Time to share a few more tips, taken from my ebook “How Do I Get it all Done… and Still Have Time to Enjoy it?” (available for purchase soon)
Last week I shared the first two sections from the chapter called “The Nitty Gritty Practical Stuff”. Here are the next two; laundry and “stuff”.
- Sort once; If your laundry area has room, either use multiple baskets or a laundry sorter. Require everyone who is old enough to carry their laundry directly to the baskets, putting each piece in the appropriate basket. Use labels if necessary. When it comes time to start a load, no sorting, just pick a load and toss it in.
- Choose a specific routine for doing laundry; instead of trying to keep up with it as you go, set a time when you know you will do it. Some ideas include;
- Pick one day or two and do all of it for the week (and not much else!) This sounds impossible but it really cuts down on the repetition. You’re only opening each drawer once per week instead of once per day.
- Wash in the morning, fold after lunch, put away after dinner- one or two loads per day.
- Do the easy load like jeans and towels on busy days and the harder loads, like the whites, on less busy days. Of course this is all predetermined according to your other weekly chores.
- Do it all on Saturday-oh yay! … no seriously, if you don’t have to do too much else it’s not too bad.
- Get the kids to do it. But don’t tell them it was my idea.
- If you children take lessons that involve particular clothing, like gymnastics, dance, or sports, have them put their clothes in the laundry right when they come home. Then have a very specific place to put them once clean. No more running around the house looking for a leotard when it’s time to go to class.
- Give each child a box or tote for clothes they have outgrown. Each time they discover something is too small, they should put it in the box. This will help them to get dressed faster and put their clothes away faster because the drawers and closet only contains items that fit. It will also make it easier to move into the next season, see the “seasonal stuff” section.
- Build a homeless shelter; Ok, so you won’t really be building anything. Get one nice looking container that fits the decor of your home. Any time you find something that doesn’t really belong anywhere, put it in the container and resolve to find it a home within the week.
- Use a “mystery parts box”; Stop moving that little plastic twisty thing from one corner of the kitchen counter to the other. You know it goes to something but You don’t know what. I’m not telling you to put it away. Just put it in the mystery parts container. Then when junior says “Mom, have you seen a little plastic twisty thing?” you can say “I don’t know dear, check the mystery parts box.”
- Establish a Bed and Breakfast; For those little ones (and sometimes not-so-little) who seem to always have a lot of “stuff” around the house. Designate one container per child for any miscellaneous stuff you come across during the day. Instead of being limited to these three choices; A. follow them around all day saying “put that away”, B. putting it away for them, and C. stepping over it, you have choice D. dump it into their container and they have until the next morning to clear it out. You know, kind of like a night at a B&B.
- Keep a container of some kind for Good Will or wherever you choose to donate items you no longer need. Whenever you come across such items, put them into the container instead of moving them from place to place.
- Designate a place for other people’s stuff. When you leave the house, check and see if you are going to be seeing the owners of anything in the box and take it to them. We have two spots. One in the garage for people who don’t live nearby-we can take it to them when we leave the house- and one at the front door for friends on the street.
- Go through the mail the moment it comes in the door. Throw away the junk. There, you’ve just eliminated half of your mail problem.
- Put the rest of the mail in a specific place and sort it once per week.
That’s it for today, aren’t you glad? I’ll meet you back here next week to tackle seasonal stuff, your calendar, and finding what you need when you need it.
See you then,