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My family recently moved and downsized.  Unfortunately, our new home lacks a dishwasher.  I hadn’t lived without one for a very long time.

Here are a few things my family does (or tries to do on our good days), to make living without a dishwasher easier.

  • We got a dish drainer.  They’re ugly and I hate clutter.  But on busy days, I don’t have time to dry and put away every single dish.  C’est la vie!
  • If there are no dirty dishes in the sink, nobody should be the first offender (at least before dinner time).  We give our breakfast and lunch dishes a quick clean and put them in the drainer as we use them.
  • One-pot meals are a saving grace.  There are phone apps and websites galore with crock pot recipes and one-pot meal ideas.  They will save dishes.  And crock-pot leftovers can even be refrigerated in the crock!
  • Serve dinner out of the pan.  My family lines up at the stove and serves themselves.  There is no need for “presentation” if it’s not a special occasion.
  • Everyone takes a night.  I believe in kids and husbands helping with chores, and they each take a night to do dishes once a week, with no assistance from mom.  They dirtied the dishes, and they can help clean them.
  • Re-use glasses and cups.  Each of us has our own water cups or bottles, and we wash them ourselves as needed.  Glasses used for other liquids can be rinsed and re-used throughout the day.  Each person has their designated “spot” to leave their “in-use” cup on the kitchen counter.
  • We use (and sometimes re-use) disposables for certain things.  It’s not completely green, but a lot of disposable dishes can be recycled if they’re not soaked with grease.  Just brush off the crumbs and toss them in the recycle bin.  Please don’t judge… We’re not perfect, but we sure do try!

So, mamas sans dishwashers, how do you keep your sanity?  Please share your tips in the comments below.