At the end of this week we will have made it four whole weeks showing up for ourselves and making tiny changes to finally feel like we are running our household. I'm gonna go ahead and give us a big old CONGRATS right now. I'm so proud of you. I'm so glad you are here. The little things you do every day in your home are so important, even when they don't feel like they are.
The humblest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them. Louisa May Alcott
I'm going to be real honest with you. I'm struggling with the laundry. My laundry room is on the opposite end of the house from bedrooms and in the basement. I have some chronic health issues that sometimes translate into some mobility problems, and adding in carrying a laundry basket and the stairs may as well be Everest. Here is what I'm telling myself, and you:
The purpose of this challenge is to form habits. It's to take some decisions and things to think about off our plate. It's to program ourselves to get used to daily tasks that make life easier and more efficient at home.
The purpose of this challenge is not to have a perfectly clean house. It's not to become a slave to something else so that we don't feel like a slave to clutter any more.
So give yourself some grace. Don't fall in to all-or-nothing thinking (I didn't get my laundry done today, I'm such a crappy person I may as well just stop the challenge and give up and move in to a dirt cave and only wear one piece outfit and eat bugs so I don't have to do all this any more). We are just going for small changes in an upward trend. It's ok. You're doing great.
Alright, enough with the pep talk before I start tearing up (I really care about out little community). Let's get down to the business for the week, shall we?
We are going to venture in to the kitchen. I have some big plans for us and some amazing resources for subscribers, but we are going to take baby steps to get there. Rome wasn't conquered in a day, and our household won't be either. We all know that from spending a day rage cleaning only to have the house be back to disaster mode the very next morning.
Week 4: The Dishwasher
One time a family member came over and my sink (and counter next to it) were covered with dirty dishes. The rest of the house was a disaster too, but for some reason I was soooo embarrassed about the dirty dishes. I made up my mind that day that I would not be a person who would have dirty dishes everywhere, even when no one was stopping by. My heart wasn't in the right place (shaming yourself is never a healthy motivation), but the resolve to change was. Since then, every day the dishes get tackled.
BUT (always with the butts)... my toddlers favorite activity in the whole wide world is to play with the dishwasher. He will take things out, throw things in, and just cause mayhem in that general vicinity for extended periods of time. Which means that any time he's around, the dishwasher cannot be open if it is dirty, or dirty dishes will be everywhere. He also would for straight for the knives and forks and anything else dangerous. In other words, he threw off my groove. And mama's about to get it back (duh duh duhhhhhh......)
Small Habit: Run The Dishwasher Every Night (Empty Sink Policy)
This week, we are beginning an end of the day Empty Sink Policy. We are going to bed with the dishwasher running. Simple as that. We'll make a club. Call it the "Clean Sink Club". I'll order jackets.
Cue: You are going to have to figure this one out. Maybe it's after you put the kids to bed, immediately after a meal, or when the kids jump in the shower for the night. Consider using music, turning on the light above the sink, or something else that is a ritual that cues your brain into going into dish washing mode.
Reward: In the morning, stand at the sink and appreciate your hard work. Or have a bowl of ice cream when you finish dishes for the night. Spray the sink with a good smelling cleaner when you are done. Again, get creative.
Some Tips for Tackling the Dishes:
After you unload the dishwasher, take out the silverware basket thingy and keep it next to the sink. Throughout the day, instead of throwing silverware into the sink for later, put it right in the basket. I learned this trick from KC Davis on Tik Tok (her handle is @domesticblisters) and it is a TOTAL game changer. Often times I'll stick the whole basket thingy all loaded up in the sink to rinse all the silverware at once.
Do a daily round up (and recruit your kids). Make a game out of it and hunt down dishes, water bottles, etc. from every room in your house and stick them in the sink to load for later.
Soak pans immediately, so they are ready to wash up later.
If you are in a period of time where dishes are just not getting done and this seems like an insurmountable behemoth of an obstacle, get disposable dishes and silverware. For reals. There are no rules about what your family needs to eat off of. Plates and silverware exist only to help us eat.
Figure out a system that works for you to clean easily. Find dish soap, gloves, and a scrubby that are comfortable and work for you. Store them easily. Have a plan if a pan is tough to clean (Bar Keepers Friend is my secret weapon-just read instructions for what you can use it on)
Have a ritual that you look forward to while you do dishes. Maybe you enjoy a bowl of ice cream or sip a yummy drink while you do them, or catch up on your favorite show. I have a playlist that I can't help dancing to and makes me feel so happy (I'll link it below for you)
Task To Accomplish: Declutter The Sink Station
We are going to streamline this baby. No more digging for gloves, looking for the back up soap, or dragging a new grocery bag out of the box under all the other crap. We are tackling it.
If you are a subscriber, you have my sink reset pdf (in free printable form) already in your inbox. If not- get it here.
Below I'll Link some of my favorite storage solutions for under the sink streamlining (that I talk about in the reset):
You got this! I believe in you!
Ps- I would appreciate it if you gave my instagram a follow!