Written by Sylvia Daoust
Looking for more quality time with your family? Interested in learning ways to tackle your ever-growing lists in less time? Implement one of the following ideas each week, and you will be well on your way to a home that runs like a well oiled machine!
- Color-code the family calendar. Enter fixed events such as birthdays and anniversaries in black. Use a different color for each member of the family when recording their activities and events.
- Use an accordion file folder to sort day-to-day papers into action files. Label each folder accordingly (bills to pay, items to file, receipts, permission slips, etc.).
- Organize your fridge and pantry by food type. Categorize each food into a ‘zone’ so that you can retrieve what you need quickly. Zones might include canned goods, dry goods, breakfast, snacks and spices.
- Plan a weekly menu in advance and eliminate purchasing multiples, saving you both time and money in the process.
- Take a picture of your child’s room and closet when it is clean. Enlarge and print them on your computer. Post these photos on a cork or magnet board in their room so that they have a frame of reference when asked to clean it themselves.
- Keep a checklist of routine tasks using pictures for younger children. This list may include what your child needs to do to get ready for school in the morning or the to-dos for bedtime routine.
- Allocate a good sized basket for the family ‘lost and found.’ At the end of the day, any toys or other items left on the floor will be put into the basket. Let your family know that if the items have not been retrieved by the end of the week, they will be donated!
- Keep a container of items in your vehicle you often need on the run. Batteries, moist wipes, tissue, a note pad and pencil, a phone list of emergency contacts, vinyl and glass cleaning wipes and, of course, a safety kit are just some of the items that come in handy.
- Save yourself time prior to each family vacation. Create standard packing checklists on your computer. The next time you go camping or venture to a warm vacation destination, print out your list and pack with ease. (Don’t forget to update these lists regularly.)
- When it comes time to put something away, remember the state of OHIO (Only Handle It Once) rule! If you pick up a file, resist the urge to pile it on the corner of your desk only to pick it up again at a later date. The first time you pick it up, put it in its proper place! This will eliminate that overwhelming task of filing the random piles that have accumulated on your workspace.