The Single Best Thing You Can Do to Minimize the Number of Dishes You Have to Wash

published Feb 6, 2018
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Who wants to spend less time doing the dishes? What’s that? All of us? There’s no need to overthink it. Sometimes the answer is simply to create fewer dishes in the first place. But how? Try this simple tip.

One person gets one drinking vessel a day. Period. None of this one cup for water in the morning, another one for iced tea in the afternoon, another one for more water later. Just rinse the glass between uses and keep it with you all day.

My wise, working mother employed this strategy during my childhood and it was so gospel in my home that I didn’t really think of it as a “trick,” until we got to talking about things you can do without at home and I read this comment by purpleshoes0.

“As far as things I can do without, I’m a big fan of the one-bowl-and-mug-per-resident model — but it requires buy-in from all residents, or one person will wind up leaving them all some mysterious Somewhere in the house and no one else will have mugs. And for some reason, I can hand-wash the same coffee mug and oatmeal bowl every time I need it, but no matter what I try I go through five water glasses in a day.”

The key here is to own lots of distinctive cups so every family member (and guest) can easily ID his or her own. Maybe you always use the purple cup and your spouse uses a blue one. If you only have one type of cup — all matching glass ones, for example — code them with different pieces of washi tape and a marker if need be. (Bonus: This is also an easy way to figure out who left rings on the coffee table!)

Give it a try; the only thing you have to lose is time spent washing dishes.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it here: The Easiest Way to Do Fewer Dishes