Simple Pleasures – my confession of dishes undone
One of my favourite things these days is waking up and walking into my kitchen.
The first thing I notice is the calm and peaceful feeling I get. I usually take a deep breath and just soak it up.
Then I turn on the kettle and get a clean cup. This is the icing on the cake. I hate washing a cup for my morning tea (or coffee, I’ve cut way back and find I prefer tea most of the time now).
It hasn’t always been this way.
I almost never used to have my dishes washed before I went to bed. I was usually tired and just didn’t like doing them at night.
Especially before I had a dishwasher – I highly recommend it.
I remember spending most mornings at the sink washing dishes.
And I had to wash a cup almost every morning before I was even awake for coffee. Looking around and feeling defeated before the day even started by the mess and the knowing that my first task of the day would be dishes.
On busy days, I sometimes didn’t even get to them first thing, they would sit there, mocking me and making me feel worse.
If I was really busy and didn’t get them done before supper time… well you can guess how fun that was.
And I hate to even think about how it impacted the kids.
In ways that I, or they didn’t even realize – the KAOS – the example I was setting – the mere fact that they couldn’t find counter space for a snack.
What does something like that do to an impressionable mind. How does it affect their feeling about themselves. Their sense of security? What they perceive as normal. Or not normal.
It’s something to think about, even if dishes seem a trivial thing.
IT SEEMS LIKE A DISTANT MEMORY NOW
The difference is the deal that I have made with myself.
Before I go to bed, I make sure that the kitchen is clean – most nights it is part of my routine to do it after we eat so there are no eyeball prying kitchen cleaning sessions going on at bedtime – I don’t like that either!
My daughter has been washing the dishes as part of her chores too, that has helped a lot.
Either way, the kitchen is presentable and the dishwasher running before I go to bed.
The payback in the morning is worth it a thousand times over.
How about you?
Is having your dishes finished before you go to bed a non negotiable for you?
Do you wake up to peace, or do you wake up to KAOS?
If you and your family are waking up to KAOS, there are a few things you can do right now.
Make a non negotiable deal with yourself that you will no longer tolerate dirty dishes before a cut off time.
For me it’s generally 9:00, that gives me time to clean up anything if I have to, but it’s best to get in the habit of cleaning up after supper.
Set yourself up for success. Be sure that the dishwasher is empty of clean dishes before supper so that everyone can easily load their own dishes.
Make a rule that everyone takes turns helping to clean up, or that everyone helps wash the dishes every night, which ever works best.
The benefit of taking turns is that you get some one on one time.
The benefit of everyone helping is that is takes less time and creates a feeling of the family as a team. The advantages are that you are instilling good habits and responsibility on your children, no one has to look at the mess every morning, and you don’t need to do it all yourself.
Either way, you are getting some quality family time, even if most of the family doesn’t know it :0)
If you haven’t been in the habit of getting your kids to help, it’s time to start. That was my number one mistake when my kids were younger.
Despite many good parenting courses, I just didn’t get the idea that they needed to learn responsibility, cooperation, and to develop good habits for themselves. This made is much more difficult later as well.
Another benefit to keeping the dishes caught up – you realize when someone is leaving their dirty dishes around or on the counter. So you can be on top of it and get them in the habit of cleaning up after themselves. This is half the battle.
You can read more about How to Cut Down on Dirty Dishes in our article directory.
Born Famous did a blog post about the benefits of keeping the dishes washed and a few more tips about how to do it.
I had forgotten about the other good reason that she mentions – you can cook when every you want. I well remember cleaning the kitchen with intentions to bake or cook, but there was no time by the time I finished cleaning up – it’s a sad way to live – and so unnecessary.
Decide to decide…
- not to let dirty dishes run (and ruin) your kitchen.
- to wake up in peace every morning.
- to have the ability to cook when every you want without cleaning up first.
That means making cleaning up the dishes every night a non negotiable with yourself, even if you don’t necessarily do them by yourself.
Make a plan. A few ground rules…
- Always empty the dishwasher if you have one as soon as possible after they are clean. This will be either at night or before the kids eat their breakfast. You can do it while they eat their breakfast and chat.
- Get the family involved. Make clean up time after supper a rule, rotate or get everyone one to help.
- Make it a regular chore item. My oldest daughter gets a check mark when ever she does the dishes. After she gets 12 check marks she gets $10. I think that’s a pretty good deal, for her and for me.
If you have everyone helping, you can use the checkmark chore for something else, another benefit to getting in the habit of making it a family thing.
Bottomline – set up a system – do what ever it takes to get the dishes out of the way using a method that you can maintain.
You will spend the first little while getting used to it and remembering to do it. But after awhile it will come naturally and you will wonder how you ever managed with all of the dirty dishes around before.
I have found Carol Pagan’s ebook called Secret Confessions of a Clean Freak to be very helpful. It’s a book that I refer back to often (as are all of her ebooks, I have them all).
She really does make it as easy as those darn clean freaks make it look, bless her heart.
Have a Shiney Day :0)
- Home Organization Tips – Housework Schedule
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