Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The dishwasher is huge problem in our house. It works great, but for some reason we produce so many dishes and cups and glasses and utensils that running it once a day just doesn't cut it.

As I've never really had this problem before, I think it has something to do with the fact that we don't have garbage disposals here so when a meal is finished the trash can has to have enough room in it for any waste. If not, the trash has to go out first. If the kids are around, that may have to wait until I can safely take the bag to the chute. (I'm still not that excited about leaving my kids alone in the apartment even for the two minutes it would take to do this job. I'm panicky that way.)

Anyway, the bottom line is I always have a massive stack of plates, etc, waiting to be washed. I feel like I load and unload the dishwasher at least twice a day and still have plates to clean.

A few weeks ago I was talking to another mother (of 3, including twins) who happens to have an immaculate house. It is truly perfect! She was telling me that her oldest daughter is responsible for taking care of the dishes after dinner and that, to make this job easier for her, they routinely use paper plates.

I have to admit I was shocked. What about the environment? What about manners? What about simple common decency? I'm from a "proper plates" kind of family. This was not an easy idea to absorb.

Turns out I'm a snob when it comes to plates. I think my husband already knew that, but I wasn't ready to admit it. If I bring home take-out, mine has to go on a plate. I will not eat it out of the container. My husband, on the other hand, has no qualms.

Well, to make a short story even longer, the past few months have been especially hard with our hefty work schedules and taking care of the kids. My household management has hit an all time low and I was desperate for anything that would help me catch-up.

That's when I recalled my friend's method of plate management. So I decided to "suck it up" and give it a try. We bought a stack of disposable plates and bowls. I ran the dishwasher endlessly for an entire day to clean out the pile and start fresh. Then I started using the disposables for breakfasts, lunches, and generally (but not always) for dinner.

Amazingly enough, we are finally on top of the plates problem. It pretty much instantly has gone away and I've been able to turn my attention to more pressing matters, the living room and the general mess piling up on all available surfaces.

I don't foresee using paper plates forever. I just can't. I like the formality of putting a meal that I made on "nice" plates. However, giving myself a break from my own rigidity has really been a breath of fresh air.

Down with plates! Up with people!


Anna said...

Plates? My God, you ARE a snob! I just let mine eat off the floor. But I do have a laundry problem. What are your thoughts on disposable clothes?

Lauren said...

Down with plates!


Get a free hit counter here.