Dishes Routine… the Ol’ Job Wheel

Getting dinner on the table for 4-9 people on a regular basis can be pretty daunting to even the most adventurous cooks.  If you were a fly on our wall during dinner time you may not believe the number of people here because it’s so peaceful.  Not that it’s that way all the time… but pretty much.  No, we do NOT medicate our children into submissive drones J but we do involve them in each step.  In fact, when dinner is about ready I’d call out "who wants to set the table”.  You’d have thought I asked who wants ice-cream by the way my children responded with shouts of "I do”, "you did it last time, it’s my turn”, "I will”, as they drop the basketball and rush the back door.  Several times we’ve had family/friends over when this phenomenon occurred.  Can you imagine the bewildered looks on their puzzled faces? 


After awhile of letting the children choose the job they wanted and them squabbling over whose turn it was to unload the dishwasher etc, THEY DECIDED it was time to get out the ol’ job wheel!  Isn’t that a crack up?!  The names needed adjusting (our oldest moved out) so we needed a new one. 


So here is our salvation.  The ol’ rotating job wheel!                                                                                                                                                                      

We now have 6 children = 6 dishes team members on our dishes wheel. (can you tell we play a ton of sports?)

The 6 team positions include:

  1. Set and clear table
    1. remove serving dishes (everyone clears their own dishes from table to sink)
    2. put leftovers in fridge
    3. wipe off table
    4. replace centerpiece
    5. scoot in chairs


     2 and 3.        2 team helpers load the dishwasher

    1. Rinse off dishes with brush into disposal sink (we have 2 sinks and 1 disposal = it matters which sink- less mess, less work for them)
    2. Stack on counter near dishwasher if dishwasher is full
    3. Check table and counters for more dishes and stuff
    4. Load silverware handles first, sharp knives point first


  1. Unload dishwasher
    1. Place dishes from dishwasher into where ever they live
    2. If you don’t know where something goes please ask someone
    3. No dishes or silverware in dishwasher

Tip: sometimes this job needs to be done in the morning or while dinner is being made


  1. Food, counters and hand dishes
    1. remove all food from counters, put into containers and into fridge
    2. wash all hand dishes: pots, pans, and knives (if not in dishwasher)
    3. wash counters
    4. wash sinks
    5. hang up towels and clothes, or put into Joanne’s hamper


  1. Supervisor/Team Leader 
    1. Inspect each task to be sure its completely satisfactory
    2. If completed well, compliment and dismiss
    3. If not, instruct where needs improvement and evaluate again
    4. You are the LAST to leave the premises
    5. If a task is not done well, you are the one who must return to the kitchen and redo it


Tip: this job is absolutely essential!  As you can tell, this is the person who ensures the kitchen is clean and everyone has done their job.  Usually, not everyone needs to be in the kitchen at the same time waiting their turn, though, depending on the circumstances, this can be done also.  The supervisor can choose how they want to ‘run their ship’: everyone waits till they can do their part, or call when it’s their turn.  This way its NOT you nagging your darling lil angels to finish their task.  They get to do it!  This teaches them many managerial skills; in addition, they learn if they dilly dally and take all night, the person who was supervisor over them will likely return the favor asap.  Thus, to make things easier on everyone (promoting more peace) they may as well get it over with and complete their part quickly so they can return to their life.


Now that everyone on your team has been trained on each task, there really isn’t much struggle about what each job includes.  Having the wheel is positively fabulous because there is NO scrapping about whose turn it is and no one can say "its not fair” because everyone gets a turn at the ‘easy job’.



I can, but I really don’t like to yell.  So, I have a darling cast iron bell hanging by my back door.  When it rings it means to come inside, you’ll see why when you get here.  It works famously!


Now you are available to LEAVE THE KITCHEN, because your capable ‘team’ is stepping up to take their turn.  I hope you find this dishes job wheel easy, educational, and peace promoting too! I wish you the best and happy savings till next time!



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Tags: jobs  job wheel  dishes  work  kids  cooperation 

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