I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from people wondering, “Where do you start when your house is a mess?” Yes, sometimes it is very overwhelming when pretty much everywhere is a disaster. I ask people: “What bothers you the most? Start there.” Now, the answer does differ some, but largely people answer that the worst part is their messy kitchen OR their messy bathroom.
The worst part of a messy kitchen?
We’ve all had an evening where we’ve looked at the pile of dishes and thought, “I’ll get that in the morning.” Sometimes in periods of high stress, sickness, or just plain laziness (hey! I’ve been there! laziness is a perfectly valid excuse! as my grandmother said, “A poor excuse is better than none.”) we neglect the dishes longer than just overnight and the next thing you know, there’s no clean dishes in the house and you’re wondering if it would just be easier to trash all those dishes and just eat off paper plates from now on.
Sure, it would be easier, but it’s hardly good for the Earth and it’s hard on your pocketbook as well. I have a theory—I try to do a lot of “green” stuff so I can take extra-long showers. (Sorry about that, Mother Earth.) So, let’s skip throwing away all your dishes and let’s just wash them, shall we?
Start by emptying your sink.
Pile all the dishes up on the counter, in a dish pan, wherever, but get them out of your sink entirely. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, you need the sink, even if you’re just going to rinse (or not rinse) them and put them in the dishwasher. Second, it’s a kind of mental trick. You already have one thing clean. Yay, success, have a little dopamine. Now you’ll be a bit more motivated to clean everything else.
Now that you have your sink cleaned out, rinse it nicely and shine it up. (alternate sink shining method right here) Now that you have your sink shining, get to work on the dishes. If you have a dishwasher, load it and run it. If not, go straight to the hand washing.
Whether you have a dishwasher or not, you’re probably going to have to do some hand washing. Anything that you couldn’t fit into the dishwasher, hand wash it. Wash until all your dishes are done AND put away. That includes any in the dishwasher. Let me reiterate.
Wash until all your dishes are done AND put away.
This also means going all through your house and finding any dishes hiding out in places they normally shouldn’t, like your teenager’s bedroom.
Did you check your nightstand?
Now, naturally you might miss a dish or two, but do your best. Once you have accomplished that, it will be much easier to move on to something else that needs to be cleaned.
Tell me, Home Eccers….I know YOUR house never, ever gets out of control, but let’s just pretend for a minute that it did. What would bother you the most?