How does the number of dishes and whether they’re clean correlate to the number of roommates?

Mostly in an attempt to clean out the drawers, Michelle set aside a stack of dishes, pots, and pans to go in the garage. Since then, it seems like the dishes are clean more often. Is there a correlation between the total number of dishes available, the number of roommates, and how often the dishes are cleaned? What’s the ideal number of dishes per roommate per household?


Greg Linch January 14, 2011 Reply

A guess: The fewer dishes you have, the more likely you are to clean them more often.

It’s kinda like an odd twist on supply and demand meets caching. The greater supply, the less often you’ll likely clean because you know there are more, so they pile up more easily and you perceive them as batches to clean. (Also, I’d guess that we perceive the batches as more efficient to deal with, but we probably use more water because it’s not just the sum of the dishes, but the sum of the intervals between dishes as well when the water is left on). The less supply, it’s more likely you’ll be to clean your dish — such as after each use before a batch builds up — to be sure demand is met.

Daniel Bachhuber January 14, 2011 Reply

That’s what I would guess as well, and for the same reasons. It’s totally a solvable experiment.

Michelle January 14, 2011 Reply

Calm yourselves, norks! You’re exerting too much brain power here. While your theories are intriguing, I feel obliged to say that you’ve overlooked the obvious. There are less dirty dishes piled up around the kitchen because…

I’ve been cleaning them. Dun, dun, dun.

By the way, a nork is a nerd/dork. I had to invent this (affectionate) term when I started dating Daniel. Nothing else seemed to aptly describe his ways.

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