Loading the dishwasher is enjoyable, maybe especially for those of us who went years without one, because of the challenge to arrange things in the best way to get clean and to stuff it to the max. I’ll rearrange it over and over as I fill it just to get it all in there. If there’s something just won’t fit, I may leave it for the next load rather than handwash it. I’m that person. Lazy? Yeah, that shoe fits.
Unloading is another matter.
It shouldn’t be. The dishes are clean, the work has been done, but somehow I feel less enthusiastic about putting it all away. Laundry can be like that, (love to wash; hate to fold?) but once I got efficient about my folding and putting away I do it expeditiously. Woo! Making word-of-the-day proud.
So, I’ve been working on a system to make unloading the dishwasher, which is a chore, less of a chore. I amuse myself that I’ve found what goads my laziness or at least my procrastination to do something about the full-clean dishwasher. It’s the back-tracking that bugs me. I don’t like opening this cabinet to put this dish in, then a different cabinet to put away that dish, then lo and behold there’s another dish to go in the previous cabinet. As exercise though, I’m sure it increases my steps.
When you move houses, it’s most efficient to load a large moving truck with everything, drive it to your location and unload it even if you’re moving down the block. I need to pile the dishes once, in a single location, and then put them away. Is that why loading the dishwasher is easier as most dirty dishes are in a single location, already in the sink or on the counter? I’m making it a habit to unload the entire dishwasher in drip-efficient order onto the nearest clean counter, then moving a whole stack to their destination. No more two plates at a time.
First, I need to unload the sink-side drain of all dishes that were drying from the previous dishwasher load and anything that had to be washed by hand. I need the drain empty so I can air-dry this current load.
My silverware is on the door itself, not everyone’s is. This is my step one, but if yours is on the bottom rack I would suggest making this your first unload in the bottom rack. I try to load my silverware heads up to get clean and to be able to put them away without having to turn them. I can do it in one trip with loaded fistfuls. Anything else in the silverware holder that is not silverware then gets put away or put in the drying rack.
Then the bottom rack. Why? Because the top rack often contains plastics which retain water drops. If you pull out the top rack, that water will drip on the bottom dry dishes. (When this happens you can hear my disappointed “NOOOOOO!” from space. Seriously, it’s just water, but it feels like failure.) I have been unloading the bottom rack entirely and stacking the plates, bowls, etc into groups to be put away. Just like unloading a laundry basket into piles by a garment’s destination.
Then I unload the top rack, which is mostly wet and goes straight into the sink-side drain to finish air drying, but the dry items join the queue on the counter. Finally, I close the dishwasher and put everything on the counter away in the fewest trips possible. Or sometimes I load it anew from the dirty dish piles on the counter and in the sink, and then close it and then put dishes away. Truth.
If this seems like waaaay too much thought put in to unloading a dishwasher, you’re absolutely right. Over-thinking it… also a shoe sized “Maria.” Maybe simply being grateful to have clean dishes I get to put away is enough to get the job done. Finish strong friends!!