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Simplifying:your great ideas! - Page 3

post #41 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Journey~ View Post
One way for me to stay out of "trouble" is to not take on more then i can deal with in a day. i.e. if I have an appointment at the Orthodontist with my dd I dont schedule another outing (shopping, appointment...) for that day.

There are only so many hours in a day and I don't like running around like a headless chicken
Great point.

I have fallen victim to over-scheduling many a time. We've got five kids, so just keeping all of the schedules there in order is not easy. And sometimes I feel guilty if I can't do EVERYTHING (silly, it sounds I know) :
post #42 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Groovy Mom View Post
Great point.

I have fallen victim to over-scheduling many a time. We've got five kids, so just keeping all of the schedules there in order is not easy. And sometimes I feel guilty if I can't do EVERYTHING (silly, it sounds I know) :
I know what you mean.
post #43 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellid View Post
Do you have any tips on streamlining this?
I haven't read through the whole thread yet, but I do have a little tip on the menu planning/grocery shopping.

I do meal planning one week at a time. I used to try to do a month at a time but I found that it was too overwhelming for me that way and it works better week by week. I select the meals that I'm going to make, and what needs to go with them. For example, "Spahgetti, salad, bread." (I consider what is going on that day/evening in my plan--for example, if we are going to be going somewhere later that evening, I'll plan something simpler. Weekends when DH is going to be home and we don't have plans I'll try something new or a little more complex.) Then I go through each recipe (either in my head or on paper/in the cookbook) to make sure that I have all the ingredients that I need. Sometimes I need to check the cupboard/fridge/pantry but often I just know that we have that ingredient because I just bought it or just saw it in the fridge or whatever. I prefer to discover that we are out of canned tomatoes for the spaghetti right before I go to the store, than at 4:45 when I am making the spaghetti sauce.

So as I go through each recipe I jot down the missing ingredients on my list, along with the general staples that I always keep on hand and need to replenish. (Milk, kid snacks, fruit, flour, whatever.)

Then, the part that has revloutionized my grocery shopping experience--I rewrite the list based on the organization of where I shop!!! I write the vegetables in one list b/c they are first, then the meat department, then "ethnic foods", then eggs, then dairy, then crackers, then bulk and coffee, because that is how the store organizes them in their aisles and that's the path I take through the store!!! After you shop somewhere a bit you know where things are kept, so it's easy to take a moment at home to picture the store in my mind and organize the list, before you get into the store, this way I pass through the store once and get everything on my list and am done--no going through the entire store then discovering a vegetable you need for a recipe at the end of your list, then going all the way back to the produce department, then realizing you forgot milk, etc etc. I did this last night and I swear, it only took me 20 minutes to get through the entire store and do all the grocery shopping for an entire week!!!

I also try to just remind myself about the next day's dinner while I am cleaning up the kitchen each night after dinner, and ask myself if there is anything I need to do. (soak beans overnight, remove meat from the freezer defrost in the fridge overnight, etc.) Then I also try to do anything really prep-intensive in the morning while DD is eating her breakfast--for example, if there are a lot of veggies to be chopped, I try to do the chopping in the morning. That way it's not as time consuming and stressful as it is when I'm trying to "beat the clock" with a hungry husband and cranky kid in the afternoon/evening.

These are the things that have really helped me.
post #44 of 55
Keeping Car Clean-

When you are getting gas take the time to go through and throw out any garbage.

Weekends are when my car is the worste so I make it a point of bringing everything in the house because then I will put it away.

Get something to organize your trunk.

For Everyday-

Sort junk mail at the post office. Makes the bills look less daunting.

When Olivia is in the bath I tidy up the bathroom. I can keep an eye on her and clean out the medicine cabinets and such.

Spend 10 minutes in the morning doing stuff, like making bed and starting wash or dishes. And 20 minutes at night. Makes a big difference.

Lay out clothes the night before. I have Olivia's clothes, her vitamin, shoes, and everything ready in the morning so it takes less time.

At work I keep a small notebook to jot things down as I remember them. Then I don't worry about forgetting because I will get to it later and I focus on work better.

Delegate tasks to your DH.
post #45 of 55
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for your ideas. I wish I had something to offer, but I'm the one that started the thread .

Well the only thing I can think of that has helped me alot lately is I have put all of my pots and pans on my corner lazy susan. I really like them there.
Now I'm working to make my pantry more efficient. It's terrible. It's small and very unorganized.
post #46 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Em T View Post
Some mamas are brave enough to streamline clothes. They buy all red shirts & khaki shorts or navy & white or other combination & never worry about matching or finding all the parts to an outfit.
I don't go to this extreme but I only keep the basics. For DD, shoes: one sandals, one dress shoes, one sneakers; blue jeans and coveralls (they match everything); tshirts or onesies; 2-3 good outfits; all white socks.

This way everything matches. You just grab a top and a bottom and you're good.


I like the DVD suggestion though. I need to do that I have an overflowing DVD case. I'll be watching for more suggestions! :
post #47 of 55

Subbing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leersia View Post
OK, so how can I keep my car cleaned out??
I keep a bag in an ice cream bucket in the car and have a trash can in the garage that I dump the bucket into.

How do you keep the kitchen table cleared off if my question?
post #48 of 55
Uh oh I don't know how long its been since I've seen my kitchen table. I'd like to see the responses to that one too! And kids toyboxes? Right now DD has 2 trunks to hold her toys but she searches for toys and throws the others on the ground. I thought about doing containers for different types of toys but she's 2 and that would take longer for me to clean up. What do you do with little one's toys?
post #49 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellid View Post
What if you have animals? What if you live in the 'burbs? Any ideas? I don't know anything about it, except in rural areas with alot of land and a big pile away from the house, that you turn every once in a while. Never done it though.
Composting - I have two large bottomless plastic compost bins with lids. We fill one the first year, then let it sit while we fill the second one the second year, then empty the first bin contents into the garden the third year and fill that one again. Etc.

A couple of times the lid has gotten knocked off (I don't usually lock it) and maybe twice in four years something tried to lift the bin off the pile - probably bears - but even those times the pile wasn't disturbed much and I just shoved the bin back down over the pile (it screws into the ground).

We live rurally - 1500 acres of wild, protected land abuts our backyard.

Oh, the bins are about 10 - 15 feet away from the garage, and about 20 - 30 feet from the door I go out to access the (I'm not great with distances, but that is a guess). The first year we had the compost bin close to the house and the fruitflies and bees were too annoying right near our door. If you dump your compost in morning or evening when the buggies are less active, it's easier to manage. The smell is hardly noticeable unless you lift off the lid and take a big sniff.

HTH.
post #50 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellid View Post
What if you have animals? What if you live in the 'burbs? Any ideas? I don't know anything about it, except in rural areas with alot of land and a big pile away from the house, that you turn every once in a while. Never done it though.
We live in the burbs and composting has been a wonderful and easy thing for our household! I got an old wooden box from my thrift store that had a lock/latch on it. My dh drilled holes in the bottom for drainage. I filled it with about 1.5" of bedding (shredded newspaper & soil) and got worms from our local garden center. Voila! We add all our leftover food scraps (no meat/dairy/very little grain) and it's turning into beautiful compost fertilizer for my garden. It's so fun to see the worms multiply. No critters have gotten into the box. There is NO smell whatsoever. Not even any ants, and I had been worried. It seems to be a very clean process and my 3.5 ds loves to add the food in. We turn it over very infrequently because the garden center said it disturbs the worms.
Fun!!!!!
post #51 of 55
I've started worm composting too. There is a great book called "Worms Eat My Garbage" by Mary Appelhoff which is a very good simple guide to how to do it. You can do it even in a bucket under the kitchen sink, if you set up the right conditions. I have my bin in the basement, it's a rubbermaid tote with holes for ventilation. You don't need to turn it or mess with it because the worms eat their way through everything and ventilate it themselves. (The point of turning regular compost is to aerate it.) HTH!
post #52 of 55
Thread Starter 
A worm compost!!!!! That's awesome, my boys would love that. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brittneyscott View Post
Uh oh I don't know how long its been since I've seen my kitchen table. I'd like to see the responses to that one too! And kids toyboxes? Right now DD has 2 trunks to hold her toys but she searches for toys and throws the others on the ground. I thought about doing containers for different types of toys but she's 2 and that would take longer for me to clean up. What do you do with little one's toys?

I just bought three inexpensive book shelves (3 shelves each) and lined one of their wall with them, side by side. All the toys get put on the shelf, where they can get there toys and easy to put away. (like that happens: )
All the little peices and parts are in totes of sort. I'll try and take a pic.
post #53 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by brittneyscott View Post
Right now DD has 2 trunks to hold her toys but she searches for toys and throws the others on the ground. I thought about doing containers for different types of toys but she's 2 and that would take longer for me to clean up. What do you do with little one's toys?
I totally agree with the PP about shelves instead of boxes--but in addition, since DS turned 2 (and got an influx of new stuff), I've put everything in a closet on shelves in clear plastic. He tells me in the morning what toys he wants (or not--sometimes he forgets they're there) and if he wants more, he has to pick up the first batch first. We also pick them up together as part of his bedtime routine (this goes better on some days than on others). I'm not a total monster about this; for instance, if he wants a couple of legos to use with his cooking gear, I allow some toy "mixing." But he's been much more focused in his play since I've done this, and I've been much, much saner, and the house has been much, much neater.
post #54 of 55

kitchen table

We eat together every day at dinner. Well most days. I insist on clearing the crap off the table before we sit down. So mail goes in the mail pile for me to look at later (i send junk mail to recycling right away). Toys go away, etc.
post #55 of 55
Great ideas!! I am really appreciating reading this. I am in the middle of cleaning out our hallway closet, linens, pillows, etc. I read (on another thread) about keeping just one extra sheet set for each bed and storing it under that mattress. I haven't done it yet, but I will once I get through the closet. I am also thinking about getting some of those space bags that you put big comforters/extra pillows in and vacuum out the air.

In my dd's closet I have a plastic bag hanging that we put clothes in as soon as she outgrows them. As soon as the bag is full we pass it on to a younger friend. I have the same thing in my closet for the each of the babies. I also have a box on the shelf for any clothes that they have outgrown but I am keeping for memories.

I am trying more and more to keep things where I use them. For example, I mail picture to grandparents from the kitchen table and my dd does most of her art projects there. I moved an extra dresser into the dining room and I store my envelopes, pens, address book and her art supplies in it. Makes clean up a lot quicker before dinner.

Lovin' this thread mamas!!
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