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How to Ditch Dirty Dishes with 3 Easy Tips

Updated: May 22

Do you ever find yourself staring at a counter FULL of dishes and thinking there are just too many! How did I let it get this messy?!

The everyday things can easily get put on the back burner and get left behind until it gets too out of hand to ignore them any further. Dishes are one of these things.

In this article, I will be sharing with you three helpful tips if you are someone who ditches the dishes. Let’s get started


The key is to just start.

Often times just committing to seeing what you can get done in five minutes helps the brain understand that this won’t last or take forever. It can be discouraging when you look at a huge mound of dishes and instantly think – that will take FOREVER. It is good to just say, I will start with five minutes and see where it goes after that.

Sometimes, five minutes is all the time you can give. It is okay! I think it is also important to note that with the time you have, you gave your best. Now you are five minutes more through the task that does need to be finished, yet it has been started and now you can continue when you can. The goal from here is to commit to a specific time when you can finish the dishes.

The goal, just start.


The best way to keep the dishes moving along is to have a system that works for you and the eating habits in your home. This includes the many people who live in the home environment with you.

Creating a system means that you have a cycle that starts and finishes where the dish begins and ends – before your foot leaves the kitchen. Once a cycle is determined, it is important that all are aware of this standard and then to visually create the cycle and post it where you and everyone else can see it.

A system has a beginning - the dish is taken out of its storage cabinet or drawer and then a clear and defined ending, it is cleaned and put away. Here are a couple examples of systems that work.

System #1:

  1. Dishes that are dried, get put away first.

  2. Then the cooking and meal preparations begin.

  3. The meal is prepared and it is time to eat.

  4. After the meal is finished, dishes are gently rinsed and left to gather in the sink

  5. Once all the dishes have been gathered, it is time to wash

  6. Set them out to dry

  7. When the next meal comes start back at step one.

System #2:

  1. Fill a sink with warm to hot water while the meal is being prepared.

  2. As the meal dishes are finished being used, take time to gently wash and rise dishes

  3. Set clean dishes out to dry.

  4. Eat your meal

  5. Take dirty dishes to the water-filled sink and have each person wash their own dish and put it to the side to dry.

  6. Assign or all together, take a towel and dry each dish.

  7. Put each dish away.

No matter how your brain works, the dishes need to be done. If you like the feeling of having no dishes out to dry or if you have a dishwasher, the dish system will be tweaked to fit your personal situation and desires for your kitchen.

Ultimately, what is the standard you desire to have for your kitchen?

Here are questions to ask yourself when creating a system:

  • What are daily habits you have?

  • When do you decide to bake or make something new?

  • What is your energy level for different meals? Would meal prep at a different time of day support your desire to quickly clean up?

  • What happens for the kitchen to get dirty? What can you do to make sure it remains clean and ready for your next meal preparation?


Let your dish time be your time to ponder, listen to your favorite music, memorize a new scripture or poem, and to just unwind from your day as you scrub at those dishes.

Making the dishes personal is the last key because oftentimes, when you make something yours, you increase in your ability to take care of it.

It can be therapeutic to put your hands in the warm water and to scrub away the dirty or caked on items. It can release your day and help you scrub away your stress. Even just the mental exercise of focusing on the one task at hand – washing the dishes– can allow your mind to rest from the other things it has been thinking about.

Choose to make your dish time personal. This can come through the book you are listening to and even the poem or scripture you look to memorize. Put a reminder to listen to that book on a sticky note and hang it next to the sink. Write out your poem and hang it up in front of the sink so when you’re sitting there scrubbing, you can take the time to put it to memory. Who knows what you can put in front of you while you're washing and standing for five to twenty minutes!

In conclusion:

The key is to commit. Commit to having a place where you can prepare food, to take care of yourself, and to create connections with your family, friends, and loved ones. It is so amazing what a kitchen brings to a home, it is the center of all that goes on because every single person needs to eat. Make your kitchen a welcoming environment by keeping the dishes clean and by doing so, you will be naturally supporting the life you are trying to lead.

What is your biggest struggle with dishes? What have you found works for your dishes? Share in the comment below.

This article was written by: Kaitlyn Andrews, Life Coach for Women

On a counter, a glass glass that has been recently cleaned a

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