My poll revealed exactly what I expected. When asked which part of dinner they most dreaded, only 1 in 10 moms said that the actual cooking was the most treacherous part of dinner. The remaining votes were split between planning / shopping and cleaning.
The best advice I have is to knock out your planning and shopping in one block of time. When you are deciding from day to day what you are going to have for dinner, it becomes a daily struggle. If you spend one hour in every week planning your meals, you get to breathe easy the rest of the week. One trip to the grocery store is certainly more bearable than 5 trips. It’s less expensive too.
My dinner cleaning solution is to start with a clean slate (or sink.) Before you start cooking, make sure your dishwasher is primed for dirty dishes. Also make sure you are starting with an empty sink. This will make cleaning as you go easier. Did you know it’s just as easy to put dishes in the dishwasher as in the sink? While you cook, put everything straight into the dishwasher. As for pots and pans, give them a quick wash. If you get in the habit of cleaning as you go, the after dinner clean up will be so much easier. It will be one less thing to dread about dinner time.
Dinner is like laundry. It’s not going away and we have to do it whether we like it or not. These tips will make that task easier and more enjoyable. Try it and see.