the sink. We also use a piece of towel over our (7) sprouting jars to help keep the seeds inside when we rinse and drain the water each day.

Left: Towel with loop attached on the corner Right: Towel with look attached in the middle of one side

Left: Towel with loop attached on the corner
Right: Towel with look attached in the middle of one side

The Living Room and Hallway: With less stuff to maintain, we have less stuff to dust. But any (8) dusting is by flour sack towel. We have two dogs, two cats and one dog door so we also (try to- no one is perfect) sweep every morning and (9) dry dust every evening- the dry dusting is just a flour sack towel over our Swiffer head. And my favorite couch lounging (10) blanket is from a set of flour sack towels I quilted together in high school.

Dining Room: In our dining room, flour sack towels become (11) place mats for children (or adults), (12) extra large napkins or bibs (think crawfish night), (13) folded over several times they make light trivets for pots and pans, and (14) wipes for the table and chairs after dinner. If I plan well enough just two towels can cover all of our needs for an entire meal. Saving on laundry duties and energy costs.

The Bedroom: Flour sack towels become (15) handkerchiefs, (16) bandannas, (17) cotton scarves (especially if dyed or otherwise personalized), and (18) packing cubes for travel (just tie bundles together at the corners to keep like items inside).

Real life: Flour Sack Towel saving our table from another dino dig.

Real life: Flour Sack Towel saving our table from another dino dig.

For Children: After trying all of the cloth diaper options ever, both Marco and I agree the flour sack towel with a basic cover is our favorite (19) cloth diaper option. We have a few pockets we use for sitters or grandparents, but they are also stuffed with flour sack towels and/or bamboo inserts. I used two towels that had seen better days and turned them into a (20) game for Nico. I dyed one towel (to cover the stains) and painted it with various circles, then I cut the other into smaller pieces and sewed them into pouches with dried beans from our garden. I put more dry beans in the circles. Players take turns trying to earn the beans by landing their pouches in the circles. We use more towels in our play for (21) doll blankets (22) dress up scarves, aprons, dresses, or ghosts, and (23) to hang between two chairs for a simple puppet theater. Clipping a flour sack towel to a stroller hood makes an easy and lightweight (24) stroller shade, the same for rolling up the edge in a car window for a (25) car window shade on long trips.

We keep a flour sack towel in our day bag, our stroller, and two in our car. No more do I fear an unexpected muddy puddle, or impromptu frozen yogurt. One towel can dry an entire grownup in a snap so having them on hand for smaller people only makes sense.

If you are looking for ways to replace disposables or just be more prepared for life's unexpected experiences, the Flour Sack Towel is a great tool to reduce waste and anxiety at the same time. 

Check out our first downloadable HERE. This handy checklist will make sure you get the full bang for your buck with each towel you bring home.

This post is not sponsored in anyway, but we have included affiliate links to our favorite flour sack towels on Amazon. If you would like to try out a pack for yourself or your family, your purchase AT NO COST TO YOU will help us continue spreading ideas and suggestions on how to reduce waste for other families just like you. Thank you for your support!