Yes to what LCBMAX says. Clearing the dishes (putting them away) is on our job-chart at home.
I clear the previous night's supper dishes when I wake up & start the family's breakfast. DH does the breakfast dishes (we have no mechanical dish washer) before he leaves for work. One of the kids is assigned to clear the breakfast dishes from the dish rack when they get home from school. Then the assigned person does the supper dishes.
When cooking, I clean a lot as I go, using a dish cloth to dry and put things away immediately while waiting for other things to finish cooking.
My minimal successes in this area involve these points:
1. Adjust my expectations that doing the dishes/ kitchen once - or ten times - in the day means the kitchen will be clean later - not if anyone ever eats or drinks!
2. Put away the dishes
3. Put away the dishes
4. Put away the dishes
Rinse dishes and load the dishwasher after each meal. Wash pots and pans immediately. After your last meal of the day, load and turn the dishwasher on. Unload in the morning. Easy as pie AND if you rinse dishes right after they get used, they don't sit around long enough for food to stick to the plate and require deep scrubbing (if you have a newer dishwasher you can even skip the rinsing...mine is a dinosaur!).
We divided the dishwasher duties and the hand-washing duties. Solved our dish problem. Neither of us feel like we are ALWAYS doing it ALL.
DH & DD (age 10) handle emptying and filling the dishwasher. If DD cannot put the items away, she at least gets them out of the dishwasher! She'll put them either where the hand-washed clean dishes air-dry or on the kitchen table (if there is no room in the other spot).
I do all the hand-washing.
I am the clean-as-I-go type, which suits hand-washing.
DH is the make a mess, ignore it until it can no longer be ignored, then clean it up type. This works well enough for the dishwasher.
He cooks more than I do and he cannot cook if the kitchen is a disaster.
On the other side, yep, we got rid of the stuff that doesn't stack or nest nicely. Period.
I only use glass or stainless steel for food. DD takes SS containers to school. DH takes glass to work. They all come home.
We have 8 of everything in the cupboards (or less, in some cases, like 4 teacups and saucers, and 7 plates because one broke). We have 8 of the things we USE in our china for company and it is in the kitchen in muslin zippered totes in a rolling cabinet (traditionally a microwave cart, but we use it differently). They get put away clean and are fairly easy to get out and don't collect dust in between uses. Win-win all around.
We use the same silverware for all dishes and we have a set of 12. Eight of each is in the drawer. The other four of each is in a box with the china (at the bottom, not easy to grab in a hurry, but easy to get when getting other china). Having 12 of everything means we can keep eating without washing dishes (use a different size plate or grab a bowl), which creates problems down the line with maintenance. Keeping the utensils to a minimum is an easy, subtle way to restrict how long a household can go between clean-ups. ;)
Glasses are challenging. We have a set that matches, but isn't quite enough, so we also have odd ones. They don't all fit well on their shelf. We use them all, so I worked on reducing our mugs, which we don't tend to use. We stash an extra glass or the stack of small ones that nest well on the mug shelf when every single glass is clean. I am tempted to give away all of our glasses and start over...our space would work best with tall skinny glasses. We each use one glass for the day, but we have frequent visitors who stop by unannounced and we entertain frequently. Three times this month, I've had 4-6 people here (plus my family or some of us). Everyone uses a glass; only some use plates or utensils. We have a friendly neighborhood and people stop by all the time!
What really got me motivated to keep my house clean (even when I don't feel well) is having people over. Sounds counter-intuitive. However, we'd clean our house before company came over. Who wants to spend all day (or SEVERAL days or sometimes WEEKS! - We've done a lot of DIY home projects and those are the biggest mess) cleaning just to have guests???? We did it anyway. The more often we had company over, the longer and longer our house stayed clean. Having people over encouraged us to KEEP our house clean and to develop new habits in order to make it faster and easier to maintain a clean house. People stop by frequently and I no longer have to do much of anything, except make sure the foyer is clear. We do put things that need to go out by the door, which can create a challenge when folks are trying to come IN. LOL It's a small space! Our house isn't perfect and I don't feel like I am cleaning all the time. In fact, I feel like I spend LESS time cleaning and our house is comfortable for US and most people who come over. Some folks may be perfectionists or clean freaks or whatever. They may not be so happy in our house. Some folks may be quite slovenly and also feel uncomfortable in our house. We fall in-between. Clean enough for us to feel comfortable inviting anyone over or inside pretty much any time, but not eat-off-the-floor-pristine-nothing-out-of-place-model-home-does-anyone-LIVE-here clean. ;)
The bottom line is developing routines that work for your family and your lifestyle.
Something for you to consider: When I had my most severe health issues, the state of my home often had a lot to do with it. Taking charge of the issues that bothered me the most has been the best thing I have ever done for my own health. Nothing to do with women's work or man's work, nor employed versus unemployed. Simply owning my own choices and reconciling what I wanted and what I had. On the flip side, when I give a task to others (DH or DD or anyone else), I give it and leave them to it. If they need help, they'll ask. If they do it wrong, is it going to kill anyone? If yes, then I don't give that task to that person! Most often, not an issue. If I can't live with imperfect results, then I should probably do that task myself. I'm not saying this is an issue for you, I'm just saying this helps me gain cooperation with others. Micro-managing annoys most everyone...
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa
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