Simplify: Dishes.

For a while now one of the biggest problems I’ve had with keeping my house presentable is the kitchen. The dishes. They drive me crazy. One would think I could just do it gradually and be fine…but it always feels so overwhelming.
I started thinking about what was hard about keeping the kitchen clean. And how I could possibly solve the promlem.
I was tired of:
– having more than enough dishes to fill the dishwasher
– not even noticing when a huge pile of dishes were missing until they showed up in my formerly empty sink.
– spending an hour or more scrubbing pots and pans and loading the dishwasher. Sometimes I even washed by hand to get completely caught up.
– having to dig through mounds of dishes taking up all the counter-space before I could cook a meal.

Are you seeing the pattern? We just had too many dishes for our little family.

This is what my kitchen looked like in a “clean” state:

Granted, it was nice to not have to wash dishes often, but really not washing dishes often is a problem and the end result of no dishes in the cupboard is the same, but with a much larger pile of dishes to wash. I also kept thinking of this post by Tsh at The Art of Simple and have been dangerously interested in minimalism as a lifestyle. So I decided to go for it.

I didn’t do anything radical since I wanted to keep my husband on board with the idea (and not just frustrated by the lack of cereal bowls!). So we still have a lot of dishes available, but I put a little thought into what I left out and might take away more at a later point.

Here’s what my cupboards looked like after I cleaned them out:

Plus the dishwasher and counters were empty! I wish I had thought to take pictures of my silverware and utensil drawers. They underwent an impressive change as well.

So far this has felt so much more manageable.

What I like
– it is much easier to tell when I need to load the dishwasher (since apparently I go by the numbers available to use, not the numbers piled up in the sink. Actual need inspires me.)
– if the dishwasher is not quite full enough to run I’ll search the house for items that have wandered away. (Thus eliminating the surprise attack of a full sink). This is a much better problem than having way more than a load of dishes.
– there is much less chance of the stuff in the sink sitting so long it starts to smell. I’m sorry guys. That happened here. I should be ashamed.

Some of the stuff I sorted out I am giving to my mom to add to her college student stash (for when the next kid needs them!). A lot of it I am keeping around. If we don’t use them for a long while I may pass them on to one of my siblings. I might put the plastic dishes in a box for camping. I have a box of glasses set aside so I can backfill as the current selection meet their ruin (it is inevitable after all). And I put my canning jars and rings out in the garage for when I need them next.

It is nice to simplify. Sometimes just having so much stuff can wear me out. It is an odd, and distinctly first-world, problem to have.

I’m thinking about my clothes now and wondering what else could be more simple…. :)

What is a favorite recent change you have made in your life? Have you ever thought about minimalism? What about just having less stuff in general?

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6 thoughts on “Simplify: Dishes.

  1. I seriously have been thinking of doing this too. Except that I think I have about twice as many dishes as your before pictures. :p It’s crazy. And crazy making. I just need to buckle down and declare that we really don’t need some of it but I really like pretty dishes! It was way easier to ditch a bunch of my clothes, honestly. :D

    Anyway, you’ve inspired me. :D Interested to see what you do with your clothes too.


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