Mess and clutter? Utter disorganization? What's a crafty comfort queen to do?

This blog is to be the chronicle of my attempts to learn home economics. Creative, DIY home and life management with an indie, crafty, green flair. Responsible and personally expressive "mistressing" of all that stuff that falls into the "life" category.

I'm crafting my own version of domesticity based on the indie craft and DIY movements and teachers like the writers of BUST, Pagan Kennedy, and Ariel Gore (not your grandma's housekeeping). Being house-proud has always been a struggle, but it's time to get it together. As of this moment, I embrace my domestic side, heavy on the irony of course (not your grandma's housekeeping)...and vow to change my ways and channel my inner Pagan Kennedy (the Martha for non-Marthas).

Feedback is welcome. Tips are appreciated. And if you have an uncontrollable desire to come and be my maid, the big pink door is open.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Down with Napkins? Not sure Martha would approve...

One of the "green" cutbacks I have learned about in staying with my friend is a decidedly firm stand against napkins and paper towels.  They have paper towels in the household for emergencies and her aging father in law who seems to like to use them in lieu of plates, much to the chagrin of my friend.  However, at the dinner table, they rarely make an appearance. 

Towel available from BlueQ

As a woman whose momma raised her right, to always place a napkin in the lap (after setting the table with it folded into a triangle on the left side of the plate with a fork atop it), I was a bit shocked at this turn of events.  Now Martha would probably approve if, say, cloth napkins were used instead.  She (my benefactor) does use towels for wiping up spills from counter to floor, and many of them are washed daily, but no cloth napkins.  It may be an attempt to curb water usage because of all the other towels being used, plus lots of dishwashing in the Whirlpool.  But it takes a lot of kitchen towels to fill up a washing machine, I have noted.  So the action of substituting real towels for fake ones is probably negligible as far as environmental impact, and certainly the better choice.  I have not yet asked about the lack of cloth napkins - don't want my curiosity to seem a criticism, which it is not.  But I have found that these actions do save many paper towels.  I used to have a bad habit of going through them way too quickly, and now I find that I don't need them half as much as I thought I did.  We have saved countless trees in the month and a half that I have been here, and she has been doing this for a year, so the tree rescue count goes up even more for her. 

In my next place, I plan to invest in kitchen towels (after I replace the one of hers I caught on fire) and maybe some cloth napkins.  At the very least, though our laps are bare at the dinner table and my sisters would gasp, I am proud of the fact that I - and my 3 yr old son - have managed to curb our crumb dispensing and keep messes to a minimum.  Reduced cleanup ability, plus living in a near-immaculate household - have a significant impact on inspiration to be cleaner by nature.

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