I stay in a place where we have about 10 people. Sometimes with visitors, the number can go right up to more than 10 or even 20 people. However, we keep things simple, washing, drying and storing away our dishes frequently.
Washing dishes, pots and pans
If you cook in your home, there are a lot of related aspects that you need to take care as well. Washing and preparing the ingredients, seasoning, cooking, washing up all the cooking utensils and cleaning the kitchen area (wiping counters, sweeping and mopping the floor).
Usually the cook would just wash the dishes in the midst of cooking for example while waiting for the soup to boil. Sometimes the washing is done after all the preparation before the cooking is done. This help to reduce the sheer volume of pilling dishes and pots that needs to be washed after that.
After the cooking is done, there is another round of washing up. The washing may also be done after the mealtime. If after the mealtime, other family members can help with the washing up.
Drying pots, pans, plates and cups
Drying racks, especially the 2 tier ones are useful when it comes to drying up plates, cups and containers (used to store food). Plates, bowls and containers are placed on the drying rack to dry naturally after washing.
We have a separate plastic rack to dry our spoons, forks, chopsticks and laddles.
For us even though we can sometimes have many people around, we still maintain a medium size drying rack – to encourage us to always have the habit of clearing the rack. If there are too many people and the rack is not enough to accommodate the number of dishes and bowls, we would clear it off- use a cloth to wipe all the plates and bowls dry and then store it away. Then the drying rack would be used for the next batch of washed plates and bowls.
For larger containers, pots and pans, we will dry it in a basket as per below:
Some people would just wash and wipe the items immediately but we tend to leave things to air dry. The place I stay in has hot weather almost throughout the year hence it only takes a few hours for everything to be dry. Sometimes when it is not completely dry, we just wipe with a clean cloth before storing away the items.
Storing of plates, bowls, containers, pots and pans
It is advisable to store away these items inside cabinets rather than leaving it on the counter. First thing is because the more clear space the kitchen surface is, the more organized and less cluttered the kitchen will look. Each item should have its own storage place.
The second thing is to avoid ‘night visitors’ roaming over your plates and cooking utensils. What I mean by ‘night visitors’ are the bugs like cockroaches and rats. For us, we keep in the build-in kitchen cabinets like below:
The section above is used to store bowls and plates. The extra bowls that we seldom use are kept separately in a clear plastic container as you see above. We also have another section to store our pots and pans:
Items are usually stacked up in a systematic manner so that it is easy to access and to take later.
So long as there is a system and every item has its designated storage space, it will keep your kitchen organized and less overwhelming. If you find that doing these chores alone is overwhelming, always remember to ask your family for help.
When I was young, my mom trained us to help to wash the dishes and clean up after every meal so much that it becomes automatic in us. After having meal, my brother would not only wash his plate but wash all the other dirty dishes and pots in the sink…. it is so automatic because he got so used to doing it. My sister-in-law told me that this was one of habits of my brother that she found to be endearing when they were first courting.