I put a sign above the sink stating "No dirty dishes in the sink." It's easier to get the dishes started when they are not piled in there, and it makes you feel better to have a clean sink. Also, people are forced to stack dishes as we have limited counter space beside the sink.
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Dishes Clean or Dirty? Avoid the confusion, no need for signs
When you completely empty the dishwasher, put the soap in the dispenser immediately. Therefore, if there is soap in the dispenser the dishes inside are dirty. If the soap door is open (and empty) the dishes are clean. Do not put dirty dishes in if the soap door is open!
When storing leftovers in the refrigerator, use old butter tubs and cottage cheese containers. When its time to clean out the refrigerator you can discard the entire container. You won't have a spilled mess in the garbage can or a sink full of dirty dishes.
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