time management

Time Savers: Steps Basket

You know the feeling, when you walk into a room, you stop, and think, “Why did I come in here?”  That happens to me more often if I’m constantly going up and down the steps.

Save yourself a trip.

Put a basket at the bottom of your staircase to collect anything that needs to go up.  Every time you do need to go upstairs, take a few things with you.

I do this with laundry baskets, too.  I wait until I need to go upstairs to carry the clothes up… sometimes my knight-in-shining-armor carries the heavy baskets for me!

time management

Time Savers: Shower Multitasking

This tip came from one of my college students!!

Do you have long hair?  What do you do while your conditioner is soaking?

Don’t just stand there!  Get something done!  Twist your hair up into a bun and go about your business.

  • Brush your teeth
  • Wash your face
  • Shave your legs

While you’re at it, save some water, too!  Stop and turn the water off when you don’t need it running.


time management

Time Savers: Double Trouble

Once-a-Month cooking seems like such a wonderful idea — dozens of meals, ready at a moments notice — until you try to do it.  It can be overwhelming when you don’t plan correctly.  It can take all day, or even several days to make everything on the list.  It’s exhausting.  For me, it ended up being more tiring than actually cooking every night and we didn’t like the food as much.

So, instead of following someone else’s menu and plan, I needed to create my own.  We needed food we actually enjoy and a more convenient way of making it.

Make the meals as you go!

  • If you’re making a casserole on Monday, make two and freeze one.
  • If you’re making a meatloaf on Tuesday, make two and freeze one.
  • If you’re marinating chicken on Wednesday, make THREE bags and freeze two of them!

After a month, you’ll have a month’s worth of meals frozen with very little extra effort!!

time management

Time Savers: The Toilet

Cleaning the toilet grosses me out.  I use the Clorox refillable wand, because then I never have to even come close to touching anything.  I just push the button and the dirty part falls into the trash can.  Hands off cleaning.

Because I hate cleaning the toilet, I try to do it as little as possible.  I put bleach tablets in the tank of the toilets.  You can get all kinds of colors and scents, but I like just straight bleach.  Clorox calls them Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaners.  Sounds good to me!

time management

Time Savers: Hold the Phone

I read in The Art of Homemaking, that a woman should consider installing a phone with an extra long cord in her kitchen.  This way, while she catches up with her friends, she can still be a productive homemaker.

I laughed.  Out loud.  Then I read it to my husband.  And laughed some more.

The idea of installing a phone.  With an extra long cord.  So a woman can stay in the kitchen… It still makes me chuckle.

Then, I realized, I don’t sit down idly while I’m on the phone.  Whether I’m talking to a friend, my mom, or a customer service representative, I’m working on something.

Next time you’re on the phone, try to get something done.

  • File papers.
  • Put dishes away.
  • Pull out dinner to thaw.
  • Gather the dirty clothes.
  • Fold or put away clean laundry.
  • Tidy up the room you’re in.
time management

Time Savers: Drop Spot

Where are my keys?

Can you call my cell phone?

Any of my family members can tell you, I spend more time looking for what I need to leave the house than I need to.  If it’s not something of mine, it’s Landon’s shoes, or the diaper bag.

Put it in one place, and always put it in the same place!  Hang your coat with your purse, beside a shoe basket.  Keep a bowl on a shelf for keys, wallets, and watches.

If you always put it in the same place, it should always be there.  Save time, stop looking.

time management

Time Savers: Bathtime!

Do you have small children?  At that inbetween age, when they can bathe themselves, but still need you around for assistance?

I used to tell my son he had to get out of the bath because, “I have things to do.”  Let him play, Mom!!  Get some things done while he plays.

Now my son is old enough to shower, alone.  But, he needs frequent reminders to hurry up and not to waste water.  So, I’m still stuck in there.

  • I wipe down the sink, shelves, and mirror.
  • I clean the toilet when necessary.
  • I make sure there are spare rolls of toilet paper handy.
  • I straighten the magazine rack.

If you don’t have little ones, you can still add some quick bathroom cleaning to your schedule.

  • Hang a squeegee in your shower and clean the doors before you get out.
  • Dry yourself, then dry the shower walls.
  • Clean the drain while you condition your hair.
time management

Time Savers: Clean Your Car

I lived in my car while I was in college.  I didn’t sleep there… but I could have.  I had my books, my purse, a change of clothes, the diaper bag, toys, mail, some food scraps, countless cans of soda and water bottles…  all readily available in my car.  Did I mention I drove a compact?  It wasn’t a pretty sight.

I have friends who clean (vacuum and wash) their cars weekly.  I wish I had the time or the dedication to do that.  My poor car is well-loved, and well-used.  It can get a little unruly.

We get to the bus stop 10 minutes early every day (because the bus has been known to be super early occasionally).  Once a week, I make an effort to tidy up while we wait.

  • I bag the trash that has accumulated on the floor (tissues, fast food bags, old papers).
  • I dust the dash and console with a dusting brush I got at the Dollar Store.
  • I straighten up the trunk (stroller, diaper bag, hidden Christmas gifts…).

It takes me about 5 minutes and my car would thank me for it if she could.

time management

Time Savers: Get the Dishes Done

When you call to your family that dinner is almost ready, do they immediately appear?  Mine don’t.  I call a few times, then I hunt them down and make sure they really are hungry.  Sometimes I even get their plates ready for them while they mosey into the room.

While I’m waiting for the family to trickle in, I get the prep dishes cleaned so there is less clean-up after dinner.  I can clean anything that doesn’t make it to the dining room table.  A mixing bowl, measuring cups, pans for breading, a spatula, any knives, or pan lids can all go straight into the dishwasher before we sit down to eat.

If we are eating something that made a cooked-on-mess, I transfer it to a serving dish and soak the cookware while we’re eating dinner.  This is especially true for crockpot meals when the sauce has been baked onto the pan for 6 or more hours.

Then, after dinner, all we need to do is rinse our plates and start the dishwasher load.

time management

Time Savers: Soak Your Dishes

time savers
Tuesday Time Savers

We go through dishes faster than our dishwasher can wash them.  If I start the dishwasher after dinner, the sink fills up with snack plates and milk glasses before the other dishes are clean, let alone dry or put away.

Those sink-dishes get crusty while they wait their turn.  Then, they need scrubbed rinsed before they go in the dishwasher.  Did you ever find a sippy cup with leftover milk in it at the bottom of your sink?  Yea.

If the dishwasher is full, and the dirty dishes are filling up the sink, do a prewash.  Fill a dishpan with hot soapy water and soak the dirty dishes while they wait for a turn in the dishwasher.  It also helps keep the sink sparkling clean!

My husband doesn’t always remember to rinse his dishes, but he will put them in a bucket of water if it’s readily available.

Try a dish soap with bleach in it.  The dishes come out of the dishpan sparkling, before you even touch them with a scrub brush!