Today’s post is by my first guest blogger on Behind Closed Drawers … none other than my favorite geek in the whole wide world: my husband.
Daniel is self-employed as a business and computer analyst/programmer who customizes database solutions for his clients. He is also what I like to call an “ethical hacker,” in other words, he can test your system’s innards to hunt out the weak spots and then help you fix them. His analytical style of thinking means he constantly pokes and probes to see how he can make a system–any system, not just computer a system–better.
So, it is not surprising that his personal methodical approach to doing our dishes and keeping our kitchen sink clean is a life hack that has actually improved our process quite a bit. I’ve been very pleased with the result, and I’m proud of him for being such a shining example of husbandly helpfulness.
Today is guest blogger day, so I’m responding to my lovely wife’s request that I write about my thought processes for how we currently do dishes. I have to admit, it has been a problem of ridiculous proportions because I am, like most people, a selfish, lazy, unmotivated person. However, I am a hacker, and I love to tweak processes until they work for me; so here we go!
Doing Dishes: A How To
1. Stacking dishes in the sink is both unhelpful and counterintuitive.
It’s easy to think, “if I put the dishes in the sink to stack up, I’ll eventually have to wash them.” While this may be true, the logic falls flat when you actually have to wash them. Have you ever tried rinsing a dish when you can’t fit it under the faucet? Yeah, it’s difficult. So, what do I recommend instead? Clean them up immediately after use. Too extreme? Instead, do exactly what your mother told you never to do–leave them where they are, or stack them neatly to the side. They still pile up, but you can fit them under the sink later. The idea is to annoy yourself into action without sabotaging your ability to follow through.
2. The dishwasher is your friend. Use it and empty it.
The dishwasher is a powerful ally in your fight against dirty dishes. It both offers power rinsing expertise and offloads the immediacy of needing to (fully) wash the dishes by hand. So, as you rinse dishes, put them in the dishwasher as a holding zone for further washing. Granted, most people do this. However, some never empty it immediately when it’s finished and fall into the temptation to leave it for later. Don’t fall into this trap! This is important for one reason and one reason alone: your future self is lazier and less productive than the current you.
If you want to hack the future, you need to make it easy for your tired, run-down, distracted, and potentially vapid future self to accomplish a task. I know this, because I’ve often fallen into trap one because I completely ignored trap two. Everything is a chain reaction.
3. Keep the proper tools on-hand.
Have you ever ruined a dish so badly that it needs scraping to fix? What do you do with it? “Oh, I’ll just let it soak,” is the usual response. Now, how often has “letting it soak” ACTUALLY removed the gunk in question? Twenty percent of the time is probably a fairly conservative estimate. This is especially true if you burned it. If you murdered your pot, scrape it under hot water shortly after death. In order to do this, you’ll need to buy a plastic pan or bowl scraper. Go to Walmart/Target or shop online and get something cheap from the kitchen gadgets aisle (you’ll go through these quickly–some will just wear out, but others will fall victim to the garbage disposal.) You may resurrect your pot and save yourself a lot of looks. I.e. “Honey, didn’t we use that pot LAST week? Why is it still sitting there?” You know of what I speak …