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Happiness is a Shiny Sink - Zer Netmouse
April 26th, 2010
09:19 am

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Happiness is a Shiny Sink
Many years ago when I was struggling to finish my master's thesis in the face of an unstructured day I was directed to Flylady.com, a great site that will do things like email you reminders to get "dressed to the shoes" each day and to get out and take a walk in the morning or afternoon. It also advocates reducing clutter, cleaning the house one room per day, and keeping your sink shiny.

That last one really stuck with me.

It truly is rewarding to transform a sink and counter full of dishes into a shiny clean sink and clear counter, and have that to start from when I begin a cooking project.

Right now, Brian and I are living with three other roommates. Five people go through a lot of dishes in a day, you know? So to help out the others, who are all working and/or students (many of whom have been dealing with both colds and finals lately) and to maintain my own happiness and sanity, I've taken to doing the dishes each morning.

Other people do the dishes other times of day, but I'm usually the first person up, and since I'm neither working nor a student, I have time to do this regularly. It also feels good to have a daily ritual.

This morning, after Brian and I had breakfast and showered, I made him a sandwich for lunch and then took stock of the kitchen. Someone else had run the dishwasher last night, so I emptied it and put the accumulated dishwasher-appropriate dirty dishes into it. Then I wiped down the counters and started on the remaining dishes. I suspect Brian thinks I go overboard by always washing all of the dishes in the sink, since they aren't all my responsibility, but there are nearly always dishes or pans of ours in the mix (this morning was no exception) and I figure once I'm washing things washing more takes only incrementally more time. Plus: shiny sink at the end!

There weren't that many dishes to do this morning so I also took a minute to clean the surface of the stove. So there we are: shiny clean counters, stove, and sink. Happiness!

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From:tawneypup
Date:April 26th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
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I know what you mean! I did this last night, right down to scrubbing some of the walls, the front of the stove, and making sure every dish in the house was clean. It felt soooo good! The honey helped by rearranging our back porch/extra kitchen storage, so it's really about as perfect as it could be right now.
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From:atdt1991
Date:April 26th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
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I think the absolute best roommate situation is when everyone understands and appreciates each other and the work they do, and when people just clean/fix/organize things without rancor or too much pressure on who is doing what.

That only works in some situations, of course, and it definitely only works as long as no one thinks someone else is obliged to do their dishes or whatever, but if everyone feels good about it, those environments feel a lot better to me than "you ate one of my crackers and I was forced to clean one of your dishes, you bitch!" :)
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From:minkrose
Date:April 26th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
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I suffer the effects of this not happening but lately, I've been the one who is sick and going through finals, so it's hard. Andy works fulltime AND has a 40+ minute commute in each direction.

I can't go into the kitchen if the sink is full of dishes. Recently a friend of mine described unfinished chores as bad noises that clamor around her, and it's like that. I can't get near it without feeling stressed out. Often, I'll take the time to do the dishes even though I don't have free time or energy, just because it calms me down.

Andy always does the dishes when I ask; he's just not always here when they get bad and Have To be Done. But having the clean, shiny sink makes such a huge difference!
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From:sueij
Date:April 27th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC)
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I once had a roommate situation that made everyone happy. I can't stand to see dirty dishes on the counter, so I'll pretty much always wash that one bowl or mug or what-have-you. But once they're clean, I let God dry them and I could care less about them sitting in the drainer. But I had a housemate who didn't care if there were dirty dishes, but thought clean and dry ones were silly sitting in the drainer, and would always put those one or two away.

The other three housemates (who didn't abuse this, I might add) thought they'd landed in heaven. :-)

And next year when I actually have regularly scheduled kid-free time (when Jessie goes to school every day for three hours, as opposed to three days a week, 2 hours a turn at a parent-assist co-op) I hope to use fly-lady to help me get the house under control. She's good stuff!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 25th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)

Clean space, clear mind

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It sounds so suzy homemaker at first but it is true for me too. Scrumming the floor under the fridge and the fridge inside and out made me happy today. I miss having other housemates but the kids make enough dishes for me.;-P
I recomend reading Chop Wood Carry Water.

Erika Nichols
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