Organizing kitchen sink tools is an age old dilemma; where to put the sponge, the scrubber, the sink plug, the fill-in-the-blank with your preferred dish scrubbing tools.
Over the years, I tried the wire basket with suction cups holding it to the side of the sink. It slid downwards, or sometimes just flat out fell. And if it did stay put, I was constantly knocking it or jostling it while putting dishes into the drying rack or pulling them out.
But then I found the saddle holder. Perfect I thought; it straddled the divider between the sinks with two separate holders. But sinks are meant to be used….fully. Unfortunately, a boxy plastic holder does not allow for a sink to fill almost to the brim with sudsy water. It also got in the way of placing or removing dishes from the rack. And then it developed an ugly, dirty looking surface that simply would not come clean.
My current kitchen sink tools include a scrub brush with a handle that fills with dish soap, and a nifty little button to spit out dish soap on command. I also like having a sponge available, as well as a scrubber sponge with a rough plastic surface for more stubborn food gunk. I also like to have the sink plug readily available, not buried somewhere underneath the sink.
I had a sudden vision of a container that could hold those 3 items, the 2 sponges and sink plug. Something like a napkin holder perhaps? But after all the bad experiences with wire and plastic, I realized the container needed to be made of something that could be tossed into the sink, easily cleaned, dried and ready to go back work. White ceramic seemed the ideal solution.
Browsing Sur la Table, I picked up a white ceramic berry box. Although I had originally considered a narrower holder, I realized the box shape was perfect. It holds the regular sponge, the scrubber sponge, and the sink plug perfectly. There are open areas on all 4 sides allowing air to pass through, which helps the sponges dry out in-between being used.
Along about the same time, a friend and I were wandering through my favorite thrift shop. Suddenly she pointed to over-sized ceramic garlic container and said “I can see that in your kitchen.” Indeed, the primary colors, artisan ceramic finish, and shape did fit the style of my kitchen. And guess what fits perfectly in the garlic holder? Dishwasher tabs!
So, now with a ceramic berry box and a garlic container morphed into a dishwasher tab container, I was making headway. I pulled out an oblong white ceramic tray I picked up years ago at Pottery Barn, and placed the berry box and the garlic holder on the tray. Very nice – contained, organized, and pretty!
But still, I needed something for the scrub brush. A wander through Home Goods solved that problem when I found a small, curvy pitcher that was the right height, which I paired with a small, round plate. I wanted a little contrast in shapes against the oblong tray and square berry box
And there is final little grouping. Everything is exactly where I need it, every time I need it. It’s all ceramic. When the little grouping gets dirty (and believe me, it does!) I empty out the containers and toss them all into a sink full of soapy water. I scrub them up, dry them off, and back on the counter they go: all clean, shiny and bright!
Sometimes frustration can lead to a vision. The lesson for me here was: Untether your mind from the standard and typical solutions to a problem; give yourself free reign to imagine the exact and perfect scenario that solves the problem.
And then, keep your eyes open so you will recognize that solution when it pops up! Using your imagination to dream up the exact solution for a problem is one of the happy quirks of organization.