Dishwashers have become a standard appliance in most homes. They make the tedious chore of washing the dishes much simpler and free up a great deal of time to do other things. Despite the convenience and time-savings they offer, sometimes it makes more sense to wash your dishes by hand. Maybe you couldn’t fit all the dishes into the washer. Perhaps you don’t have enough dishes to justify running the washer, but you need one of the dirty dishes to be cleaned.
Washing the dishes by hand, while tedious, is very simple. It’s a task that, if done half-heartedly, can take a long time, but if you put your head down and charge into it, you can get it done in very little time.
Stack the Dirty Dishes
One of the more frustrating things that can happen is to think that you’ve washed all the dishes and to start cleaning up the sink only to turn around and see more dishes somewhere else in the kitchen or dining room that still need to be cleaned. To avoid this, you should scan both the kitchen and dining room to make sure that you’ve collected all the dirty dishes and stacked them next to the sink.
Fill the Wash Basin
Most sinks have two basins side by side. Add a couple squirts of dish soap to one of the basins first so that the water can agitate it and bubble it up. Then, fill that basin about halfway with water that is a little hotter than you can stand it. You shouldn’t spend much time with your hands actually in the water and it will cool down quickly. This basin is what we’ll call the wash basin, the other is known as the rinse basin. The wash basin is the one with either a food processor attached to it or a food strainer to catch any large chunks of food that would otherwise go down the drain and potentially clog it.
Once the wash basin is half full with soapy water, place one stack of dishes in it so that water can start loosening up the food. Place the silverware in one area in the wash basin. It helps to have all the handles on the same side so that you can reach in quickly to grab one when it’s time to wash it without grabbing the business end of a knife or waving your hand around in the hot water.
Take the first dish from the stack and start scrubbing it with the rag. Make sure to cover all the surfaces, front and back, inside and out. Once you’ve scrubbed off all the food residue and covered the dish with suds, place it in the rinse basin and proceed to the next dish. Once you’ve emptied the wash basin or once the rinse basin is full, it’s time to start rinsing the washed dishes. Before starting the rinse, move any dishes on the counter into the wash basin so that the warm water can start loosening up any food residue.
Rinse the Washed Dishes
Run warm water over the dishes in the rinse basin to wash off any remaining food and soap suds. Then place the rinsed dishes into the drying rack. If you don’t have a drying rack, laying a dish towel flat and stacking the rinsed dishes on it will work. You should arrange the rinsed dishes so that the water can drip off rather than pooling on the dish.
Dry the Rinsed Dishes
If you choose to dry the rinsed dishes by hand rather than letting them drip-dry, you should use a dry dish towel and put them away as you go. Drying the dishes is a simple and straightforward operation. The more you do it, the more tips you’ll pick up and the faster it will go. Over the years, I’ve learned that I can get the job done well and quickly if I dry off similar dishes and stack them up before actually putting them away.
For example, if I’m drying plates, I start by drying one and placing it on the counter next to the drying rack. I dry the next plate and stack it on the first. I repeat this step until I’ve dried all the plates and stacked them on the counter. Then I take the whole stack and put it in the cupboard at once. This reduces the back and forth time of going to and from the cupboard and let’s me gain efficiency.
Once you’ve washed, rinsed, dried and put away all the dishes, it’s time to clean up the sink. Let the plug out to drain the water from the wash basin. Empty the food trap or run the food processor and rinse out the wash basin. Rinse out the dish rag and use it to clean up any splashes or messes made while cooking, then hang it over the sink so that it can dry.
Like many tasks, washing your own laundry is something that seems like a complex and daunting task until you have done it a few times. Then it becomes dull and dreary. When this happens, your appreciation for whoever had been doing it for you grows and you begin to understand the frustration they had for the task.
When you break the larger chore of washing your laundry down into smaller parts, you end up with just a few tasks that are individually not too complex.
The first step is to sort your laundry into two piles. One pile for light clothes and one for dark clothes. There is no hard and fast definition of how to classify a particular piece of clothing, so your best bet will probably be good enough. Generally speaking, clothes with lots of color should go in the dark clothes pile so that if the color bleeds, it won’t have as noticeable an effect.
Within each pile, look at the tags on the clothes to see if there are any special instructions for how to wash the clothes. Most likely, they’ll say something like “machine wash warm”, but there’s the possibility that it will say something different. Try to group clothes with similar washing instructions together so that you’re not putting your delicates through with your jeans.
Once you have your clothes sorted by lights and darks and then by washing instructions, it’s time to put them into the washer, select the cycle type and temperature, add detergent, and start the machine.
Select the Cycle and Temperature
Different washers have different settings so check the knobs and dials on the washing machine to see what your options are for what kind of cycle and temperature you can select. The setting names should line up pretty closely with the tag instructions, but if you’re unsure, you can go with the normal or regular cycle with a hot or normal temperature setting.
Detergent typically comes in liquid or powder form and some washing machines have specific trays or drawers for you to put the detergent into. It’s also possible that you are supposed to simply put the detergent directly into the washer with the clothes. Check the instructions on the washer to see how and where you are supposed to add detergent.
If you’re using a powdered detergent, there should be a scoop included that you can use to measure the amount of detergent to add. Typically, one full scoop is the correct amount.
If you’re using a liquid detergent, a cup is usually included and is typically attached over the spout of the bottle. One full cup is typically the correct amount
Start the Machine
Now that the clothes have been put in and the detergent added, it’s time to close the door or lid and start the machine. Make sure that the cycle and temperature setting are correct and start the machine. Depending on the brand and model of the washer, this may be done by pushing or pulling one of the knobs or by pressing a button. The washer should have instructions for how to operate it on the control panel.
The wash cycle can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Be courteous to the other people that need to use the washer and set yourself an alarm so that you don’t leave your clothes unattended and the washer occupied. It’s not uncommon for someone to remove your clothes from the washer or dryer that they’re waiting to use.
Once the wash cycle is done, move your wet clothes directly into the dryer. As with the washer, the dryer will have one or more knobs, dials, and/or buttons that you can use to select the type of cycle you want for your clothes. Most likely, you should select a ‘normal’ or ‘permanent press’ setting. The ‘delicate’ setting will apply lower heat and will take a longer time to dry your clothes, but if the tags on your clothes say ‘delicate’, then be sure to use this setting.
You may want to add a fabric softener sheet with the clothes, though it’s not required.
The dryer can also take 30 minutes to an hour. Set your alarm to remind you that your clothes are done drying so that you can avoid being that guy that makes other people have to choose between waiting for you to come back or removing your clothes from the dryer for you.
Now that your clothes are clean, you should fold them so that they don’t get wrinkled and look shabby. There are a lot of different ways and techniques for folding clothes so don’t feel like you have to get it exactly right. As long as the clothes stay relatively wrinkle free and are easy to store, you will have done it right.
Hold the shirt by the shoulders and give it a shake. Fold the shirt down the center line so that the sleeves meet. If the shirt has long sleeves, fold them back over so that they line up with the torso of the shirt. Then fold the shirt in half so that the neck is next to the waist.
Hold the pants by the hips and give it a shake. Fold the pants so that the legs are on top of each other and there is a crease that goes down the crotch. You can then fold the legs in half or in thirds depending on how you want to store them.
Pair up socks and hold the pair side by side. Place your thumbs in the neck of one of the socks so that you’re pinching the socks together. Rotate your wrists so that you fold the neck of the sock that your thumbs are in down and over the neck of the other sock.
Usually, you can just fold the underwear in half and call it good.
Before we begin, I should point out that there many, many ways to brew coffee. The method that is being taught here is intended to address the most common method of brewing coffee. If you prefer a different method, please feel encouraged to go off-script.
Drip coffee makers are the entry-level method for making coffee. You can buy a coffee maker, filters, and ground coffee off the shelf and with very little effort or skill, brew yourself a pot. Most can be programmed to run at a particular time so that you can have a nice hot cup waiting for you when you wake up. The quality and flavor of a cup of drip coffee depends primarily on the beans which reduces the need for skill and technique.
The steps involved with brewing coffee in a drip coffee maker are pretty straight forward. The exact design of the machines is different, but the features are still the same. Each one has a reservoir, a filter holder, and a pot or carafe. The specific order of the steps isn’t so important as long as they’re all done before you start brewing.
Fill the pot with water so that it’s about as full as you want it to be with coffee. Then pour this water into the reservoir. After you empty the pot into the reservoir, place it back under the filter.
Add the Filter
Place the opened filter in the filter holder so that it lines the inside. You don’t need to tap or press it down, just let it rest inside the filter holder.
Add the Ground Coffee
This is the time to experiment. The amount of grounds you’re supposed to add is up to you. Add too little, and you’ll end up with bad-tasting brown water. Add too much and the filter will overflow and you’ll end up with grounds in your pot and on your counter top.
The filter should end up being about ⅓ - ½ full of grounds. Play around with the amount of grounds you use until you find what you consider to be the sweet spot. Trial and error is a great way to find out whether you like a strong or light tasting cup of coffee.
Start the Brewing
When you start the brewing cycle, the water in the reservoir gets heated up so that it boils. It then travels up into a tube that ends over the filter. The boiling water lands in the filter full of ground coffee and mixes with it to create the liquid coffee. The mixture then flows down through the filter and drips into the pot where it gets collected for you to drink.
Some filter holders have a plunger valve on the bottom of them that blocks the flow of coffee unless there is a pot below to catch it. I’ve found these to be somewhat unreliable as they rarely form a good seal. If the coffee is still brewing when you remove the pot, you run the risk of having your brew land on the hot-plate that your pot sits on.
As mentioned in the introduction, there are many, many other methods for brewing coffee. Some are much simpler, some are much more complicated. Some other methods that you can research include:
With the abundance of conveniences and instant gratification, getting and staying physically fit has become quite difficult in modern Western society. This is not a good thing, however, as being physically fit has a number of benefits beyond being able to survive in an austere environment. Being in good physical condition improves your health and helps you feel better.
Being physically fit does not require a personal trainer or a gym membership any any sort of equipment. While all those things will certainly help and enable you to excel at being physically fit, they’re not requirements for getting started. All you really need is motivation and discipline.
Motivation and Discipline
Motivation and discipline play very different roles for me in exercise. My motivation is what got me committed to the task, but my discipline is what keeps me on it. I don’t rely on motivation to decide whether or not I’m going to get up and go work out. If I did, I’d quickly get worn down by the inner struggle of having to give myself a pep talk every day.
Instead, I depend on my discipline to handle that. Discipline is the voice in my head that, though exhausted, says, “Hey, it’s time. Get up.” That voice doesn’t have time or patience for debate or complaining, it’s just time to go do the thing, so let’s go. Motivation signs the checks, discipline cashes them.
The exercise routine outlined here is a basic set of body-weight exercises that will help you maintain a minimum level of physical fitness. This routine won’t make you Mr. Olympia or beef you up, it will improve your health and mental well-being. Once you’ve mastered this routine, add more reps and time or start looking for more challenging options to make yourself better.
Jogging for 15 minutes is intended to warm you up, get your heart beating and your lungs breathing. Running will improve your cardiovascular and circulatory health which are two of the quickest, easiest, and most helpful wins that you can get.
20 Jumping Jacks
Start by standing straight with your hands at your sides. Jump up and while you’re in the air, spread your legs to the side so that they’re wider apart than your shoulders. At the same time, bring your hands up so that they touch over your head. Then jump again and return to the starting position standing straight with your hands at your sides. You have completed 1 jumping jack.
Start standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms extended out in front of you. Bend your legs slowly until your thighs are parallel with the ground and you are in a sitting position. Stand back up and return to the starting position. You have completed 1 squat.
Start standing straight with your hands on your hips. Step forward with your right foot and lean forward and down so that your left knee touches the ground. Stand up and step backwards with your right foot so that you are standing back in the starting position again. Then step forward with your left foot so that your right knee touches the ground. Step back again with your left foot so that you return to the starting position. You have completed 1 lunge.
Start with your palms flat on the ground slightly more than shoulder width apart and your legs extended out with your toes together or up to six inches apart. Only your hands and your toes should touch the ground. Your body should remain straight during each push-up. Bend your arms to lower your body towards the ground so that your elbows form a right angle like the corner of a square. Then extend your arms to push your body back up until your elbows lock straight again in the starting position. You have completed 1 push-up.
Start with your elbows on the ground directly below your shoulders and your toes up to six inches apart. Only your elbows and toes should touch the ground. Time begins counting when only your toes and elbows are touching the ground. Keep your body straight and off the ground for one minute.
20 Flutter Kicks
To perform one flutter kick, start on the ground and place your hands palm down under your butt. Keep your feet together and lift them 6 inches off the ground. Your feet should not touch the ground for the duration of the exercise. Keeping your left leg out straight and off the ground, raise your right leg up to a 45-degree angle and count “one”. Lower your right leg and raise your left leg to a 45-degree angle and count “two”. Switch legs again so that your right is back up and your left is down and count “three”. Switch your legs one more time so that your left is up and your right is down and count “four”. You have completed one flutter kick.
2:00 Rest, Repeat
Take a short rest to recover and start again with the jumping jacks. You should cycle through a total of three times.