In case you missed it, you can read this post to see what this series is all about.
If given a chance to pick one household task that I wouldn’t have to do for life, without a doubt I’d choose doing the dishes as the one I’d happily give up. They seem like they are never-ending. It’s almost like the sound of the draining sink triggers the family to find a dirty dish somewhere to bring upstairs and put in my nice clean sink. And the quickest way to ruin a perfectly great dinner?—to have a sink full of dishes to do afterwards. Yuck!
I’ve been working on ways to keep up with the dishes so they don’t overwhelm me. It goes back and forth whether that happens daily or not. But here are a few ways that I’ve brainstormed to help with the process:
1) Reduce non-dishwasher safe dishes. This will help eliminate the amount of dishes that pile up that need to be hand-washed.
2) Since we have two sides to our sink, I’ll fill one side with dishwater before I begin dinner so I can let the dishes soak that I dirty while making dinner.
3) There’s usually downtime while cooking dinner and I’ll use this time to load or unload the dishwasher. This will make it ready for when dinner’s over and dishes can easily be loaded into it. I think this will help eliminate the feeling of just letting them set until later.
4) Find ways to reduce the dishes that are used. When I cook/bake it seems that I have a tendency to pull out every spatula, flipper, measuring cup, pan etc that I own. I might be able to quickly wash some partway through to reduce the number that are dirty when I’m done in the kitchen. This also applies to dishes, such as water glasses, that we use throughout the day. The family has a tendency to use several glasses and snack bowls rather than simply rinsing out the one they already have or just filling up the same water cup.
5) Make it a rule to not go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. This will have to be a family effort. If dishes are used after I’ve “closed the kitchen” for the night, they’ll either need to put them in the dishwasher or hand-wash them.
6) Keep track of which dishes are constantly being hand-washed. Are there alternatives to these products that are dishwasher safe? Am I using too many “gadgets” that could be eliminated?
7) Streamline the cooking process to help reduce pans as I hand-wash almost all my pans. I’ve found that even though I have several pans to hand-wash after doing a freezer cooking session that I have less dishes for weeks later. This seems to help dishes from piling up on other weeks.
8) Let pans soak soon after they are cooled so they can easily be scrubbed and cleaned. I can usually do this before I sit down to eat dinner with the family.
These are just a few ways that I’ve brainstormed to help with the stress of dishes piling up over time. In what ways do you keep up with dish duty?
Stay tuned for another day of brainstorming tomorrow on another “stresser.”