I'll admit it. I'm not a super neat person. It's not that I'm a slob but I can definitely handle a little more disarray than most people. But no matter what, when I go to bed at night I know one thing for sure will never greet me in the morning: a pile of dirty dishes. That's because over the years I've learned to make doing the dishes as pleasurable as possible. My current method has just two elements: really nice dish soap and a favorite podcast. Since I don't have a dishwasher, doing the washing up is a daily fact of life. So long ago I decided that to the extent that I can, I would make this as fun as possible. First, I splurge a little and buy fancy dish soap like Mrs. Meyer's or Caldrea. It's only a dollar or two more than the awful smelling stuff (well, Caldrea is maybe a lot more but I watch for sales) and for some reason it makes the world of difference to me. Worth every penny.
Sometimes I use washing up as my quiet time, to reflect and consider and let my thoughts wander. But usually you'll find me with my earphones on, listening to a favorite podcast. I'm often surprised at how quickly the time goes and sometimes I'll even take on a mini cleaning project just so I can keep listening.
Recommended Dish Soaps:
Mrs. Meyer's in Basil, Geranium or Iowa Pine (seasonal)
Caldrea in Sea Salt Neroli or Basil Blue Sage
Method in Cucumber
Dinner Party Download
Slate Daily Podcasts
The Splendid Table
This American Life
Related: What's the Kitchen Indulgence You Just Can't Give Up?
(Images: Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day and This American Life)