Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ode to My Dishwasher

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Before moving to NYC it was my understanding that it was nearly impossible to have a dishwasher in your apartment. Besides the minor convenience of having a dishwasher, I had imagined life in NYC as me and 3 other women living in a 500 sq ft studio in a 5th floor walk-up each paying $1,000/month {a bit of an exaggeration, I know but this is what I thought!}

As we've already established, I'm quite Type A and I had developed a list of must haves and wants for my NYC apartment and to my surprise I was able to get every must and want on my list when I first moved here and it was within my budget. I'm proud to say I did it on my own, didn't have a guarantor or mommy and daddy to pay for my apartment. It was my responsibility!

My first apartment had  . . .

a view of midtown, Empire State Building and all:

a doorman

an elevator

a washer and dryer (in my unit!)

a balcony

a walk-in closet

bamboo floors

a dishwasher (in addition to a full stainless steel appliances package)

I felt so blessed to have this apartment, but it set the bar very high for my next apartment. My landlord in that apartment broke my lease because her husband needed to live in the unit while she went abroad for work. As a result I moved to what, for me, was the ends of the earth in Rego Park, Queens. That apartment was a brief period I'd rather forget due to an ugly pest infestation the building had although the individual unit was ok.

Fast forward to now . . .

Mr. Love Bird was able to find a wonderful apartment for us to move into after we got married at the same price I was paying in 2007 but it has 300 more square feet, a Viking appliances package and an amazing bathroom. {You can see our apartment tour here.}

I LOVE to cook so having the Viking appliances have been the biggest bonus of our current apartment. They are quite high-tech and I read the manuals that came along with them to make sure I was using them properly. The dishwasher is perhaps my favorite, because it cleans so powerfully yet is very quiet. It has so many settings from stemware, pots and pans to a normal, light wash and power setting.

I have to admit that I am quite OCD about loading the dishwasher. However, I've discovered that I'm not alone in this. Growing up my parents didn't have a dishwasher for most of my childhood but we got one by the time I was in middle school. The sad thing is we didn't really use it despite me trying to explain to my parents that it's more efficient to run the dishwasher than to wash dishes by hand. Although we did use it occasionally, the preferred method was to wash by hand and leave in the dishwasher to dry, which really didn't work too well because of the lack of air circulating. Anyway, I digress . . .

I was tickled by the dishwasher loading competition scene in Rachel Getting Married. In it the family crowds around the dishwasher while it is loaded in record time. That scene made me think of all the quirky things that go on in families behind closed doors and I'm definitely quirky!

I was reading an Apartment Therapy article about household chore quirks and was reminded of this because of the trouble my family has loading my dishwasher whenever they visit. I never leave clean dishes in the dishwasher and it irks me becuase I've explained this several times before that I put them away when they're clean. Also, it's quite obvious to tell if they're dirty or not just by looking at them. Additionally, they have trouble placing items in the dishwasher in an organized manner when it's simple enough to follow the pattern of dishes that's already been established. Anyway, in this article, many of the commenters expressed how they'd rather shoo guests out of the kitchen and decline help because they prefer to do things their way. I very much agree! This comment especially struck a chord with me:

"I don't have a dishwasher, but I've never understood why I've never witnessed a single person, other than me (when I'm visiting houses with dishwashers), who loads from the back to the front - especially the top rack. Why would you load front to back? You have to reach over all the things in the front as it fills up and you can't tell at a glance how much room is left. Or is there some larger dishwasher knowledge I'm just not privy to?"
YES, I don't understand this either as well as people who don't get that silverware get cleaned best in the dishwasher when placed handle down in the basket (except for knives).

I'm also a fan of Real Simple and I came across a helpful slideshow that explains what can and can't go into the dishwasher. Whenever I see someone put wood into the dishwasher I get so agitated! That will warp it!

Anyway, I know this seems like a silly obsession, but does anyone else share this passion or have a household chores quirk? Please share!


  1. Hi Quiana! I am hardly a type A person when it comes to regular house cleaning:-) However, it’s funny when I do clean which is never often enough, I do have my quirks. One of them is completing a task from start to finish in a reasonable amount of time. If it takes longer than two hours to complete, then the task is too large. I HATE using the dishwasher as I want the dishes washed, dried and put away long before the dishwasher is finished. Once, I sit down after cleaning the kitchen, I could never relax thinking about the load of dishes in the dishwasher I have to put away later. The next worst quirk I have is having to do a project before a project. So, having to unload the dishwasher before loading aggravates me!! My husband prefers to use the dishwasher, so now to keep peace in the house, I split dish duty like my mom did...One week I wash dishes, the next week he washes dishes. LOL crazy I know:-) His quirks are cleaning the bathroom, so he cleans them all and that’s fine with me!!

  2. OK, first off....LOVED Rachel Getting Married. Secondly, I thought I was the only person who looked at dish-washing as a science. I prefer hand-washing though, but I totally understand where you are coming from!