24 hours. 1,440 minutes. Every day that comes to us is a refilling of time. A fresh slate. A new day. Sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it? And yet, how many times do we get to the end of the day and we feel as if we accomplished very little that day. It can be so frustrating, especially if we consistently feel this way.
I’m a To Do List person. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. And I find that when I establish a system or routine for handling household tasks I feel so “ahead of the 8-ball”. I’d like to share some of those routines here, in hopes that it will spark ideas for you and your household.
- Automate your bill paying. By having things like utility, mortgage and insurance payments automatically taken from a bank account, you will save yourself an incredible amount of time each month. I recently tallied up the number of checks I no longer have to write throughout the year due to Automatic Bill pay and they came to 70! Just think of the amount of time (and postage) I’m saving!
- If you prefer to sit down at your kitchen table or desk to write checks, then set aside 1-2 dates on your calendar to do so on a regular basis. And have all of your supplies close by: envelopes, address labels, postage, calculator, checkbook.
- Establish a laundry routine. I wish dirty laundry was something we grew out of as we got older but it is here to stay! If you’ve got children, then you could easily do 1-2 loads a day. I’m a firm believer in teaching young children how to do their own laundry. Because my two favorite TV shows are on the same night of the week, I’ve started doing laundry on that particular night as it gets me off the sofa and prevents that couch potato syndrome from setting in!
- Plan your meals for two weeks and then grocery shop for the plan. This cuts down on unnecessary trips to the grocery store or last-minute fast food pickups.
- Once you come home from the grocery store, wash all of the fruit and chop up the vegetables. This saves a tremendous amount of time in the kitchen later and encourages hungry souls to make healthy choices.
- Cook in bulk and then freeze. I like to make extra batches of spaghetti sauce, Sloppy Joes, taco meat, brown rice or soups. While this is an obvious thing to do, we get out of habit of preparing extra when we’re cooking.
- Another laundry tip – use a system for sorting throughout the week. We’ve always used a 3-bag laundry sorter so that when one bag is nearly filled we know we’ve got enough for 1 load of laundry. It’s easy to carry to the laundry room and get started. A real no brainer.
- Stay on top of the paper. This one is huge. First of all, be proactive in junking the junk mail. Sign up for the National Do Not Mail List. 2nd – Request to be taken off of credit card offers. The national credit bureaus offer a toll-free number that enables consumers to opt-out of all pre-approved credit offers with just one phone call. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT. You will be required to key in your social security number but it is secure and really works. Thirdly, become a decision maker with your paper. Save only what you really have to. Pitch the rest.
- Set up a system for the paper you keep. This might be a large basket to hold your incoming bills, magazines and other papers. Or it might be a hanging file box sitting on your kitchen counter. Whatever makes sense to you as long as you use it on a consistent basis.
I’m sure you’ve developed routines for managing your home. These are just a few I’ve come to rely on over the years.