5 Tips for Cutting Down On Dirty Dishes

updated Mar 9, 2019
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

As hard as one might try to piece together the perfect kitchen, if you find yourself with an uncontrollable mound of dishes, that perfect kitchen ends up looking like a pile of mess. But is every spoon, fork, cup and plate in the sink absolutely essential? Can you really cut down the amount of dishes you do every day, without using disposables? Yes! Here are five places to start.

1. Own fewer dishes. It seems radical, but many of our readers swear by it – when you have fewer dishes, you actually tend to use fewer dishes. Could it be time for a kitchen cupboard clean out?

2. Wash small things as soon as they are done being used. Obviously you are still doing these dishes, but it will drastically cut down the pile waiting for you at the end of the day. Also, dishes washed the instant after they are used are so much easier to clean! No caked-on gunk. Consider trying the soapy sponge trick to get them done fast.

3. Start looking for and cooking one-pot meals. There are so many of them out there! Stews,


4. Only set out essential cutlery and dinnerware for dinner parties. I know it doesn’t look as pretty, but seriously, do you really want to wash all those teensy tiny forks after everyone goes home? No one will mind, I promise, not even your snooty aunt and uncle who bought you the salad forks in the first place.

5. Make a space for each family member to keep their glass for the day. This one revolutionized the washing-up pile at our place. We have a space on a ledge in the kitchen, with name tags reading “Mom” “Dad” “Ralph” “Ivy”, and everyone knows that is where their cups go when they aren’t being used. This way, rather than each person reaching for a new glass during the day, there is a dedicated spot for each one and at the end of the day there are only four glasses to be washed. Just four! If you have no space for something like this, check out this nifty solution using magnets!

So, these are my family’s five solutions for cutting down dishes – what are yours? Share your tips and tricks with other readers below!