Mrs. Minafi has heard this line too many times to count: “Want to try an experiment?”. Following our recent move from a 1,700 square foot house to an apartment, we’ve been on a mission to clear away as much clutter as possible and earn back as much time as we can. After staying in a temporary apartment for a few weeks, there was one thing we learned to appreciate fast – how much easier it was keeping a clean kitchen with a smaller dining set.
Before the move, we would often find ourselves with a dishwasher full of clean dishes, with more in the sink already awaiting their turn. We’d need to stop and spend a lot of time putting away everything, then washing everything. We’re only two people, but with a larger family this would even more of a time suck. In our temporary apartment, all dishes on the shelves could fit in a single load of dishes. That got us wondering: why do we have so many dishes?
What if you could fit all of your dishes in a single load of your dishwasher?
I called it the Dishwasher Challenge and we decided to try it out – once our belongings were delivered to our new place.
The Dishwasher Challenge
Here’s what you can do to try this out for yourselves:
- Take out every dish, glass, and cup you use and put them on the counter. Anything that you’d eat or drink out of.
- Split this group into 2 categories – dishwasher safe and non-dishwasher safe.
- For anything that’s not dishwasher safe, you’re on your own, but you could group everything together. We opted to thin this group in proportion to the dashwasher safe group after the fact.
- Clear out your dishwasher
- Begin filling it with your most used dishwasher safe items first.
- Once your dishwasher is full, decide if there’s something you could take out to make room for something not in there.
Once you’re done, put away the items in the dishwasher in your most prime locations. For anything that couldn’t fit, choose to either store them on a higher shelf, give them away or sell them.
We went through this process for the following items:
- Large plates
- Small plates
- Even Smaller plates
- Pint glasses
Having a set of 8 of each of these didn’t exactly click with having an apartment with a breakfast counter that seats 2. With this exercise, we quickly realized that we could lower this to 4 of each of these, and even down to 2 of some. This meant that by and large we wouldn’t put ourselves in a spot where we had a full dishwasher and a sink full of dishes. Problem (mostly) solved!
Taking it Even Farther
We’re by no means taking this to the extreme. Why would we need 3 plates when there’s only 2 of us living here? If you really want to try minimizing down, you could challenge yourself to only have 1 of each. We decided that would be a little too far for us, and that we’d be happier with the option to not wash dishes everytime we eat. We did decide to pair down a few items to 2 for areas where we won’t likely use more than 2 in any given day:
- Soup Bowls
- Champagne glasses
- Wine Glasses
- Shot glasses
- White wine glasses
- Dessert wine glasses
You’d think from this list that we drink occasionally or something. Well, we do enjoy making cocktails at home, with Tuxedo No.2 and Bevvy being our favorites sites for ideas. Even for these, the number in use at any time was small, and we rarely have company where we’ll be pulling out specific glasses (beer seems much more social). This just meant having 4 glasses on an easily accessible shelf was a big waste of space for us.
In the end, we got rid of quite a few pieces of glassware we just never used. Moscow Mules are tasty, but they’re just as tasty in a pint glass as a copper mug.
Give Yourself a Trigger to Try It
We’d been amassing more and more plates and glassware over the last decade, and since we had the space (and occasionally the use) we had no trigger to reorganize. What we didn’t realize was just how much time we could save in our daily lives by reorganizing this little part of our days. By making this small changes we’ve earned back more time in our days!
Why not try the dishwasher challenge this week and let me know how it goes?