It takes 21 days to make a habit, or so the saying goes. And while it may take more than a day’s resolve, that does not mean it is too hard to do.
Our dishwasher started going out this past summer. The signs? It stopped drying the clean dishes and every so often it would take more than one push of the start button for the cycle to start. This issue was not a new one, as it happened to us a few years back. At that time we found a temporary fix that worked very well for a few years.
When the issues started to arise again, I did our default action to “fix” the problem. This time, though, it did not work. Seems it was time for a new dishwasher. We waited until the day it would not longer turn on at all, which of course happened when it was fully loaded with dirty dishes late one night.
For almost the past month, my evening routine of loading the dishwasher and doing dishes was disrupted. I was not 100% perfect in this routine. More like 75%, but I was working on it. Now, faced with a counter full of dishes at the end of supper, the time of day when my energy is the lowest, I became overwhelmed. A new habit began. After supper we would clear off the table, I would turn off the lights in the kitchen and go sit on the couch in the living room. “The dishes can wait till the morning.” And wait they did.
This new bad habit meant that I started every day faced with a messy kitchen. Instead of using my morning energy to get our day going, I was using it to clean up yesterday’s mess. By the time the dishes were done, I had no desire to do more. Guess what happened at lunch time and again at supper time? That’s right, I put the dishes off till the next day. No magic fairy came to do them, they were always there the next morning waiting for me.
A good thing that came out of this was the realization of exactly how many plates, cups, and utensils we use in a day. There are only 4 of us. There really should not have been that many dishes. When you cook 3 meals a day and most of you are home for all those meals, that tends to happen. It was a reality that was masked by the wonderful maid called the dishwasher.
This past weekend, our new dishwasher was delivered and installed. Picking back up where I was a few months ago was harder than I thought. The layout of the dishwasher was different so I had to put thought into where things went. The old layout did not work as well in this new dishwasher. For the last several days I have tried to get the dishes loaded and all the pans cleaned right after supper. I am doing better, but there is a lot of room for improvement.
To work toward the goal of having the kitchen cleaned after supper, for the next week I am going to work on loading the dishwasher and running it every night.
Yesterday’s quick project was to mop the kitchen floor. I did not get to it till last night, the point in the day where my energy is the least. I wiped down the tile area (10 minutes) and saved the moping for this morning. I woke up a few minutes early and tackled this job. It took me all of 25 minutes this morning and is now drying while I type this post
The pictures above do not do justice to the amount of dust that was there and now is not. It really did look like someone took a sifter full of flour and walked around the kitchen doing a cha-cha dance as they went. It still is not perfect, but is tons better than before.
Step 1 toward the Mega Project of painting all of the new drywall was to wipe down the garage ceiling and walls, as well as wash the floor. I lost track of how long this took, as the kids started to play in the water running off the floor. I can say that it was easier than I thought it would be. While not perfect, the garage floor looks a lot better and should track in less dirt to the house.
Step 2 today is to wipe down the walls and ceiling in the stairways. I will need to hang up a sheet or some other barrier to keep the dust from coming onto my newly mopped kitchen floor. Perhaps that order of activities was not the best. However, I think I will be able to dust mop any dust that finds its way into the kitchen.
How are things coming at your place? Was there a quick project you were able to take care of yesterday? If not, why not look around for one today. It does not have to take as long as mopping the kitchen floor did for me. Actually, I would suggest something faster. How about a new habit you want to work on forming? What small step can you take today toward achieving it?