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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sheet Storage

This morning I tok the winter sheets off the bed.  (I know, many of you have already done this but my hubby keeps the A/C set to freezing so I procrastinate as long as possible).

Anyway... for those who don't already know this secret....

When storing sheets that are not in use, fold the top and fitted sheets.  Place them inside the pillowcase and fold the end of the pillow case over to make an envelope.  This keeps your storage location looking neater and keeps the entire set together and ready to use - no more looking for the lost pillow case my son stole to make a super hero cape!

Try it.  Easy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's for dinner?

It's weekend so I'm in the kitchen getting ready for the upcoming week.  What's for dinner this week?

Enchilada Chicken with Mexican-style Rice
Tater Tot Casserole
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Stuffing
Jambalaya with Sausage
Baked Pasta
Taco Pizza
Chicken Spaghetti

Not sure what will be served each night but I know what the choices are.  Get home, decide what sounds good and throw it in to warm up.  Easy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Company's coming in 10 minutes! Quick clean up ideas.

Let's face it.  As organized as you try to be, there are days....

When my family gets busy, the kitchen counter becomes a dumping ground.  The couch, the coffee table all seem to have things on them that don't belong there.

And let's face it, that's when someone calls saying they're stopping by.  My general theory is that if someone knows me well enough to drop by, it doesn't matter that things aren't neat and tidy.  However, there are those visitors who call and give you 10 minutes notice who you would rather they not know how bad it's gotten (extended family perhaps?).

For these situations, you need a quick fix.  Around here there are few cleverly-desguised items for this purpose.  In the family room, there are two storage ottomans that open to reveal storage.  One holds blankets, pillows, etc.  The other is the "quick, clean it up" temporary storage location.

In the entry hall are two baskets.  It's amazing how just tossing all the shoes in a basket can make it look like you cleaned!

Find what works for you.  It doesn't have to be expensive or fancy... just functional!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Re-evaluate after lunch

I am forever making "To Do" Lists.  I typically start each day with one.

I'm also guilty of doing the things I find easiest first.  That's not necessarily bad, I can get several of those checked off my list fairly quickly.  However, if a task is something I'm dreading I may put it off.

Lunch gives me a natural break in my day (though not always a long one!).  It's then that I re-evaluate my list.  Have I done the things that must get done today?  If not, I need to use the afternoon to focus on those tasks in order to have them completed by deadline.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More Timer Tips...

I am not advocating buying all new stuff.  However, if you do find yourself in a position where you need to replace something - look for features that make life easier.

I was reluctant to buy a washing machine with a timer feature on it ("Why do I need that?  I've never had it before and I've survived just fine...")

We got the washing machine with the timer feature that allows me to put the clothes and detergent in the machine and set the timer to start up to 7 hours later.  As it turns out, I LOVE IT!

I can put the wash in the machine in the morning and set the timer to wash the clothes later in the day.  When I get home, they're ready to throw in the dryer.  Or, during the summer we can reduce usage during peak hours by setting the washer to run overnight and the clothes are ready to move when I wake up.

The dishwasher features a similar feature.  As other appliances die around the house, this will be a feature I will look for.  I've learned it saves me time and money... and to think I thought it was a waste!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Timers aren't just for kids and kitchens

You may set the timer when cooking.  You may set the timer to let the misbehaving child know when the timeout is over.  But have you ever set the timer for yourself?

Sometimes cleaning can seem like an overwhelming task.  Try setting an inexpensive kitchen timer for 5-10 minutes.  Stay focused and do as much as you can before the timer rings.  The "beat the clock" mentality forces me to move quickly without feeling overwhelmed.  What I don't get to before the buzzer will be there later when round 2 starts!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Color Code Everything

If you come over, you'll find most of my daughter's stuff is green.  Most of my son's stuff is black, mine is red, and my husband's is blue.

In the morning when we're heading out the door, it's easy for my son to grab his backpack, black water bottle, black lunch box and be out the door.  Same thing for my daughter.  It has significantly minimized the number of "I grabbed the wrong thing" episodes and makes for less stressful mornings for all of us.

I'm not saying buy all new stuff.  Just as you replace, keep it in mind.