Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Thirteen-organizing tips

Those of you who know me in real life and are reading this are probably thinking What! Sarah is handing out cleaning tips? That's a laugh. I am willing to admit that I am not the most organized and tidy person, but others have shared their wisdom with me and now I will pass it on to you.

1. Have a daily list- write it down. You are much more likely to actually do things that are written down. Some of the things on my list are: Make my bed, sweep the floor, wipe the bathroom sink...
Now you may think these things are obvious but for me it is very easy not to make the bed (whose going to see it anyway?) or neglect the floor (I have a baby and a preschooler it's just going to be dirty again in an hour or less). Plus crossing things off a list is so satisfying.

2. Clean in timed increments. It takes 10 minutes for me to unload the dishwasher in the morning. So while my kiddos are eating breakfast I can put away the dishes and have a place to put dirty dishes through the day so that my counters are less cluttered.

3. Seek out mini jobs that you can do while on the phone or waiting for the kettle to boil or what ever. I bet you can fold 10 towels while chatting with your mother.

4. This one is from Jennifer at Extreme Housewife: Have a lunch kit handy in your fridge so that you can put things in it for your husband or kid's lunch through out the day. That way you are not scrambling to make lunches after supper (during bath time and story reading and bedtime) or in the morning.
Note: When I suggested this to my husband he had the idea to have 2 lunch kits as he would be taking one to work and one would be at home.

5. Have a give away box that is handy to put things in as you come across them. I keep my box in the bottom of my pantry. When it is full I cart it off to the re-use shed at the dump or drop it off at our local thrift store.

6. Have a mail box by the door. Place a divider in it and have one side be for incoming mail and the other for out going. (Keep stamps in the outgoing side).

7. Cook when you have the time. You can make a casserole for supper during nap time and then pop it in the oven 1/2 an hour before you want to eat and have a hot meal ready for you without the chaos of dealing with entertaining children, browning meat, chopping vegetables... you get the idea :)

8. Prepare a menu for the week. There are several blogs out there that participate in Meal Plan Monday. So you really don't even have to make up your own menu. Go steal someone else's.

9. Enlist the help of your family. My 3 year old son has jobs to do in our house. They include putting away cutlery and plastic dishes from the dishwasher, putting away folded bibs, tea towels and dish clothes, and putting away his own laundry and toys. It may be more time consuming to have your tots work along side you, but it is so worth it to spend the time teaching and loving them.

10. Wipe down your garbage can every time you take out the trash. It will stay so much cleaner if you do.

11. Keep things simple. Have a basket for your kids toys to be tossed into at the end of the day, have 1 calendar to write down birthdays, appointments...etc. Don't get elaborate or it will be too much to keep up.

12. Cut yourself some slack. Sometimes there are more important things that a clean bath tub. If you don't tackle everything on your list today, there's always tomorrow.

13. Celebrate your accomplishments. You made your bed today, hooray! You finished a load of laundry, yahoo! Focus on what you DID get done and stay positive.

For more Thursday Thirteen go to Happy to Be at Home .
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carma said...

some great tips. It appears your 3 year old is doing more to help around the house than my 13 year old!! *groans*

stopping by from UBP to say "hi" - party on :-)

Jennifer said...

These are great tips! Especially the one about keeping positive. That is something I really need to work on. If I was a little more positive about what I am accomplishing through the day I would probobly be happier and better able to accomplish more.

Oh wait! No... the best tip was the one about the lunch kit in the fridge!!! :) I am glad you were able to take something from my blog.

JessieLeigh said...

That's a great list of tips for anyone! I agree whole-heartedly with "keeping it simple". Some of my biggest homemaking "fails" have involved trying to make things too complicated or elaborate.

Sherry said...

Gerat tips! My two help out but they definitely could help out a little more. :D Thank you for the tip on staying positive and celebrating accomplishments whether small or not. :D

It Feels Like Chaos said...

I love your number 13! I tend to be pretty hard on myself, but I'm learning to let things go. When you are mothering small children a bed made or load of laundry started IS an accomplishment!

Layton Family Joy said...

13 tips - this is amazing!!

I like the celebrating part - does that include brownies?!?

thanks for linking up!

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