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Kitchen gadgets can’t help but be territorial. Once you plug in your microwave and fill up your utensil crocks, it’s hard to imagine those things living in any spots other than the ones where you set them down. That’s where the electric kettle goes because that’s where it’s always been. Problem is, this doesn’t give you much flexibility in your counter space, and sometimes, it would be extremely beneficial to be able to temporarily move these pieces out of the way and use “their” spots to do something else.
One of the worst counter space monopolizers is the dish rack. You only interact with it for a few minutes every day, and once dishes are dry and put away, the rack is essentially wasting space. The solution? Get a dish rack that you can fold up and put away when it’s not in use. This collapsible model on Amazon has a particularly clever design, and at $14, it’s both perfect for small spaces and budget-friendly.
The dish rack consists of two parts: a slim water catch tray and a pop-up container that sits on top with slots for holding plates, bowls, and utensils. The tray and container lock in place using a twisting knob so you can’t accidentally knock over your dishes while they’re drying, but they separate easily enough so you can rinse out the tray and prevent residue from building up. When your dishes are done and stored away, you can push the container down flat — it’s 2 inches tall when fully compressed — and tuck the entire device into a corner or cabinet. Suddenly, the area around your sink is a free territory again!
You can use the rack to hold dishes from a meal for one or two people, and at a size of 15 inches by 12 inches, it can fit on even the tiniest counters. This would come in handy on camping trips by giving you a place to dry cups and bowls at your campsite when you want to, and disappearing into a flat rectangle when you don’t. It’s also an ideal size for college dorm rooms and studio apartments. Although I have a dishwasher, this would be a big help when I have to clean things that either don’t fit neatly into my machine — such as my oversized plastic mixing bowls — or are so delicate that they need to be hand-washed.
On Amazon, nearly 7,000 shoppers gave this rack a five-star rating. Some reported using it in their campers and RVs, and others set it right inside their sink to let dishes dry — it really is that compact. One reviewer’s description captures the space-saving benefits perfectly: “I don’t like to leave my dish drainer out when it’s not being used and I don’t have a lot of space under my sink, so the fact that it collapses means I have room to store it.”
Washing dishes may be unavoidable, but sacrificing counter space is a choice. With this smart dish rack, you can reclaim a little more room to move, cook, and, well, live.