05 January 2006

Empty the dishwasher every night

Starting the day with an empty dishwasher solves a whole host of minor-but-niggly problems, not the least of which is a stack of nasty dishes teetering in the sink.

Rather Good Housekeping of us, we know, but this simple hack will do more for your peace of mind than you think.

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Yup, that's a good one! (Though in our house it's fill & run it after mom & dad's late dinner, then empty early in the AM.)

Then, tidy toddler bath junk out of tub, pre-select outfits for parents & kid, pre-pack bags with appropriate "kit" (is it a daycare day, a swimming day, what's the weather like, etc.) except for essential items such as the lovey that will be packed last-minute...and all you have to do when you get up is shovel a little PB&J toast into the offspring and coffee into self, clothe you both and off you go.

As a single mother, time is not on my side. Especially in the morning before school! To save time and hassle, we select our outfits for the week on Sunday and place them in bins at the foot of the bed. My eight year old daughter can do this herself, and I choose them for my three year old son, but he knows where they are, and picks one out himself. This way, they have the power to choose, but the daily hassle is eliminated.

We also do the late-night running and then Sophie helps me "Do Daddy's Dishes" after she gets up in the morning - there are times when I cannot open the dishwasher while she's eating breakfast as she'll stop eating and demand to be released from her highchair prison so she can "Help Daddy's Dishes". It's great to teach new words and counting...just make sure you grab the steak knives before they do - I still have a little scar from that mistake.

We also do the late-night running and then Sophie helps me "Do Daddy's Dishes" after she gets up in the morning - there are times when I cannot open the dishwasher while she's eating breakfast as she'll stop eating and demand to be released from her highchair prison so she can "Help Daddy's Dishes". It's great to teach new words and counting...just make sure you grab the steak knives before they do - I still have a little scar from that mistake.

You are not kidding about the dishes. With both parents working, and the only other person in the house (the 13 year old) in school all day, and slacking off the rest of the time, if we don't do the dishes in the morning, we start to see the consequences at night.

Don'tcha think running the dishwasher every night is a little excessive?

Now that there are four of us (dad, mom, 5 and 19mo) we still only run the dishwasher about every 2-3 days.

We moved into a new house four months ago with a newborn, our three year old and an 11 year old daughter. My wife works full time for Da Man and I am a full time Dad. All this is a set up to this event...the house we were looking at , that we loved and wanted to buy on the post, had no dishwasher. None. Not even a spot where there used to be one. So in a moment of zen/stupidity/enlightenment we decided to NOT get a dishwasher.

After four months here is the reality... We have just about the number of dirt dishes in the queue as we did with a dishwasher. The only thing is we are more apt to get them done now cause they look so damn fugly sitting there; with the dishwahser we coudl hide the dirtys deals and let it go days.

So there it be, some times if you Dont build it they will still come...or in this case the dish will get done.

Sidenote, a radio has solidifed a palce near the sink and is always one while washing occurs. I have it set up to a dead FM station to get either the FM trany on my ZenNomad or on the Sirus Satalite. So the time doing dished becomes a time to get caught up on podcasts, the news or new music.

-tomwsmf

No dishwasher here, either and I don't mind. I like knowing that the item I'm looking for is always put away or in the drainboard, not waiting in the dishwasher for a cycle.

Update---
One year down the road and here we are in another house and this one came with a dishwasher...and a hot tub. Yea well ya know like that whole dishwashing thing by hand is great...if you dont have a dishwasher. Having one means it gets loaded up and turned on ....every so often...and gets emptied...every so often.

The hottub though, now that gets regular use. I wonder if we can just do the dishes in the hottub? What sort of ph havoc would that bring on?

-tom

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