Weekly Household Quick Tip


I think the two most hated words in a moms life are “laundry” and “dishes”.  Am I right?  These words have the ability to cause stress and frustration immediately – and the worst part is they are never done!  That is why having tasks each day to keep your dishes under control in the Weekly Household Planner is key to success!

We’ve talked about laundry before and how you can try to keep it under control by developing your own system, but the same can be said for keeping dishes under control too.  If you keep a system in place for dealing with dishes – and you get everyone in your house on board – you can keep it under control!

Here are some tips that have helped me feel more in control in the kitchen and overcoming the dishes!

Use the Sink

When I am cooking a meal I use the kitchen sink to place all my dirty dishes.  If I use a whisk and won’t need it again – off it goes into the sink, preferably in a pot or glass with warm soapy water in it.  The same goes for measuring cups, mixing bowls and other utensils.  This helps me with my ‘perfection’ tendencies too, with not creating too big of a mess.

Clean as you Go

A continuation of the above is to wipe up spills and messes as they occur.  Keeping a wet dish rag handy will allow you to quickly and easily wipe those spills, so they don’t get hard and take more time later to clean up.

Job One

After a meal, take the time to completely clean up the dishes.  This is the one area that can get us off track.  We are tired and just think we will come back later to clean up – then one thing leads to another and before you know it is 9:30 PM and you don’t want to clean up the dinner dishes.  So they sit overnight to welcome you in the morning.  This is one area I’ve been able to keep control of fairly well and it has made a huge difference in keeping  my dishes under control.

We’ve used different methods as our kids are different ages, but right now, everyone is responsible for clearing their own dishes and silverware and putting them in the dishwasher. I normally clean up the rest of the dishes and put away leftovers.  This system works for us and it allows me to have some control over how my kitchen is left at the end of the day.

Have a Dishwasher Cycle

Our family of 5-6 will easily fill a dishwasher in a day.  So this is the perfect cycle for our family.  At the end of the evening the dishwasher is started, right before I head off to bed.  No dishes are left in the sink (except for the rare occurrence) and I can go to bed knowing my kitchen is clean and the sink is spotless.

In the morning the dishwasher is opened, aired out and before breakfast dishes are put away.  Sometimes this may be when people are beginning to eat, this way they can take dishes out from the dishwasher and use those, which is handy.  But the rest are put away so that we can begin to refill the dishwasher, again leaving no dishes piled in the sink.

Find a cycle that works for your family and begin the routine.  Having a set routine {Standard Operating Procedures} will make your life much easier and reduce your stress level.  I can say that when I am home with just my 2 year old while my husband travels and my other kids are at the other parent’s house, I can go 3-4 days before I run the dishwasher, and it is nice to have the break from emptying it, but it does throw my cycle into a bit of a chaotic state!  I have to work to get back on track when everyone returns – so welcome adjustments, you will need to be flexible.

Hand Wash

If you do not have a dishwasher, then create system that works for you.  Perhaps it is rinsing and immediately washing dishes after a meal, or maybe waiting two meals works, for example doing breakfast and lunch dishes together after lunch.  Then have a system for dinner dishes.  Stick to a routine and try to keep as few dishes from remaining in your sink unclean.  This tends to be a real stressor for moms – we are always in the kitchen and seeing work undone can create anxiety and stress, which we all could use less of!

What tips help you manage your dishes?

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  • Tiffany

    This is all such practical advice. I know when I leave dishes in the sink to find in the morning I start out my day so irritated. We have a double sink so the left side is for dishes ready to be put in the dishwasher. This worked well for us when one of the kids’ chores was to load the dishwasher. I like the idea of clearing your own and putting it in the dishwasher, I may have to start that one as we have changed the way we do chores around here now.

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