This little area of the home is central to homemakers. We log a lot of hours here at our kitchen sinks. We clean and prep, we scour and scrub, we fill and rinse. This little area is a powerhouse of activity.
We are still living in our town home and our kitchen is small. Not as small as some, but there is no real area to spread out. Cupboard space is a hot commodity and I have to think through what is absolutely essential to have on hand.
The Essentials | I always have out hand and dish soap. My favorite is Mrs. Meyer lavender scent. I love having these out and close at hand. I use microfiber dishcloths and I use one a day. I start with it at the beginning of the day and launder it at the end of the day. I use a long handled scrub brush to rinse dishes, a quick rinse goes a long way in the dishwasher. I also use a nylon scrubby and a stainless steel pad for all the hard to clean pots and pans. I store these under the sink.
Washing Dishes, A Daily Practice | Each day I wash dishes throughout the day. I usually do the dishes after breakfast, while I’m preparing dinner, and before bed. Below are a few tips on daily dishwashing.
|| I will load the dishwasher once a day and run it once a day.
|| If I have extra dishes that day, I try to fit all the smaller dishes into the dishwasher and save the larger pots and pans to wash by hand.
|| I never run my knives or wooden cutting boards through the dishwasher.
|| Even if the dishwasher is not completely full, I will still run it once a day. This saves us from running out of spoons and bowls and keeps the whole system moving forward.
|| I have a child unload the dishwasher as a daily chore. I’m also working to have family members rinse and load their own individual dishes.
When I Get Behind || During the week I’m pretty good about staying caught up with the constant flow of dirty dishes but after a busy night of being out or on the weekends the pile can grow. If I only have a couple of minutes or I’m feeling overwhelmed I have a few tricks to get it done. Sometimes I’ll set a timer for 5 minutes and just get as much as I can accomplished. It is amazing what you can do in 5 minutes and it makes the whole process feel less daunting. Sometimes I will just scrub out the big pan or wash off the cutting boards. This decreases the pile by quite a bit and makes less work for the next day. Taking advantage of small chunks of time has been a saving grace in this stage of life.