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Written by Clearissa Coward 

Weekly Organization Tip Week 5

What Can You Do Today to be More Organized Tomorrow? Keeping Your Dishes Under Control

I thought it would be a good idea to begin a “Quick Tip of the Week” focused on organization from Divinely Organized. I hope you are enjoying the weekly organization tips so far. I have enjoyed your positive responses. Keep them coming. I really appreciate how supportive you guys are. If you missed the previous articles, you can find them herehere, here or here and here. The articles are quick reminders of small things you can add to your daily routine that will make a major difference in how you live.

They will be quick tips and to some, they may seem quite obvious to others, but you would be surprised how just a nudge or reminder can help someone get and stay on the organizational track. Today we will focus on keeping your dishes under control. These tips will be especially handy during the busy holiday season with  people in and out of the house/kitchen all season long. There will be lots of traffic in your kitchen and a sink full of dirty dishes just won’t help to keep the season bright.

The first step, repeat after me – maintaining an organized kitchen is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Allow that to simmer a bit because if you can wrap your brain around that analogy, you are on the downside of this issue. With that said, below are my suggestions for keeping your kitchen devoid of dirty dishes, no matter the size of your family.

  • Never leave a dirty dish in your sink. Make this a habit. I know both the words “never” and “a” sound impossible, but it is not.
  • I am assuming you have a dishwasher; however, this can work even if you do not. I have a dishwasher, but with it being just my husband and me, I rarely use my dishwasher. I make an effort to run it once a month to keep the lines open. But I do understand that if you have a family of, let’s say 4 or more, you are probably using your dishwasher more often.
  • If someone makes something as simple as a PBJ sandwich, make sure you or they, if they are old enough, wash the knife or whatever they used to spread the PBJ before they sit down to eat their sandwich.
  • If they have a glass of milk and use a real glass, the glass should be washed or rinsed and placed in the dishwasher, before they leave the kitchen.
  • After dinner, either hand-wash or load your dishwasher. Leave clean dishwater in the sink until it’s time for everyone to go to bed. Before turning in for the night, wash all dishes used for snacks during the evening or load them in the dishwasher. The rule…leave no dirty dishes when you turn in for the night. If you are using the dishwasher and have a full load, turn the dishwasher on before bed.
  • I realize you will be rushing in the mornings, especially if you have school-age children and/or work outside the home; however you must add the 10 minutes it will take to wash breakfast dishes before leaving. Remember the rule…never leave dirty dishes in the sink. If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, well, sorry but you and/or your helpers will need to hand-wash the few breakfast dishes and empty the dishwasher after work. The rule…never leave dirty dishes in the sink.
  • If you do not have enough dishes for a full load every night, you can schedule your dishwasher every other night and with that, you can load your breakfast dishes into the dishwasher and run it when everyone leaves the house in the morning. The secret is personalizing the rule to fit your family’s schedule.
  • When you cook, learn to wash dishes as you go. If you wash dishes as you prepare a meal, when you’re done, you will have only the dishes you use to serve and eat the meal. My mother taught me this trick when I was a child and I have used it all my adult life.
  • As you cook and a pan or bowl is no longer used, wash it. If stirring spoons are no longer required to finish this meal, wash them. This is truly necessary during this time of year when you are baking and cooking all the time. You must learn to clean as you go to avoid becoming overwhelmed with the disarray of your kitchen while baking or preparing a meal.
  • Finally, go through the entire house before bedtime to collect all of the dirty dishes that may be hiding in bedrooms or family rooms. With all of the dirty dishes collected daily, you will avoid leaving dirty dishes in your home at all times. This could become a chore for your child/ren before going to bed.

The take-away this week is to just keep up with the dishes. Do not allow them to stack up and your kitchen will remain manageable and clean. You’ll be surprised what a difference this simple thing will make in your life. See ya next week.

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