17 Minutes Later

Amber messaged me recently on the A Slob Comes Clean Facebook page. I asked if I could share her words and photos here because they are so inspiring and encouraging!

She wrote:

“My dishwasher is on the fritz and I faced this countertop this morning as I had to unload the dirty dishes from the broken dishwasher and add them to the pile of dirty dishes that I was going to load into it.

Lots of Dirty Dishes and a Broken Dishwasher at

And here’s the same countertop 17 minutes later after I applied your strategy of just do the easy stuff first. I truly wanted to cry, but I filled the sink with hot soapy water and started in.

17 Minutes Later! at

Just wanted to share the before and after pics with you and say thank you. Keep writing and recording!”

--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    Wow! 17 minutes makes a difference. Lot’s of times I have put off dishes until they are super stacked up. But, I have recently learned that it only takes a few minutes if I just do them when they are first dirtied rather than a whole hour or more when I’ve let it all stack up…

    • 2

      I always start dinner with a sink full of hot soapy water and wash as I go. By the time dinner is over, all I have are the plates we ate off of, and a pan or two that dinner was cooked in! This works very well for me.

      • 3
        Jennifer Nelson says:

        LOVE THIS!! Sounds so simple, but, so effective! It’s like a bubble bath invitation, only for your dishes! Once the tub is filled you gotta jump in!

  2. 4

    The way people used to wash dishes, before not just dishwashers, but hot water heaters, was you’d put the kettle on, plug the sink, put in the dishes (neatly stacked) and the soap, fill it with hot water from the kettle and walk away for twenty minutes. (Or wipe down the counters and sweep the floor.) Then you’d rinse them off, stack them in the dish drainer and walk away again.

    If you filled your pots with soap and hot water at the same time, scrubbing them after you had the dishes rinsed wasn’t much of a chore.

    Plus boiling water = sanitized.

    I do this now when it’s just me for a few days and I don’t make enough dishes to run a full load in two days. Gets all the sticky and dried on stuff off without scrubbing.

  3. 6

    Wow…I can so relate to that “before” shot πŸ™‚ It really is amazing what just a few minutes can do! I’ve been doing better about keeping my kitchen clean, but I still struggle.

  4. 7

    Why is it that we tend to build something up in our minds as so much worse than it actually turns out to be? Sometimes a chore winds up living down to my lousy expectations, but usually it takes a fraction of the time and is wasn’t worth the stress of worrying about it or putting it off. And when I finally suck it up and get it done, then I imagine I feel just as good as Amber did as she stood there admiring that shiny, dish-free counter. Great job, Amber! πŸ™‚

  5. 8

    I do not have a dishwasher, so that’s what my counter looks like every night. Wait scratch that…I have WAAY less counter, so my dirty dishes get stacked in the sink then unloaded onto the floor so that I can actually use the sink (because what countertop I do have needs to bu the drying space). It’s no fun, but I try to use that as Bible meditation or prayer time or just decompression “I don’t have to think about anything: time” which israre since I’m a homeschooling SAHM πŸ™‚ Good job, poster, and one last tip – broken dishwashers still serve as a nice drying areas if it’ll be a while before it gets repaired! Less disruption of your normal counter space.

    • 9

      I am now the proud possessor of a lovely large two level drain rack. *sigh*

      As soon as my husband brings me the torque bits, I’m going to take it apart and hope it’s just some little toys stuck under the fins of the pump intake. Gotta love a 2yo…

  6. 10

    17 minutes! That’s amazing! I’m so glad you shared this. Doing dishes is my most-hated chore and I will trade just about anything (except cleaning toilets!) to get out of it.

  7. 11

    Like Jessicah above, I use my dishwasher for drying. In fact, to get dishes done faster, wash by hands and do rinse only (if it works!).

    Standing still to wash dishes got me thinking about what needed to be done, and I planned my whole day while washing the other night. It was nice!

    • 12

      I should do that…I always rinse my dishes off before putting them in the dishwasher anyway because I load all day and run it last thing before bed. Several times I’ve mistaken the dirty load I forgot to run at night for the clean load I expected to find in the morning.

  8. 13
    Barbara Trauch says:

    I don’t have a dish washer. Never have. I like to listen to audio books so as the water and suds fill the sink I put my ear buds in and escape in a story. Done before you know it it.;-)

  9. 15

    I don’t have a dishwasher so the before pic always looks like my kitchen. I loathe doing them and hubby does them “sometimes”.

  10. 16

    Is it just me, or does that before picture look like not a lot of mess? Maybe I’m just REALLY messy. I’m seriously not being snarky, I’m just a little envious of other peoples’ “big” messes I guess! πŸ™‚

    • 17

      I agree mg… my “daily” is usually messier than other people’s messy…I know of one person with whom this is not true.

    • 18

      Oh I can make a way bigger mess too!

    • 19
      Rose Salazar says:

      I was going to say, that before pic looks like a cinch! With a family of 5 that works and schools from home, and cooks everything from scratch, we have a LOT of dishes! All of us take turns throughout the day, but they still can pile up.
      However, a LOT of dishes can be done in a short amount of time. If one of the kids complains about it being “too much”, then I say, well, just see how much you can do in 15 minutes. Usually, they’re done, or nearly so.

      • 20

        We are a h’sing family as well (family of 6). We almost always eat hot breakfast. So, we are eating 3 meals a day at home. Every day. Lots of dishes here too! πŸ™‚

  11. 21

    We don’t have a dishwasher either, but I absolutely love our drying rack cabinet! They save so much counter space – which is especially important when you have very little to begin with! Which is a typical problem here in Italy. Here’s an example (NOT my blog or pictures – just the best example of one that I could find! πŸ™‚

    It’s really too bad that these aren’t common in the US.

  12. 22

    In the United States, the sink generally goes under a window, so you can keep track of your children outside in the yard while you cook and wash. Automatic dishwashers generally use the same or less energy and far less water than hand washing, so they’re more eco-friendly as well.

  13. 23

    Awesome and good for you!!! I love this blog and the inspiring things I see ppl accomplishing in a category I feel I consistently fail in. Thank you for all the tips, tricks, and insights you share. It’s sincerely saving my sanity and marriage. Also it’s keeping me on course to model a little somethin somethin for my kiddos. You guys are the best!!! πŸ™‚

  14. 24

    on our recent snow days, I cleaned up our kids books shelf. It only took about 20 minutes. I took before and afters…….maybe some month I’ll get around to posting on your FB page! *sigh*

Speak Your Mind


Β© 2009 - 2015 A Slob Comes Clean All rights reserved. | Blog Header and Button design by Many Little Blessings.