Wow! So, this is a struggle for me. I’ll admit it. There are times when I just have to give up and go to bed with the sink still full of dishes. Have you been there? Done that?

I mean, I don’t like it, but sometimes I’m just too exhausted to get them done. Day in and day out…they multiply by the dozens.

Why do we have to live with dirty dishes? Isn’t there a way to escape that sink of crusty plates, sticky utensils, and lipstick stained glasses?

Well, here are 4 Tips on how to reduce your dish duties and have more time to spend on yourself.

Tip #1: Avoid the Post-Meal Pile-Up!

Okay, so this isn’t really a way to avoid them altogether. But, it will help you prevent the stress of the post-meal pile up. Hand wash and/or dishwasher load as you use. This is something that my mother does on a regular basis. She simply cannot stand for any dishes to be dirty. So, after she gets something in the oven, she’ll clean up the prep dishes. By cleaning as she goes along, by the time dinner is over, there are only the plates and utensils left to conquer.

Tip #2: Put other family members on the job.

This is totally something that I need to get better at doing. I think Moms have this idea that if we don’t do it ourselves—it won’t get done right. I know that I’ve felt this way. The thing is…if you can turn over the duties to your spouse or kids (at least a few nights a week), you’ll have more time for YOU! And that’s really and truly the best reward of all.

Tip #3: Take it on the road, baby.

That’s right! I mean it! Eat out at least once a week. You deserve a break. Even if you can’t afford a major (sit down) restaurant every time, you can get “to go” food and have a picnic or park and eat in a place with a nice view. Remember, the same old actions equal the same old results. Don’t be afraid to mix things up.

Tip #4: Less is best.

Well, I know this sounds simple. But, there are lots of great one dish recipes that make clean up a breeze. Crock-Pot or Slow Cooker recipes or even casserole dishes are great for keeping the mess to a minimum. (Try pouring Italian salad dressing over chicken breasts and cook for 6 hours on low in the Crock-Pot. Delicious! Simple!)

And, of course, there will be times when your sink is full of dishes despite your best efforts. And so I’ll wrap up with a trick for making it worth your while.

I’ve started using my dish washing time as a time for meditation, deep thought, and problem solving. I mean, it doesn’t require a lot of mental acuity for scrubbing those pots, does it?

Why not use that time to lather up your creative side? I’ve come up with many story ideas, plot points, and characters while my hands are in the water.

Think through issues that are troubling you. Wondering how to broach a difficult topic with a loved one or offer support to a friend? Use your water therapy as free time to ponder the issues.

Or, even put on some tunes and use the clean-up time as your karaoke moment of the day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scrubbed, boogied, and belted out some tunes as the bubbles churn away beneath my fingertips.

Unfortunately for most of us, we may never be able to rid ourselves of all the dishes and kitchen pile-ups, but at least there are ways to survive the suds!

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please check out and like our Facebook page. And stay tuned for a special Mother’s Day surprise…coming soon!

Kerri Nelson

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