Out of Sight or On Display: Where Do You Keep Your Paper Towels?


Out of Sight or On Display: Where Do You Keep Your Paper Towels?

One of our ongoing housekeeping goals is to keep crap stuff off our kitchen countertops. Not only does it look neater (obviously), it also makes things easier to clean, and it makes the counter space look much more expansive. I've been toying with the idea of getting one of those in-drawer knife holders so I can get rid of the big block, but my paper towel storage stumps me.  We try to use as few paper towels as possible for environmental reasons, but I still like to have them in easy reach just in case. Such a mundane item, paper towels, yet a staple in many kitchens, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who has wrestled with deciding where to hide--or not hide--them.

Spectrum 76771 Over The Drawer/Cabinet Paper Towel Holder, Brushed Nickel

Of course I've considered mounting a holder inside a cabinet door, like the one pictured above (Amazon, $9.99), but we really don't have room. (I measured it and the roll would run into my cleaning supplies & etc.) Plus, our hands are oftentimes wet/dirty/whatever when we reach for a paper towel, so that would mean we'd get the cabinet and knob wet/dirty/whatever too.

easy tear wall mounted paper towel holder

Mounting an under-cabinet holder is out of the question as it would block our under-cabinet lighting. 

This next one could work in our pantry cabinet, but, again, there's the wet/dirty/whatever hand thing. (Organize.com, $6.99)

created at: 09/07/2012

I'd love to have something like this next one. I've measured the openings under the kitchen sink, but they're too small and the sink behind is too big. 

created at: 09/07/2012

If I had an abundance of cabinet space, I might even consider doing this:

Paper Towel Holders Kitchen Storage at Cooking.com

Alas, I'm afraid--until we wean ourselves off paper towels entirely--we're stuck with a simple 'stick-like' holder (I chose this one from The Container Store, $9.99), which is fine for now as we can tuck it out of the way against the refrigerator so it's not terribly obvious. And if get really OCD about the stuff on the counter, we can always stash it in the pantry cabinet. 


SO--where do you keep your paper towels? In plain sight or tucked away sight unseen?

P.S. Here's a good, non-judgmental article about paper towel users living in an eco-friendly world. 

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Valerie on Sep 25, 2015:

I have a grand total of two feet of free counter space in my tiny kitchen so this was a bid deal for me. I got an under the cabinet holder from the Container Store and mounted it with command strips to the side of my fridge with the free end sticking up. We got the kind that clicks as you turn it so it can't spin freely. Works a treat! No counter space wasted.

Anonymous on Dec 29, 2012:

Trying to figure out how to accomplish the 4th example in what looks to be a drawer space. Me thinks this is a custom home however as there is no way to do this in a "cookie cutter" home. Unless I figure something else out we will have to install some sort of mount to get it off the counter. I refuse to stop using them as the thought of reusing a kitchen rag or any other towel to clean my counters grosses me out to no end lol.

Deany on Sep 11, 2012:

We have finally eliminated the use of paper towels in our house. Keep trying, it won't be long until you realize that you do not need them at all.

Anonymous on Sep 08, 2012:

We use very few paper towels - maybe 2 rolls in a year. We just stash the loose roll on a shelf in our pantry.

sarahee7 on Sep 07, 2012:

We dont use them usually.  But sometimes there is a roll with the cleaning supplies in the laundry room.

Stacey on Sep 07, 2012:

After switching to cloth diapers, we also ditched regular use of paper towels (seriously, cloth diapers are the gateway to getting rid of disposable items in your home.  If you can clean poo out of fabric, everything else is simple).  Like the previous poster, we only use them for stuff that doesn't wash well (like oil) and go through a couple of rolls a year.  Of course, this doesn't help your issue.

When I did use paper towels, I really liked the mobility of the counter top stick.  Baby or pet accident in another part of the house?  No problem, grab the stick and go!  Working on something icky in this part of the kitchen, as opposed to that side?  Again, just move the stick.  Maybe it's not as bad as you think

Keter on Sep 07, 2012:

I haven't done it yet, but as I put the finishing touches on my kitchen, I'm probably going to replace my current paper towel holder that stands vertically on the countertop with a wall mounted paper towel dispenser.  That sounds pretty normal, except I intend to use the type of dispenser you find in commercial restrooms, where you pull out one sheet at a time. (I tried to put a link to a similar unit, but was flagged for spam.  Why do you allow links and then flag them?)  You can get something similar and the refills at most Costco stores.  I have been using half-sheet cut paper towels for years now as typically I don't need a big towel.  I mostly use paper towels for wiping up grease and pet messes. For general purpose wiping up, I keep three microfiber washcloths in a big glass canister filled with a mild bleach solution.  The bleach cuts dirt and disinfects...a quick rinse and wring after use, and back into the canister.

stacia on Sep 07, 2012:

sounds like the perfect of opportunity ot get rid of the paper towels. We use the cheapest cloth diapers that places like babies-R-us sells (easy to find coupons) as kitchen rags. In fact, they were given to us as burp clothes and then they were re-purposed into rags. They are perfect paper towel replacements. Course then you have to find a place to keep those, but it's not too hard. We keep ours in a wooden apple crate on a bottom shelf. Then it's easy to reach in and grab one (easier than trying to tear a paper towel off with one hand). We keep a plastic bin under the sink to toss the dirty ones in as well as our cloth napkins, dish cloths and sponges. The whole lot gets washed once or twice a week. I keep a roll of paper towels in the basement for occasions where i need to wipe something up that can't go through the wash. Takes me about 6-12 months to go through a roll.

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