I recently blogged about my love for laundry, how it feeds my deep-seated compulsion for order and organization, how much I enjoy converting a smelly disorganized hamper-full of dirty clothes into fragrant, neatly folded piles. A few of you called me weird. I get it, that’s cool. But it also sparked a lot of empathy and discussion among readers.
And so this brings me to the topic of loading the dishwasher, another contentious topic methinks, especially among married couples. Raise your hand, readers, if you reload the dishwasher after your spouse does. My hand is raised. The Boston Globe even wrote about the marital strife that the dishwasher causes.
Bottom-line, I have a system and it works.
On the top deck:
- cups and mugs on one side, handles all facing the same direction
- big drinking glasses on the other side
- kids drinking glasses in one row
- bowls, lunch boxes and other random plastic items in the middle – but arranged to make optimal use of space
On the bottom deck:
- plates of the same size, stacked all in the same direction
- silverware sorted by type
- bowls, dishes, lids, other utensils around them - but arranged to make optimal use of space
This, my friends, is not rocket science. Note the phrase “optimal use of space.” For the life of me, I cannot understand why some people throw everything haphazardly? There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. And while I’m pointing the finger mostly at you, men of the world, the fact is that I also know of some women who are dishwasher-challenged. (You really must check out this funny card on the topic!)
But let’s get back to the enjoyment factor. When the sink is full and the counter is littered with the detritus of dinner, I get deep pleasure from opening the empty dishwasher, assessing the mess and then methodically organizing and loading. It is always a titillating challenge to try to fit as much as humanly possible into the machine, while not overloading it and rendering the cleaning ineffective.
Equally pleasing, though at first mighty annoying, is opening the dishwasher to find that a certain someone has already filled it, kind of. After an initial sigh, the process of reorganizing and reloading ensues and, lo and behold, another 50 percent more stuff can fit in there. And, because there is organization, the unloading and putting away process is equally efficient.
Call me OCD, call me a control freak. And I reassure you I am NO domestic diva. But I have this strong inkling that you get my drift, am I right?
Several months back, I wrote about the importance of teaching your kids resourcefulness (so that ultimately you can get them to do stuff for you.) My goal is to teach my son how to load the dishwasher efficiently. If I do it right, then not only will I have to load the dishwasher less but I’ll be setting him up for future household (and marital) bliss!
Samantha McGarry is a working Mom, juggling career, family and her household one crazy day at a time - with a smile on her face. You can find more of her blogs over at Keeping the Glass Half Full.