Monday, December 3, 2012

A visit to my sink

So I mentioned in an earlier post how we've been working on steps to free ourselves of stress and working in more positive ways. What a better place to start this example, than visiting my kitchen sink.

The time these photos were taken, was after 2pm yesterday. Should I feel embarrassed? There are various states of cleanliness happening here though. But I guess together it still looks a right mess.

Above, is the business end. This is where all the dirty dishes get stacked. I tend to always have dishes here, even once I've done a load of dishes. If my sink water has gotten too dirty, I hold some back for the next load of dishes.

This is the partially clean end.  I've already put away the clean dishes, but some clean cutlery and large cookware still remains. The cutlery is easy enough to put away, but the larger cookware requires some heavy lifting into a low cupboard - so I haven't raced to complete this task yet.

And finally, this is the very opposite of the business end. Everything here is clean too, I just haven't figured what I'm going to do with them yet. I still don't have a permanent home for the steel thermos, I have some jars I have to decide if I'm keeping or recycling, and there are some plastics I'm rethinking the purpose for also, so they don't have a permanent home either.

I always have my kitchen sink used for something related to dishes. I very rarely have a completely bare sink. This has only been a recent development in the past few months. It happened to coincide with my dishwasher springing a leak. I've successfully replaced other parts on the dishwasher myself, but this time the leak is inaccessible. Or at least it is by someone who doesn't know how to fully take apart a dishwasher yet.

So I've had to contemplate - what is the value of a dishwasher to me? I used to love it because I could put a full load of dishes on AND do a load of hand dishes, to get me a mostly clutter-free sink within 30 minutes. I could also keep dirty dishes off the sink by stacking the dishwasher as we used stuff throughout the day.

When it came to cleanliness though, I sometimes had to redo dishes which weren't washed properly in the machine. At the time our dishwasher sprung a leak, we had some other expenses arrive and fixing the dishwasher just didn't seem like a major priority. So I've been living with my staggered levels of cleanliness on my sink ever since.

An arrangement like this would have bothered me before, as I placed a lot of emphasis on organisation. I wanted to be away from the kitchen sink as quickly as possible. Yet as I've let the dishwasher go in importance, I've realised I'm actually capable of organising mess without stressing. It just means I don't always have a perfectly clear sink in the shortest amount of time possible.

Isn't that the emphasis most home makers aspire to: always having a clean home? I wonder how realistic that was for home makers before machines came along however? I wonder how many kitchens remained spotless?

There are advantages to having machines to help with daily tasks - just which ones are the ones we should fund for our lifetimes? I like having a washing machine for cleaning clothes, but do I really need to stress over repairing a dishwasher that never really did the job as good as me anyway?

Sometimes it's worth dropping the stress levels and picking up the task at hand, with a positive look at the advantages. I've realised it's not about the money or the convenience any more - it was just taking the time to deal with what was really stressing me. I expected to have a clean sink in the shortest amount of time possible.

How realistic is that, with all the demands placed upon modern families today?

Do you have expectations associated to your work which stresses you too much?


  1. A not clean house is one thing that is not stressful for me. I keep up the dishes and have yet to use the dishwasher even once, but then I live alone. I really don't understand the need to keep a house clean all the time. The women members of my family always stressed over house cleaning so I guess I somehow saw the futility in it all. imho

  2. Thanks for dropping in Rubye. That would've been no fun with a lot of cooks in the kitchen, so to speak. My mum liked to keep a clean house but wasn't strict with us doing the same. I think that's why I like to keep a clean house myself, as I wasn't given any grief about it.

    What grief I had later, I gave myself, lol.

    It's great you feel comfortable with what you can achieve in your own kitchen, all the way in the US. Must be getting a bit chilly now.

  3. A dishwasher came with this house but until I became ill, I never used it. As I am recovering I still use it on very bad days. It cleans really well. In the meantime, I started using it to stack handwashed dishes in order to have a clear counter sometimes and I have used it during gardening season to drain my bushels of washed kale. Lol. Also, its a good way to sterilize jars for canning while keeping them hot for tne water bath. If and when it breaks down, we wont replace it.

  4. I always found mine useful for cleaning the rangehood filters above the stove. They're certainly useful when they're working, and you need them. :)


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