Wednesday, January 12, 2011

From the Past: Resolution to Save Time, Then and Now

I found this in my archives...It was part of my resolutions in 2006.  The ideas I had then are still in use in my home.  I don't have that toolkit anymore because all my pieces got 'borrowed' and then put away with someone's tools, but perhaps if I indulge in a little pink set of my own they'd stay put, lol!

Resolution: Save Time

Thinking back over last year, I realized that there are some changes
due in my household. These are nagging things that I have decided
just aren't worth the aggravation and loss of time any longer. This
year, I want to be more efficient. I lose more time looking for
things I know I have, but aren't where I need them...Oh I know where
they are, but on my way to get them I see ten other things that
ought to be done and I forget my original mission.

#1. I'm going to make my own tool kit. I don't need more than just
a few basics: tape measure, screw driver set, pliers, a hammer and a
couple of paint brushes. We have tons of these things around, but
they're never where I can find them quickly or easily. Heaven help
me if I have to go to the shop to find anything when Chance isn't
home! So I'm going to buy a tool box and make up my own tool kit.
Then I'm going to tuck it away where no one but I can find it! It
will be my kit to use when I'm doing home repair on my own.

#2. I'm going to put a plunger in each bathroom and another at the
kitchen sink. The toilet never floods in the bathroom that is the
current residence of the plunger, have you ever noticed that? I
saw a nice little shorter handled plunger the other day at the
dollar store that is perfect for use at the kitchen sink. It will
fit right under the counter so it can be kept handy for that work

#3. I'm going to stock each work area with cleaners and brushes
too. It seems that whenever I go to clean a bathroom or sink in the
house, I have to search out cleaners in whichever room was last cleaned. It's not
so very expensive to keep an extra toilet brush or a packet of
baking soda or spray bottle of bleach water in each bathroom. The
decrease in aggravation will be more than worth the pennies this
will cost me.

#4. Why not an extra dust pan? I never seem to have the dustpan
with me when I sweep our bathroom, or any area other than our
kitchen. I always have to make a trip back to grab the dust pan and
if I happen to glance over at the sink and see the dishes need
washing...Well there I am all side tracked once more!

#5. I'm going to stop looking for cute dish towels and cloths and
buy hand towels and washcloths. Hand towels are far more sturdy and
longer lasting, they come in myriad colors to match nearly any color
scheme and they are thick enough to wipe dishes or grab a hot pan
from the oven. I long ago replaced many of our cloth napkins with
wash cloths for use at family meals. Perfect for family usage and
saves the wear and tear on our cloth napkins. I think the hand
towels will be equally long lasting in the kitchen.

#6. I'm going to keep a special reserve of linens, blankets, pillows
etc just for guests. It seems every time we have guests I scramble
around trying to find extra blankets and sheeting. From now on,
I'll have guest bedding already in the music room, aka guest room.
As well, I'll keep a basket stocked with soap, toothbrush, tooth
paste, shampoo etc. Might as well make good use of all those extras
we have on hand.

#7. I'm going to create a loose leaf address book. I can add pages
as needed and not have two address books to hold all of our old and
new friends and acquaintances addresses. I'm going to carry a
little notebook with frequently needed numbers in my purse. I'll
never be without the school's number again when away from home!

#8. I'll place a Bible at each seating spot where I normally rest.
I'll be able to spend a few moments reading through passages or
continuing my Bible study when I sit down. No more excuses that I'm
too tired to get up and go find my Bible. I've a number of Bibles
in different translations, so I can study the same passage in
different texts and learn more about the current day's message.

#9. I'm going to place a few butter knives, forks and serving
spoons in a canister beside the stove. I can't name the number of
times I've been busy at the stove and needed one of these items.
I've been running to the dining area to grab these things up. Now
I won't have to leave the stove.

#10. How many times have I been all ready to go on a trip and
realized that I didn't have a contact sheet for emergency purposes?
I'm going to write and print several copies of one. I'll be sure to
include Kay and Chance's medications on the sheet as well. Then
each time we go on a trip, together or individually, someone will
know who to contact in case of emergency as well as any medical
conditions that might affect treatment.

#11. I've already done this one! I've typed a master phone list and
placed it on the inside of the cabinet door next to the phone. Now
frequently called numbers are easily found. I've included the
number for poison control and emergency as well. I took an index
card and taped it to the door too, around the sides and bottom of
the card. This makes a handy pocket for the long distance calling
card. No more excuses that the card can't be found when making a
long distance call.

#12. I'll buy an inexpensive packet of pens, and small notebooks and
be sure to leave a few on the computer desk, the study desk, and
even in that pocket on the cabinet door, mentioned above. I'll put
one next to my chair and Chance's. We've been known to lose a
creative thought while searching for pen or paper.

#13. I'll keep a roll of quarters in the car, replacing it at the
beginning of each month. Now we'll have quarters for the paper
machine every Sunday and won't have to wait in line at the
convenience store where sodas and such tempt us as well.

#14. I'm going to match accessories to tops and hang them together
in my closet. When I am dressing to leave the house, I can easily
reach in and have a complete outfit in my hands. No more searching
for a scarf or purse or brooch to complete an outfit.

#15. The last week of each month I'm going to look ahead into the
next month. Do I need to buy cards, gifts, make appointments, send
out a package? Will I need to prepare special meals? I'll do all
these things before I face that month and be well prepared. No more
last minute trips to shop adding to my time crunch.

I think taking the time to accomplish these goals will certainly
make my life more efficient. I'll let you know how well I do
accomplishing them.

I'll just add these tips from 2010 that I implemented to save more time.  When I set up my baking center on an unused countertop on the other side of my kitchen I realized I was wasting countless steps moving items back and forth.  I realized it would cost little to keep duplicates of these items at my baking center and on the opposite side at my stove:
baking soda, cooking oil, cooking spray, salt, rubber spatulas for scraping bowls, a pair of scissors to open packages, and a whisk.   (I keep a whisk stoveside to use when stirring up gravy and white sauces).

Because I have to feed Trudy away from Maddie, I put Trudy's food bowl on the back deck.  The pet food canister is on the front porch where Maddie is fed.  I put food in a small covered bucket at the back door to feed Trudy from.

Lip balm and hand lotion is kept in the kitchen by the sink, next to my chair in the living room and bedside.

I keep a roll of paper towels in each bathroom, handy to clean mirrors, wipe down fixtures, as well as on the kitchen counter, and in the car.  You'd be surprised how handy that roll of paper towel in the car can be.


MotherHen said...

WOW!! Some really good tips, thanks for sharing, going to use a few myself :-)

Tracy said...

Great tips! I never thought to use hand towels and wash cloths in the kitchen, but it makes perfect sense. :)