The Brilliant Paper Towel Storage Idea That Everyone Needs to See

updated Jun 27, 2021
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Credit: Sarah Crowley

Few home-related debates raise opinions and hackles like the questions of whether to wear shoes indoors (and, more pointedly, if it’s acceptable to ask visitors to take theirs off), whether it’s okay not to use a top sheet (no, but even I have given up on using top sheets on my sons’ bunk beds), and the ever-raging paper towels-versus-rags debate. 

As I was getting to know my husband’s friends in Atlanta, where I would move as a newlywed, one friend, a few years ahead of me in her marriage and family life, made the comment that she “hides the paper towels” so people can’t just use them instead of rags. 

I was impressionable and must have subconsciously decided right then and there that I’d do the same. I’m Team Rags, through and through. (Although, I must confess that, in an uncharacteristically millennial habit, I do set the dinner table with Select-A-Size paper towels as napkins most nights. I’m a proud Xennial and I can tell you alllll about how we’re different than millennials whenever you have the time.)

The paper towel debate continues, but most of us can agree that paper towels do have their place in the kitchen. In addition to reaching for them as de facto napkins, I use them to sop up grease from pans after frying or cooking bacon in the oven, or when I need to clean up a particularly icky mess, like pet accidents or raw meat juice. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Ideal paper towel storage options make them accessible but not too easy to grab when rags are a better option. Adding an extra step and “hiding” them like my friend did makes over-using paper towels far less likely. That’s why I love this brilliant paper towel storage solution from The Organized Home. A simple tension rod affixed inside either an upper or lower cabinet makes grabbing paper towels easy but keeps them out of sight so they aren’t the automatic first line of defense. 

Even if you’re not concerned with paper towel conservation, hanging your paper towels in a cupboard makes sense. They’re not exactly the most attractive kitchen tool to have out in the open, and most of us are looking for things to declutter from our countertops anyway. Putting a roll of paper towels in a cupboard or pantry is fine, but storing them in such a way so that the roll, well, rolls, is using paper towels how they’re meant to be used, making grabbing one — when you really need it — easy.