The topic for my first guest post here on Little Homestead in the City? Washing dishes! Not the washing itself, but the organization of the dishwashing area. Many household management “experts” advocate keeping the kitchen sink(s) clean and free of dishes. They advise storing dirty dishes out of sight in the dishwasher until the washer is full and ready to run a load.
But, what if you do not have a dishwasher—and have no intention of getting one? Where do you put dirty dishes—other than in the sink or on the counter next to the sink—until it is time to wash them?
Light bulb moment! But it took moving to a new kitchen for me to figure it out. Reserve a cupboard for storing dirty dishes between washings! (Obviously, do not mix dirty dishes with clean.)
In my kitchen, next to the under-the-sink-cupboard, I have a deep, narrow two-shelf cupboard. On the top shelf, I pile the dirty dishes. On the bottom shelf, I keep dishwashing liquid, scrubbers and brushes.
Then, under the sink itself, I have room to store the dishpans and dish drainer, plus my not-very-attractive compost keeper. (Here are some nicer looking models.)
It’s a small thing—but so satisfying to have clean counters for more than two minutes after washing and putting away the dishes. Another advantage: I can save up washing the dishes until a “down time” when my brain needs rest from thinking work. But, I cannot save them too long—the small size of my dirty dishes’ cupboard takes care of that!
Yes, “a place for everything and everything in its place” really DOES work to help keep the kitchen tidy and ready for the next task.
What are some tips that have worked for you in managing your household’s dish washing—whether by hand or dishwasher?