Wow that was a long title! I thought I'd quickly blog about what my family does to help scale down the amount of dishes (read cups/glasses) around our house.
This is the counter right by our fridge. Lets refer to this as the drink counter. It use to look like this or worse (sometimes it still does).
There are 8 people in my family so there should only be 8 cups. Right? Let's count:
1. . .2. . .3. . .4. . .5. . .6. . .7. . .8. . .9. . .10. . .11!!!
A few years ago, knowing we had a "drinking problem" and getting tired of my dishwasher being full of cups/glasses (sometimes not being able to fit them all in in one load!), I bought everyone a different colored plastic tumbler and using a permanent marker, wrote their name on their cup (just in case they forgot their color - didn't want there to be any confusion). That worked well for a long time, until my older kids decided they were too grown-up now to use a little plastic tumbler. They now prefer to drink out of a sophisticated glass cup. The problem with this is that they all look alike. When it comes time for a drink, no one can remember exactly where they put their last glass down at and so they just grab another one and start fresh!
Let me introduce to you our beloved WET ERASE marker (not dry erase, wet erase- there's a big difference). Let's call him WEM.
WEM lives in our cupboard right by the glass cups.
The idea is that each day when you get your first drink of the day, you use WEM to write your name on your glass. This works best if you do this before you fill it, and if you write it in a place that you're not going to touch with your hand or your mouth each time you take a drink.
Then at night just load them all up in the dishwasher (don't worry about washing off the marker), and wash like you normally do.
The dishwasher will wash the marker right off and leave you with a nice sparkling clean glass.