When beginning to organize your home and life, The One Minute Organizer says to begin by dealing with “today’s mess,” i.e., today’s dishes, today’s laundry, and today’s mail. But what constitutes “today’s dishes” if you don’t run the dishwasher every day? I suppose it means putting today’s dirty dishes in the dishwasher and washing by hand those items that shouldn’t go in the dishwasher, like crystal and knives. Of course, this means you have to empty the dishwasher promptly.
I’m reasonably good about loading the dishwasher, and only slightly less reasonably good at emptying it. It’s the hand washing that stymies me.
When I emptied the dishwasher, the dishes were clean, but I noticed water standing in the bottom. Obviously there’s a clog somewhere in the drain. If it’s reachable by hand, I couldn’t find it. But then, I’m not really sure what I’m looking for.
So it was a good day to tackle “today’s dishes,” which included today’s dishes, yesterday’s dishes, the day before’s dishes… you get the idea. Looking on the positive side, the term “today’s dishes” is now well defined. The bonus is having clean crystal in which to drink this evening’s wine.
My short-term dilemma resolved, now I must decide what to do long-term. Do I call the repairman or bite the bullet and get new appliances? The dishwasher is several years old, but I like it. If necessary, I could just buy a new dishwasher, but since I’m planning to remodel the kitchen, I’m not sure updating just one appliance is worth it. Both the refrigerator and stove are ancient (original to the aging home) and in sore need of updating. But I’m not yet ready to do the full remodel. The one time I watched The Nate Berkus Show, he recommended (to an audience member on a budget) to buy new appliances first, then save up for the rest of the remodel.
What should I do? I’m terrible at making decisions.
One of the problems of people with messy homes is we get overwhelmed. Where do we start? What should we work on? That’s one reason FlyLady is so helpful. She tells you where to start. (It’s the kitchen sink.)
For the past several weeks I’ve been very sluggish in body and complacent in mind. It’s a vicious cycle. Physical clutter leads to mental clutter.
Once in awhile I’ll get motivated in the kitchen to load and run the dishwasher. But I tend not to empty it right away. Dishes pile up in the sink, spill over onto the counters.
Combine that with an elderly, hyper-thyroid cat who’s a messy eater. The vet said “Give her anything she wants to eat.” She’s always hungry, but routinely turns up her nose at whatever I give her. Exceptionally frustrating is the fact that she sometimes refuses food she’s liked in the past. I end up with two or three opened cans, several bowls of unfinished food, and a very messy eating area. (The picture was taken a few years ago, but she’s now 19 years old—that’s 93 in people years.)
I finally had enough! I spent today cleaning the kitchen. I emptied the dishwasher, filled it up and ran it again (and emptied it shortly thereafter), washed the pots and pans by hand, cleaned the counters and floor, and finished the day by cleaning out the kitty water fountain. There’s still clutter to clear out, but that wasn’t on today’s agenda.
In looking over the not quite spotless kitchen (FlyLady says housework done imperfectly still blesses me), I wondered how to keep the kitchen manageable so I can focus on other areas of the house. I had a moment of clarity, stimulated, I’m sure, by the orderly kitchen—a new morning routine. Every morning I shall empty the dishwasher (if it’s been run, since I don’t need to run it every day); fill the pets’ dry food bowls, and give them fresh water. I know it sounds minimal, but when you’ve been doing nothing for weeks, minimal is an improvement.