6 Strategies To Motivate Yourself To Empty The Dishwasher

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I thought it was just me that hated to empty the dishwasher, and unload all those clean dishes.

You work and work to get everything loaded, run the dishwasher and you feel like, I've done my work. I've got the kitchen cleaned up.

And then, boom, not but an hour or so later it's time to unload the dishwasher, and you definitely need to because already more dirty dishes are piling up.

So, you know you need to do it, but ugghhh, you don't want to!!!!

Does this sound familiar? Well, I learned when a reader asked this question below that it isn't just me -- or you -- there are lots of us that feel just the same way.

Reader question:

I HATE unloading the dishwasher.... Loading it is no problem, but for some reason I am annoyed by unloading those clean dishes! Any suggestions for how I can do it anyway?

Well, lots of you readers answered this questions, and I found that there were six basic types of responses. Each of you had a strategy, a way to "trick" yourself into getting motivated to get this necessary chore done.

Hopefully one or more of these strategies listed below will help you too.

6 strategies to help motivate you to empty the dishwasher even when you don't want to {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Top photo courtesy of Paulo Ordoveza

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Strategy 1: Choose A Method That Works For You

Many people try to make a game out of it, or do it in a very efficient way to get themselves to JUST DO IT!

There were many different methods, but these were some of the most popular ones:

Group Like Items Together:

Stephanie says: I put as many like things together as possible, such as plates, bowls, spoons, forks, etc. Makes for a faster unload.

Michelle says: I load it in an organized way so it's easier to put it all away. I unload everything onto the drying rack because the dishes are often still wet even after the drying cycle. Then once I start cleaning the kitchen I put those clean dry dishes away and restart the process.

Laurie says: I load it so that when it's time to unload all the "like" items are together. All the forks in one basket, knives in another etc. All large dishes from left to right. Then smaller dishes left to right. All cups alike in top rack on one side. Then when you unload just remove all the items at the same time and stack in their proper place. I unload in stacks and then deliver each stack to their respective cabinet. Also keep your most frequently used dishes and cups in the closest cabinet to your dishwasher to prevent walking back and forth.

Stacy says: One tip for unloading quickly is to try to keep the silverware together. All forks go together, spoons together, knives together etc. When the load is done you don't get stuck sorting stuff -- it's literally grab a handful and dump them where they belong. I try to arrange my plate sizes that way too. Mugs and soup bowls always go on the top rack. It's SO much easier when visually it doesn't look like a chaotic CF!!!

Unload In A Specific Order:

Laurie says: I unload silverware, then the bottom, then the top. For some reason doing it OCD style makes it easier for me.

Unload Onto Counter First, And Then Put Away

Leslie says: I absolutely understand this. I have found that unloading everything on to the counter first makes it less work. I then put each stack up. Seems less up and down to me.

Kelsey says: Store your clean dishes as close to your dishwasher as possible, stack them in order on the counter above the washer then put them away. Super fast.

Make It A Game:

Buanita says: I try to make a game of it by doing all plastics, all glass etc.

Kim says: This is so funny. Tonight that is EXACTLY what I was saying is my least fun household chore. Glad I'm not alone. I tell myself you only have to unload 10 things. Thats it. Usually I end up unloading the whole thing. But if I don't later on I'll say ok. 10 more things. That's the only way I know. I hope someone has some better ways.

Pray Or Meditate As You Work:

Cathy says: Pray for a different person you know with each trip to the cabinet. They'll be done before you know it!

Empty During TV Commercials:

Brandi says: I don't know why, but I always hated it too. Seemed like it took forever. So i would do it during commercial breaks of something I would watch on t.v. Didn't have to do it all at once and by the time my show was over, the dishwasher was empty. Now I live in an apartment with no dishwasher, and I would gladly accept that chore over washing by hand.

Photo courtesy of andrea castelli

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Strategy 2: Beat The Timer -- It Really Doesn't Take That Long!

This particular strategy was so popular that although I guess it could be considered a method, like making it a game, which I listed above, I treated it as a separate idea.

Basically this strategy is to help you realize how fast this task really takes. It really doesn't take as long as you think it will.

No point in dreading something that you can accomplish so quickly.

Here's what some readers said:

It Takes 3-5 Minutes: I Can Do Anything That Long!

Tara says: Make it a game - time yourself and see if you can beat your previous time!

Courtney says: I have timed myself and it takes less than 3 minutes. Sometimes that alone is enough to stop avoiding it. I try to do it when I am cooking dinner (cause then there is space for dinner dishes to go!).

Elaine says: Time it--it really takes just 3 minutes, just to it quick!

Ashly says: On average it takes someone 4 minutes to unload the dishwasher. I can deal with anything for just 4 minutes.

Corrine says: Time yourself and then spend that same amount of minutes on doing something you enjoy.

Danielle says: I set a timer for 5 minutes. I have to unload and load in that time. It keeps me focused because I hate it so much that I get so distracted.

Lynne says: I hate it too, because it's just one more chore to be done. I timed it as well and it's roughly a 5 minute job. Is a clean kitchen all day (because you can reuse the dishwasher for dirty dishes as everyone dirties them) worth 5 minutes? You bet!

Tonya says: Time yourself. Do it in less than 3 minutes and soon you will feel like you have overcome such a monster that you have dreaded for so long.

Denise says: I used to despise unloading the dishwasher...until I happened to notice that it only takes about four minutes start to finish to complete the task. Hard to argue about something that takes such a relatively small period of time to accomplish! Also, if you load it in a more organized fashion, you can also unload it very quickly.

Play A Song Or Two And Get It Done During That Time

Christine says: Pick a really good song, turn it up loud, time yourself to get it done before the end.

Melody says: Put on a song you like. I promise, you will be done before the song is over.

Steep A Cup Of Tea

One reader suggested: Make a cup of tea. While the tea is steeping the proper three minutes race to finish unloading the dishes. When the timer goes off, you have an instant reward!

Photo courtesy of Editor B

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Strategy 3: Make It A Routine Or Habit

Let's face it, this chore has to be done consistently, whether we want to or not.

Sometimes it is necessary to just make it a routine or habit, such as doing it at the same time each day, along with the rest of your routine.

That way you don't have to make the decision to actually do the task -- instead, your brain just sort of has your body do it automatically each day.

Here's some suggestions from readers along these lines:

Stephanie says: I do it everyone morning while my son eats breakfast, so when he's done, I can put his dirty dishes in there and not clutter sink. Sometimes I crank the tunes while I put them away!

Lizette says: I have a rule for myself: when I switch the kettle on for coffee or tea, I have to load or unpack the dishwasher. I usually finish before the water has boiled. The children (3,6,8) also help when they are around. They put everything on the countertop and I pack it in the cupboards.

Eva says: When I am making coffee and the kids eat breakfast I unload. I'm so used to it now it's done without me thinking about it.

Julie says: Don't wait as long to run the dishwasher. Fewer dishes in means spending less time unloading. Also in our house, we unload BEFORE preparing a meal so we can put the dirty dishes right into the dishwasher. And if the dishwasher doesn't get unloaded then we don't eat.

Carrie says: Just be disciplined about it. I make it a habit to unload first thing in the morning, and load it up all day, then wash at night.

Autumn says: Do it first thing in the morning and it's done the rest of the day. That way you don't have to dread it anymore.

Chelsea says: I do it first thing in the morning. I put on the kettle for my tea and I try to play "beat the clock" before the tea pot whistles. Childish and lame, but it gets done. Then I usually can load any dishes that were accumulated overnight (my husband keeps odd hours) while my tea steeps and then I can sit and enjoy my tea while feeling like I already got something accomplished. But I know what you mean. I hate that chore too.

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Strategy 4: Identify Whether Clutter Or Lack Of Organization In Your Kitchen Is Holding You Back

Sometimes we dread a task because it actually is difficult.

In theory putting dishes away isn't really that hard, but any time you've got lots of clutter or a lot of disorganization something that should be easy can be quite difficult.

So, this strategy asks you to really look at your kitchen and think -- is it hard to unload the dishwasher because of these problems?

If the answer is yes, then this isn't necessarily that quick of a fix, but it is the first step in the process of getting the problem back under control. (If this is a problem check out the kitchen cabinet organization challenge on Home Storage Solutions 101, a sister site to this one!)

Here were some of the thoughts shared by readers about this issue:

Alice asks: Is it hard because your cabinets are disorganized or over-stuffed?

Nancy says: Make you cabinets clutter free. That makes it easier.

Maria says: Having organized cabinets and a home for everything really helps me. Also I run the dishwasher every night and unload every morning. Which means I am not putting away days worth of dishes, only yesterdays dishes!

Tena says: Make sure there's a place for everything to go. A lot of people have too many things for their cabinets. Their family members don't want to unload it because they don't know where the heck to put everything. Get rid of anything that doesn't have the matching lid, or if it's Tupperware, order a new lid for it. Purge, purge, purge. Donate, have a yard sale. or ebay anything that you don't use anymore.

Faith says: Everything needs it's own spot without having to move things. I find it easy to put away those things, but when it comes to those random, don't really have a place items, I tend to procrastinate.

Deb says: It makes such a difference when your cupboards are cleaned out and organized, it really helped me and made it easier when I knew I could put stuff away because it had a certain spot to go in and I didn't have to quickly close the doors because everything was falling out!!

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Strategy 5: Make Someone Else Do It!

Some people really, really, hate unloading the dishwasher. That's fine.

Unless you live alone you certainly aren't the only one that is dirtying up the dishes, so others can help with this task.

I know this isn't practical for everyone, but it definitely works!

Here's what readers had to say about using this strategy to empty the dishwasher:

Adrienne says: That is on my kids' chore chart.

Laura says: All family members take a turn at our house! Or if you time yourself, you'll realize it doesn't take nearly as long as you think!

Colleen says: I hate it too, so I give my 10 year old a choice - empty or wash. He always picks empty. So I avoid a hated chore and he earns some points toward allowance. Win-win!

Susan says: I decided to have six children. Each takes one day.....and I take the other. Works well.

Kelly says: I give that chore to my teen- and if it isn't done when I am ready to load, he has to load it too! Usually gets done!

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Strategy 6: When All Else Fails Just Be Thankful You Have A Dishwasher To Unload!

Sometimes you just don't feel like doing this task. I get it. But when all else fails, many readers put it in perspective when they wished they even had a dishwasher to bemoan emptying, or to remember why we do these things in the first place.

Truly, we're blessed. Each of us in some way. Sometimes just remembering that helps make the mundane tasks of life easier to bear.

Here's what readers said about this sixth and final strategy:

Sunshine says: Be grateful and thankful you HAVE a dishwasher! Some of us do not have that luxury.

Bec says: I'd be glad just to HAVE a dishwasher. I have 4 under 6 and hand washing up seems to waste a bit of time and I'm the only one who does them.

Dena says: Realize that the entire reason you have a dishwater full of dishes is because there's people in your house to get them dirty. You could have an empty one. That would be worse.

Wynette says: A thankful heart.....1) for food that messed up the dishes 2) for the dishes 3) for the dishwasher 4) for a home with a dishwasher 5) money to pay the bill for the electricity to run the dishwasher ETC....... Sometimes we just absolutely have to refocus!!!! WE ARE BLESSED!!! And we don't deserve it!!

So Have We Covered All The Strategies?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have we covered all the strategies for getting yourself motivated to empty the dishwasher?

Do you have another one you'd like to share? If so, tell me below in the comments.

Top photo courtesy of shooting brooklyn

6 strategies to help motivate you to empty the dishwasher even when you don't want to {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

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Comments for Strategy 6: When All Else Fails Just Be Thankful You Have A Dishwasher To Unload!

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physical problems keep me unmotivated
by: Anonymous

You didn't include something to motivate me. I am in my 70's and bending over to unload the bottom shelf just is so painful. Top shelf, not so bad. Loading usually is a little at a time so it's not too bad. When granddaughter is here I make her.

I don't have one
by: Linda

I think I'm one of a very few that can say I know nothing about dish washers because I have never had one. I AM THE DISH WASHER! And at (less than a month away from 58), I don't think I even want one. There is only the two of us now and I stay on top of the used dishes.

Tummy exercises
by: Anonymous

Hold your tummy in while unloading the dishwasher. This way you are doing tummy exercises and accomplishing a chore!

short of space
by: Dee

Our kitchen was tiny and not much room for cupboards, so I bought a new dishwasher and a good second hand one. I use them both, one for storage, and then as we use it it goes in the 'dirty' one, when thats full it gets switched on and when its finished it becomes the 'clean' one. Works perfectly.

Um, hello?
by: Lori

How about Gratitude? (I am so grateful I have a dishwasher, and food to eat to get them dirty.)

Short people
by: Rachel

I'm ok, I unload pretty quickly. I've gotten a pretty quick method. I put everything directly where it goes. I'm tall enough to reach where it's at and where it goes. The only exception is the plates, bowls and saucers. I load them in a stack on my hand and then put the entire stack in. My niece (28yrs) and my daughter (11yrs) on the other hand HAVE to stack them on the counter first because the cabinet they all go in is directly over the dish washer and they have to have it closed to get them in. My biggest pain is loading it because no one does it as they go so I have to do that myself and they are all dirty and messy.

random thoughts
by: Wanda

I love to unload my dishes while they are still HOT from drying!!! I found it odd that some say they place all "like" silverware in same basket section. I never do that because items "nestle" and won't get as clean. Just random thoughts on dishwasher unloading.

Air Dry the Hot Dishes
by: Jacob

I like to immediately open the door and pull the bottom tray out when the dishwasher finishes. This is done to let the hot dishes air-dry.

BUT with that bottom tray sticking out into the kitchen I am inspired to put the dishes away as soon as they are cool enough to touch (sometimes before they are cool enough to touch).

you are blessed to have a dish washer. :)
by: Anonymous

My dish washer is broken. :( and because of my ocd I have to wash my dishes twice. I would love to just be able to load and empty a dish washer!

by: Katina

I pay my child to do it. Now...about those socks that need matched...

Dishwasher Blues
by: Anonymous

Actually, if you time yourself, it takes 5 minutes to do this job! I just tell myself I can take 5 minutes to do it now, or obsess about it and look at it all day. It's less stress to just do it!

helps to have an organized kitchen with dishes stored near dishwasher
by: Chris

I clean homes for a living. Unloading the dishwasher is a regular occurrence for me. I love unloading mine because I use Corelle dishes. What's neat about these is they are so thin and light weight, and fit all dishwashers perfectly. No bulky bowls, and nothing is square. Also my cupboards are very organized so everything has a place and plenty of space too. I start with the bottom rack so the top doesn't drip all over it. I stack big plates one after the other onto my hand until I have them all, and I place directly into the cupboard. Then it's the rest of the bottom rack. I grab utensil basket and bring it to drawer and sort it out. Top rack I dab the back of mugs and glasses with tea towel to catch pooled water. Grab mugs and glasses two at a time and feed directly into the cupboards. Done in three minutes. I want to do the job once. So I like to handle items once. I don't pile on counter only to deal with it again. That's double the work!! I don't mind emptying at all, but it helps to have an organized kitchen with dishes stored near dishwasher.

What about the un washable
by: Anonymous

My problem isn't the dishes that go in the dishwasher--it's all the miscellaneous ones that can't! For some reason, washing the pots and knives and Tupperware lids never gets done for ages because they have to be done by hand. Anyone have a cure for that?

wait until you need the stuff in it
by: Anonymous

After I come home from work I unload the dishwasher directly because most of the things I need are in it. So that is an option if you don't like it.

made deal with my daughter
by: Anonymous

I made a deal with my working daughter. I load it each evening and she unload it at night. We switch tasks every other week. It's perfect for both of us!

Routinize It!
by: Evelyn C - The Sanity Saver

I just put it into my daily activities - I only turn it on when we go to bed at night - and then first person downstairs in the morning unloads. That's usually me on weekdays, but on weekends it's fair game for anyone who's up first. Kind of makes it all of our jobs -and that slight difference that helps!

by: Twin

I'm one of twins. My mother's favorite phrase, "Some people have a dishwasher new and shiny. But mine are 12 years old and kind of whiny!" No, she never had an automatic one. So, no need to unload!

Liked Prayer!
by: Matty

What a good idea to pray for people while doing it! Love it!

I do mine in the morning while I am brewing my coffee. I have to take meds an hour before I eat, so I do all my tidying in that hour and then I can sit down and read inspirational books / essays until breakfast!

by: Sudie O. Goodman

I like Cathy's way...pray as I put dishes away. Bible says, "Do everything as unto the Lord." Also, pray for a greater desire to do necessary work.

dishwasher exercise
by: Sandy

When unloading the dishwasher I bend and stretch and pull my abdominal muscles in with each bend down and stretch with each reach upwards to put dishes away. I'm pretty short so everything I go to my cabinets it's a stretch!!

Better than roses
by: Leron B

My husband knows it's a chore that I dislike. So every so often he'll unload it for me and it feels as if he's just brought me flowers! To open it expecting a chore and voila an empty dishwasher! Spoiled!!

Frustrated because of my arthritis
by: Anonymous

I too have much trouble doing this job. I have severe arthritis and cannot bend or lift heavy dishes. I also drop a lot. I would love helpful hints. I am doing 1/4 of it a day in 5 minute increments. Loading is so much easier!

To have it or not
by: Ruth Ann

I actually enjoyed emptying my dishwasher because it was a BIG job done so quickly. To get started all I had to do was stand in one place and sort and stack. Once started the job was the same as done. For now, I've elected NOT to have a dishwasher (just because all those unwashables seemed to only accumulate). I love washing dishes; but to start, all I need to do is run nice, warm sudsy water, and the job's the same as done.

by: Anonymous

My father in law used to sing a song when he did the dishes, I think he learned it in the army many years ago-"Washing Dishes, Washing Dishes, Seems like all I do is Washing Dishes." It is all I remember him singing, and he has been gone for a few years now.

by: Anonymous

I'm on a roller derby team and I often put on my skates before doing kitchen chores. It makes it more enjoyable, and involves lots of spins and side steps, plus dodges around the dogs. I'll empty the dishwasher, cook dinner (no knives!) and wash dishes all on skates! If I don't want to put on my skates I try to do little exercises, like low squats, tip toe work, wall push-ups, lunges etc. If my neighbors ever get a glimpse of me in the kitchen they'd think I'd lost my marbles!

off topic
by: Cindy Day

this is a chore I dread also! Thanks for the great ideas! I especially like #6. I am very grateful for my dishwasher.

I know this is off topic but I was wondering about the fun dishes in the first picture that are 6 different colors. Could you please tell me what kind of dishes they are. I have been looking for dishes that come in all different colors in one set like that. Thanks!

Beat the clock
by: Mary Ginn

In the morning I heat my coffee or tea for 1minute 45 seconds in the microwave. And I always indulge in two cups. I unload the top rack while the first cup heats and the bottom rack with the second. Got the job down to 3 and 1/2 minutes!

The dishwasher is like having a servant
by: Jessica

One day I said I wish I had a servant to do the dishes, then realized I did! The dishwasher is one of the "servants" we have in our home (along with the washer/dryer, indoor plumbing, etc.) and it's really helpful! Gratitude!

Tip we've found useful
by: Anonymous

We all hate unloading the dishwasher in my house. One thing we do to make it easier is to always take clean items from the dishwasher instead of the cabinets. When we do, we also grab similar items and put them away. For example, if I need a cup, I'll take a clean cup from the dishwasher and then put all the cups away. By the time I'm ready to load the dishwasher it will be half empty. Then it only takes a minute or two to put the last few things away before loading it.

dry before unloading
by: Anonymous

My mom used to take a dish towel and dry all those little puddles on the bottoms of the glasses all at once before she started unloading the top. Amazing how much easier this makes the job!

Every Day
by: Anonymous

Every day, full or not during holiday season especially. Totally made a difference for me this season with sink situation.

unload while cooking dinner
by: Melanie

I too hate this job. I have always wondered why since it is not a dirty job but there it is. I hate it. I unload my dishwasher while I am making dinner. While waiting for something to cook or come to a boil I put everything away.

timed myself
by: Anonymous

I used to hate it too, then I timed myself and realized it takes less than 3 minutes! That is so worth it to keep up! So after tracking myself for a few times I kinda enjoy doing it!

what works for me
by: Kristie H.

First of all, I load my dishwasher as I dirty the dishes, it's almost like it loads itself. There is just my daughter and I and she "hoards" her dirty dishes in her room (gross!!) and then dumps them in the sink, which drives me crazy so I end up loading because I really hate seeing a sink full of dirty dishes sitting beside an empty dishwasher. Have tried explaining it to her but I've discovered that it's a lesson she will learn at her own place and my sanity is better without the argument. I do not put all like silverware together as I have noticed issues when they nested together and didn't get clean. When the dishwasher is full I run it as I fall asleep at night because it has become "white noise" to me. In the morning while I am waiting for coffee to brew, I open up all my cupboards, silverware drawer, and put box that I keep sharp knives in on counter (down from top of fridge) - a remnant from when my granddaughter was little) then put the silverware basket from dishwasher onto counter as well and go to town and get everything laid up in about 5 minutes or less because except silverware, like things are stack together in dishwasher. Grab stack plates and all into cupboard, same with bowls, coffee cups and glasses. Then grab like silverware out of basket and put it in its place in drawer; sharp knives in wooden silverware box and back on fridge. They are dry from sitting in dishwasher air drying all night and I can do it on autopilot while coffee brews. When I am finally coherent for the day, it's something I can check off my list and I feel ahead of the game.

No coffee
by: Anonymous

No coffee until it's empty. I always run it at night.

Quickly, quickly
by: Shirley

I do the stacks on the counter thing too. But I don't group my silverware together like that. The spoons always nest together and don't get clean! :/

I fix my hot tea in the microwave and it takes 3 minutes so I try to see how much I can do before the microwave stops. :)

I also try to always run it at night so I can unload it first thing in the morning.

I trick myself into starting.
by: Cathryn

Sometimes I unstack while cooking dinner or while waiting for the kettle to boil and tell myself I'll just put a few things away. Once I actually start it takes no time and I usually finish it. I stack in an orderly fashion and my crockery lives in big drawers right beside the dishwasher so it goes straight from washer to drawer. Cutlery lies in top tray and I just have to grab a handful of knives and drop straight in the drawer then forks then spoons etc.

Great idea!
by: Jeanine

I loved the idea of steeping tea while unloading the dishwasher - planning to try that tomorrow!!!

Put on Some Music
by: Karen

I regularly play music when cleaning. Makes any task not so much of a drag. This goes double for unloading the dishwasher!

5 steps to tea and an empty dishwasher
by: Sweet n salty

1. Fill the kettle and put on to boil.
2. Empty bottom rack.
3. Kettle will have boiled, pour hot water onto tea leaves.
4. Empty top rack.
5. Pour cup of tea and enjoy! You've earned it!

Dishwasher Games
by: Anonymous

We don't use the dry feature on our dishwasher, so dishes sit overnight.

My morning routine is to get the coffee going, and while that is brewing (4 minutes or so), I empty the dishwasher. Silverware first, then the bottom rack. Plates go immediately into the nearby cabinet, followed by other items which I stack on the counter by location, since some cabinets cannot be opened at the same time as the dishwasher.

Then it's on to the second rack, wiping the tops of cups/containers that have collected water. Mugs get deposited onto the counter, small plates put away and small bowls, too.

Close the dishwasher, put away the items closest to it, then the mugs and I'm done. I usually beat the coffeemaker, and then have a nice cup of hot coffee waiting as my reward!

Pantry blocked by open dishwasher
by: Anonymous

My dishwasher racks/door block the pantry so I often slide a rack of clean dishes out. Then tell myself to just empty that one rack before pushing it back into the dishwasher before I get anything out of the pantry. I usually end up emptying everything out once I'm started.

a real pain
by: Anita

For those who find it painful, a mechanic's stool is great. The stool rolls where you need it and has height adjustment. Take out a stack, roll over to where they go, set on counter. When all dishes are unloaded, stand up and put stacked dishes away.

First world problem
by: Nancy

As my friend always says: sounds like a First World Problem. (As opposed to a Third World Problem.) But I agree. That is the job I hate the most.

Make a cup of tea
by: Anonymous

I time myself. Can I get the dishwasher unloaded before the kettle whistles? My reward is a nice cup of tea.

I don't have a problem with this
by: Mary Jo

I have "OCD"! Well not really, but I have no problem emptying mine because I HATE seeing dirty dishes in the sink. As soon as I see something it goes in can't do that if there are clean dishes in it!!

Every morning
by: Missy

I empty mine every morning after I have started my coffee pot. By the time the coffee is done the dishes are put away and any dirty ones reloaded. The hard part for me is getting my husband to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher!!

by: Anonymous

I load and kids unload. If I have to tell her to unload more than twice, then she has to reload it too.

I hate to empty my dishwasher too...
by: Tana

Well I hate to empty my dishwasher. What helps me is to group like items together (which used to surprise my husband as I am not the type of an organised girl) and I empty it just before breakfast.

Thank you for these ideas, Taylor, I think I'll do some other of your tricks to see if it can help!

Don't mind this chore
by: Anonymous

I actually don't mind using the dishwasher. I didn't have one for over 20 years when we lived in an older house. I'm just happy to have one to unload now. I think the fact that I'm so happy to have it now makes me enjoy the chore.

I use several of the strategies mentioned. I load it in a way that makes it easy to unload, have made it a routine that I take care of daily, and empty it as soon as it is ready to be emptied.

It takes less than 5 minutes!
by: Anonymous

My kids constantly complain about unloading the dishwasher (which they are supposed to take turns doing) so one day I timed myself doing it. It took me 3 and a half minutes! So now I tell them it's ridiculous to not do a simple chore that takes such a short time (and makes mom so happy!) Now I just have to get them to put their dishes into the dishwasher when it is empty!!!

Let the retired man do it!!
by: Rebekah Cornelison

I wondered if anyone was going to suggest that someone else do the job!! My husband is retired and do most days that is a chore that I can get him to do while I go to work so that it is done when I get home!!

coffee is my reward
by: Judy

I unload my dishwasher second thing in the morning, right after I make coffee. By the time the coffee is done and I pour a cup, the dishwasher is unloaded and clean dishes put away. REWARD = fresh, hot cup of coffee :)

my routine
by: MaryKay

I like steel cut oats for breakfast and I don't care for them to be reheated. That means making them each morning. I start the water, then the coffee, add the oats as soon as it is boiling. As I wait for the water to boil, or for the oatmeal to cook I stay busy or it seems to take forever. I fix hubby his eggs, unload the dishwasher, clear the sink (load into dishwasher), pick up hubby's dishes, rinse, and add to the dishwasher. Check to see if oatmeal is ready. Pour coffee, take it and the oatmeal to the table, grab some fruit, relax and enjoy knowing I have already finished 4 tasks. Hubby's breakfast, emptying the dishwasher, cleaning the sink, and fixing the most important meal of the day, my breakfast. Sometimes I have time to wipe the counters down too.

Before I go to bed
by: Therese

I made it a habit to empty it right before I go to bed. That way no kids interrupt me 😊 I also set the table for breakfast at the same time. This gives me extra time in the morning and I can quickly clean breakfast up.

quick unloading of dishwasher
by: Lori

3 years ago we remodeled the kitchen. An island is directly across from the dishwasher and the drawers in the island are for the dishes. I planned it this way so that I can reach the dishes in the dishwasher and put them into the drawers without having to any steps. This was planned this way on purpose to make the unloading stage that much easier in the years to come.

Coffee time
by: Liz

I do it in the morning while my coffee brews. When the coffee is done, the dishes are put away.

the dreaded emptying of the dishwasher!
by: Rosemary

I run my dishwasher at night before I head to bed. Empty it first thing in the morning while the coffee is brewing. Works for me!

I timed it
by: Betsy

I hate, hate unloading and emptying the dishwasher! Then I timed the job a couple of of times and each time it took less than 4 minutes. It is not problem.

Kitchen cleaning motivation
by: Erin

I see how fast I can unload the dishwasher. It really only takes a few minutes and just knowing that gives me the motivation to get it done first thing in the morning. Then at night I give myself a sticker (on my calendar) if I go to bed with a clean kitchen; counters wiped down, sink empty and dishwasher ready to run (if it's full).

how can I get others to empty the dishwasher beside myself?
by: Terri

I have 5 adults living in my house. Nobody will empty the dishwasher but me! They would rather just put the dirty dishes in the sink. I even have a magnet that tells if the dishes are clean or dirty! How do I get anyone to empty the dishwasher except me all the time?!

No longer procrastinating 7pm to 7am
by: Anonymous

California is in a drought and our state has asked us to run the dishwashers and washing machines after 7 pm. I have set a time before bed to clean up my kitchen and run the dishwasher just before bedtime, then when I get up in the morning I clean it out while I am waiting for my coffee pot. It takes about the same time and laundry is set up to run early morning before 7 am, then I can fold it as it comes out of the machine.

unloading the dishwasher
by: Edith

There are just the 2 of us, my retired son and myself and we are pretty laid back about the house work. I cook and he does the dishes. During the day dirty dishes go into the dishwasher and after supper he loads the dinner dishes and runs the washer. In the morning while the coffee brews I unload onto a tray on the counter. When he gets up he takes the tray to the dish cupboard and puts them away. Unfortunately this kitchen was designed by a 6 foot 6 inch tall bachelor who never set foot in a kitchen but heard that every home has one so put one in.

My Grandson made it a joy!!! :)
by: Lucinda

I never really dreaded unloading a dishwasher because I despise dirty dishes in the sink. Anything I can do to prevent that is NO problem! :) Everyone loads their own dirty dishes in when finished = no work or mess. BUT then my Grandson made it a joy!! He helped Grandma ma unload (faster than I could go to put) He took such pride in being a big helper. His joy spread to me! :) He just turned 4 and still loves helping. He was barely walking when he started helping. He is so pleased he can reach the silverware drawer by himself now!!!! (I had to put the silverware divider down low in a chair for him to reach before. When he isn't here, I can't unload it without thinking of him....so pure joy!!! :) My Granny Nona would not allow us to help her hand wash dishes on Sundays as she got older, she would always say she loved Mondays because she would think about our visit as she washed each dish!

Dirty dish hater.
by: Anonymous

Load it with all the same kind of dishes together, just grab the handful and open the cupboard. I often do this while waiting for my first cup of coffee to brew. Takes two minutes, and my coffee is ready at the same time.

Why have a dishwasher, if your still going to have dirty dishes sitting around?

by: Reenie

I'm surprised that no one thought of this one...

I am a serious procrastinator so I need something to motivate me. If I know company is coming I want my kitchen to be clean. We don't have company every day, thank goodness, so I find it helpful to pretend that someone is on the way. I also remind myself that someone could drop in unannounced. I know it's silly, but it works for me.

I finally get it.
by: Mary

For years, I dealt with the "are the dishes in the DW clean or dirty?" question. Then one day it occurred to me that if I ran it every night, whether full or not, and emptied it every morning whether I wanted to or not, everyone would always know the answer to the clean or dirty question, stack their dirty dishes in the DW, help with the hand-washing, and the kitchen would look a lot better all of the time. So many pro's and the only con is just doing it. Easy decision!

Unloading dishwasher
by: Liz

I unload the dishwasher while my coffee brews in the morning. In the time it takes to unload, my coffee is done and I have my reward!

Unloading - ugh!
by: Robin

This was my chore when I was a kid, and I hated it then - still hate it now. I used to assign it to MY kids, but now they are all grown and only one very busy recent college grad remains. If I can't bully or bribe someone to do it for me, I just grit my teeth and dive in. My daughter taught me to open all cabinet doors before I start, and that helps. I also group like items in the dishwasher, so I can grab a stack and put them into the cabinet, then close all doors when finished. The silverware basket is removable, so I take the whole thing with me to set on the counter by the drawer. It goes pretty fast, but I still hate it!

Quick game!
by: Lisa K.

I find we often put off doing chores because we think it's going to take a lot of time. I set a timer and then race to get the chore done before the timer goes off! I can empty the dishwasher now in about three minutes!!!

tea time
by: Anonymous

I do that too put the kettle on and unload. Usually done before the water boils.

My Brother Loads - I Unload
by: Stephanie

My brother who lives with me is a master at loading the dishwasher. Utilizes every bare spot in it. He's challenged just by seeing how much he can get in there. Can't argue with the results because it all comes out clean. I prefer to unload it because thanks to this forum my kitchen is better organized - and he sometimes will stick stuff anywhere. At least if I do it I can find everything in its place.

by: Anonymous

I unload the dishwasher during the 3-5 minute intervals of "waiting" for something to simmer, boil, reduce, soften, brown, etc. during cooking. I have to be in the kitchen watching it what's cooking anyway, but if the directions are to "stir occasionally" then guess what I'm doing between stirs? This way, the dishwasher is empty before or by the time the meal is cooked, and I can begin re-loading it as I clean up. And yes, I use a combination of the above strategies as well.

Use light weight dishes
by: llbrat

When I finally realized that my procrastinating on unloading the dishwasher was leading to bigger problems in the kitchen I committed to unloading while the dishes were still hot. I also discovered the wonder that is plain white Corelle dishes. They air dry quickly and I can stack every one into a single armload to the cabinet. Life changing. My DIL lived with us a few months between houses and when she got her own place she immediately replaced her hand-me-down stoneware with Corelle.

Empying Dishwasher
by: Lynette

I agree with Strategy 6, just be thankful you have a dishwasher. My biggest hate is washing dishes, if only I could stack and unstack a dishwasher.

Kitchen organization
by: Elaine

The trick is having your kitchen cabinets organized (if possible) the right way. I can stand in one place and put all of my dishes, glasses, and silverware away with out moving. It's pretty slick.

Make it a timed game
by: Janine

My daughter and I split the load on each side of the dishwasher and try to beat our previous time. I hate having to walk around the dishwasher and get silly bruises on my shins!!
She takes left side. I take right side.
We get it done in about 2 minutes flat.
Pretty impressive. I feel good after. That works for me.

Kids chores
by: Cindy

This is a perfect chore for my 7, 9 and 10 year olds. They unload, put away what they're capable of, and leave the rest on the counter for me. I don't even have to bend over!

for those where unloading is painful...
by: Anonymous

...have your dishwasher built in at a higher level. We did this, so far, only with our washing machine (in basement, on a self-built shelf with stones and concrete). The bins to collect and sort the laundry are underneath.
We have not yet "lifted" the dishwasher as we live with an older kitchen, but once we get older ourselves, we certainly will do that. There are ready-made "stations" (legs with a top basically) to be had for fridges (in Germany, that is) - they should do and include a drawer. I'd put a drawer with cleaning stuff underneath - for the dishwasher + anything else in the kitchen like bags for trash, zip lock bags etc. Pet food or a feeding station for dogs would also fit underneath. Depending on what you put in, consider a lock for small kids.

No one empties it
by: Sare Bea

No one in my house will empty dishwasher. Kids leave it clean and full or don't put it on, and pile dirty other dishes in sink :(

Power of prayer
by: Trisha

I pray alright. I pray that if I wait long enough, my husband will empty the dishwasher! Take out a few big things and pretend you started doing it but got interrupted.

by: Jane

As I read through this I thought of how lucky we are that we have dishwashers.

When I was young, I hated doing dishes so much that I hid them in a cupboard until there were no more dishes to use. All that extra work just to avoid an unpleasant task that eventually had to be done.

Now I have a dishwasher. When I see those clean and sparkling dishes and glasses it is a pleasure to put them away.

I turn the machine on at night when power is cheaper where I live. In the morning I put the coffee on and while it brews, I unload and situate the contents where they belong.

I don't apologize if this sounds preachy. There are actually people who neither have dishwashers, nor electricity, nor dishes, nor food.

Try concentrating not on what you see as an unpleasant task and try to be thankful you have food, plates to put it on and electricity for the work-saving appliances you are struggling to declutter right now.

by: Sherry

My Grandma didn't have running water, electric, or indoor plumbing. We heated water during the meal and used two dish pans, one for rinsing and we dried and put away as they were washed. I am thankful for the convenience of modern appliances. (I don't like unloading it either because when they were clean that was the end of the job).

Husband “help”
by: Jill

I try to load this way, but my husband will randomly load things and puts them every which way. I can’t discourage him from "helping" so this doesn’t work for me. 😏

This is very Timely
by: Anonymous

Thanks for all the great hints on the motivation to unload the dishwasher. I especially like the do it during commercials, and saying a prayer for someone. The grouping like items is great. It is a very repetitive task and it will never go away but it feels so good when it is done.

by: Slinky

For every hour long TV show there are about 15 minutes worth of commercials. I use the commercials to empty my dishwasher. Usually it gets done during that time. If not, I continue with the next program. For me, it works like a charm.

Unloading Dish Washer
by: Peggy

All I have to do is remember the days prior to getting my dishwasher. A simple reminder of this goes a long way.

I love and appreciate my dishwasher too much to have these types of problems.

Sure beats washing and drying them by hand.

A chore that is an accomplishment
by: Anonymous

I like to empty the dishwasher, it makes me feel like I have really accomplished something. The dishwasher is empty! I like that feeling. Not like loading it, a few dishes here and there over a few days (just 2 of us and the cats) so it feels like it will never be ready to run.

Counter first
by: Melodee

I do like one reader posted, silverware, bottom, then top rack. My dishwasher will not dry anything so I always have to set them out on my drying pad just like I hand washed them. Once dry then I put away.

by: Ruth

I always run it at 9:00 p.m., and unload it while I am waiting on my morning coffee to brew. I group like items so I can grab a stack and put them in their spot in the cabinets. I have a small kitchen (and live alone), so not as challenging a task.

by: Susan

Try hand washing 3 times a day for 30 years ... I LOVE unloading my dishwasher!

Routine makes it easy
by: Christine

I grew up hand washing dishes. And I wash pots and pans as I go. I never put large items like mixing bowls in the dishwasher when I can wash them by hand in 10 sec. I am pretty much the only one who handles the dishwasher so items go where I want. I have a design for each rack in my head so all dinner plates are together and facing the same way, same with the smaller plates, mugs and cups in the top rack etc. so then I run it at night after supper and empty it the next morning while having my morning tea. Dish cupboard is right near the dishwasher so no steps involved.

The Race is On!
by: Suzie

A friend relayed this method. When the cycle is finished, she announces it to the 3 children who share the chore. She says then stand back as the race is on! The first to arrive gets to choose which to unload 1) Silverware 2) Dishes 3) Plastic items from the top rack. Since no one ever wants to unload the plasticware as that involves hand-drying, there's always a rush to the dishwasher following her announcement.

Yes, Thank God you have a Dishwasher
by: Dpopcorn

I too hate to unload the dishwasher but it is really a gratifying thing to do. I live alone but it is so much easier to unload when you have put things in some kind of order. I take all like kinds of dishes out together in one feld swoop. I mean bowls together, plates together etc. They are put in the dishwasher in mostly the same order. I love the TV commercial comment YES! Good article thank you.

Shake Out Dishes Before Drying Cycle
by: Laura

Our pet peeve is all the dishes that collect water, and are still dripping wet after the drying cycle - it's a real mental block! What we do is set a timer for when we know the dry cycle will start, then we grab a paper towel and mop off the tops of coffee cups (the paper towel wrings out in the sink well enough that we only need one of them), then we quickly 'shake out' the plastics and lids & throw them back in for the drying cycle to finish them off. Since no water will hit them, it doesn't matter where they go - we just throw them in any way that's convenient. We've timed it, and it only takes about 2 minutes max. No more drippy dishes to dry later!

Trick to unloading the dishwasher
by: Jennie

I also dislike unloading the dishwasher. I unload it while my coffee is percolating. I find it takes about the same amount of time. By the time the dishwasher is unloaded, my coffee is ready. With an unloaded dishwasher, my husband and I try very hard to put dirty dishes in throughout the day as we use them. It’s nice to get to dinner time and not have a messy kitchen to try to cook dinner.

Tote those pans
by: Anonymous

I keep a clean plastic tub in the sink and fill it up with the cleaned items that are stored in cabinets across the kitchen then carry the tub to the other side of the room and put them away. I also carry the silverware basket over to the silverware drawer to empty.

Unloading my dishwasher
by: Anonymous

I don't understand putting everything on the counter, and then move the stack to where they belong. I unload with a touch it once philosophy.
I unload the bottom rack first because I never know if something is going to drip from the plastics in the top. I stack all the cereal bowls, then the soup bowl go in them and put them in the cupboard. That leaves the luncheon and dinner plates and any small plates that may not have fit in the top. We usually don't have any mixing bowls in it since I do those with the pots and cooking utensils by hand so that finishes the bottom except for the silverware. I don't like to put all one kind in a section because if they end up together, you can end up with some not getting clean because I put them in handle up so I don't have to touch them when I take them out and I don't use the spoon slots. So, I dump the whole container on a towel above the silverware drawer because sometimes they are still wet then put them away. On the top, I stack the small plates and bowls and put them away along with any mugs.The glasses go in the cabinet above the dish washer and any plastics I put in the dish drainer after shaking them off to dry. Since I usually wash my pots, pans and cooking utensils by hand, that usually empties it.

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