Too May Dishes?


SmartMarthaLogo - CopyDo you feel like you are doing too many dishes this summer?

Here are a couple of tips to help:

We try to encourage a one glass a day rule.  To facilitate this, we have “parking” places for everyone’s glass.  (These are designated spots, on the counter, marked with a sticker.) Some families use color-coded cups—but they still need a place to park them.  We even have “parking” places for the neighbor kids who regularly play at our house.  When our college aged children are home for the summer—they even use their spots!  If I didn’t do this, I’d have the dishwasher full of cups twice a day.

Too May Dishes?

Too May Dishes?

Insist on no dishes in the sink!  Dirty dishes must go into the dishwasher.  Definitely not on the counter, table, or anywhere else.  For this to work, the dishwasher must always be “dirty.”  This is not always easy on Mom, but the small inconvenience of making sure the dishwasher is always run and emptied, means less time standing at the sink loading the dishwasher.  I’ve made a new sign so that everyone is aware that the dishwasher is dirty. (I just printed the words out and put it in a small dollar store picture frame.  It goes face down when the dishwasher is running.  See photo.) There are no excuses now.  I was tired of hearing, “Oh, I thought the dishwasher was clean!”  Run the dishwasher when there will be the least chance of accumulating dirty dishes in the sink.

Dish "parking"

Dish “parking”

This is a start to fewer dishes! Sure, I will miss the opportunity for prayer while doing dishes myself, but I am sure I will find other opportunities for prayer — like laundry, dirty dishes, vacuuming, etc. Or better yet, how about those moments of prayer such as by the pool, on a walk or before dozing off on a nap?

Copyright 2013 Tami Kiser



About Author

Tami is the author of Smart Martha's Catholic Guide for Busy Moms and the founder of She lives in Greenville, SC with her husband and family. Tami runs the online CatholicConference4Moms, Smart Martha ministry,,, and teaches dance classes. Thinking like a Smart Martha has helped her to constantly seek to “sit at Christ’s feet” even in the midst of piles of laundry and sinks of dirty dishes.


  1. These are great tips! Thanks so much for sharing them!

    My fear with putting stickers on the counter would be that a certain child would take that as permission to, you know, decorate EVERYTHING with stickers. Which could be interesting (and frustrating)…

    Love the dishwasher sign…I may have to make one of my own! And maybe use something like that for glass parking…

    • We do this kind of out of pure laziness – we leave the glasses always on the table at the seats… (except when guests are coming or something…) how about different coasters for the parking places? (Could also be some crafting project 🙂 )

  2. Sarah, our kids haven’t been born yet, but our idea is cheap color-coded coasters instead of stickers. You could even have your kids make their own.

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