6 Strategies To Motivate Yourself To Empty The Dishwasher
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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.
I hope you enjoy this gift, and stop by again soon!
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