A Story of Dishes

…yes, I said dishes! Exciting, eh!?

I quietly started a little experiment (well, Bruce was part of it too…) after we were in Fairmont in our little condo. I mentioned how having our small space and minimal kitchen was really inspiring! I came home with a renewed vigor for having a more minimalist lifestyle. I have got rid of a few things, still not near enough. I’ve been more aware of what I buy (or more importantly, what I don’t buy). I don’t drive anymore – we are down to one car and I’ve had a “mooch” a few rides; but in general, it’s been working ok.

But, about my experiment…

We decided to stop using the dishwasher. We only use it when we have company (and thus a lot of dishes) or if there is some particular reason that we’ve had a lot of dishes. So, we’ve run the dishwasher MAYBE once every two weeks since the middle of August!

  1. No more hunting for spoons
  2. My favorite coffee mug is always clean
  3. There isn’t a pile of dishes waiting to go in the dishwasher because no one feels like loading it
  4. That strange smell doesn’t fill the kitchen every time someone opens the dishwasher
  5. No more knife injuries from shoving hands into the cutlery basket
  6. There are always enough dishes when company comes
  7. No “discussion” over whether or not the dishes are clean!
  8. No more “#@%$!%$” I forgot to run the dishwasher, now there’s no clean cups!

We’ve just discovered that really, it’s not much to do the few dishes we have at each meal. Sometimes they pile up, but less often it seems. The kitchen actually seems cleaner and neater to me now that the dishes aren’t “hanging” around waiting for the dishwasher.

I have been pleasantly surprised at the results of our little experiment. I haven’t looked at the water bill to see if there’s any change there. I’m thinking not because at the same time we used the dishwasher less, the College kid was back home taking really long showers, so……but at least the water from the dishwasher isn’t added to that bill!

A benefit of having fewer dishes stuck in the dishwasher means that technically, we can have fewer dishes! No need to replace plates – the few we have are enough! The glasses are enough because they are always clean. That was something that I loved about Fairmont – the minimalist kitchen!

The other side benefit of doing the dishes by hand more is often I find a helper beside me. Sometimes it’s a kid and I enjoy the chattering that goes on while they help out. I probably should ask them to do that more – they usually do homework while I’m doing dishes, that’s cool too because I can help them. The helper is very often my sweetie (or I’m his helper)! That is a bonus few minutes that we get to spend together where we can actually talk instead of being glued to a screen!

I challenge you to try this little experiment yourself! I dare you to time yourself and see how very few minutes it actually takes to wash dishes after each meal – you’ll be surprised, I guarantee it! And you’ll be surprised at the simple pleasure there is in having a cupboard of clean dishes instead of wondering if it’s clean or not!

Oh, and a recent post from Becoming Minimalist (I started my experiment before this post) called Why I Stopped Using the Dishwasher. Joshua will give you more incentive to give this little exercise a try!

P.S. That REALLY is MY kitchen sink on most nights at this time of night – I love, LOVE having a clean sink starting the day in the morning – Flylady taught me that one!

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7 thoughts on “A Story of Dishes

  1. Good for you guys!! Not even an experiment for me though, it’s my world, and I’ve never had a burning desire to get a dishwasher either. I’ve never minded doing dishes, and like fly lady, I don’t like waking up to dirty dishes. However, I do wish someone would invent a floorwasher.

  2. Did you notice that the picture of your sink looks eerily like a face? This post made me smile because my mother has a fully functioning dishwasher and hardly ever uses it. I tease her about it all the time.

  3. I recently tried this too! I love having dishes available and the sink tidy. Not to mention it’s saving us $40-60/month on our water bill. I feel good knowing that I’ve helped to conserve a bit of water. I find it very therapeutic to dunk my hands in the dishwater and have a few mindless minutes to drift 🙂

    1. Yeah! It is good therapy isn’t it? You totally don’t have to think and I usually listen to my music if the kids aren’t doing homework and I love that there is no right or wrong or stress in any way. It’s just clean dishes. Simple. No fuss. Simple. Thanks Rach! 🙂

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