The 1 Plate, 1 Bowl, 1 Fork, 1 Spoon, 1 Cup Experiment or Confessions of a Mess

Before we left Georgia, right at the beginning of my minimalist experiment, my husband had an idea: if we only had one plate, bowl, fork, spoon, and cup for each of us we could cut down on the number of dishes we had to wash. He suggested that we wash our own so we could really cut down on the time we spend cleaning up. But who will wash the pots and pans? Ah, there’s the rub! (or scrub, haha)


We tried this out and I will be honest with you, I was the fly in the ointment. I hate doing dishes, even one or two. After I plan meals, make a shopping list, shop for food, put away the groceries, cook the food and eat the food, I don’t want to anything else to do with food! So, dishes often sit in the sink until the next morning when I have more energy to tackle them. Sometimes I will clean up right after dinner, but sometimes not.

I am the person, in my teenage and young 20’s who would rather eat cereal from a coffee cup and with a measuring spoon rather than washing a real bowl and spoon. True story x 20.

I am the person, as a working mother of teenagers who left a dirty pan out on the stove- on which I had cooked a ham the night before- and my son’s friend walked by and ate a chunk of ham thinking that I had just cooked it. I felt so guilty! I thought I had poisoned him! But in all fairness, he had been at my house many, many times and knew my sketchy housekeeping skills.

I am the person of whom my nephews say, “I know it’s Jill’s house when I walk in and there’s a bunch of dirty dishes in the sink.” They feel uncomfortable if the kitchen is clean. Truth.

In my own defense, my aversion to doing dishes has to do with the fact that I prefer to spend time with people rather than cleaning. I know I sound all sanctimonious right now, but it’s true. After dinner with family and friends, I don’t want to clean the kitchen while they enjoy the after-dinner talk. When I finally get finished cleaning I don’t want to walk in the living room just in time for them to say, “Thanks, it’s getting late and we have to go.” I know, I could wait until after they leave to clean up, but who wants to do that? I want to watch tv or go to bed.

So, needless to say, my husband’s experiment didn’t work for me. It does for him. He still washes his one little bowl, plate, fork, spoon and cup.

When it comes to dishes, I confess, I am a mess.

But go look in my closet or the laundry room. I’ve got it together there.

Just don’t judge me in the kitchen.

Keeping it real,



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