What is the deal with this?
Who on earth thinks it's a great idea to have their clean clothes in the kitchen? I'm not saying that people should have such dirty places that you have to worry insanely about things touching it, but really, laundry?
The laundry room/area is to be tucked away, near a bathroom or bedroom. It's not to be near the food prep area. That's just the way it is. The kitchen is for food stuff only. Give up a closet if you must, but keep those washer/dryers out of the kitchen!