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One Trick To Cut Down On Dirty Dishes

One Trick To Cut Down On Dirty Dishes

Last week I cracked. Or at least that’s what my kids said when they saw me packing up our dishes. Thinking back I’m sure I probably looked like a mad woman as I stuffed a box with the bulk of the dishes we own and throwing out the ones that were not in great shape. So what caused me to “crack”? A sink full of dishes, after every meal, every single day. I was tired of it.

Technically, I shouldn’t be slaving over dishes if everyone kept up with washing their own. Realistically, that didn’t always happen. Actually it almost never happened. So I thought of a simple solution that has kept my sink empty ever since. No joke.

So what’s the one trick to cut down on dirty dishes? *Drumroll*……I assigned everyone a cup, a small plate, a large plate and a mug. Nothing more.

This one trick has completely rocked my dishwashing world. I simply wrote everyone’s initial on the bottom of each dish which keeps my kids accountable and motivates them to wash their own dish. I’m sure part of the reason is that they know I’ll find out whether or not they left their dirty dish in the sink.


This is what my cabinet looks like now. The bottom two shelves are what we use daily. The top shelf is glassware that is reserved for guests only. We actually didn’t own many dishes to begin with, but for whatever reason the little bit we did own, always seemed to wind up in the sink. All at once. If you want to see what our cabinet used to look like check out this post where I share how to organize your kitchen.

This has seriously cut back my dishwashing time tremendously and I don’t regret my decision at all. My goal is to simplify our lives as much as possible. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to spend the bulk of my day behind a kitchen sink.

Is this something you would consider? Or am I really that “crazy” for cutting back in such a huge way? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Top ten hacks for clean dishes - The Goldilocks Kitchen

Tuesday 9th of February 2016

[…] 6. One designated drinking cup a day.┬áBefore this my boys were always climbing up on the counter to get a clean cup every time they wanted a drink of water! This could be several times a day. Inspiration for this idea came from this one trick to cut down on dirty dishes. […]


Wednesday 10th of June 2015

Oh my gosh, this is brilliant! My kids may also think I'm nuts but the sharply is coming out and everyone will have their own dish set AND towels! Thank you for the great tip.

Jesenia Montanez

Wednesday 10th of June 2015

Thanks Christina! I would love to hear how it goes! :)


Sunday 16th of November 2014

I love the Sharpie on the bottom. How long does it stay before you have to re-write it?


Tuesday 11th of November 2014

sounds great! I'm going to try it. Although I anticipate one kid dirtying up the other kids' set of dishes. Lo!

Margaret vanWagner

Monday 10th of November 2014

I saw this exact hint along with the same pictures on another site - are you sure this wasn't borrowed?