On Leaving the Dirty Dishes Until the Next Morning

We know that, to some of you, the thought of waking up to a kitchen full of sticky, crusty dishes is worse than any hangover. And usually we agree. We like to clean up as we cook, as much as possible, and have all the dishes finished before we go to bed. But. There are also times when turning out the lights on the countertop chaos and leaving everything until morning holds a certain luxury...

Too often we miss out on savoring a meal because we're thinking ahead to the clean-up waiting for us. On weeknights especially, the hours between the end of the workday and bedtime are a precious few—and occasionally (not always) it's nice to eat dessert, snuggle with a loved one, or read a magazine instead of washing dishes and wiping down countertops. We simply set our alarm a few minutes earlier and clean up the next day.

One tip: We do try to run hot water in extra crusty pans, to soften the mess overnight. We always splash a bit of water in the bottom of red wine glasses, and we try to at least put up leftovers so they don't spoil. But overall we've found that rarely is the clean-up job any harder the next morning.

We know this idea may gross some of you out. And trust us, we're neat freaks, but there's freedom in letting the dishes sit and taking a breather every once in a while. There's no harm in trying it.

What are your thoughts on the morning-after dishes?

Related: Cleaning Up: What Do You NOT Put in the Dishwasher?

(Image: Flickr member Patrick_coe, licensed under Creative Commons)