how to dwell small

i have been so inspired by all the small apartment posts i've seen around the web lately that i thought it might be fun to start one here of my own. although some may not call just under 800 square feet "itty-bitty", it has been an adjustment for us especially with only two very small closets only big enough to hang a few things within. and then there is the kitchen ... if you are like us and living in a place with a very, very, small kitchen, there is a good chance you will be washing your dishes by hand instead of by dishwasher. for us, this can be a pain especially when your counter space is nonexistent like ours. these are just a few tools we have found helpful for us dishwasher-less folk.
drying tray
tool # 1: a drying tray. catches the water from spilling and making a wet mess on the counter. we got ours here.
tool # 2: an ultra absorbent drying mat - rests above the drying tray. this tool is new to us but we love it! it helps soak water away and dry dishes quicker. it's also machine washable! similar one here.
dish rack
tool # 3: a dish rack. great to help organize and let more dishes dry at one time.
tool # 4: good dish scrubbers. we personally like to have one that can hold soap up top for easy dish-soap dispensing and cleaning and one with a handle that can fit inside hard to reach places like drinking glasses. we also prefer these types of dish scrubbers to actual sponges because they are so much easier to keep clean.
drying rag
tool # 5: an absorbent drying rag for when air drying is just too slow. ours is from here.


  1. Love it!


  2. cutest drying mat i've ever seen! love these tips. is it weird that i prefer washing dishes by hand? loading/unloading the dishwasher are my least favorite chores haha

  3. a dishwasher is the first thing i will buy once we decide to buy a home. haha. in the meantime, we will wash dish after dish.

  4. I never understood what the big deal was about having a dishwasher. Sure, I can see how it can be a bit inconvenient for some to not have one, but for me, it has always been a luxury & one that I don't necessarily mind not having. I suppose it was just the way I was raised; my family always washed dishes by hand. Even after my parents were able to afford a home that came with one, it more or less became a large drying rack/storage for extra dishes. Haha. It was really easy for me to adapt to apartment dwelling once I moved out, unlike a friend of mine who dreads her apartment, citing the main reason to be the lack of a dishwasher. Overall, I think this is a great post; it's helpful to those of us who have to adapt to smaller living spaces & provides great insight on just how little we actually need to get by. Thank you for this post & I look forward to this series on your blog. Keep up the wonderful work!

  5. this is genius, and really creative :) love this!

  6. I love this post.. we don't have a dishwasher so all of our pots are always left out to dry. I didn't even know those drying mats were a thing, and yours is very pretty, I might have to invest in one xx

  7. This is a great post, I always love reading ideas that are geared towards smaller spaces.

    //Birdie Shoots//

  8. That is the cutest drying mat! They are super helpful. I never knew there were such cute ones out there. It's time to trade in my ugly one for a polka-dotted one!

  9. that Anthropologie dish towel is so much nicer looking than my Walmart ones

  10. In all my adult life, I've never had a dishwasher, and though I certainly would not object if one were to magically appear in my apartment, drying dishes with such a pretty dish towel certainly makes the chore so much more enjoyable!
    Oh and PS. my personal dishwashing necessity: an iPod full of great podcasts.

  11. I've used all but the drying mat. But it seems awesome, and it's cute! :) Love this post.

  12. Sososoooo nice to see someone give "dwelling small" tips. As someone living in a teeny tiny apartment, I always love coming across these kinds of posts!

  13. this post is so adorable that it almost makes me wish i DIDN'T have a dishwasher.
    it's that cute.

  14. I love these "dwelling small" posts you do. As a college student living in an apartment, I can definitely relate to these issues. Just have to make the best of them, though! :)