Life without a dishwasher (it’s not as bad as you think)

One sobering thought we realized right away when we starting building out our Airstream is that we’d be giving up is our beloved dishwasher. Our dishwasher was like having a loyal servant who was there at your beck and call to clean up after you. We’d throw our dishes in this magical machine, pop some detergent in it, turn it on and walk away. Heck, we’d even eat off dishes and drink out of glasses while the machine was running with the dishes from earlier in the day! If there’s one thing that tiny living teaches you, it’s how to conserve. Now we know what it means when we pull a plate or cup out of the cabinet. You’re washing that sucker by hand. The old-fashioned way. The good thing is we don’t have a lot of things to wash anymore. Living in a small space means less stuff. And in turn, less dishware. We don’t use a lot of kitchen tools when we cook. I’ve learned you really don’t need that many. We have our Vitamix, one skillet and one pot. A couple of wooden spoons, a turner and a handful of knives. I love the simplicity of that. I’m not Martha Stewart so why did I used to have six or eight types of pots and skillets and a drawer full of cooking utensils?

Side note: I’m working on a post about the food we eat and what I’ve found to be easy to whip up in a small space with limited tools.

I thought the drying rack on our Ikea sink would suffice for washing dishes. That was not the case. Everything I set there after washing slid around, fell into the sink and dripped everywhere. Most drying racks and mats out there are too large (and too ugly) for my small counter surface. Enter Umbra. Their drying mat is my new best friend. I also never knew I could get excited about a drying mat until now. It’s compact design (13×20″) is perfect for small space living. It sits on the footprint of the side of our sink perfectly. It’s super absorbent and has a movable plate rack so you move it up or down the length of the drying mat to suit your needs. The mat is even machine washable! It takes the irritation out of washing dishes by hand. And when you’re done, it folds right up and easily stows away in a cabinet! It’s the perfect, stylish solution for our small space.



Sheena is a free-spirited adventurer who designed and renovated a 1975 Airstream in 2016 and travels the US with her husband and mohawk-sportin' poodle. She's a business owner, self-taught carpenter, blogger, yogi, professional photographer and a lover of the outdoors and healthy living.

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2 Comment

  1. Do you have to dry the fabric part before putting away? Love the idea!

    1. We either let the dishes and the mat dry overnight or just fold it up very loosely and put it in the cabinet when it’s still damp. It dries super fast though. Hasn’t been a problem at all!

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