I have many dish towels, and they have a tendency to get quite dirty. But as my laundry basket is far from the kitchen — all the way in the bedroom — I often end up letting the dirty boys hand out in the food prep area far longer than is appropriate, telling myself I will “take them with me the next time I travel to that part of the house (which is not far at all).” Then I forget to do that, so a small pile of dirty dish towels starts to take shape. This, to me, is gross.
I hate the look of that dirty towel pile — clutter makes me uneasy — but it’s mostly upsetting because I have been known to accidentally use a dirty dish towel instead of a clean one, and chaos (i.e., mild frustration and maybe some light gagging) ensues. Luckily, this can all be solved by a small clothes hamper.
Keeping a clothes hamper in the kitchen seems weird at first — laundry should not be in a food space! — but kitchen laundry is different. It’s greasy, smelly, and often damp, and I don’t really want it co-mingling with my collection of union local t-shirts. (A greasy rag next to my ILWU tank? No thank you!) A kitchen hamper means you don’t have to go to another room to ensure your dirty towel is out of your kitchen wiping rotation. Just toss it in the hamper, grab a new towel, and continue with your culinary activities.
Where you put the hamper depends on the layout of your kitchen, but next to the trashcan is probably a good place. Just make sure you don’t accidentally throw your dish towels in the garbage, unless they’re really dirty. (Some messes can’t be washed away.)