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How to Make Dinner Clean-Up Fast and Easy

How to make dinner clean-up fast and easy

December 13, 2022


You don’t need more time to get the kitchen back in order. You really can make dinner clean up fast and easy with the dishes done before the kids go to bed! I have worked on this with several moms and it is abundantly clear that it is very possible to the dishes done before the kids go to bed and give you time for you when they are asleep. I never want you to feel like you have to pick one over the other. At the end of the day, the goal is to look back on the day and feel good about it. No more highs and lows, but instead the joys that make you feel good. That is the beauty of systemizing your life.

Getting there has two parts: the actual practical steps and what you need to do, and second, addressing why you feel like you need more time to do it all. If you’re ready to get your kitchen clean and prepped for the next day, let’s jump in!

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

I want to jump in and discuss how to get those dishes done before the kids go to bed so you can wake up to a clean kitchen every morning.

So many women feel pressure to get this one task done every evening when in reality there’s no real pressure. To tackle this you need to change whatever you are doing that makes you think this is impossible.

One of my fundamental needs is working out. I feel best when I can get to the gym and use that time for myself. But as we all know, kids get sick and life happens. Before we know it, we are making up excuses about why we can’t get certain things done. For me this was the gym, but what about laundry, toilets, kitchen resets, time blocks put into place, and so on. No one’s situation will be exactly alike, but the principles and foundations that need to be put into place will all be the same.

Get rid of the excuses

If the dirty dishes are causing stressful mornings, there is no acceptable excuse for the undone task. In our Facebook group and our Systemize Your Life Academy Facebook group, I see women who want this specific thing of having dishes done before bed, all the time. So, I created a system specifically for this and I want to discuss it with you today.

The second thing that I want to address, is the fact that most women want to get all the things done, but are always asking for more time. I will give you the exact steps on how to accomplish this!

Fix your PM block to get clean dishes!

To get all your household tasks done before the kids go to bed, you need to dial into your PM block. Your PM block includes everything from school pick-up to the time they go to bed. This is probably your longest time block of the day for stay-at-home moms and maybe the shortest block for moms working outside of the house full-time depending on the age of your kids. Regardless, this still needs to be dialed in if you want clean dishes and a clean kitchen to walk into the following morning.

Here is where you need to start tracking some data. Figure out what it is that is hindering you from showing up on time and getting things done during your PM block.

Ask yourself:

What do my afternoons look like?

Look at the last several weeks as well as the weeks to come, and gather what that looks like. Do the kids have games happening? Are you working late hours? Is school incredibly busy? Is your husband available to help? Think about all the things that have and will be taking place and write them down.

What time do your kids need to be in bed to get that 10-12 hours of sleep that they need?

Whatever that time is, you have to maintain that standard. If you have staggering bedtimes for your children, write down the latest one first and the earliest one last. From there, work backward and figure out what time your PM block needs to start. Write down all the things you want to see happen routinely from the time your kids get done with school, until the time they go to bed.

Set up waypoints.

One of those waypoints has to be what time you will have to start cooking dinner. It has to be on the table by a specific time, in order for that first bedtime to take place at the time you wrote down.

For our family, our youngest is in bed at 7:00 pm. This means I need to be in her room by 6:30 pm to start the bedtime routine process. This means we work backward again. I start dinner at 4:30 and then have 30-60 mins to prep and cook with my kids. You must create enough margin so that you can get up from the dinner table and EVERYONE in the family knows what their responsibilities are before they leave the kitchen.

Great, now dinner is on the table and you are on your way to a successful PM block!

“We all think we need more time to get things done. But not a single one of us is ever going to wake up with more than 24 hours in the day. “

Do the dishes…as a family.

When everyone is finished at the dinner table, there is no reason why anyone should leave without executing their part in the clean-up process. Even the smaller kids can be in charge of the simpler things. Clearing the table, putting leftovers away, and putting plates on the counter so they can be washed. There is an age-appropriate task for everyone. They can pitch in so that the goal is accomplished!

If these things aren’t put into place, you will be the mom who stands alone in her kitchen at the end of the night after the kids are in bed feeling defeated, guilty, unproductive, feeling negative about yourself, your house, or even the season you are currently in by comparison. If you just reorganize your PM block, it will be so much easier than spending your energy on the negative.

Communicate Your Expectations

You have to communicate with your children and expect their help. Yes, you need to expect your little children to do things. The sooner you allow your littles to be involved the sooner they will learn. they won’t know how to do something until you TEACH them.

You will save so much time in the long run by doing this. In all honesty, you’re actually outsourcing your children and making life so much easier for everyone in the household. You are allowed to do this as a mom, don’t feel guilty about it!

When these things are communicated, you are teaching your children how to be team players. Doing this with kindness and in a positive way will encourage the results that you’re looking for.

You can’t have more time!

I hear so many women say that they need more time in their days. It’s constantly being thrown out there that the days don’t contain enough hours. We all think we need more time to get things done. But not a single one of us is ever going to wake up with more than 24 hours in the day.

If this is you, you may have done some damage to yourself by over-committing to things. No amount of systems can save you from that. You will have to make some tough decisions about what needs to go and what can stay.

You need a time-blocking system!

Truly, you don’t need more time. You need more efficiency. The schedule-based management will NOT work. You need to learn the time block system if you really want to be productive with your time and be successful in your home.

Massive gaps in your day may take place if you aren’t using time blocks yet. From the time you wake up, until the time you go to bed, what is the most time-consuming thing in your day? This needs to be determined and then you need to evaluate what you are going to do with it. One way you can do this is to write it down and collect your data!

I would love to support you! This is literally my bread and butter! The solutions for all of these systems are in the academy. If you are wanting to know more about what this looks like, go watch the workshop now! Click here and go check it out. I worked my tail off to make it visually educational for you. I promise it will help! Watching the workshop will also be a good help in determining if you are ready to take the next step and sign up for the academy.

How to make dinner clean up fast and easy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is time blocking and how can it help me?

Definitely check out my free time-blocking workbook! When you want to pour into your home, husband kids, or business and still have time left for you, using my five-block method will help you find time for all your priorities. If you need extra help on getting clarity on what is absolutely essential to you, I have a free fundamental needs workbook that can help you figure out what those are! And as always, come join our (free too!) Systemize Your Life Facebook group with any questions!

Make dinner clean up fast and easy and make more time for you
Set up your day to get household tasks done before the kids go to bed

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