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Cleaning up after dinner.

This morning, I finished cleaning up the dinner dishes as usual. While plates, glasses and silverware are usually put into the dishwasher right after dinner, we leave the pots and such soaking until the next morning. How about you? Is your kitchen cleaned before bed or are you fine with leaving some until the next morning?

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  1. Am I? No, I want everything cleaned up before heading up to bed.

    Problem is, Mr. CB is the clean up crew (I meal plan, shop and cook) and he flat out refuses (most of the time) to hand wash anything. So if the dishwasher is full, things sit until the next day. If I need the pot to cook, which I usually do, I will hand wash it. If I don't, it goes into the dishwasher when he cleans up again.

    If he would only follow my far superior method of clean-up and dish management.........but that is another topic :)

    20 Replies
    1. re: cleobeach

      This morning there was a large skillet, medium pot, cookie sheet and baking dish. If those had to go in the DW, they would have sat there at least all day...and the pots never get completely clean in my DW anyway.

      1. re: cleobeach

        No one recognizes my superiority here, either. I know the perfect way to load the dishwasher for maximum fullness and cleanliness, but others insist on doing things their way, oddly enough.

        1. re: Isolda

          Ha! Nice to know someone feels my pain.

          I learned to just keep my mouth shut. If he wants to take 2x as long to get the job done by doing it his way versus the quicker/better way, so be it.

          1. re: cleobeach

            When I realized the DW--how to load it, is it full enough, should we turn it on now--had become an ongoing topic of conversation with my husband (who cooks, washes dishes, loads DW too) I suggested we each do what we think is right, not comment on what the other has done, and run it when we see fit. At least we no longer sound like our own version of the PICKLES comic strip.

            1. re: escondido123

              The funny thing is, I never ran a DW until after I moved in with my husband. I was forbidden from touching it while growing up. The world would have ended if the DW was run and there was room for just one more fork. (My mom had some issues.)

              When I realized I was starting to act like her, I decided for the sake of harmony to let him load and run it however he saw fit. I don't even cringe when he runs a half full load, which for reasons too long and boring to explain, needs to happen at our house on occasion.

              1. re: cleobeach

                My mother is like that. I've spent years trying to explain to her that there gets to be a point where you overload the DW, reduce its efficiency, and not everything in it gets properly cleaned. Further, she also insists on pre-washing everything in the sink. Besides defeating the energy inefficiencies of the dishwasher, the detergent actually needs something to work against.

                But she thinks I'm crazy.

              2. re: escondido123

                We have had to institute a similar policy, only I cheat a little. After DH (or my son, who is equally bad) loads it, I will reorganize as necessary to use the space a little better. But I don't say a word. I'm a quietly superior person, you see.

                The weird thing to me is that men are supposed to be biologically superior when it comes to understanding spatial relationships (and in most cases, DH really is), but this doesn't translate to loading a dishwasher properly.

                1. re: Isolda

                  It also doesn't translate to stacking the dish rack properly, or organizing the fridge.

                  Or finding stuff in the fridge. Spatial superiority my ass.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    Or perhaps the spatial superiority is offset by laziness or a "why find the mayo when someone else can find it for me" attitude, or just the proverbial male pattern blindness.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Or packing a suitcase or moving boxes...

                    2. re: Isolda

                      But I don't say a word. I'm a quietly superior person, you see.
                      Love it!

                      1. re: Isolda

                        I find this a fascinating phenomenon. I once lived in the same apartment building as two elderly widowers. Both were professional engineers. One had published six engineering textbooks. The other one had two PhD's in different kinds of engineering. Either of them would have been capable of inventing the concept "kitchen stove". However, neither of them, recently deprived of his wife's domestic attentiion, could figure out how to use the kitchen stove. We are not talking about making souffles. We are talking about boiling water to make a cup of instant coffee.

                        1. re: Querencia

                          That's my FIL. Brilliant engineer, but when he makes instant coffee - in the microwave, no less - he somehow doesn't realize that he should stir it!

                        2. re: escondido123

                          to escondido:

                          I resemble that last remark!

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            Sing it, sisters.

                            Because we have all got that first verse down, pat.

                      2. re: Isolda

                        Ha, ha! My DH seriously cannot load the DW. I have opened it in the morning to throw a sippy cup or something in it and have been compelled to "re-organize" his work. I may be a bit obsessed but I do have quite the knack for loading the DW. My mother-in-law once watched me and commented about how impressed she was and this is a woman who doesn't give compliments. So, I guess I have *that* skill to be proud of.

                        I dont claim to be the most organized person in the world, and I could probably mop a little more often but my kitchen needs to be clean before bed. Actually, I just recalled something from last Summer. I went through an extensive evaluation at a renowned hospital's program and was (after 30 years) diagnosed with ADHD. I completed quite a number of diagnostic questionnaires, etc., and during the feedback session, the PhD conducting the eval commented, "but you certainly do keep your kitchen clean, don't you?".

                        1. re: Isolda

                          Exactly! I can easily fit twice the amount of dishes in the dishwasher than my husband can. He likes to get up immediately from the table & get the dishes done, he can't stand having dishes stacked on the counter or in the sink. Typically I clean as I go so it's not usually not so bad to clean up.
                          I try to not interfere with his dishwasher loading, but somedays are harder than others. If he has a lot dishes left & no room, I don't hesitate to step in & re-arrange. He doesn't like to do pots & pans or wipe the counters so I usually finish up.
                          Call me crazy but I would much rather clean the kitchen up after dinner by myself than unload a clean dishwasher.
                          Oh & I don't have problem leaving a pan soaking all night or leaving a suitcase & laundry until the next day if I get home very late from a trip. However when we travel as soon as we get to our destination I have to unpack & get organized for the week.
                          We all have our quirks don't we?

                          1. re: jcattles

                            I try to not interfere with his dishwasher loading, but somedays are harder than others.
                            I just leave the room after dinner. Mr.Sueatmo has is own way and he does this job his way. I am thankful I don't have to do it my way.

                            But, secretly, I could do a better job loading. I really could.

                        2. re: cleobeach

                          I have the exact same set up. I cook/shop/plan, he does the cleaning up afterwards. Sometimes he asks me if he can come back to it a few hours later, but I insist its cleaned immediately. I dont want any unnecessary odours to linger, and I don't need dishes/pots to get any more crusty than needed. He claims it's the part of his day he dreads the most. HA! I say he is one lucky man.

                        3. As a general rule we clean up before bed. My jobs include meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, fridge clean out, and putting away clean dishes as well as loading the dishwasher. SO pre rinses and does the actual dish washing. If I don't empty the clean dishes and I have gone to bed he will empty the washer and put away the things that he knows where they go. If we have already run the washer and someone uses one dish or cup it will sit in the sink until we empty the clean dishes the next day.

                          After a party we always clean up entirely before going to bed with minimal clean up while guests are there. For late night parties we have been up until 4 cleaning. It takes about an hour to clean up from a party plus the rehash and eval of howuch was used/ eaten to know for the next year.

                          1. Always clean before bed.

                            But I am someone who when I move, I don't go to sleep until everything is unpacked and put away.

                            I also unpack luggage first thing when home from a trip.

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                              Janet, I am OCD about unpacking after a trip. Doesn't matter what time I return home, either. And have to have at least one load of laundry started, better if I can get one in the dryer and the second load started. We just returned home from Orlando this past Monday at 1:00 a.m. I had to be up at 6:30 to get my daughter to school, but didn't go to bed until my suitcase and hers were unpacked and put away, and laundry was mostly done. It may be quirky but it works for me.

                              1. re: jlhinwa

                                "Janet, I am OCD about unpacking after a trip. Doesn't matter what time I return home, either. "

                                Same here. I unpack and immediately make 3 piles of clothing: whites, colors and dry cleaning. If I have time, I start a load of wash, if not I do it bright and early the next morning because I always take that day off of work just for this reason!

                                I think this thread is going to reveal a lot about some of us! lol

                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                  Wow, it's so nice to meet other people with the same craziness! My family always made me feel I was the only one....

                                  1. re: Isolda

                                    Isolda, me too. My husband of 30 years still rolls his eyes each time, as if this is something new to him.

                              2. re: Janet from Richmond

                                Me 3!!! No matter how exhausted, the sink needs to be emptied and the kitchen cleaned before I go to bed. I'm not talking a full-on scrubbing of countertops, etc but things need to be in there place and THE SINK NEEDS TO BE EMPTY. I'm so OCD about this that it makes me uneasy when I am at a friend's house for dinner and they are so casual about the dishes. I feel like I need to do it for them. I envy others more laid back ways. It's weird though, I'm not a clean freak. Just an order freak.

                                Incidentally, my suitcase gets unpacked and everything put away the day I return too. :)

                                1. re: lynnlato

                                  Conversely, I hate it when my host(s) get up from the table and begin emptying the table and washing the dishes.
                                  It's almost like a 'time to go home, guests' sort of message. I've noticed when hosts do that they also empty their house.
                                  I'm very OCD when it comes to keeping my home clean but when it comes to dishes at night or when guests are in my home I either hire someone to keep the table cleared or clear it myself and close the door to the kitchen and do the dishes in the morning, early, with a pot of coffee.

                                  1. re: latindancer

                                    Agreed. Never do dishes when visitors are there. (Unless, of corse, they are the sisters and OCD BILs. NOTHING says "go home" to that group ;)

                                    1. re: gaffk

                                      Exactly. I remember being at a dinner party once with one of those OCD relatives who got up in the middle of the meal, went to the closet & got the vacuum out, and started vacuuming around and under the dining room table where we were all sitting.
                                      He made sure we all lifted our feet and legs and repositioned our chairs while he vacuumed away.

                                      1. re: latindancer

                                        One of my OCD BILs has been known to get up from the table, collect all trash and garbage and take out the bag(s).

                                    2. re: latindancer

                                      When we have guests and I do the dishes, my partner stays at the table with the guest this way ensuring that the evening is not over. Also, we have a pass-through from the kitchen to the dining room so that I can keep up conversation with my guests as I am cleaning and getting ready for the next course. It all works out well. I've never once had a guest think I was asking them to leave. As a matter of fact, my guests stayed so long at our last dinner party that not only had I cleaned up the kitchen, but I was sitting at the table for some time thinking in my head, "When will these people leave!" lol

                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                        I do sort of clean up while the guests are still there but I have a routine. I have the dishwasher empty and will clear the dishes and put them directly into the dishwasher, as opposed to stacking on the counter or in the sink. My husband stays at the table with the guests. Unless guests would follow me into the kitchen, they wouldn't know I was cleaning up.

                                        I do this because it bothers me to have dirty dishes sitting on the table while we are lingering over our dessert and wine.

                                      2. re: latindancer

                                        When we have guests, we empty the table between courses, and we get up to do that. We have limited counter space, so plates go directly into the dishwasher, and since our dishwasher is extremely quiet, and has a 15 minute wash cycle, we run the dishwasher while we serve dessert. Dessert dishes are left on the table until our guests leave. When we have a very large holiday dinner or formal dinner, we hire someone to help out in the kitchen.

                                  2. We hand wash almost always now. There are only 3 of us and I clean as a I cook, so there's just never enough to merit using the dishwasher. I don't like dishes left in the sink at all, especially to soak. If something is difficult to get off, I just put water in the pan and reheat it to easily remove any bits. Clean kitchen and sink every evening at chez velochic. Mr. velochic does some dish washing, but the kitchen duties from start to finish are pretty much my domain, which is fine as he works full-time and I do not.

                                    1. If something needs a good soak I don't hesitate to leave it out overnight. I do like all plates, cups, etc to be in the dishwasher.

                                      @Janet from Richmond: I flew home from Tucson on March 19 and there are still a few items in my suitcase. LOL! :-D I need to take a lesson from you.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. I'm single. I live alone. When I cook for just myself, everything gets cleaned or loaded into the dishwasher and put away before I go to bed. When I have guests over we usually end up partying well into the night, and if I'm functional enough to even think about the dishes I never want to actually do anything about them. So they'll sit on the counter next to the sink until the next day.

                                        1. I think Janet from Richmond and I are twins!

                                          Call me and DH compulsive, but we are 100% cleaned up before going to bed, including after a party. In fact, I can't sleep if I know there are dirty dishes in the sink.

                                          21 Replies
                                          1. re: justme123

                                            I remember my (now) XH telling me his mother couldn't sleep if there was a dirty dish in the sink. I told him it didn't bother me one iota. Still doesn't.

                                            1. re: laliz

                                              I worked with a guy who had a problem with dirty dishes and unmade beds. Drove home on his lunch hour one day because he was feeling so anxious that the bed wasn't made...his wife couldn't have cared less.

                                              1. re: escondido123

                                                "Drove home on his lunch hour one day because he was feeling so anxious that the bed wasn't made..."

                                                Good to know there are crazier people than me out there. I always make sure the bed is made before I leave the house, but if I forgot to make it one day I would not give it a second thought and would NEVER go home just to make it. It's a relief to know I'm only partially crazy! :)

                                                1. re: escondido123


                                                  The poor guy. There's medication for that, I think.

                                                  1. re: escondido123

                                                    Okay, I'm not quite that OCD, but if my husband is still in bed when I have to leave early occasionally, I will make the bed when I get home that evening...even if it is only an hour or so before I plan to go to bed.

                                                    1. re: jlhinwa

                                                      ...true confessions..when DH and I first got married, I used to wake him up in the middle of the night to get out of the bed so I could re-make it so the sheets weren't all messed up. He is a very active sleeper who has been know to pull the fitted sheet off of the bed while he sleeps. I have since gotten over *most* of my OCD issues. except the dishes. and unpacking. oh, and laundry MUST be folded AND put away asap after coming out of the dryer. My spices are NOT alphabetical though :)

                                                      1. re: justme123

                                                        justme, would you like to come for a visit?;p

                                                      2. re: jlhinwa

                                                        I agree; even if it is made just a couple of hours before retiring, a freshly made bed is better to sleep in than one that has not been made. When making the bed, one pulls tight the loosened fitted sheet, plumps the pillows, etc. This makes for a much better night's rest, in my opinion. It really has nothing to do with the bed looking neat (although that is an added plus). :)

                                                        1. re: jlhinwa

                                                          My SO sleeps longer and is still sleeping when I leave. If he doesn't make the bed I will make it before I get in it at night because otherwise I am not upstairs again until that point.

                                                          1. re: melpy

                                                            We have the same sleeping situation. I finally told my husband that I would *really* appreciate it if he made the bed every morning (since obviously I can't do it). Bless his heart, he does. He just didn't know it mattered to me (and this was after probably 15 years of marriage!). Back to the subject, I cook, and he usually does the dishes and loads the DW. He usually doesn't run it (I think a psychological holdover from back when we had a last-legs dishwasher that was very noisy, and I complained when he started it running at 1 am and it would wake me up).

                                                            1. re: DGresh

                                                              That's why I made sure our new dishwasher had a start delay on it. Go to bed and the DW comes on when we're all asleep and it's quiet enough not to wake us.

                                                        2. re: escondido123

                                                          I think you're talking about my husband & me, lol. He wouldn't make a trip home just to make the beds, but he would make sure they got done at lunch. We love it when he's out of town, we can leave the dinner dishes for awhile & we never make our beds. It's a nice break.

                                                      3. re: justme123

                                                        Yep....even if we have a party. Like you I can't sleep with dirty dishes in the sink.

                                                        Yes, I'm a chronic bed maker as well. I can't get into an unmade bed.

                                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                          A nicely made bed is one of life's simple pleasures. If we ever hit the lottery, I will have someone put clean sheets on my bed every day.

                                                          I don't "need" to make my bed every day but it is so much nicer sliding into a neatly made bed at night versus a messed up one.

                                                          1. re: cleobeach

                                                            "A nicely made bed is one of life's simple pleasures."

                                                            yes yes yes.
                                                            we literally climb out of bed, at same time, he grabs his side, I grab mine, in 12 seconds it's done. WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL AND [WHY DO MORE PEOPLE NOT MAKE THE EFFORT] befuddles me no end.
                                                            it's just so nice to walk in and out of the bedroom many times during the day to find a nice neat clean bed staring you in the face.

                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                              You must not be an active sleeper. If my SO weren't in the bed all the sheets including the fitted would be swirled around me like a cacoon with my bare feet sticking out. I hate hot feet. Plus my mother taught us hospital corners but he like the sheet loose so made takes longer.

                                                              1. re: melpy

                                                                my husband makes sure you can bounce a coin on our sheets so the hospital corners are, well...> perfectly done by him not me. neither of us are wild sleepers and it's no effort to gather&tuck :>)

                                                              2. re: iL Divo

                                                                I do something similar. Every morning before I get out of bed, I sit in the middle towards the headboard, pull the sheet flat and straight, then the first blanket... takes very little time and feels so much nicer getting into in the evening, especially towards the end of the week.

                                                                1. re: saacnmama

                                                                  yep agree saac

                                                                  this time of year it's super simple because bottom sheet, top sheet and comforter plus the (17 pillows) < hiding behind a couch here, and it's that quick. if there was a huge effort for whatever reason I'd not be as apt to do it.

                                                              3. re: cleobeach

                                                                Whether a bed gets made or not really isn't important to me but I do have to say one of life's simple pleasures for me is getting into bed with fresh, clean sheets right after I shave my legs.

                                                                As much as I'd like to let the dishes sit for awhile, I do have to admit that it is nice to just get them done & not have to worry about it for the rest of the night.

                                                                1. re: cleobeach

                                                                  I too love that first night with the crisp, clean sheets too. I once suggested that we should change the sheets much more often and I was told "...go for it big boy...". Needless to say, our wash schedule has not changed.

                                                            2. The only time I don't clean up immediately after eating is when I don't cook. I remember learning the lesson as a child, that the job seems infinitely worse the longer I put it off. Now, if only I were that sensible when it comes to everything else.

                                                              1. There are only two of us and everything is cleaned and out away within the half hour after we have eaten. You would never know we ate within an hour after we are done. Sitting on the couch, reading, relaxing watching TV with not a (dish, pot or pan) care in the world for the rest of the evening. This is a combination of minor OCD (self diagnosed) and having worked in the food industry for years in my younger days.

                                                                The next morning starts a new day and I personally want nothing from the night before in front of me as I greet the new day with all its new dirty dishes, etc.

                                                                1. i don't own a dishwasher but i can not go to sleep if there are dishes in the sink so everything is hand washed pretty much as soon as it is done being used...maybe a glass from a late night drink but that is about it.

                                                                  1. Well I'll admit to 'bad' behaviour. Dishes are all done by hand; we don't have a dishwasher. And we rarely do the dishes after dinner. They are usually done the morning or afternoon after. Or, gasp, we do 2 days' dishes at once. We very rarely dry and put away immediately. Air drying, and then put away before the next batch is washed.

                                                                    Before we go to bed, we make sure all the food is away and the dishes are stacked neatly, surfaces wiped.

                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                      Thank you sooeygun for being willing to leave dishes overnight...I thought I was some kind of sloth.

                                                                      1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                        This is our house as well, down to the air drying. We both work, and have just a one basin sink, with no dishwasher. I wash what I can as I cook, but, often enough, the sink needs to be used for other things. We have limited time together with our schedules, and I prefer to leave the cleanup for when I'm left to my own devices.

                                                                        1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                          This is our household as well. After years of growing up with an uptight mother who insisted on dishes being done immediately after dinner was completed (i.e. nothing could be done in between the eating of dinner and cleanup), I suppose I gain a subconscious pleasure of rebellion at going against her strict rules in this domain, even a decade and a half after moving out.

                                                                          Nothing, IMO, puts a downer on an enjoyable dinner as knowing that afterwards I have to clean up. I find it much more motivating to clean up the previous meal's dishes BEFORE I cook the next meal.

                                                                          I have a lot of difficulty with what I deem excessive cleanliness, partly because of my mother; partly because of my aunt, whose house I refuse to cook at, because last time I tried to make Thanksgiving dinner there, she would have covertly washed and put away pots and pans I had asked her for before I had even had the opportunity to use them; and partly because I lived with an ex-best friend of mine who could not even tolerate a single dirty glass or spoon on the counter without having to get up, wash it by hand thoroughly, rinse it, dry it, and put it away before resuming relaxation. I get tired just thinking about it.

                                                                          This also makes me very glad I'm gay, as very few women I know would tolerate my level of mess-relaxation. Fortunately, my husband is mostly okay with it, and together we muddle through with a house that ranges from slightly untidy to reasonably clean.

                                                                            1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                              This is us, too. We have a dishwasher but we live in an apartment, and it's a pretty crappy one. DH likes to use it and I end up hand-washing half the junk he puts in there after he runs it because it didn't get clean, so I tend to not want to load things into there. But I can't stand them in the sink or in front of the coffee maker - I want to be able to get up in the morning and make the coffee without navigating a mess. So the dishes have to either be done or loaded in the dishwasher, but the pans OFTEN stay out overnight until I get to them the next day.

                                                                              1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                I am almost always a next day person. Leftovers and food are always put away and the table is cleaned off, but that's about it. Sometimes I think it seriously stresses out guests that no one is jumping up to do the dishes here, but I feel that way about hosts racing to do the dishes when I am a guest, so I call it fair.
                                                                                I actually like getting up and cleaning the next morning vs. being exhausted and cleaning up before bed which to me is misery. Doing dishes is meditative and a great way to wake up. I also love that then I can immediately start to think about how I'm going to mess up the kitchen next instead of having to go to bed.
                                                                                And yea, it's just the two of us here, so sometimes there's two days of dishes at once. The horror.

                                                                                1. re: splatgirl

                                                                                  This. It is amazing how much easier certain tasks are AFTER a nights sleep. I see absolutely no reason to force myself to clean the kitchen when I am tired and full.

                                                                                  I load the dishwasher as I cook and then run it before bed. I put up the leftovers. I do not worry about the rest until morning. I enjoy doing it after my morning coffee.

                                                                              2. If I am in charge of the kitchen for the evening, then all dishes will be done and put away because it makes me crazy to leave things undone. If I have a particularly nasty pot or baking dish that needs soaking time, that may stay in the sink overnight.

                                                                                If my husband is in charge of the kitchen, it is anyone's guess what will happen. I try really, really hard to leave it for him to take care of in whatever manner he chooses. It is painful sometimes to just walk away!

                                                                                I don't think my kitchen behavior is particularly rational or defensible...just my own idiosyncrasies.

                                                                                1. I don't go to sleep until it has all been washed and dryed. If there are multiple dishwasher loads then I am up very late/ With the holidays the beginning of this month, there were at least three loads per evening, plus pots and pans by hand and the good crystal by hand as well. I also launder the tablecloth and napkins before turning in.

                                                                                  Then again, we were 20+ for the holdiday dinner on the 6th and 7th and 12 for breakfast on the 7th and 8th. If I hadn't cleaned we never could have done breakfast, maybe lunch after services.

                                                                                  1. 1/2&1/2
                                                                                    completely depends on my mood or how tired I am.
                                                                                    same goes for if I make my darlings' lunch at night before going to bed or in the morning, same thing with the morning coffee, do I do it before retiring or when we awaken at 4:45am

                                                                                    1. I'll usually get to the dishes immediately after we finish eating dinner. There's something kinda zen-y about washing dishes that usually calms me. OTOH, I absolutely hate to put stuff away, so I'll stack the dishes to dry and leave it for somebody else (usually Mrs. ricepad) to put away. Every now and then, she'll tell me to leave the dishes for her. I guess she wants to give me a break, which I appreciate. What drives me nuts, however, is when she forgets the dishes and leaves them overnight, and they start to accumulate with the following day's breakfast dishes.

                                                                                      1. I hate to wake up in the morning, stumble to the kitchen to make coffee, and find dirty dishes. I don't clean up immediately after dinner, but I do make sure the dishes are done and put away before I go to sleep.

                                                                                        The only exception is when I have a large party that goes late. Then I just rinse\stack pots, pans, dishes, etc and wipe down counters. I never have one of these on a night before I have to get up for work so the next morning can be a little lazy/hazy.

                                                                                        1. In our house, I usually cook and DH does the dishes. They are always done before bed unless everything doesn't fit. I don't always like how he loads it, but if he is willing, I'm not going to upset the apple cart. One or two unclean dishes I can rewash because I appreciate his help. Usually he does pots and pans by hand. DW usually gets run at night and I put everything away the next morning. It works for us.

                                                                                          1. I must admit I am totally shocked by the responses...though it gives me a clearer understanding of why so many people do not get enough sleep! I had truly expected this CH bunch to be more focused on the cooking end and be willing to go to bed having created a wonderful meal and knowing dishes can always wait. As to staring at dishes at breakfast time, I get the coffee ready the night before and put cups out on the clean breakfast counter so we only have to flip the switch. I don't eat breakfast and my husband just has toast and that part of the kitchen is always clear. (As to luggage after a trip. I've been known to work out of it until empty, whereas my husband empties his immediately though he leaves laundry until the next day.)

                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: escondido123

                                                                                              "knowing dishes can always wait"

                                                                                              I agree and having read some of these responses I began to feel, after all these years, like a unkept, disorganized baboon ;).
                                                                                              This last weekend I had 8 people for dinner. I spent the entire day cooking and baking and getting my home ready & didn't get the dishes cleaned up for 2 days after all the dishwashing, glass washing and stove/oven cleaning. One guest, inevitably, asks to go into the kitchen and wash and clean my kitchen....they're met with a resounding NO...I want to visit and laugh and forget about those nasty things that can wait for 2 days. The food I prepare is my focus....not the dishes I serve the food on.

                                                                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                our DD is often having people over for an impromptu dinner. she furnishes everything and makes everyone feel welcome so why is it, that no one ever offers to clean up or at least help clean up? if they'd offer, it'd be done asap. but usually they're ready to go home due to being lethargic after an ultra meal. she is too [but] leaving a kitchen mess isn't in her vocabulary. I've told her I'll do it in the morning after I set everything in the sink that needs to soak but she isn't on board so together, we do it then.

                                                                                              2. re: escondido123

                                                                                                Speaking for myself, dirty dishes wouldn't keep me awake. But having a bunch of dirty dishes left over from the day before would certainly discourage me from cooking. They'd be in the way, for one, and for another, I'd be having to stop and wash something I needed every time I turned around.

                                                                                                I don't know but I've heard that the dirty dishes police are even more lax with their in-home patrol as are the food police. :-)

                                                                                                1. re: MrsJonesey

                                                                                                  I don't know about you but spending the entire day in the kitchen cooking/baking and making sure my house was perfect for guests....candles, flowers, beautiful table for dining....
                                                                                                  The last thing I want to do the next day after a dinner party is cook. A pot of coffee and a sink of hot water and dish soap is usually the only thing that's on my mind....in my robe :). My headache from drinking too much cabernet or malbec prevents me from moving too fast.

                                                                                                2. re: escondido123

                                                                                                  When I start cooking, it drives me nuts to have already dirtied dishes getting in my way (I don't have the kitchen of my dreams, which would involve way more counter space, among other things). I've learned that if I take care of the dishes sooner rather than later, when I start to prepare the next meal, I'll start with a clean slate. I guess you could say that washing the dishes of the last meal is the very first stage of prep for the next meal...?

                                                                                                  1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                    My definition of a meal, and my husbands, basically begins and ends at "dinner." Until then it is all prelude and we rarely start cooking before afternoon. So after coffee and after lunch, two of us each making our own, there are periods where pots and pans disappears and dishes get tucked into the dishwasher so counters/stove are clean for cooking by the time either or both of us wants to start preparing the evening meal.

                                                                                                3. I used to be an "it can wait" person, but the past year or so out of necessity I've had to change my habits. A really stubborn ant infestation will change your mind about leaving things out overnight very quickly.

                                                                                                  I find I prefer having the kitchen completely clean at night. I wash pots and pans as I go along as much as possible, so there's usually only one or two things still to clean after the evening meal is finished. Fill and run the dishwasher, wipe down the counters and stove and I can retire from the kitchen with a clear conscience. The ants are finally gone (yay!), but I'm keeping the good habits.

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: electricfish

                                                                                                    I've heard about those little critters....

                                                                                                    It's why, here in S Cal, it's important to be on the long list of clients who have the perimeter of their home sprayed once a month to prevent that type of thing from happening.
                                                                                                    I think I'd go berserk having to deal with that.

                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                      It can be a nightmare. I lived in an apartment next to a filthy family of about 12 people spanning three generations, all crammed into a three bedroom apartment. Their filth invited a massive infestation of pharaoh ants, which were an absolute nightmare. We ended up having to throw out a huge amount of stuff because the ants nested in VHS tapes, books, CD and DVD cases, etc. As we were packing to move, everything had to be shaken outside off the balcony, and a few items (especially a roll of plastic tarp) unleashed clouds of thousands of ants fluttering down. It was truly disgusting and we didn't even know we had a problem (we would see an occasional ant in a strange place, like in the bedroom, but didn't think much of it) until out of the blue, one day, I threw away a small piece of pork and the next thing I knew, a six-ply row of ants came marching in and out of the trash can an hour later.

                                                                                                      We ended up putting loads of ant traps in our new place, but even then, it took a good year for the inevitable carry-over infestation to completely clear.

                                                                                                      1. re: vorpal

                                                                                                        Those little nasty things have a pretty impressive built-in survival mechanism.

                                                                                                        I've heard a story, once, from a flight attendant who told me about a college student who'd had an infested dorm (the pizza left on the floor for days on end and sugary soft drinks and who knows what else ugh) and got on a plane to go home bringing the whole ant farm (in his clothes) with him onto the plane.
                                                                                                        I don't know what they do in those cases.

                                                                                                    2. re: electricfish

                                                                                                      "A really stubborn ant infestation will change your mind about leaving things out overnight very quickly." <<<< oh yea, rats/mice are even worse. ever walked into the kitchen at midnight to check a burner you may have left on or to get a drink of water, to see something scampering across the floor in a quick flurry?

                                                                                                      sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh, so thankful we got the roofer back out to plug up how they were getting into the attic via wholes in the vents or whatever from the roof and then down the heater/ac vents and into the house......... they're gone. he said they can squeeze through a slot the circumference of a dime, as they are mostly cartilage not bone, crud...........yeah!

                                                                                                    3. With the exception of a roasting pan that might need a good soak, everything gets cleaned up after dinner. If my husband cooks, I do the clean up, and if I cook, he does. I usually put everything away the next morning after breakfast. Generally, when I do the dishes, I like to start with the area near the sink put away, but my husband washes things and stacks them into a tower as he cleans. This drives me crazy because I am always afraid that the whole thing is going to come crashing down when I dismantle it to put everything away. Usually only dishes and utility glasses go in the dishwasher. Pots and pans are washed by hand in the kitchen. Crystal and fine glasses are washed by hand in the butler's pantry, which is where they are stored.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        I can, and often do, sleep with a few dishes in the sink. When Mr. Cheflambo is around, he likes to hand wash stuff and leave it in the dish drainer -- they are seldom really clean, so I follow behind and put them in the dishwasher. When he is traveling, I just put everything in the DW and run as necessary. He insists it cannot be "launched" until it is FULL -- I find things actually get cleaner without everything jammed into every corner.

                                                                                                        I do take issue with people who feel the need to clear the table when THEY are done, rather than sitting still for a few moments and enjoying their coffee and guests. I can recall many a Thanksgiving dinner with my mom up to her elbows in suds at the sink while my dad and brother and I were just taking our first bites of pie. Sisters were snatching up salad plates and silverware while shooting me the stink-eye because I wasn't "helping". Its true -- dishes CAN wait.

                                                                                                      2. growing up the kitchen was cleaned up after dinner, unless we used the crystal, which meant when my folks had a dinner party. mom said she liked to come down in the morning and see what a good time people had the evening before. she also explained that by not washing the crystal after imbibing from it increased it's survival greatly. the lennox and grahl never went in the dishwasher, nor did the sterling.

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                          I sooo relate to your mother. When my children were growing up I always cleaned up after dinner. The kitchen was always ready in the morning for breakfast when times were very busy.
                                                                                                          When I have guests, though, all my focus goes to entertaining. Afterward the candles are blown out, the kitchen appliances are turned off and the night's over. There is something so wonderful about doing dishes, stemware and silver in the morning and all the while remembering the conversations and enjoyment from the party the night before....it's a relaxing, reflective time.
                                                                                                          The kitchen and dining room certainly reflect the party but in a really grand way.
                                                                                                          Great point, KaimukiMan....I'd actually never thought of it that way.

                                                                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                            Dinner dishes are done before bed in my house. After a dinner party, they are done after guests leave, even if it's late, with the exception of stemware, which is done in the morning when good light, a night's sleep, and guaranteed sobriety help cut back on breakage. I had a "helpful" house guest once insist on washing all the wine glasses before retiring. Next day's activities included a trip to Crate & Barrel for replacements.

                                                                                                            1. re: elenacampana

                                                                                                              When we first go our latest dishwasher I was so delighted to show my husband how the long stemmed wine glasses fit in the bottom rack--which they did until I slid the rack in and snapped the stems in two. Luckily, I'd only illustrated my point with two glasses.

                                                                                                              1. re: elenacampana

                                                                                                                "guaranteed sobriety help cut back on breakage"...

                                                                                                                LOL...good point.
                                                                                                                A trip to the ER for stitches is one of the reasons it's good to wait 'til morning.

                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                  I have taken that trip! Drinking then dishing is dangerous.

                                                                                                          2. My wife makes sure our kitchen is clean before bed. When I'm not on the road, I do the cooking and my wife cleans up, unless she is teaching a night class, then I cook and clean up (usually about ten minutes before she gets home LOL).

                                                                                                            1. I used to hate, hate, hate to do the dishes. I still expect everyone to put their own plates and flatware into the dishwasher and not leave them on the table or worse, on the kitchen counter right OVER the dishwasher, or worse yet, to put plates into the sink and believe they are actually helping. In recent years I actually like the accomplishment of cleaning the cooking utensils. Not anything that can go into the dishwasher, but the pots and pans that don't go into the dishwasher. I used to cook most things in teflon pans like most people but a couple of years ago we switched to mostly cooking in stainless pans. We have a large, 14" nonstick skillet and a small nonstick skillet for frying eggs. I actually wash them with soap and paper towels and don't even use the 3M Scotchbrite pads that I use on everything else.

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                After the main meal, which I usually cook, I quickly clear the table and load the dish washer while the Bride gets started with desert service. After dinner drinks follow and pots and pans soak overnight.

                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                  I hate coming out into the kitchen in the morning to a bunch of dirty pots and pans in the kitchen. I understand sometimes they need to be soaked and I usually do that with some heat on the stove to get the process going faster. I get the kitchen cleaned up after supper BEFORE doing anything else. If I am cooking, I do as much clean up along the way as I can.

                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                    Our general rule for everyday meals is that EVERYTHING gets cleaned up right after the meal and the person who did the cooking generally does not do the cleaning. The only exception is if something has to soak overnight.

                                                                                                                    When we have company over, what doesn't go in the dishwasher will often sit overnight in the sink because if we start working on it right then guests seem to feel obligated to help and we don't want them to feel that way. We also like to move right to desert and after dinner drinks.

                                                                                                                    Having said that, when our girls get a little older, pots and pans will be bestowed to them while the adults move to the porch.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                      My priority is to get the table cleared and the left-overs put away... the rest follows...

                                                                                                              2. I'm open. And so is our floorplan.

                                                                                                                Whatever works for me is what I do.

                                                                                                                Mostly I do the actual washing after all have gone home. Big things just soak but first I've rinsed well and I add detergent to cut the grease to soak overnight.

                                                                                                                I've learned that my kitchen counters have to be near-bare before a big party because they fill up quickly. Especially important: have an empty dishwasher before people arrive so it can be quickly filled with plates, cutlery, etc. between courses. But never turn it on until they've all gone home.
                                                                                                                Whatever can't fit quickly into the dw I stack off to the side on the counter and cover over with a clean tea-towel. I try not to run the water too much because this attracts others to come help.

                                                                                                                I do not want to hang out in the kitchen and wash (if I do I might never leave).

                                                                                                                This is the curse of the open floorplan in new-ish homes. Everyone wants to hang out there and I am eyeing the sofa and armchairs...to finally sit and relax and VISIT!!

                                                                                                                The dishes are all high-end so I'm happier to do them myself. Some people don't realize that drying dishes OVER the floor is how things get broken. If I hand-dry dishes/crystal I always let it air-dry first then wipe over a dish rack to stop anything/avoid breakages. But many don't know this and CRASH if they've been drinking...ooops. Sorry. But that doesn't press the rewind button. So it's better to leave it all til either later after all are gone or the morning...

                                                                                                                In fact, there's a kind of beauty in seeing all the special plates and tablewares come out and see the light of day and maybe hang around for a day or so...it brings back lovely memories of my youth when my parents had enormous parties around the holidays and especially New Year's when the dining table was covered with all the exotic tableware and as children we'd see Mum put things away in their little wrappers made of cloth then arranged just so...

                                                                                                                1. My kitchen has to be all clean before I can enjoy my TV/reading/computer time in the evening or before going to bed or before I leave the house. That's just me. If my son dirties anything before he goes to bed, he better clean it up before I hit the kitchen in the a.m. Occasionally I do get in the kitchen in the morning and there is a dish/bowl/utensil in the sink, I get over it, lol. I try not to sweat the small stuff, but I do prefer a clean kitchen in the mornings.

                                                                                                                  1. I am squeamish about cooking whenever there are dirty dishes around (those random dishes that seem to accumulate during the day) - so I completely clean out the sink/ counters and put all those dishes in the dishwasher before I start cooking dinner. Then, as I cook, I rinse out the prep dishes and pots as I use them and stick them into the dishwasher. This usually means by the end of the meal, we just need to rinse off our dinner plates and silverware, throw them and our glasses in, and start the dishwasher. In the morning, I empty the dishwasher while the coffee is brewing and my oatmeal is cooking. Usually that's plenty of time.
                                                                                                                    Now, some days I'm just too blind tired in the morning to unload the clean dishes, and some nights we go out instead so the snack/lunch/tea dishes never get done at all, and that's when our system breaks down. Also if I have something really stuck on a big pot or pan soaking in the sink for 8 hours - no one ever wants to face that nasty dish and so the other dishes pile up around it.

                                                                                                                    1. I know I replied to this back in April when the thread was established. I always clean evevrything before going to bed for the night.

                                                                                                                      This means that after a holiday dinner I am up until 3am cleaning (or later).

                                                                                                                      Last week, we just bought a new kitchen which will be installed next spring after adding on to the house. My favorite feature of the kitchen are the TWIN dishwashers in the island. Now I'll have two Miele in the kitchen PLUS the two dishwasher drawers built in in the dining room for crystal and silver. I should be able to get to sleep by 1am <VBG> If my kids would help, maybe midnight.

                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                        bagelman01 - that is fantastic!

                                                                                                                        Just the other day Mr. CB and I were talking about remodeling the kitchen and two dishwashers is #1 priority.

                                                                                                                        1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                          I knew I loved you.
                                                                                                                          We made a list of 'won't do without' items for the new kitchen. These are things we don't have in the current kitchen, so trash compactor and wine fridge, etc are not on it.

                                                                                                                          #1 Twin Dishwashers
                                                                                                                          #2 Pot Filler over the cooktop
                                                                                                                          #3Built in Griddle on the cooktop
                                                                                                                          #4 separate Ice Maker (the SubZero is fine for family, but not enough for company

                                                                                                                          Got Lucky and bought the Clive Christian Showroom Kitchen at a savings of more than 100K, but now it's another addition to the house next spring. How does a 1804 Georgian Revival become 20 rooms, with only 3 of us living at home full time? Wife is a builder/designer/realtor and justifies this as 'my home is my showroom and portfolio.'
                                                                                                                          I just get to sketch, plan, build models, go to planning and zoning (I'm an attorney) and write the checks.
                                                                                                                          But I do enjoy eating what we produce in the indoor and outdoor kitchens.
                                                                                                                          Two years ago I built an outdoor brick pizza oven, after completion, wife asked me, why don't you use the brick oven built in next to the master fireplace (circa 1820)? I replied, what built in Oven? She answered, "the one, whose door is hidden behind the stack of logs." I married wife and moved into her home when it was only 13 rooms, I'm still discovering hidden gems.

                                                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                            bagel: you and the Mrs are duh bom-love how you both think :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                              afterall, Mrs. B is a Diva............................

                                                                                                                            2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                              Mr. CB yearns for a built in griddle but I (the cook of the family) am on the fence about that.

                                                                                                                              I will absolutely, positively have at least two sinks in my next kitchen. There is some force in the universe that sends someeone runnning to my sink whenever I want to prep produce, wash up a large pot, etc. Mr. CB is the main culprit, he is struck with an overwhelming urge to water the plants every time I approach the sink.

                                                                                                                              We are in the midst of a kitchen addition at our cabin and I am adding a second, smaller fridge dedicated for beverages. An outdoor kitchen at the cabin is a dream for me. Our neighbors up the road have a huge outdoor fireplace with several ovens built in on the top and sides. It is nearly a 100 years old and I have visions of the prior generations baking bread out there.

                                                                                                                          2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                            a few years ago i designed a house with separate dishwasher in the dining room, the owners still think it's one of the best things they did.

                                                                                                                          3. I happen to be one of the OCD cooks who enjoys a meal much more if I know that absolutely everything is cleaned before I sit down to eat. This often results in fairly hilarious scenes of me rushing as quickly as possible to clean a cast iron pan without burning myself or the food cooling off too much but it works for me and I can then take my time enjoying the meal without worrying about anything except cleaning the dishes from the meal itself in the post-consumption time when I'd much rather relax and digest. This is pretty feasible when cooking for just me or a few other people with the clean as I go method. When it's a larger party, I do usually have a few dishes to clean afterwards but definitely finish cleaning before bed. For me, waking up to dishes is akin to coming home from vacation to an unclean house...very frustrating. I love to wake up in the morning, not have to worry about dishes and get started on cooking for that day knowing that everything is clean.

                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                              This is me, and I'm the one frantically cleaning the house before we leave for vacation, too! There's just something awful about coming home and your own room not being as nice as the hotel room. I love to come home and the only thing I need to do is a load of luggage-laundry. Easy-peasy.

                                                                                                                              1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                I am the same way. Makes my family nuts at times. It's one major reason I dread Thanksgiving...all I can think about is the hours of cleaning facing me. I also am not a big fan of the meal in general and believe it's too much work and too little reward.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                                  Yeah, Thanksgiving turkey is not something I get excited about. I prefer to leave the mess at a different address. Now a standing med rare rib roast, thats a different story.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                    That's why I like Christmas better :-)

                                                                                                                                2. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                  Agree, clean top to bottom before going away.

                                                                                                                              2. I clean as I prep and cook so most bowls, pots, pans, utensiles and trays are cleaned after being used. My wife is left with the dishes and flatware but she swears she does 90% of the pots and pans. I stopped arguing. Some things just aren't worth it

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                  Yeah, have never got the last word yet. Even if I did, nobody would be listening. Thats what scotch is for!!!