Sink Tools

Any good chef knows C.A.Y.G. helps make the best meals better: Clean As You Go. You can find your tools more easily while you’re still working, and then when you’re done the clean up is, too!

What do you use to keep your space clean?  Long before the Konmari method became popular, I adopted a commitment to only using things I love.  For me, that means details – and it makes everything just a little easier when my tools are both functional and full of beauty and meaning.  Let me tell you about my wash station:

I guess I should start by commenting that there is no dishwasher in my 100-year-old house.  So, all our dishes are hand washed.  That’s fine, but it makes the tools a bit more important.  Silly though it might sound, I use a beautiful old Spanish oil/wine bottle for my dish soap.  Yes, it’s glass.  No, it hasn’t broken even with years of daily use, though it has been dropped a time or two. I bought it on a trip to Seattle with my two best girlfriends years ago, at a little store in the Pike Place Market.  I think of that trip every time I wash dishes and smile with memories of my friends.  I use a sturdy liquor spout I ordered online to make soap dispensing easier, and then buy dish soap in bulk.  I tend to use Seventh Generation dish soap, thinned a bit – it stretches well, is a little more eco friendly, and ever so much nicer to live with a beautiful memory on my counter rather than a plastic bottle. The sink strainers and stoppers are handy dandy and live on a little glass dish covered in lemons, which I bought at the Legion of Honor when I went for the Pierre Bonnard show last year.

It might not look exciting, but we upgraded our plumbing recently: A new faucet with pull-out sprayer makes life easier and I love our new sink-mounted water filter.  The wooden paper towel holder is also a new addition and saves space on my counters without sticking out like a sore thumb.  And hanging right there next to them are the most beautiful hand-crocheted dish cloths a girl could want.  My sister’s best friend made me a set of these a couple years ago and I feel like I receive a little hug from her every time I touch them. Who knew you could find so much happiness in a dishcloth!? Plus, little metal scrubbies from Daiso.

Other bits and bobs in this picture include a woven bread basket (acquired on sale at Sur La Table one sunny afternoon while meandering through the SF Ferry Building), which I use to hold my various Kitchen Aide attachments.  The little crystal ring holder and the porcelain duck in the window were both my grandmothers.  My cobalt mixing bowls came to me on an antiquing adventure with a dear friend – we spent a weekend driving from Minneapolis down the river into Iowa and stopped for a lovely afternoon at several antique stores in Stillwater, MN.

What makes your cleaning space feel more loved and lovely? Is hand washing dishes a thing at your house?  Any tips or tricks on finding things to make clean up fun and friendly?