small space solutions: our jacked up drying rack

f your kitchen is anything like ours, kitchen counter space is at a premium. We employ all the usual tricks to maximize the counter space available for the business of cooking: appliances like the food processor and the crockpot are stored out of site, only coming out when in use. Knicknacks and such are forbidden. But as you may notice when you check out our kitchen, we’ve implemented one other little hack that vastly increases our available space:

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Notice the absence? Most countertops have a drying rack in pride of place next to the sink. Ours, however, does not. M., in one of his wonderful household genius moves, installed a pair of drying shelves in the space over our sink:

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Seriously, these shelves are fantastic. If you struggle with a lack of counter space, take a look around your sink area and see if there’s a vertical space that you could utilize in this fashion. Building the shelves here was incredibly easy: we bought a long piece of metal shelving (be sure to get one with some kind of “lip” on the front to keep your dishes contained as they dry), borrowed a pair of bolt cutters to trim it down to two 30″ pieces, then mounted two sets of four brackets and slipped the shelves into place. We later added a little more security by lashing the shelves to the brackets using twist-ties:

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One of the nicest things about this drying rack aside from the space savings is how much cleaner it is. With a regular drying rack, water often pools below the rack, causing mold and discoloration on the pan below if you forget to clean as regularly as you should. Here, water simply drips into our sink and down the drain, so there’s no serious cleaning time of the rack. So not only is this set-up perfect for small spaces, it’s also great for lazy housekeepers (like me). More space and less cleaning? Synergy at its finest

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