I’ve been doing something “gross” for several years. I’ve been eating GERMS! Not enough to make me sick, but enough that I’m sure some helicopter-moms (and dads) would step back in shock if they knew! And you know what? I say let ’em. Step back & step off, OR Step up to the challenge: 1 Bowl, 1 Spoon, 1 Week
First up! Get a REAL Bowl for eating out of. NOT some cruddy styrofoam or paper thing you picked up at the grocery store. We’re talking solid ceramic, clay, or other material that can be scrubbed hard without getting damaged. If you use a Microwave, it needs to be Microwave-safe as well. Plastic can work, but is not advised.
Now, Visualize what your kitchen sink looks like 1 day into a new week. What about day #2, and #3? Maybe by 3 days, you’re just getting started.
“Pfft, 3 days… Sometimes things just pile up for a week or two…”
What kinds of feelings come up when you see that leaning tower of dishes, pots, pans, and all-manner-of-hoopla? I’m willing to guess that it brings a sense of guilt, or anxiety, or disappointment. Somehow, you register that this probably isn’t the best way to be dealing with dishes.
During my college days, I lived with a bunch of different people… Some were more tidy than others, and it caused ME to really take notice. One of the girls in the rooming situation would dig through week-old laundry that she just threw on her bed after drying. Another person consistently dropped crumbs, but at least would vacuum up before the ants had time to finish them off.
The worst, though, was one of the guys. He would leave dishes EVERYWHERE! A bowl of pistachio hulls in the bathroom, half-eaten lasagna left on a plate in the microwave, carrot-cake with bugs crawling around in the sugary whipped topping… These were just a few of his “surprises” that I found while cleaning the house.
After doing his dishes for him a few times, I found it easier (at least physically) to simply drop the half-eaten carcasses & tableware in front of his door so that he would have a surprise in the mornings…
I don’t want you to suffer the same fate! I’m sure many of you have even seen the rogue bug who flits around your kitchen. One of these days, you’ll kill it, but they are tricky targets. However, you can take the slow-and-steady approach to starve him out as well! The 1 Bowl Challenge strategy will help you do just that!
So now, onto the strategy & goals for the 1 Bowl Challenge:
1. Use your bowl + utensil to eat each meal.
2. Rinse/wash your bowl & utensil after each meal (or at least once-a-day).
a. YOU choose if/how-much soap to use after EACH different type of meal. You probably won’t need any/much soap after something like cereal. You might, however, want to give it a good scrub after greasy ribs or bacon.
3. At the end of the week, revel in the lack of dishes that you have to clean.
Benefits of the 1 Bowl, 1 Utensil, 1 Week System:
1. It forces you to be more cognizant of the things you are eating.
2. It might teach you a thing or two about how LITTLE water is needed to get your dishware clean.
3. Although it may take 30 seconds to 1 minute to rinse your dish, you save a heap of time against adding in the dish-washer. Not to mention the reduced cognitive load over cleaning “all these dishes” at once.
a. You have to scrub/rinse dishes before putting them in most electric dishwashers anyway, so it’s not like your really getting any time benefit by using it.
4. Reduced Electric usage (by not running the dishwasher as often)
I think this system can be used by single people, couples, and even families. As you scale-up the number of people, just recognize that there is a higher risk of failure due to lack of personal discipline.
Also, this system is clearly not designed for use during special events or eating out. Your friends will find it to be OCD, & Wait-staff tend to give weird looks if you get overly protective of your lone dishware in a restaurant.
A Quick recap of the system:
1= Get a bowl,
2= Eat from the bowl,
4= Repeat steps 2 & 3
5= Kick Back & Enjoy NOT having a sink full of dishes :-)