A New Habit

I’m trying out a new habit. The house has been messier than I like lately, and I need some simple fixes for it. I stumbled across this blog post 10 habits of a Clean Home on Pinterest the other day and decided to incorporate one of the tips into my life.

First, you should know something about me: I am very rarely ambivalent. I love things or I hate them. I obsess over people, songs, ideas, books, and recipes…or I publicly berate them. There really is nothing in between. So, if you know me at all, you are fully aware of my position on, well, everything. This will not be a revelation then: I hate dishes.

Of all the chores on my daily task list, dishes are my absolute least favorite. I hate reaching into cold water. I hate the sound of the dishwasher. When people don’t take the 2 seconds to wipe out their dishes, it makes me very angry. Unreasonably so. It’s just not a fun time.

So, I do what any good housewife would do–I put them off as long as possible.


In fact, I spend most of every day pretending dishes do not exist. Especially those super annoying “not dishwasher safe” demons.

see no dishes

Eventually, I do force myself to take care of them.

When I set up my new Home Management Guide Command Center, I thought carefully about my tendency to be lazy in this area. I put “dishes” second on my daily chore list so it’s always staring me in the face. Lack of commitment to this particular chore + 2 kids +homeschool +pregnant = perpetual kitchen mess, though.

I decided to take the advice of the iDreamofClean post and spend time every night to “shine my sink.” Basically it means I spend half an hour every night getting ALL of the dishes either into the dishwasher or hand washed. Yes, even those dishes that are allowed in the dishwasher get hand washed if they don’t fit. The dishwasher gets started, and then I relax with my husband on the couch for a bit.

I have to say, it is pretty amazing to have clean counters all during the day because of these few extra minutes spent at night. I have learned a few things about myself and my household through this too.

  • Perpetual motion is key. I have to begin AS SOON as I get done tucking in the kiddos. If I allow myself to sit on the couch “just for a minute,” I never get up again to put away the dishes.
  • Forced rinsing. My cohabitants have to rinse out their dishes if they are putting them into a waiting dishwasher. Score! It basically eliminates my anger on that issue.
  • Not so much to handle. We actually don’t go through as many dishes as I thought. We accumulate about 1 1/2 loads of dishes. That used to mean that 1/2 a load of dishes always carried over to the next day, but I take care of those as the day progresses. Big dishes like pots, pans, and mixing bowls were just taking up valuable real estate in the dishwasher. It’s so much simpler to just wash them quickly on the spot.

One clean habit down.

Up next: Vacuum the main living area daily.

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