It's true. I bought a six-pack of paper towels when I got married and moved. We have 3 left in the cupboard and half of one on the paper towel holder.
It was a very easy transition to "nearly paper-free" for my family. Here's how to do it.
First, go buy yourself some new towels. Body towels, hand towels, washcloths, kitchen towels,
and kitchen washcloths. Also, get some cloth napkins that aren't too fancy. You know you want to, because all of yours are old and worn out and mismatched and stained from the cocoa recipe you decided to use. Here's the key: MAKE SURE THEY MATCH. In my house, kitchen stuff is yellow/white, and bathroom stuff is brown/tan.
Secondly, find a convenient place (or two) for your old towels. Mine go under the sink with cleaning supplies and in a closet. Tell everyone in your home what the new towels are for, and the old towels are for cleaning or
for things that will stain. It's easy to tell, since your new towels all match and your old towels are...old and gross. It's so nice to be able to wipe up the sink, dust, wash the windows (try cutting up old thin PJs), wipe up spills on the floor, and dry the car after washing without having to think about which towels to use.
Lastly, your cloth napkins are to be used. Even for spaghetti sauce or chocolate or yucky fingers from dinner. Because they're not too fancy and intimidating and it's okay to yuck them up.
It's really very easy and I don't think I do any more laundry from them since I tend to wash all my towels/dishcloths at the same time.
Just keep in mind that no matter how "paper-free" your household is, you should always keep an emergency paper towel roll on hand, because some messes are too yucky to be thrown in the washing machine. Like cleaning up the area around the mousetrap. Or dog vomit. :)