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Putting the Dishes Away

Posted on:February 14, 2022 at 12:13 PM
  1. Remove blockers, prove viability
  2. Breakdown and take only one project at a time
  3. Identify and tackle difficult/manual work first, simplify the problem
  4. Automate repetitive work
  5. Accept and triage mistakes
  6. Done is better than perfect

Remove anything that’s not silverware from the silverware section to make it possible to grab all the silverware. This is the groundwork, removing known blockers.

Next grab all the silverware at once, and nothing else. Take this one effort all at once, don’t also try to put away cups or plates at the same time, your full attention is required here.

Pull the knives out of the bunch, there should be relative few of them and removing them first simplifies our work moving forward. Exponential gains on the large portion of the work for a little manual work up-front.

Now we should be down to forks and spoons time to execute quickly with minimal effort. Pick forks or spoons to focus on first, it doesn’t matter which. If you’re focusing on forks, take individual or groups of forks as you see them and drop them in the forks spot. Everything else goes in the spoons spot, don’t think about if it’s a spoon or not, just let it drop. Effectively you’re automating the most repetitive part of the operation.

You will make a few errors because you’re moving so fast and giving such little thought. Get comfortable with this and clean up those couple mistakes later. Don’t feel bad about them, that will only make the situation worse. Instead, accept that they will be there, it’s part of nature.

If you (or others you live with) feel the need to separate large from small spoons, I suggest changing your mindset to be comfortable with a level of mixing. It’s much easier to see/grab the right size when you need it rather than doing this fine-grained sorting when putting away because it’s a task that happens in very small chunks over time.