This Ingenious Dinner-Party Trick Makes Cleanup a Breeze

published Sep 23, 2022
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One of the wonderful things about moving somewhere new is the people you get to meet and, along with that, the exposure to so many new ways of doing things. It’s a learning experience, objectively and subjectively, and I’m so grateful for all the stretching and growing that our move has brought on. 

Recently, I was at a youth group event at the home of some new friends. Our friends hosted about 18 people, some popping in and out for a quick visit, and some who stayed from before everyone else arrived to make dessert, through dinner, and until well after dessert was eaten. As moms who host a bunch of teens do, my friend and I bustled around in the kitchen getting food ready and then cleaning up afterward. The kitchen wasn’t large, and I was new to helping in it, so I was particularly alert. One thing, in particular, caught my eye. 

On one countertop sat an open plastic shoebox full of soapy water and amassing a small collection of utensils. It was a paper plate night, but we were still using silverware — forks for salad and spoons for our desserts. There were serving utensils too.

Putting used silverware in the bin to soak meant that the sink stayed clear for other important jobs. Additionally, nothing was drying on the silverware — no stuck foods! — while we talked with people instead of doing dishes all night. This meant cleanup, when we finally got to it, was a breeze! 

It’s amazing to me that things that are done in another context, like bus bins in restaurants, don’t even occur to me in a different setting, like my own home. But seeing others who break the mold with super smart tricks born of necessity or sheer smarts expands my sometimes myopic ways of doing things. 

Community is so crucial, even when it comes to being exposed to unexpected ways of doing things. You can bet I’m going to have a sudsy bin next time I have a bunch of people over or if I can’t get to the dishes right away!

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: I Discovered This Genius Little Dinner Party Trick That Makes Cleanup a Breeze