What’s the hottest commodity to any busy woman? Time! If only we had more hours in the day. We spend much of our time keeping the house together. If we added up the minutes, they turn into hours and ultimately years of our life spent sorting socks, loading the dishwasher and sweeping the floor. What if we just had a few extra hours a day? What amazing things could we do? I compiled some things that I have made into my regular routine that over the last few years have saved me time and sanity!
Folding Laundry (or not!)
I usually do 2 loads of laundry a day. Putting it in the washer and then the dryer is not the most time consuming part. It’s folding and putting it away that takes so much time. The people in my house seem to wear 3 outfits a day on average.
DON’T fold your kid’s pajamas! In fact, I go a step further and I DON’T fold a lot of my girls’ clothes. For the most part, they dress themselves and they usually redress themselves 4 times a day. They pull things out the drawer and drop straight onto the floor. Their clothes come out of the dryer and into a laundry basket. I carry it into their room and open the drawers and toss them in- sweaters in 1 drawer, underwear in another and pants in another etc. PJs are all in one drawer. (I sort of fold their shirts so they aren’t super wrinkly but inevitably, I look the next day and the shirt drawer is a mess again.) I don’t sort their socks, unless I am really feeling zany. All the socks go into one drawer. When we need socks, it’s easier than you think to open the drawer and find a match.
My mother-in-law doesn’t fold her washcloths. Why would we? She has all white washcloths and they are in the bathroom drawer.
To keep a handle on the clothes that kids are growing out of… I keep a box in the kids' closet and throw clothing in it that are now too small. The easiest way to keep up with this is actually in the event of trying it on and realizing it's too small. The girls know where the clothes go, so it's nice to see them adding to the collection without me in the room. As that box fills up, I know it’s time to get out the next box of hand-me-downs and do a thorough inventory check.
Putting Things Away… Easy to Reach!
Store baby bibs in the kitchen. For some reason I thought they should go in the kids room and I would walk to their room every time I needed one… in the kitchen.
My husband’s work clothes are stored in the laundry/mudroom. He walks in from work (as a landscaper), strips down in the mudroom and the dirty clothes go into the hamper. They get washed and I put them away into the cupboards in the laundry room. I don’t have to lug them through the house and cram them into the bedroom dresser. Also, he wakes up earlier than me and he can get dressed outside of our room while I catch up on zzzzzzs.
I use my big fry pan most every morning to make pancakes, eggs or french toast. I use my big fry pan almost every night too. So, I usually don’t go through the trouble to put it away. Plus, I like my pan and I don’t mind looking at it.
I do a turbo fast straightening everyday for about 10- 15 minutes. You know when you look around your house and think, “This place is a mess!”? It would really bum me out if I didn’t know how fast I can change that. I look at it as part cleaning, part cardiovascular exercise. It just needs a few minutes to QUICKLY put everything back in the room that it belongs. Coats in the closet, shoes by the door, toys in the box, clothes in the hamper, dishes in the sink. On your mark, get set , go… I would consider my lightning speed burns calories as well. When I am done, the house is straight and I have instant gratification.
Put kid dishes and kids snacks in a cupboard they can reach. “Go get your bowl.” “Go get cereal.” “Go get a cup for milk.” They can help put their dishes away too. They gain a sense of independence early with this simple placement. In fact, when other kids come over, they all know where the kid’s cupboard is. Parker especially feels like a“big girl” doing it herself that she likes to get out 10 cups when she visits.
Prep foods so they are easy to grab when you need them.
Process oatmeal into oat flour and store it in a container so it’s easy to grab for any recipe. (protein pancakes!)
Chop a whole onion and store in sealed clear container in the fridge. I use onions everyday for omelets and dinners. That way, its ready to go… without any crying!
Always have a veggie tray handy. I wash and chop vegetables early in the week so that every night while I am making dinner, we can munch on some veggies. “Mom, I’m hungry!”… “ I am making dinner now.”… “Can’t I have something?” “Bring out the veggie tray!” If the girls ruin their dinner on fresh raw veggies, I am happy! (got this idea from my mom group friends)
Getting Groceries Fast!
I go grocery shopping a couple times a week. I am pretty sure it is inevitable. I shop at Kroger (regular grocery store) every week. Every other week, I go to Costco (my local big box store) and the little Italian bakery for lunchmeats and specialty items. I make a point to shop very quickly- in and out, outside circle of the store mostly and no loitering. Not, run into the elderly fast, just quick and deliberate. Pep in my step sorta fast!
Something that saves me an additional trip to the store is signing up for an organic fruit and vegetable delivery service. (www.doortodoororganics.com) We signed up for the itty bitty box that comes every other week. The service has many benefits but saving time is definitely one of them.
Use your Computer to Save Time
Pay bills online- If you have never done it, it may seem like a lot to set up. But its amazing how much time that it saves. If I do send anything, I put outgoing mail in the mailbox with the flag up instead of hunting for a mailbox. For some reason, I never knew this until recently.
Order photos and Gifts online. I am obsessed with www.kodakgallery.com and I am very proud to have all my beloved photos uploaded to this site. Mostly, I make photo books but if I ever need to order prints, I can edit and order online and they are mailed right to the house! No more fiddling with the pharmacy kiosk.
In conclusion... Time!... out hottest commodity! What other tips do you have to save it? Do share!