About 3 years ago we decided to stop using a dishwasher and instead to do the dishes by hand. Its taken me a loooo-ng time to get into the habit and not get wayyyy behind with the dishes. I have a separate counter space for the dirty dishes which is good and bad as it can be a temptation to leave them there.
What works great is if I do dishes 3 times per day – quick and easy, after each meal, children helping – quick and its done.
It also helps if I rinse out dirty pots and pans immediately away so that they are easy to wash. If I leave them for “later”, they can easily stay dirty for a day or two. I still struggle with big items that I have rinsed but not given the final wash – sometimes easy to forget those till tomorrow.
We have two drainable drying racks and like to leave the dishes to air-dry so there is a limit to how much we can wash at once. Again 3 times away works great – smaller loads.
We want our children to grow up knowing that cleanliness and good food takes hard work- and its a blessing if we work as a team. We want them to enjoy the fellowship and fullfilment of it all. I want my girls to love their roles as homemakers and be equipped to stay on top of things. My older son’s job is to clear the table after each meal – quick transfer to the kitchen counter where I scrape, stack and rinse, then wash. My two daughters sweep under the table (our 2 year loves this and our 7 year old happily sweeps up after her 🙂 Our 3yo boy pushes the chairs back in and then entertains everyone. My older daughter also empties the drying rack in the mornings. Dad fills in all the gaps – we make a great team!
I love washing the dishes – it makes me reflective and is even a bit therapeutic – calms my thoughts. I think and pray about the children and my attitude and even though its usually a rush to do the dishes – its wonderful when they are done! I am very thankful that we do not have a dishwasher (or even place for one if we wanted to change our minds 🙂
“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” Deuteronomy 7 v 9