Anyone who knows me ‘in real life’ knows that I HATE washing dishes by hand. I will do anything to not wash one and will make things fit in the dishwasher just to get out of it. I’ve even had dishes piled up in the sink if the dishwasher was too full to add more and soaked pans “overnight” so they could be added to the next round. Because loading and unloading the dishwasher is my most hated chore, the sinks and counters will get piled up with dirty dishes. Even though the 2 younger nerdlings work together to unload it and the teen or I will load it, sometimes I just don’t feel like hearing the complaining when I tell them it’s chore time. (This is something I am working on!) You’ve seen my counter space – it’s practically nonexistent – so it doesn’t take much at all for the kitchen to get super dirty and cluttered.
Since I ran out of dishwasher soap about 2 weeks ago maybe, I started washing dishes by hand. My mindset has completely changed since starting this cleaning/decluttering journey and so I couldn’t imagine the sinks filling up while I waited until I got more soap for the dishwasher. My nerdlings are old enough to wash their own dishes so a new habit has been formed for us – wash your dishes as soon as you are done with them! This doesn’t leave a sink full of dishes to tackle later and a load full of dishes to put away in the dishwasher! The sinks stay empty, counters spotless, and a small load to put away in the morning!
For me, this is a HUGE deal because I could never live without a dishwasher before. I have a few times and always thought, “If I had a dishwasher, this wouldn’t be so bad!” HA! I would laugh at my mom when she said she preferred washing them by hand instead of the dishwasher…she was crazy! Well, hand washing them has been keeping my kitchen so nice and clean and I would have never in a million years thought it was the dishwasher that was preventing me from keeping it that way.
Even while cooking dinner, I wash the dishes as I go. After dinner, everyone usually finishes at different times so they walk straight to the sink, wash their dishes, and then place them in the dishwasher to dry. This habit continues throughout the day. No one dares leave a dish in the sink or counter. Hubs did the other day. He left his plate and fork in the sink and his pan and spatula on the stove. I texted him a pic of it with the word “GROUNDED“. He replied “sorry! love you!” Mmhmm…he knew better and hasn’t done it since.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a drill sergeant standing at the sink making sure everyone does their dishes. Somehow, someway, they just caught on and do it themselves. Sometimes I give them a reminder as they walk towards the kitchen to not forget to wash it but not that often. I really hope this sticks. I’ve heard many times that a habit takes 28 days to stick. We are halfway there!
I should mention that the hubs bought more dishwasher soap 2 days after running out. I haven’t even opened it.