It’s true; I’m breaking up with washing dishes. The task of washing dishes is absolutely my least favorite household chore. I feel like I am always washing dishes. My sink stays empty maybe .065 seconds before a new dirty dish finds its home there.
I know I’m not alone in this because I come across these very therapeutic memes being shared quite often, BUT I found myself wondering: why does my family always make so many dirty dishes…especially when we own a dishwasher!?
I am on a quest to have fewer dishes. On this journey, I am not using disposable dishes or silverware, but simply finding ways that just make life easier.
The first light bulb that went off is when I read this article: “Domestic Tips From a Non-Domestic Goddess.” The author mentions getting rid of any dish or cookware that can not be washed in the dishwasher. BRILLIANT. I have been wanting to do this for a long time and have been slowly updating some cookware, but felt guilty for getting rid of “okay” appliances. However, this article gave me validation and reassurance that this would in fact be worth it and would alleviate some daily stress.
Besides updating a few appliances or pans that could now be thrown into the dishwasher, it’s also smart to upgrade cookware & gadgets to those that are all-in-one. There’s no need to own separate gadgets when there are gadgets that fry, roast, and bake all-in-one.
With time, and by eliminating dishes or pans, I have noticed how owning a limited number of dishes allows me to use fewer dishes. Since we only have eight plates, I think twice about whether I really need a new plate or if I can just plop dessert on my dinner plate.
Each family member having their own water cup for the day not only helps us to drink more water, but also cuts down on the need to grab a new cup at each meal. Thankfully, we rarely have cups to wash besides those dreadful sippy cups. For a while, I had the ones you had to hand wash, but now I am not fooled by the cute $1 holiday themed cups that can only be hand washed. Now, I look at the bottom and cheer when it says “dishwasher safe.”
When it comes to actual cooking, using minimal pans (i.e. one pot meals, sheet pan dinners, crockpot meals) has helped cutting down on pans to wash. As you probably know, it also helps to use aluminum foil or parchment paper, so there is less scrubbing or soaking to be done.
We can’t talk about breaking up with washing dishes and leave out the topic of leftovers. After upgrading to glass Pyrex containers and cookware, I have noticed I use fewer dishes as well. The glass storage containers can be reheated in the microwave and then used as my dish instead of having to pour my leftovers out into a new dish. Pyrex dishes are great for cooking casseroles in too, and instead of having to put the leftovers in another container, I simply just pop the lid on!
The tip that my grandmother passed down was “wash as you go,” which helps tremendously when I am able to clean as I cook because as you know, ALL other rooms in the home have been destroyed by this point so we can eat a balanced family meal together.
Lastly, in my quest to break up with washing dishes, admitting what area gives me the most stress — my dish drainer — was important. I procrastinate unloading it because I absolutely loathe doing so, which means that a pile of dishes always remains in it and then becomes a huge eye sore. So, I am saying goodbye to my dish drainer as well. Instead, I am just going to keep my drying mat. Only a few dishes fit on it, the dishes dry better, and I actually put them away. Win, win, win.