But if you get them done anyway, you will feel so much happier and relieved when you wake up in the morning and you’re not fighting last night’s dirty dishes to make school lunches or coffee for your early commute. It’s really worth the extra few minutes at night, even if you’re exhausted, to wake up fresh and not have to deal with dishes and a cluttered sink. If you don’t believe me, try it for one week. I think you will feel a deeper sense of peace if this hasn’t been your ritual in the past.
Here are the things I’ve discovered make it a little easier to get motivated to get this task done and make it go faster:
- Run the dishwasher before it’s full. The logic here is that a full dishwasher actually takes more time to empty. So I used to dread emptying the dishwasher because you have to have every cupboard open, find the right place for everything, deal with all that silverware. But if you open the dishwasher and see it has some open space, suddenly you feel less overwhelmed with the task. So run it before it’s completely full. This has the added benefit of eliminating dishes sitting in the sink waiting to be washed while you’re running the dishwasher too!
- Go ahead and hand wash the few items that either don’t go in the dishwasher or won’t fit (because you waited until the dishwasher was too full to run it again.) Wine glasses, pots and pans, knives. All of these are so quick and easy to wash and just let dry in a rack or dry off with a towel and put away.
- Don’t use multiple dishes to mix, bake, serve your food. If you find some really good quality bake ware, you can do all these tasks in the same pan. There are lots of options out there that can go in the oven, dishwasher, refrigerator and freezer and are beautiful enough to serve out of. The end result is fewer dishes to wash. Now that’s a real bonus!
Maybe pickles don’t actually go bad because they’re packed in vinegar, BUT there’s more to cleaning out the fridge than whether the food is “bad”.
If your pickles are taking up valuable space, then they should go if you’re not eating them. You need that space for lettuce or burgers or homemade lasagna leftovers. Yum.
And even beyond the space you need for other things, the refrigerator will actually work more efficiently if it’s not jam-packed.
And it’s my personal belief that when you keep your fridge full of stuff you don’t actually want, it keeps you from realizing the yummy meals you have right in front of you. How can you see yesterday’s leftover lasagna or Monday’s creamy noodles with biscuits if when you open the fridge, there are mountains of half-empty jars, unopened bottles, and mystery items hanging out all over?! I believe a crammed fridge leads to inability to decide what to eat. (That’s just my theory. There’s no real science behind it…that I know of).
So gain back your refrigerator space, your appetite for home-cooked meals and your electric bill by paring down the long-lost items at the back of the fridge. And while you’re at it, wipe down a shelf or two with a damp sponge! That year-old jar of pickles probably had a sticky ring around the bottom that you never noticed because it hadn’t been moved in so long.