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Cut down on cleanup and clear your table quickly

Do you dread that final cleanup after the
Sunday or holiday meal? Are there
always dishes piled up to the ceiling and out
the door?
If you try some of these tips, you can clear the
table fast, reduce the cleaning and get back to
that second cup of coffee and enjoying your

An essential part of kitchen cleanup is washing the dishes.

1. Keep One Or Two Of Those Plastic Grocery Store Bags Nearby As You're
Cooking-The counter's OK, but an even better place is right on the knob of the
silverware drawer or kitchen cabinets, or by the side of the counter you're
working on, as this picture illustrates. The bag's out of the way because it's flat,
yet it's right there when needed. Immediately put your scraps or paper/plastic
trash into it as you peel, chop and trim.
When you're done, or the bag's full, just take it off the knob or side and throw

2. Spray The Baking Pans (Or Dishes) And Equipment With Cooking Spray
Before Using-Any food residue will wash off more easily.

3. Clean As You Go-If you wash dirty dishes each time you use them (and try to
use the same ones if possible), there will be no massive piles at day's end.
If You Have A Dishwasher-Make sure it's empty so that dirty dishes can go
right in.
If You ARE The Dishwasher-Have some fresh, hot soapy water ready. As
you're clearing the table, you can put the dishes right in for soaking. By the
time you're done, most or all of the grime should be gone!
Also, set out the plastic containers and baggies so that the leftovers can be put
in right away. This can save you up to 15 minutes.

4. Now several theories abound as to the best or fastest way to get the dishes up.
Some advocate collecting silverware in a utility basket, then stacking dishes
separately, etc.
I don't think there is one right way to do this; I simply just stack the
dishes, leaving the silverware on the plates or as I'm stacking, just taking all the
silverware in one hand, then finally putting them on the top dish. Then I take in glasses and/or cups, and finally the serving dishes. That method works for me
(You see, I'm soaking the plates, silverware and glasses as I'm putting away
the food. Then just before I actually wash the plates, etc., I'll add soapy water
to the pots and pans. By the time I'm ready for them...).
If needed, request just one volunteer-Too many helpers will slow things

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