By Jennifer Hunter
Updated July 13, 2016
How to Do Fewer Dishes
Credit: Andrea Sparacio

This article originally appeared on ApartmentTherapy.com.

Who wants to spend less time doing the dishes? We do! There’s no need to overthink it. Sometimes the answer is simply to create fewer dishes in the first place. Try this simple tip.

One person = one drinking vessel. Period.

My wise, working mother employed this strategy during my childhood and it was so gospel in my home that I didn’t really think of it as a “trick,” until we got to talking about things you can do without at home and I read this comment by purpleshoes0:

As far as things I can do without, I’m a big fan of the one-bowl-and-mug-per-resident model—but it requires buy-in from all residents, or one person will wind up leaving them all some mysterious Somewhere in the house and no one else will have mugs. And for some reason, I can handwash the same coffee mug and oatmeal bowl every time I need it, but no matter what I try I go through five water glasses in a day.

The key here is to own lots of distinctive mugs so every family member (and guest) can easily id his or her own (it’s also handy for figuring out who left rings on the coffee table).

Give it a try; the only thing you have to lose is time spent washing dishes.