You have to wash everything by hand, dry everything by hand, and then put everything away (by hand). But in Finland, you can skip those onerous steps with one genius concept.
Introducing the astiankuivauskaappi. While it is a mouthful to say, the idea is simple. It looks like a normal kitchen cabinet on the outside, but it has slotted dish racks instead of solid shelves inside. Fitted directly over the sink, the wet dishes are put away and left to drip dry. Easy, right?
It not only saves valuable kitchen bench space, it saves the step of hand-drying your dishes and then putting them away. And there’s no need for an ugly dish drainer on show.
The idea is very popular in Finland and other European countries, but having a dedicated cupboard for drying dishes is virtually unheard of in Australia.
Cheryl Quinton, a Canadian scientist who used to live in Finland, says she still misses her concealed dish drying cabinet.
“Why doesn't the rest of the world have this?” she wrote. “I love this thing. I have stuff in this that probably hasn't been to a real cupboard in months ... I can throw lots of stuff up there, then just close the doors and, whoo-hoo, clear counters.”
Want your own version but don't have hanging space above your sink? You could use Ikea’s $29.99 hanging dish drainer in a cupboard or drawer, as it collects the water in the bottom of the tray.
You still need to drain the water, but at least you can close the doors on it - and win back your valuable bench space.