Minimalism and Dishes
Let’s talk about minimalism and dishes.
As mom’s we spend a heck of a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. It is the heart of the home. A place where we serve our family, over and over again 3 times a day! It is a place where we give and serve in hospitality. It is, dare I say the most important room in our homes.
I wanted to bring us to the topic of the kitchen because having a minimalist process in the kitchen, is life changing and a super easy place to start when you are feeling overwhelmed by stuff and do not where to start.
Decluttering the kitchen and implementing systems makes a big impact and will get your motivation up to tackle the rest of the house!
Think about the endless pile of dishes in your sink.
Think about how quickly the cupboards get cluttered when you are shoving things around looking for that one or two dishes you always use to serve dinner on.
Just looking at the mix match and hodge podge of stuff can bring stress to our day.
When your kitchen is clean it just seems that the rest of the house is clean.
Make Your Kitchen Simple
Simplifying your kitchen will not only make your time in it more enjoyable but more efficient as well. As busy moms we always have a million things to do but the one thing we know to be true is dinner needs to be prepared every day. It is the chore that never ends. Streamlining your processes in the kitchen will help will help with the overwhelm and maybe even dread you feel as you think about what you are going to make that night.
Only have what you use regularly in your cupboards.
We have one set of 4 dishes that take up one cupboard. 4 big plates, 4 small plates, 4 bowls and 4 mugs. I could really even go down to one mug as I am the only coffee drinker but from time to time I make the kids hot chocolate and we have company for coffee often enough to keep them in our regular cupboard.
We have a separate cupboard for cups as we have guests over regularly and all of our cups are plastic. At the stage of life we are im we have zero use or need for glass cups. We often take them outside for use on the patio and around the pool, we have little hands who help with dishes and super hard tile floors. For us right now glass cups are just a hazard. So why occupy space in my cupboard with them?
Put dishes low so kids can access it themselves – delegate – “less mom can I have or mom I need a snack.”
Pick a color per kid and make them responsible for washing their dish – even two and three year olds can learn to rinse their dish. Have a max of 2 per type of dish per kid. 1 if you are feeling really ambitious. For our youngest she has a couple cups and a couple bowls because she tends to be a travelling snacker and will leave things in her bedroom or outside on the deck, and I don’t want to be running around looking for something when she is hangry and wanting a snack. We stick to just her one plate for meals. And this is just a great example of adapting to your needs. The older girls each have a cup and then a stainless steel water bottle.
Keep Your Sink Clean
Run your dishwasher or hand wash your dishes every night and empty it every morning – make it a non negotiable. I don’t have a dishwasher so I am fine to rack dry and leave the dishes out overnight but the racks are emptied first thing in the morning.
Make sure your sink is clean every night. I love a fresh clean disinfected sink. I change out the dish cloth so tomorrow begins with a fresh one.
If you entertain a lot have a seperate entertaining set – that stays in a different cupboard or in a big clear tote if you don’t have room that you can pull out of storage and put it pack away when you are don’t need it. If you entertain weekly then you want to may keep these dishes in your regular rotation but if it’s only every other week a storage bin is excellent to keep from clutter and overcrowding in your cupboards.
Be Relentless with Clearing the Clutter
Do you really need or use the fancy china?
So I registered for all the china for my bridal shower 12 years ago – 4 years ago when I started my minimalism journey it was one of the first things to go! I literally had used it once. The funny thing was when we moved here to Nicaragua there was a massive china cabinet full of china and I got rid of all of it except the fancy sugar and cream dish simply because I didn’t have a less fancy sugar and cream dish and we use that regularly for guests. I also kept one Christmas dish and two Christmas tablecloths. The cabinet is now used as a bookcase.
If you use fancy china regularly, then great keep it but I literally never use it.
Plastic with young kids and large parties of guests is just the way to go for us! I could care less about china much to my mother in laws dismay. She uses it regularly when she hosts, a separate briefcase of silverware comes out and everything but that is her era. Those things are important to her, I could literally care less and don’t miss any of that stuff! Even though it was pricey stuff!
This goes for pots and pans and small kitchen appliances. Unless it is used at least once a month or more I don’t think it needs a spot in your home.
My sister, bless her heart, has every small appliance imaginable. Cotton candy maker, movie style popcorn maker, boiled egg cooker and everything in between. When she moved this last time there were appliances she hadn’t touched since she moved into the house several years prior. Sure, it is fun to make cotton candy for your kids birthday party but you can easily rent things like this or borrow from a friend. To me it is not worth the visual clutter on my shelf! (She did donate some of these things with her last move!)