Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Things I Love

Over the last couple of weeks, I've done a lot of decluttering. I still have a lot of stuff to reorganize and file, but for awhile I was taking a big trash bag (or two... or six) of stuff to the thrift shop every day or so. Living in such a small space, ideally the only things you own are things that you love, that bring you pleasure and function well. Plus, this is a great way to learn to be content with fewer things. I'm not very good at this part yet (lol) but living small is definitely helping me learn!

I thought I'd take a little space each week to share a thing I love, whether it's a product, useful item, or sentimental item. :) These might be big things or small things or even pretty silly things, but they're things I'm thankful for!

So up this week - and remember how I said these things might be silly? ;) - is something I've been super thankful for lately: my new dish drying mat!
This is the exact one I own, just in case you're so inspired by this post that you decide you need your own. :)
Yes, you heard me correctly.

See, when I moved in to the trailer eighteen months ago (holy crap has it really been a year and a half?!) I bought a bunch of dishtowels. Cheap dishtowels that looked cute and immediately started to fall apart as soon as I washed them, and most of which I swear actually repelled water. And grabbed every piece of dust, hair, lint, etc that entered the trailer and would not let go. They were worse than useless for drying dishes, and I learned a hard lesson quickly: quality vs. quantity. Over the next few months, I snagged more expensive but higher quality dishtowels as I found them marked on clearance or on sale.

The other thing I always meant to buy is a dish rack - something like this. But I never did, because I couldn't figure out where to store it when I wasn't using it, and it seemed like such a waste of precious counter space to let it sit out when it wasn't being used. So I never did. 

My solution to these problems ( a) too many useless towels and b) lack of dish rack) was to stack the towels over the counter and pile the wet dishes on them. I sometimes thought about sewing them together to make them neater, but I truly despised them and I knew this wasn't a good permanent solution, so I never bothered.

Right before Christmas I was walking through Wal-Mart, realizing that I'd gotten almost all of my Christmas shopping done early, and I saw this dish drying mat for the 100th time. Except that this time I contemplated actually getting it. It was cheap ($5) and grey (yay!) and it said "XL" (which ended up being... sort of untrue, but it's the perfect size for my counter so who cares). I was also feeling sort of unappreciated - I'd just come off of a rough couple of weeks - and normally this is not a good time to go shopping LOL, but this ended up being one of my favorite purchases ever.

It's so cute, I don't mind it sitting on the counter while the dishes dry. In fact, I leave it out and put a candle on it after the dishes are gone because I love the pattern. I think the dishes dry faster with fewer spots. It doesn't smell musty like the pile of icky towels (which, by the way, got cut into squares and put in the "rags to clean the girl's cage with" pile). When I don't want it out, it folds up and fits in the drawer with the (nice) towels. It's cleaner.

I will probably eventually buy a dish rack (I've got my eye on this one!) but in the meantime, I'm sort of delighted at how $5 has made my kitchen so much more amazing. :)

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