Minimalist Fail: 10 Days Without a Dishwasher

When we moved into our new rental, I noticed that the dishwasher appeared to be as old as I am. The bottom rack was missing half the wheels, and there were rust spots. But I’m not a snob about these things–I happily tool around in a 15-year-old Honda, for instance. So I tried it, once, and it did not clean the dishes. It took about ten days for the management to get me a new one, during which time I washed the dishes by hand.

I was miserable.

The minimalist approach is to own only as many dishes as their are people in your family. Then after every meal, you wash them in the sink to be ready for the next meal.  None of this business where you have a whole special device for holding your vast quantities of unwashed dishes (aka, a dishwasher). This is not my style for many reasons:

  1. I already own a lot of dishes. Why would I get rid of perfectly good dishes?
  2. A stack of 10 plates takes up no more room in the cupboard than a stack of 4 plates.
  3. I often use plates for meal preparation. I’m not going to eat off a plate that previously held raw chicken or was used to microwave bacon, for instance.
  4. Some things are really hard to wash by hand, like cheese graters and strainers that have been used for draining meat.
  5. I really, really hate washing dishes. A lot.

    Dishwasher with dial control.

    At least it’s a minimalist dishwasher, right? None of your fancy buttons and options.

I think the last time I was so happy to see anyone as I was to see the dishwasher installer was when the anesthesiologist showed up

during the birth of my second child.* Washing the dishes by hand took up time that I could spend playing with my children, earning money, or reading. Plus, I accidentally lost two sippy cup valves down the garbage disposal, and it cost me five dollars and an extremely un-Mustachian trip to Toys R Us to replace them.

The new dishwasher is not one I would chosen for myself–not wild about the layout, and it seems to have been installed a bit crookedly, so that the bottom rack keeps rolling back in. But I’m just so happy to be away from the sink.

Minimalist fail! I will keep my dishwasher and my lots of dishes.

*I attempted natural childbirth, which I still think is a desirable goal that is attainable for many women. All I’m saying is, in my personal situation, I was really, really happy to see the anesthesiologist.

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About frugalparagon

I'm a part-time librarian and mom to two small boys. I blog about striving for the long-term goal of financial independence while running a tight ship at home.

2 responses to “Minimalist Fail: 10 Days Without a Dishwasher”

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