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Share Your Time Saving Tips...

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I delegate chores, so more get done than would if it were just up to me :) I had to detach myself from the idea that there was only one way to fold towels, and that the universe would implode if the small forks and large forks intermingled in the silverware drawer ... but by and large, more is getting done around the house!


I also delegate schoolwork. My emerging reader practices phonics with her older brother (win, win - one learns, one reviews) and the older brother practices speaking skills by having his own daily readaloud with her (always done while I shower and dress in the AM and before bed).


This month I learned how to use a crockpot! That's helped immensely. I can set lunch to prepare right before I retire to bed the night prior OR I can set dinner at the same time I'm in the kitchen doing lunch -- makes cleanup more efficient, anyhow.


We use window markers to do spelling in the kitchen, so it can be done while I'm cooking or cleaning. I take dry-erase markers and a handkerchief with me on errands (particularly when trying on clothing) so my kids can practice spelling on dressing room mirrors. Or practice art. Or tic-tac-toe LOL. We also keep whiteboards in the car, and they play hangman or other games while driving. That's how my youngest learned to write her numbers and letters :)


We save time by planning errands around our school/extracurricular schedule. That took some tweaking, but saves me time in the long run. Barring unusual circumstances, we grocery shop on x-day because we'll be in that part of town doing y-extracurricular, etc. That helps with the amount of driving around, which is where I tend to lose most of my time. Schoolwise, we do books on CD in the car that might not otherwise be gotten around to or enjoyed.


Nothing earthshattering here, but hopefully this thread will encourage some tips we can both benefit from! Hard to believe we all have the same 24 hours a day, but I get frazzled trying to fit everything in while other people seem to have it all together!

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This won't save loads of time, but it really comes in handy once in while--buy big onions and when your recipe calls for one onion, chop the whole thing and freeze part of it. Sometime when you are short on time making a casserole, you can just open your freezer and that time consuming and smelly step is all taken care of. I keep a freezer bag in the front part of my freezer and just keep adding and taking from it.


I once read that saving time and getting organized starts by "starting your day the night before" Prep the coffee, lay out the clothes, make your to do list for the next day, set out your school stuff, set the breakfast table or lay out what you need to make it.

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I clean one thing in my bathroom every morning. If I clean it all at once, it takes at least 45 minutes. Cleaning one fixture every day isn't even noticed in my time.


I have 5 recipes that allow me to use 3 cups of chicken and 2 cups of broth. I freeze combinations of cooked chicken and broth in batches of 4 or 5. I can put the frozen chicken/broth in the crockpot on "errand day" and decide what we're in the mood for when I get home.


I taught my older kids how to do their own laundry.


I have a deal with my dentist. If I bring everyone in the morning, I can bring 4 kids at once. If I come on her non-busy days (Tues or Wed.) She can usually fit in a filling or sealants as need arises on the same day as the cleanings.


I keep "Next Action Lists" and file information as outlined in Allen's book Getting Things Done.

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I realized a while back how much time I waste 'organizing stuff'.


We don't have a garage or storeroom, so everything is in the cupboards in the house and I used to spend a huge amount of time moving one thing to get to the next, searching for stuff, repacking to fit everything in neatly, etc.


I've done the first round of decluttering, but find that I will probably need another round or two. While I'm doing it I think that I'm being ruthless, but when I go through the same cupboard again, I always find more to throw out.


I want to get to a point that we only have things we are currently using or which are beautiful and out on display. This includes NOT keeping clothes for 5 years for my younger daughter who is developing her own tastes anyway. Not collecting books for 5 years in advance (a hard one for me!!). And using the crystal wine glasses that we got for our wedding 11 years ago! Even if they do break at least we've enjoyed them and I've got rid of the mismatched collection we had before.


Standardizing on things is also a time saver. One brand of food storage container makes finding lids really easy. I went with a transparent one so that it is easier to see what's in the fridge. I have only the make-up I use daily in a little container, not lying in the drawer amongst a whole lot of unused items leaving me rummaging every morning. I have 5 pairs of the same sort of sox.


I had to get over the thought that I was being wasteful by throwing out things we could possibly use later. The money was spent a long time ago and for us it does not have a present value. By giving things away to people who can use them, I'm helping them. I'm regarding the costs of maybe having to replace something later as the price I'm willing to pay for less stress, more time and peace of mind.

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I plan out my menu 2-4 weeks in advance. I am always stocking up on meat/poultry/fish when it's on sale (we buy only antibiotic and hormone free so I can really only afford it when it is on sale) so once or twice a month, usually on a Sunday, I make a list of what meats I have in my freezer. Then I go through my recipes (organized by main ingredient--I'm a tad bit anal) and make a plan. I take into account the evenings we get home late due to extracurricular activities and match up easy to prepare (or prepare in advance) meals for those nights. At least 2 evenings are vegetarian options, and I add in a night of pasta as well. Once I have my menu, I make a shopping list. Sometimes I will do a big shop via a store delivery service, purchasing everything for the following week, and then adding in the staples for the week(s) after. Then I make a list of perishables that I will need to purchase for each of the subsequent weeks (fruit/veg/milk/etc.) I find that it not only saves me a great amount of time, but it also saves me money! I don't wander around the store purchasing things that aren't on my list, and I don't end up getting pizza because I can't figure out what's for dinner.


I've started doing the same thing with breakfast and lunch as well. I'm not strict about what gets eaten on what day, but I have a list of types of breakfasts and lunches so I don't even have to think about what to have; I just check the list and see what's in our cupboards that day.


I'm :bigear: for some methods to save time on cleaning the house.

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