Minimal Dishes

Our dishwasher sometimes won’t turn on. It’s not even that old. We actually moved it from our old house when we moved last year because we liked the way it looked compared to the perfectly functional one that came with our new place. Even in the old house, it sometimes wouldn’t turn on. We have turn off the breaker to it for an indeterminate amount of time, and hopefully, it will work when we flip the breaker back on. Hopefully.

Recently, the dishwasher was dying mid-cycle. This started me thinking about having to replace it. Of course any old dishwasher won’t do. If we replace it, we need the expensive one that matches our new stove. Or do we?

Maybe we don’t need a dishwasher at all.

When I was reading about Ryan Nicodemus’ 21 day minimalism journey, he mentioned only unpacking the dishes he needed. He noted the dishwasher takes an hour to wash a load, or if he washes his own dishes right away, it takes about five minutes. That got me thinking.

As it turns out I have four dishwashers, and my dishwashers have names – Marcus, Theresa, John, and Jesse.

My dishwasher (the mechanical one) actually takes 3 hours to wash a load. Many times there will be a load washing, and a sink full of dishes waiting to be washed. It will be time to eat and we will have no dishes. Worse, we often live out of the dishwasher rather than put our dishes away. This causes our kitchen to be extremely untidy.

As such, I decided to do an experiment. I implored my family to discontinue use of the dishwasher for the forseeable future, and instead we will wash our vessels and utensils immediately after we use them.

While I was at it, I put away everything except what gets used regularly – microwave, coffee maker, toaster. Everything else had a home in a cabinet somewhere. I also organized the dishes and cookware. Since while were moving, we were also renovating, all the kitchen items that are in the kitchen are ones we actually use. I made sure everything has a place, and I made sure I showed everyone where everything goes.

Thus far, our new method for dealing with dishes has improved things drastically. Granted, I’m not as “busy” as my wife or kids, so I often end up dealing with the dishes. However, dealing with them in small chunks is a hell of a lot easier than dealing with loading and unloading a gigantic load from the dishwasher. Plus, it is supremely gratifying to have a space in my home that is minimal and beautiful!

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