The Towel Saga, Continued

towel bar with lone towel hanging on it

So. A few weeks ago I shared with you the story of the Bathroom Towels that Are Driving Me Batty. Recall? Well, Internets, I have an update.

To recap. When our sad story began, the bathroom floor routinely looked like this:

towels on bathroom flooor

Mind you, this is a bathroom used primarily by boys. Who (ahem) don’t always worry too much about, ummm, accuracy.

Shall we say it together? Ewwwwwwwwwww!

After months of pondering, I realized that part of the problem was the towel bars that were too high and difficult to use. So! Towel bars were removed, and hooks installed. I was SURE this would make life better. Angelic choirs would sing.

Or not. Instead, my results were as follows.

towels on bathroom floor

Plus, whenever I complained about towels on the floor, boys would all point fingers and accuse one another of the crime. And keeping the towels on the hooks was a bit of a trick, especially for the younger boys.

My beloved mother-in-law was visiting and had a brilliant idea: buy each boy his own towel in a unique color so I would know whose name should be called for towel replacement duty.

Off to the store I went. Each boy was pleased to choose a nice thick towel in the color of his choosing. As soon as we got home and got them washed, up they went on the hooks. Now…NOW was the time for the Dance of Victory. Now would be when I could visit the bathroom and not shudder in fear of bacteria-laden fabric. I waited a day and checked.

This was the result.

towel hanging, still one on floor


Inspiration wasn’t long in coming though. What we needed was a way to keep the towels from falling off the hooks. The solution? Sew a quick loop of fabric on the side of the towel to help in hanging. I bought a cheap washcloth from the store and cut it into strips. Each strip was sewn into a tube and turned inside out, then I roughly sewed the ends of the tube right on to the towel and voila!

Here’s what the finished product looks like.

Aaaaaaand, here’s what the bathroom looks like now.

towels hanging on wall

Most of the time.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want the towels to stay on the wall.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • Heather Mott June 17, 2010, 1:00 pm

    I love the idea and I love the story…I dont have that problem yet but I am sure I will soon. Thanks for sharing

  • Brick wade June 30, 2010, 11:36 am

    Fantastic idea about colors for each kid! I also had trouble with towels staying on hooks and sewed loops. Thanks for the hack!

    • Amy LeForge June 30, 2010, 11:58 am

      I have to give credit for the colors idea to my mother-in-law. 🙂 It’s funny, because we color coded the boys all throughout their early years (having twins makes that pretty necessary unless you have a fantastic memory for details) but I never thought of it in this particular application. It’s nice to have that kind of backup. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Leah June 30, 2010, 11:47 am

    i found you through parent hacks..and i have to say i LOVE your persistance!! i would have given up long before that!
    Leah´s last blog post ..Catching up-

    • Amy LeForge June 30, 2010, 11:59 am

      LOL, Leah. I’m nothing if not doggedly persistent. If only I could figure out solutions to problems faster. Alas, I am a slow learner. So glad you took the time to comment; thanks!

  • coco June 30, 2010, 12:28 pm

    Instead of the fabric loops I’ve used girls hair elastics (the material type ones) and sewn them on to the insides of my kids coats so that they’re easier to hang on the hooks in our front entry. Putting them on towels would work too. Glad you’ve finally come up with something that works for you… going to add your site to my google reader =)

    • Amy LeForge June 30, 2010, 11:32 pm

      Oh my goodness Coco, what a great idea!! We often have coats falling down around here and that would help the younger boys in particular. It was actually in looking at the coats that the towel loop solution came to mind. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kendra June 30, 2010, 4:24 pm

    Brilliant! I’m a day care provider, and the kids have color coded cups, for the same reason–who needs to be reminded to take care of their cup. Plus, with kids on whole, 2%, and whatever other kind of milk, it’s easy not to get mixed up when serving meals, if I know who’s going to get which color. But I never thought of it with towels. I bet they’d love that!

    • Amy LeForge June 30, 2010, 11:35 pm

      Kendra, that color coding is so handy. When the boys were small (and looked identical, especially when you factor in the New Parent Exhaustion Syndrome) it was the only way to survive. How else would we know who was fed what? My mother came up with the colors as part of nicknames, so that helped me remember which boy was what color. I knew the idea had stuck when one of the younger boys reported his own name as being “Screamin’ Green” when he was 4, lol.

  • Marita June 30, 2010, 6:17 pm

    Brilliant idea. Most of our towels end up on the bathroom floor too. Not such a trauma in summer when I can hang them outside to dry after washing, but in winter it is a nightmare.

    • Amy LeForge June 30, 2010, 11:39 pm

      Marita we have a whole different issue with summer towels. In years past I just washed all the beach towels and kept them on a bench in our back entry, but that turned into a full load of towels every day because boys would use one after swimming, leave it in a wet lump on the floor somewhere, and go fetch another one after swimming again. This year we’re trying the “use one towel per day” plan and I am asking the boys to hang them up on the coathooks in said entryway. So far, not so good, but it’s a new policy so we’re working on it.

  • Claire June 30, 2010, 9:46 pm

    Wow, that’s great. BUT what do you do when it’s teenagers, and they refuse to use the hooks under any circumstances?!!! I’d LOVE some tips on that… Anyone?

    • Amy LeForge June 30, 2010, 11:44 pm

      Claire, can you charge them for your towel-hanging services? Or do they borrow your car? Perhaps it’s just too difficult to locate the keys for them when you’re so exhausted after picking up all the time. Have you ever read any of the Love and Logic books? They have some great ideas for annoying teenagers into compliance. Good luck! And tell me what worked, because we’re just entering the teen years and oh my goodness, it’s going to be a ride!

      • Claire July 1, 2010, 11:04 pm

        I haven’t heard of those books but I am going to track them down now! Thanks for the tip!

  • Mary Beth June 30, 2010, 10:04 pm

    Also found you on parent hacks. Brilliant! Wishing your boys a lifetime of easily cleaning up after themselves. 🙂

    • Amy LeForge June 30, 2010, 11:45 pm

      Oh, thank you Mary Beth. If only they would clean up after themselves. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? A mom can hope. 🙂

  • joy September 12, 2010, 3:27 am

    as we like to say around here, “they don’t give scholarships for nothing!” great idea.

    i would love to know which boy the lime green belongs to. the only one hanging up in photo 3…

    • Amy LeForge September 12, 2010, 8:30 pm

      LOL. Joy the lime green belongs to Captain Earthquake. Each boy was assigned a color in infancy so we could keep track of bottles and cups and so on. Because he was rather a vocal baby, we called his color “screamin’ green”. It’s been his color every since.