Regardless of how tired you are, resist the urge to leave your dishes dirty in the kitchen overnight. There is nothing more depressing than waking up to a dirty kitchen.
I also clean as I go and put dishes in the dishwasher as I cook. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner is challenging, but I manage to keep a spotless kitchen.
Keep a "garbage bowl" on the counter where you prep. I put a plastic grocery bag in it (but you don't have to). All the stuff you would normally go throw away, just toss in the bowl on your work surface. After dinner, scrape leftovers into it and make one trip to the trash can. The bag makes it convenient that all of the food that can go bad is now sealed up. I learned this from 30-Minute Meals.
I love waking up to a clean bench and sink. I even make sure that my sink is shiny as well, because when nothing else is done in the house (come on admit to it, we all have bad weeks/days sometimes), having a shiny sink and clean bench makes the morning that much easier to take.
Also, having the kitchen under control when the rest of the house needs attention, allows us to focus on other parts of the house that need some TLC. Unfortunately, there are times when I wake up to a sink with dishes from the "dish fairy" in the middle of the night. I used to rant and rave about how unfair it was and my family would take on a glazed look and get disgruntled.
However, now I just do them anyway, and forget about complaining as it really gets me nowhere. Besides, I think there's more to worry about than a few dishes in the sink. As a result of this attitude I've now found that my children and husband now think twice about just dumping things into the sink. I expect what I have been done has started to rub off on them.
We had a dishwasher in the house we sold a few years back and the house we bought was an ex-rental and devoid of "extras". In the last house I found it hard to get anyone to stack the dishwasher. No-one seemed to want to do it and things went into the sink instead. Now that we are living with no dishwasher I think the children appreciate how much extra work is involved and realize the work that goes into keeping the sink free of clutter.
I love waking up to my gleaming sink knowing that I can prepare breakfast without having to clean up first.
I agree with the clean kitchen crowd. It helps train the great big pink mice (or rats) that show up in the middle of the night. I long ago learned that it is easier to just "take care of it" rather than fuss about it. A good accessory for a clean-kitchen babe is a timed coffee pot. That way, the coffee is ready as well. After all, cleaning up takes just a few minutes (time yourself) and it's cheaper than a shrink!
By the Oracle
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I used to be the world's worst at waking up to a sinkful of dishes. I made a New Year resolution 8 years ago to change this, and was so successful that I even wash late nite snack dishes before going to bed. I don't have a dishwasher, and don't think I need one for 2 people. When you consider the bills for the water it uses and the energy to heat the water, which is much hotter than my dishwater, it is quicker and more frugal, and my dishes go from the cupboard to the table. Most people I know who have dishwashers set the dinner table from the dishwasher. This summer I added another simple chore that makes the kitchen look better, still. After the dishes are done, I sweep the floor and damp mop it with plain water. It takes all of 10 minutes or so, and I don't have to mop and wax nearly as often.
Harlean from Arkansas
MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE IS TO WAKE UP TO DISHES IN THE SINK OR COME HOME TO AFTER WORK
After the dishes are done, after a meal, we clean and dry the sink. The between meal or night dishes are placed in the dish pan under the sink. Nobody wants to be the one to leave a dish in the sink LOL.
As a Homeschool teacher I have a bit of freedom with class scheduling, breaks, homework assignments, etc. So, while my student/grandchild is finishing up assignments, I time it so that I can also listen to my favorite RADIO talk show next to the kitchen sink AS I EMPTY AND FILL MY dishwasher , loading with pre-rinsed dishes, then, sweep/mop when needed. My mother taught me to towel dry all the chrome/hardware and stovetop to have the best looking kitchen.
Ladies, there was actually a primitive tradition long ago of WAXING all surfaces and handles in the kitchen, do some of you remember that? It was just like waxing a car with the wipe on, let dry, and buff off!! Those were ALSO the days many ladies IRONED their underwear and sheets!!! What a waste of life. Look at all the time we have to do other things now? lol
I have only met a few women who enjoy washing dishes, so since I am one of them, this helps the time pass for a no-brainer job I dislike. I hardly realize it's all done by the time the program is over. It was one of the few ways I could discipline myself to just DO THE DISHES!
Another thing I figured: Since the dishwasher costs a bit to operate, and some labor, water and soap to clean well, I learned it is cheaper and MUCH easier on me to spend less by returning to buying a cheap
package of paper plates/plastic cups, which I thought I could never again afford.
Setting the rule of only ONE PLATE AND ONE CUP PER PERSON PER DAY, Marked with their initial to 1) Make certain they're not wasting them, 2) to see just who set them in the wrong place or forgot to place theirs in the trash at the end of the day, unless the contents were very messy, yet it has stretched those products to the max and been a life
saver, "just like the good ol' days"!
Now I have half a chance of having fingernails once again, as well, because my hands will not be in dish soap/water as long or as often. I also SOAK, rather than scrub, anything that's burned on or dried out hard on the pots/pans while I clean something else, hnow about you?
I keep everything rinsed well immediately after use, stacked neatly and tightly until that midday program I love about Politics and Religion. It's first hand information about the Middle East, so it also prevents me from being tempted to sit too long in front of the TV I seldom watch, for the hand-me-down "latest news" so that I can continue with dusting next.
A fun way to solicit and teach my grandchild to work and help is to make the chores a challenge with interesting names:
"Today's challenge will be:
a "DUST HUNT"
a "SEEK AND DESTROY MISSION" (FOR FALLEN PAPER TRASH ITEMS BEHIND FURNITURE.)
a "TREASURE EXPEDITION" IN SEARCH FOR THE MISSING ________
a "GUESS ( while working), WHAT WE'RE HAVING FOR LUNCH" GAME. "Your hints are : 1) It's lumpy, yummy, brown, full of nutrients like protein, carbs, vitamins, and it sometimes simmers!
What is it? Answer is hidden somewhere in the kitchen. First one
who finds it gets a second helping if they like it, OR the "last helping" !
an " INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESS", (while picking up toys): Dialogue," And as we search through the rubble of this war zone, we hear cries of help from beneath the bed,"Help! Help! I
can't find my way to where I belong. Can you? The Dinosaur slippers miss their brothers, the sock twins who REALLY need a bath. So, let's race to the washer to see which of them gets clean the fastest. Ready, SET, Hop! (only HOPPING) (or skipping, etc.) allowed! (I'm disabled but go through the motions in slow motion, which always brings a chuckle anyway.)
Calling all Cars! Calling all Cars!, "Be on the lookout for many stolen vehicles of all colors and kinds, taken from the bedroom shelves of my grandchild last evening and have not been seen since. They may have been carnapped and dropped under the sofa cushions, or locked in a closet, or abandoned in the middle of some big carpet turf. The thief may be armed with a water gun so be very careful and you may use your binoculars and flashlight if needed to capture them!"
Anything that stimulates their imaginations and motivates them think it's fun to get it done is worth thinking up, right? When clean, I turn them around three times with their eyes closed and ask them to open their eyes to see if they LIKE IT MUCH BETTER CLEAN! (Be prepared for a few, "No, I like it messy!" days in the early years. lol : )
I am a fanatic about recycling, but my kitchen and garage are not very close together. I recently reorganized my pantry to allow my recycling bins underneath the shelving. This allows me to recycle without having to take bags out to the garage after every meal. Great time saver and incentive to recyle everything possible instead of throwing into the garbage from lack of energy.
Help me out here, Ladies. I'm lost. I'm hearing a lot of talk about how you clean as you go, but something isn't adding up.
My scenario: I find washing pots and pans and utensils as soon as the food is put into serving bowls is much easier because the food doesn't get a chance to 'set' in them. Much faster than later. (OK, we'll make exceptions for a pan with burned on grease that requires scrubbing). So, those waiting for their food have to wait a minute or two longer. Big deal. The waiting will whet their apatite.
Wiping as you go, leaves nothing to be wiped after the meal, except the immediate sink area.
Now, after all that hard work in the kitchen, you have a right to expect Hubby and Children to at least take their own plates and flatware to the sink, scrape and rinse them, and place them in a waiting sink of hot, soapy water.
So, with all the pots and pans already washed and drying, and with all plates scraped, rinsed and soaking in hot, soapy water (a breeze to wash), and with a few serving bowls to wash, and nothing to wipe except the sink, getting out of the kitchen can be short and sweet (and without a dishwasher (a thing I have no use for)).
What did you say? Hubby and Children wont co operate and do their part? You say you'd rather do it yourself than put up with their flack? What you're actually saying is you're weak and you had rather be disrespected than fight for your rights.
Well, Sister, you can grow horns and demand the respect you deserve or you can be a mousey, taken for granted Mom.....it's your choice.
Dish washer? What's a dish washer? No dish washer = no dishwasher to empty!
I have used the plastic bag trick for many years and my granddaughter thought it was a "cool" ideal. I don't take my food out of my pans unless we have company. We eat together but the food stays on the stove, I have a dishwasher but I don't use it often. I have a pull down small TV/DVD/Radio in the kitchen by me sink so I do my dishes and clean up while Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy are on as I love to watch them every night. My kitchen is away from the other part of the house. I love watching the TV as I cook and prep also. The boy from the cable company loved my TV and so do my grandkids when they are in there with me.
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