A broken dishwasher can be a blessing in disguise, you know. Before you call me crazy, just hear me out.
I am constantly on the lookout for ways to make my days with kids more efficient. More simple. I’ve moved all of the puzzle pieces to zippered pouches, for example, because I was tired of cleaning up the mountains of puzzles my 15 month old pulled off of the shelf daily. I moved blocks to lidded containers for the same reason. And I was about to buy another set of bowls for my kids because eating 3 meals at home a day, plus snacks, resulted in me having to constantly pull dirty dishes from the dishwasher to use. The problem was, obviously, that we didn’t have enough dishes. The answer was to just buy a few new bowls for the boys.
And then our dishwasher broke. And I cursed. And I had to start washing dishes by hand at least twice a day.
All of a sudden the dishes I needed for every meal were available. They were washed and ready to be used. I didn’t actually need to buy new bowls. We had enough.
Joshua Becker, author of the blog Becoming Minimalist, writes that his family has the exact number of dishes as members in their family – that means 4 cups, 4 bowls, etc. When I first read this I was astounded. I was barely getting by with the 9 plastic bowls I used for my 2 boys. But then my dishwasher broke and it all made sense.
I haven’t yet reduced our dishes to this extreme, but I at least learned that I did not in fact need to buy more to make my life easier. Having fewer dishes actually means less to wash and less to put away.
I will be washing bowls by hand more often now, but I still can’t wait for that blessed dishwasher to be repaired.