Operation {Re}Organization: The Dishwasher

While I'm on my cleaning kick (in case you missed the other posts, they're here and here), I thought I'd throw out a helpful hint about speeding up your dishwasher routine. Forgive me if this hint I'm about to give seems a little OCD, but it really works for us, and has made the unloading process less cumbersome. Warning, this hint may be the most obvious one in the entire world, but I just figured it out recently, so just play along with me, k?

Sometime in the past six months or so, I decided I was tired of having to sort the clean silverware and cooking tools as I was putting them away. It might seem ridiculous that I didn't have any patience for this task that takes approximately two whole minutes, but for some reason it really bugged me - that is, until it hit me one day that I should sort them as I load up the dirty dishes instead of after they're clean.


So, armed with this new strategy, I assigned a specific item to each section of the dishwasher basket - i.e. all the knives go in the first one, small spoons in the second...etc. as demonstrated here.

In other words, group "like with like." That way, once the dishes are clean, I just put the basket on the counter and grab each type of utensil all at the same time (that's the time saver!) and put them right in their homes in the silverware drawer. This is instead of having them all randomly dispersed and having to sift through each section of the silverware basket to make sure I got all the spoons out and put away, and then all the knifes... 

I taught my husband "the system" too. It only works if everyone's on board, right? 

Now, I will say that I'm not quite OCD enough to be particular about which utensil goes in which section. (For example, knives don't always have to go in the first slot.) It's all about just making sure that "like" items are grouped together in the same place.

On a scale of 1-100 on major world problems, I'd say this ranks close to a zero, but it is one little thing that smooths out my cleaning routine and keeps me a little more sane. One day, when there are more than two people in our house, I'm sure this tiny time saver will come in handy more so than it does today, but it's never too early to get into good habits!

So what do you say...am I a crazy person for sorting my utensils? Or am I late in getting on board with this strategy? Do any of you have any other brilliant tips on speeding up your dish washing routine that I need to know?


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  1. Ha. I have done this before. But, you are right...everyone has to be on board. I did sometimes find though that they didn't get as clean because the "like" items would nest together. I did find turning some one direction and others another worked however.

    1. That's absolutely true! I haven't had any issues with them getting clean, but I have heard that sometimes it depends on where your basket is located (mine's on the bottom rack), and I definitely turn some upside down too to try to avoid the "stacking/nesting" issue!

  2. I so need to do this instead of picking through to sort! Pinned it to my organization board. Thanks again for coming to All Things Pretty!

  3. We do the same thing and it makes putting everything away so much easier!

    1. Great! Isn't it so much easier? Thanks for stopping by :).

  4. Hello,
    I am just stopping by from the I Heart Organizing link party.
    I agree, I do the same thing with my silverware! You are right, it does save a lot of time when unloading. :)


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