My absolute least favorite household chore…

…otherwise known as “doing the dishes”. This has hands down always been my least favorite chore, even growing up. I’d rather clean the bathroom used by the two little + one big boy than wash dishes.

Dishes in our house have to be done, or *should* be done three times a day. We have five people eating three meals here (daily), and that just leads to mountains of dishes. We also don’t have a dishwasher (boo), and we also don’t have tons of counter space. All of which add up to needs to do dishes more often than once every two days.

What my face normally looks like when I must do dishes
What my face normally looks like when I must do dishes

I do occasionally hold out hope that if I don’t do the dishes someone else will, but more often than not that plan backfires when no one does the dishes all weekend, then come Sunday night there aren’t any more clean plates and, guess what? I still have to do the dishes but now they’re days old with crusted on food.

Some things I’ve discovered along the way:

~~ I’ve found if I just do them after meals, then it takes much less time and energy. I read somewhere once that spending time worrying about/fretting/dreading doing a particular chore takes up a lot more time than actually doing a particular chore. There is also the added bonus that if you wash the breakfast dishes without waiting until lunch time than you have much less dishes to wash (the same goes for lunch and dinner dishes). Yes, you may have to “do” the dishes more often, but it seems to be less? That being said though, I’m pretty lazy bout the “doing them” part. {side note: this is especially helpful for after dinner/before putting the kids to bed, because that way once the kids are in bed I know I can come downstairs and “be done” with the chores for the evening}

~~ If I do get behind on doing the dishes, then setting a timer to “work until 8:00” or “work for 15 min” is super helpful. Then I play mind games with myself where in I say I can stop once the timer reaches the end. Usually what happens is I’ll *almost* finish the work by the end of the timer, but I won’t want to leave just the counters unwiped (or whatever), so I’ll just take a few more minutes and finish the little bit remaining.

~~ Have the kids help. Yes, my oldest is not quite 5 (and the next is not quite 4) but they love “helping” (contrary to the photo above – I think I just caught her by surprise). And sometimes they even do a passably decent job. I mean a few cereal bowls washed right away along with a  few cups and spoons is pretty easy to wash, and not that dirty to begin with so there isn’t a ton of scrubbing.

kat and dishes

~~ Leave the sink full of soapy wash water right before meals that way once the meal is done it’s super convenient to just wash up the plate, fork and cup rather than leave them and wait for everything to be done. Jared started this, and I really actually like it! {Note: this works a lot better if the kitchen is already mostly clean, otherwise there might not be an empty sink to put wash water in.}

~~ Skip rinsing the suds off. I heard this tip from one of my aunts years ago and didn’t start implementing it until just recently. I honestly haven’t noticed any difference. It saves a step too so if you’re wanting to save a few minutes just wash and put in the drainer.

OK. My time limit is up.

I’m doing a little better in my recovery (from this event). I can move around without getting totally winded. Still can’t see well enough to cook or do laundry (or dishes really). But I can see a bit better. My eye has been super irritated which hasn’t been fun, but it felt a teensy bit better this AM, maybe it was just my imagination, but I’ll take it.

Baby Z. has done really well through all this. My follow up with the OB on Monday went great. I shouldn’t have any complications (related to this) when I deliver. I guess the good thing is I still have about 8-9 weeks left so that’s a good long time to heal. 🙂

~Ruth Anne

Linking up with Charity @ The Wounded Dove



4 thoughts on “My absolute least favorite household chore…

  1. Loved this post. I have three least favourite jobs: mopping (downstairs), scrubbing the bathtub, and vacuuming (esp when it includes the stairs and removing the long hair wound round the roller) .

    Dishes I’m actually okay with, but it really helps I can look out the window at my lovely little patch of garden while it do that task. I often just let my mind wander, or pray or reflect. As you don’t have a window over your sink, you could instead put up poems or prayers or such, to give your mind and heart something to engage with while your hands are busy.

    My top tip is to rinse all the dishes right away as then the crud isn’t so stuck when you do wash them. Failing that, rinse just before you wash them. Even 5 minutes of being wet helps soften stuck food and makes the task easier.

    love & prayers

  2. I have been struggling to be a ‘clean-as-you-goer’ lately and it just hasn’t been working. But I appreciated your post, especially the tips about having kids help and leaving a sink of soapy water before meals. The two go together nicely and I think I’ll start trying to give both a try together. I just moved some beefy step stools into the kitchen so the littles (2 and almost 4) can reach. Now I just need to station our plastic smocks and a towel for floor cleanup and let them go to town. They love helping and playing with bubbles, and I love making a tiresome chore more fun. Win, win. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for stopping in. It has taken me a long time to be a better “clean-as-you-goer” (still sometimes, I just can’t seem to make it happen). If the floor gets wet enough you can put in just a teensy bit of effort while drying it up and call it “mopped” at the same time (I have employed that method a few times before, more wins). I hope having the littles help works out well. 🙂

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