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JLeslie's avatar

Do you put everything away before you sit down to eat?

Asked by JLeslie (54570points) December 8th, 2013

Everything from the fridge and pantry that you used to cook? What about cleaning all the pots and pans and knives before you sit down to eat? My husband sometimes points out (it’s really a criticism in my opinion) that I left things on the counter, or that I should clean as I go. Since he doesn’t cook often I find his comments obnoxious and controlling. Thank goodness he is not like that most of the time.

I do clean as I go to some extent, but just not completely if I am preparing a fairly big meal. Maybe some people do it? I like my food to be hot when I eat it, so I sit down when it is ready. His mom tends to let food sit and then reheats it if necessary. It’s good in the sense that she always has food ready, but I never have been one to do that; at least not often.

What is typical for you? Make a mess and then clean up after you’re done eating? Clean as you go? A combination?

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51 Answers

Katniss's avatar

I try to clean as I go so I have less of a mess to clean up after, but is the kitchen spotless when I sit down to eat? Hell no.

Seek's avatar

All food products are cleaned up and put away as used. Mise en place. But dishes wait until I get around to it, since I’m the only one that does a damn thing in that kitchen.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I clean as I go when I have time. Like Seek I’m the only one so dishes or cups may soak a night lol

longgone's avatar

Hell, no. I like my meals hot.

glacial's avatar

If I did that, I’d never eat a hot meal. No, the cleanup can wait until afterwards – I have no problem motivating myself to clean a kitchen after the meal. Actually, I kind of enjoy it as long as I’m not under pressure to do it swiftly.

Yes, I clean as I go a little bit. But there are always a few things left in the sink or on the counter while I’m eating, and I don’t find that at all distressing.

Smitha's avatar

I do as much clean up along the way as I can while cooking, so there’s usually only one or two things still to clean after the evening meal is finished.

DWW25921's avatar

I still have pans out from days ago. Maybe I should do something about that?

bossob's avatar

I clean as I go to a point. When the food is hot and ready to be served, I stop everything to eat.

ibstubro's avatar

I clean as I go to a point. When the food is hot and ready to be served, I stop everything to eat.


khajuria's avatar

No particular standard for me. Sometimes, eating while cleaning and sometimes cleaning while eating ;) Strange, isn’t it? ;)

gailcalled's avatar

Whoever is in charge of cleaning up gets to decide.

flutherother's avatar

No, you’re going to have to clean the cutlery and china after you eat anyway.

Judi's avatar

I’m much better than I used to be. There was a time when I was lucky to get it cleaned up the same day!
I don’t cook so often anymore but when I do I usually clean up after. I don’t like cold food either.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hm. I find his comments obnoxious and controlling too. What shall we hit him over the head with to make him understand that?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I clean as I go to a point. When the food is hot and ready to be served, I stop everything to eat.


Seek's avatar

@Dutchess_III – Have I ever mentioned that I was three-year reigning champion of the Tampa Bay Mountain Man Rendezvous Women’s Frying Pan Throw?

I could bean the guy at 20 yards with a cast-iron skillet. ^_^

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well YOU rock @Seek_Kolinahr! You need to pay a visit to @JLeslie‘s husband!

dabbler's avatar

The exact same difference occurs in my household. If I’m cooking most of the cleanup is done by the time I serve the meal. (...It also takes me longer to prepare a meal.)
After the meal, cleanup is just dealing with the dishes we ate from.

When my wife cooks (far more often than I do) there is a sinkful of cooking pans and dishes at the end.
But she cleans up her own mess later, so I don’t think I have any right to complain.

@JLeslie if he’s not the one cleaning up after dinner, in my opinion he’s got nothing to complain about.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This is true @dabbler, but apparently he does complain anyway. Just saying that he has no right to complain doesn’t change the situation for @JLeslie.

Seriously, I wonder how you can make an impression on him so that he doesn’t mention it again. Something that affects him….I don’t know how you do dinner. Do you sit at the table and eat together? Maybe you could put all the food away, clean up the whole kitchen, mop the floor, the whole 9 yards, then pull the food out and warm it up and serve it then.

Seek's avatar

My words were, literally,

“When you wash the dishes you can decide when they should be washed”.

End of story.

tedibear's avatar

If I’ve pulled out vegetables for a salad, or cheese to be put on top of something – or anything similar to that – it gets put away. Otherwise, why bother? I don’t mind washing everything at once.

As for your husband’s remarks, I like @Seek_Kolinahr‘s answer the best. He needs to zip it!

Dutchess_III's avatar

What would he do @JLeslie if you calmly, but firmly, said exactly that to him?

Pachy's avatar

Not usually, and sometimes not even after!

hearkat's avatar

My sweetie is the chef and the kitchen is his domain, but I cook sometimes. Refrigerated items generally get put right back. If he’s doing the cooking, I’ll try to help by putting stuff away and clearing space as he goes, because he is less inclined to do so. I hate doing dishes, though, so I might rinse, but they get left for him to wash after the meal.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Nope. If I have time to clean as I go, then I do. Most often though, I’m doing a dozen different things to prep and plate everything, so I eat it while it’s hot and clean up afterward.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie I just read your comments about what your husband said… that’s pretty crazy. I think my first and only response to that would be to tell him to clean it up if it bothers him so much. If he’s not cooking at all, he’s evidently got plenty of time.

ibstubro's avatar

I think @JLeslie should start earlier preparing dinner. Cook it, turn it off, then wash every pot and pan. Wipe every counter. Put the towels in the washer. Then call dinner. When hubby complains about the food being cold, then simply say, “Yes, but you’ll notice the countertops are sparkling!”

JLeslie's avatar

@ibstubro Except he will never complain about the food being cold.

LornaLove's avatar

I do try to clean as I go simply because I feel that I can relax and eat and not think ‘Pfft! dishes to wash later’. For me it works quite well and I manage it. When I’m starving though I will have a spoon laying on the counter (maybe with food on) and a few splashes etc.

I think either way works okay it depends on the person.

ibstubro's avatar

Crap. @JLeslie

Then I’m your husband personified! No wonder we don’t get along!

I LOVE cold food!

Unbroken's avatar

Well I clean but the pans or whatever is soaking, gives the pans time to cool down I use glass.

Besides it is much better to move around after you eat. It promotes good digestion. So a nice way to do that is to leave the pans and the sweeping and final countertop wipe down after the meal. Besides then you have to wash the dishes after.

If it is such a big deal to him then he can clean it up while you are finishing everything and plating things. If it bugs him it is his issue and therefore his responsibility.

.. Or you can tell him if that’s what he wants you require a dishwasher.

JLeslie's avatar

Just to clarify, he doesn’t say something every day. But, I do know what he would prefer even if he doesn’t say anything. My husband used to help in the kitchen more, but I am not working now, so it is kind of my job to do all the domestic stuff. I think it is fair. If I went back to working he would very willingly start helping out more again around the house.

Aethelwine's avatar

I put all the ingredients away when I’m done using them, but the cleaning of pots, pans and utensils can wait until we are done eating.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


I come to the table with pants on.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, what would he say if you said, “Well, if you want to clean them before we eat feel free,” @JLeslie?

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III If I said it while I don’t have a job he would say it’s my job to keep the house clean. I do tell him when he is being controlling and he backs off. I only feel he is being controlling when he is telling me what time to do something. Otherwise, he isn’t bossing me around all the time. For the most part I do whatever I want and have it pretty cushy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

BTW, I agree with the assessment that since you aren’t working outside of the house the house work should fall on you. I’m in that situation myself.

Glad he responds, instead of exploding, when you talk to him!

Seek's avatar

In that case, the answer is “I don’t come to your job and tell you when to do whatever it is you do, and I expect the same courtesy.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

the standard response would be, “But house cleaning isn’t a “real” job. Anybody can clean a house. Not many people can do what I do.”

Seek's avatar

In that case he just picked himself up a second job.

I’m a housewife, not a servant girl. He can clean his own damned dishes with that attitude.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah. I agree with that sentiment. I also have a problem with my husband rather taking me for granted. However, I don’t know about @JLeslie, but I try to settle things peacefully, creatively, for my own sake. I don’t deal with piddly things like that head on like that. It takes a little longer, but it works.

KNOWITALL's avatar

If any of you have tried to wait it out, doesn’t it drive you crazy when thing’s start piling up?
I figure since it’s makes me nutz and doesn’t him, I may as well accept it.

One thing I didn’t realize about marriage, if you don’t want to do something you don’t have to, making someone’s life hell is wayyyy too much work for me…lol

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks for all the answers. I wasn’t expecting suggestions to deal with my husband, but I appreciate them. Some I will put in my back pocket for the future. I do sometimes feel underappreciated for the work I do taking care of the house and all associated errands, but I could never compare my “job” to my husbands. I’ve worked full time, I have it pretty easy right now, and my husband is carrying the entire burden of financially supporting us, and that can be stressful. I was mainly just curious how other people deal with the kitchen clean up.

ibstubro's avatar

That’s the debate you started. Does “bringing home the bacon” [paying the bills] make you the ruler of the roost?

Isn’t this the point where chopped liver is brought up??

JLeslie's avatar

@ibstubro My main question was “Do you put everything away before you sit down to eat?” The supporting details explained why I asked. I realize now mentioning how my husband looks at it opened the discussion for handeling my husband, but originally I thought qualifying by saying he isn’t usually like that would have people realize he isn’t bothering me that much with it, or with being controlling in general. I ended with asking is typical for other jellies in the kitchen when cooking. I didn’t ask how can I tell my husband to stop bothering me about it.

ibstubro's avatar

Just Tell Him!?

Unbroken's avatar

We are just extra helpful that way. ;) And we care. Besides little problems add up.

jca's avatar

To me, to have the food get cold so it can wait while I clean makes no sense.

JLeslie's avatar

@ibstubro Just tell him what? If you look back at my orginal question none of my question marks are regarding my husband.

@Unbroken I don’t mind the side conversation regarding my husband. We’ve been married 20 years, overall he is a great guy. I agree though, little things can add up.

@jca His mom has the food read much before just getting everything cleaned up. That’s another thing, she is not as neurotic as me about leaving food out. If it sits on the stove for an hour and then she reheats it she isn’t thinking at all about bacteria growing.

I think since I have been a little messier in general this is coming up more. We are in an apartment waiting for our house and the apartment is crowded with stuff in boxes, and we have a lot of paperwork laying around. If everything was neat and in its place, except for the kitchen having some dirty dishes he probably would not get to him as much. But, no matter what he would prefer the dishes never to be dirty and the food to always be ready to eat. At the same time, he will eat cereal for dinner without complaining if I don’t get around to cooking, and he tells me when he loved what I made him for lunch. He is very appreciative of the meals I make for him.

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