How to Keep the Dishes from Taking Over the Kitchen: The Self-Cleaning Home Part 4!

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Hey guys!  First, I created a page just for The Self Cleaning Home so you can go back and easily find the steps you need!  It’s listed in order from newest to oldest, so be sure to start with the last one (the first habit) if you are just joining us! You can find Week 1 right here.

This week, we’re talking about the cooking mess!  This is something that I’ve always struggled with, but this week, I’ve made it my number one priority.

Cooking is great, but those dishes! What a mess it can make! Here is how to keep the dishes from taking over the kitchen!

Now that I cook every single meal at home (seriously. not an exaggeration), my kitchen can become a veritable war zone!  There are so many dirty pots and pans and it was becoming a nightmare to deal with.  I absolutely have to cook at home, so I just had to get it under control.  Btw, I’ve been watching every food documentary on Netflix and it has convinced me even more how important it is to cook my own food and eat a whole foods, plant strong diet.  In Defense of Food and Forks Over Knives are both great ones to watch.

Anyway, maybe this is just intuitive to you, but generally, I used to just let the dishes and pots and pans pile up telling myself that I’d just take care of them after dinner or later which would end up in the morning and that stinks.  Of course, habit number one is to keep the sink clean, so it did get better.  But leaving all the dishes until right before bed can get crazy especially if you’ve had a busy day and are exhausted.

Cooking is great, but those dishes! What a mess it can make! Here is how to keep the dishes from taking over the kitchen!

So, our habit for this week, is to wash the dishes as you go along.

I know, I know.  (smacks head)

The simplest thing ever, right?  But when your stressed and tired and just trying to put real, wholesome food on the table, you want to get it done and get it done f.a.s.t.  But seriously.  It only takes a minute to wash that bowl real quick and put those measuring cups in the dishwasher when you’re done. So this week, we’re focusing on how to keep the dishes from taking over the kitchen!

Cooking is great, but those dishes! What a mess it can make! Here is how to keep the dishes from taking over the kitchen!

The blender is my frustration.  I love my Ninja and use it allllll the time.  I make hummus and the best smoothies ever… no chunks of ice anywhere.  But cleaning it?  Resistance out the wazoo.  But it literally only takes a teensy amount of time to just get it clean so it’s ready for the next event.

My best advice on keeping the dishes under control?

One of the best tips I can say is to make sure your dishwasher is empty before you ever start cooking any kind of big meal. That way you can throw stuff in the empty dishwasher without having to stop and unload it!

Sometimes all of this cleaning can feel futile.  Like, it’s just going to get dirty again, right?  But we have to change that self talk, yo.  Cleaning as you go will make things so much easier and having clean dishes when you need them is like winning the Oscar for Best Actress in a Real Life Drama.

Win, baby, win.

Remember, if you’re just joining us, go back to the first habit and start there.  Stay on it until you have it fully under your tight control! Like, tame that sink, baby!

Do you always wash the dishes as you go?  Let me know down in the comments below!





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  1. You have a Dishwasher? Luxury! We still do it by hand, and you are absolutely right about washing them as we go, works the charm! Thanks for all the great tips, Gwen, keep them coming!

    1. Thanks so much!

      I remember those days, Garrett! I honestly didn’t mind doing them by hand. We often call our dishwasher our “dirty dish holder”!



  2. You bet I do!! So much easier. While cooking onions to add to entre I’m making I take one pan one cover just used wash it under faucet (have a sponge with scrubber ready and preloaded with Dawn Liquid) rinse and wipe with dish towel over shoulder and put away. Onions are done and dishes too. Two things st one time.

  3. I love my ninja too… Always when I’m done I put hot water and a pump of soap and blend it again… Voila, it’s clean!

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