Lately, I have really despised doing the dishes. I’m home all day. So that means dirty dishes from three meals a day and snacks. It also means, I’m the one doing the dishes 90% of the time.
By dinner time, the sink would be SO full of dishes. Then when the dishes from cooking and dinner were piled in the sink with the others, I was just overwhelmed.
I was tired of being overwhelmed by the dishes, so I had a brilliant idea. I would just get paper plates! They were buy one get one free one week, so I picked up two packs and thought, “This is it! I won’t have to worry about dishes anymore!”
I got into about a week of my “paper plate idea” and guess what? I still had dirty dishes. Paper plates didn’t solve my problem. It just kept less plates out of the sink. There were still cups, utensils, pots, and other dirty dishes. Not to mention, I was still overwhelmed. I didn’t like seeing the dirty dishes piling up, yet I didn’t like doing the dishes either. It was a vicious cycle.
In the midst of all of this, I went through a short free e-course on how to stress less with homemaking tasks. In the middle of the course the light bulb went off, and I thought, “Why didn’t I think of that?”. Since then, I’ve adopted a new dish routine to keep my kitchen clean and my feelings of being overwhelmed have went away. Before starting this routine, you may have to spend some time in your kitchen cleaning up; however, once you start doing the routine, it is amazing how clean the kitchen stays!
How to Have a Sparkling Clean Kitchen Everyday:
1. Unload the Dishwasher Each Morning.
The first thing I do in the mornings is turn on my Keurig (I’m all about priorities and need some coffee 😉 ). Then, instead of sitting down to find deals to go with the newest coupons or the Amazon deals, I unload my dishwasher while my Keurig is heating up. It takes just a couple of minutes, but doing it first thing in the morning sets you up to have a clean kitchen.
2. Load Dirty Breakfast Dishes.
After breakfast, each person is responsible for loading their own dirty breakfast dishes into the dishwasher. I help take apart sippy cups, rinse off syrup, and pour leftover milk out of the kids’ cereal bowls. As a bonus, this teaches my kids responsibility and it’s taking some of the stress off of my plate . . .literally.
3. Wipe Down Counters and Table.
If breakfast at your house is anything like it is at mine, there are probably crumbs and perhaps even spilled milk. After all of the breakfast dishes are loaded in the dishwasher, go ahead and wipe down the counters and table. Not only does it keep your kitchen cleaner, but it also ensures you start with a clean kitchen when fixing the next meal.
4. Load Sippy Cups, Coffee Cups, Pots, and Pans throughout the day.
If you stay at home with kids, chances are you have several trips in and out of the kitchen daily to fix snacks, bottles, sippy cups, and of course extra cups of coffee. Whenever snack time is over, the baby finishes a bottle, or after you fix lunch, go ahead and places those dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of putting them in your sink.
5. Have the Family Help.
Before I started this routine, I thought I had to be the one to always clean up. I realized that my kids are old enough they can learn some responsibility and help do some of the little things to clean up after a meal. If your kids are at an appropriate age, have them help clean up the kitchen after dinner.
Things Kids Can Help With:
- Raking food off plates into the trash
- Placing dirty dishes in the dishwasher
- Putting condiments back in the refrigerator
- Putting leftover bread or salad in Ziploc bags
- Wiping off the table
- Sweeping the floor
- Taking out the trash
- Rinsing out sinks
6. Start the Dishwasher Before Going to Bed.
After all showers and baths are done for the night, be sure to start the dishwasher. If you have a dishwasher with a start delay button on it, you can go ahead and delay it to start after you are done loading the rest of the dinner dishes. (This ensures you don’t forget to go back to start it, and you will have a hot shower.) I even start the dishwasher if it’s not all the way full. I know this sounds crazy, but it keeps the routine going.
The next morning, you will walk into a clean kitchen, empty sink, and clean dishes in the dishwasher. I have to say, it has been VERY nice having a CLEAN sink each morning! Plus, my sink stays clean throughout the day since I’m putting the dishes in the dishwasher as we are done with them.
More Cleaning Tips & Tricks:
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- How to Clean Your Appliances and Save Money