get a tiny dish rack.
or forgo one altogether.
you'll notice that this is mostly a photograph of an empty sink.* this is not an accident.
dirty dishes--and i'm taking this one step further--drying dishes are the enemy of apartment sanity.
let me back up. i'm going on the assumption that most tiny apartment dwellers don't have a dishwasher.** without a dishwasher, dishes have, on average, four different places they can be: in the cabinet (or otherwise put away), on the table (piled high with yummy food), in the sink, or in the dish rack. save the lovely moments of shared mealtime rituals when the things are on the table, i'm voting that mostly dishes should be in cabinets, or on shelves, or wherever they can be that's neat and tidy.
piles of dishes in the sink is an obvious no-no. if you think back to your college living quarters, i'm sure you will agree. i once spent a summer working on nantucket. 1 house, 12 people, 1 kitchen sink. there were lots of dishes.
unfortunately, dishes in the sink aren't the only enemy. dishes drying in the rack are also a thing to contend with. when you have a big dish rack (or even a few extra inches of counter space), it's awfully tempting to let things pile up. last night's dinner dishes linger until the morning where they become breakfast dishes. a new pot comes out at lunch time and gets added to the mix. an afternoon snack adds a plate or two and by the time dinner rolls around again, you can't find your garlic press and your serving spoon is wedged ungracefully beneath the colander and your favorite serving plate. the whole situation becomes like a more complicated version of jenga in which you need to use brute force to wrestle out the pieces.
a tiny dish rack means you whip out a hand towel and actually dry the things. if you have a buddy around, the experience can actually be quite pleasant. whistle while you work and all that jazz. once the dishes are dry, there's no sense in not putting them away. and just like that, your apartment no longer resembles a jumble sale and you can access your sink without fearing that already clean dishes will tumble back into the fray. serenity.
*if you look hard enough, you can see the corner of the dish rack behind the sink, we have this one.
**don't get me started on counter-top dishwashers
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