Try these tested time-saving tips
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
Time. There never seems to be enough of it. My grandmother used to say, “When you’re young the days are short, but the years are long; When you’re old the days are long, but the years are short.” Well, I must be truly middle aged, because they both seem short to me. The days don’t seem to be long enough to squeeze in everything I need or want to get done--and didn’t I just finish Christmas? Well, in an effort to save my sanity (well, what’s left of it anyway) I’ve come up with some time conservation tips. Here’s a few that work for me:
1. When you’re frying hamburger, fry enough for several meals then label and freeze it. When time is short you can still put together a quick meal with the hamburger by just adding seasoning such as tacos, chili, Hamburger Helper, etc. Do you have to chop onions or green peppers? Try to chop up extra and freeze for use later. Don’t forget to label--nothing ever looks quite the same once it’s been in the freezer. I’ll never forget the dinner at one of the churches in Missouri John and I were members of. The fruit salad didn’t tastequite right, probably because the “frozen plums turned out to be frozen beets!
2. I often find it hard to stay caught up on our laundry (probably because we average three to four loads a day). I found if I put a load in the wash right before bed and then put it in the dryer right after I get up, I stay caught up better and I feel like even while I sleep something’s getting done.
3. Speaking of getting up, I’m not a great morning person. However, I don’t seem to have a choice in the matter. The schools just don’t seem interested in changing their schedule to suit me (imagine that). When I get up I go ahead and shower, put on make-up, get dressed, etc., and although I don’t look like June Cleaver, I do get more done and I’m ready for anything the day may throw my way. Well, at least I tell myself that!
4. Have you ever thought about what you can get done while waiting for an appointment? You can clip and sort coupons, make grocery or errand lists, make menus for the next few weeks, write notes to friends and family, read to your children, work on a craft or hobby like cross-stitch, crochet, knitting, etc. I knew a foster mom in Kentucky that took along her scrap booking to appointments. She even carried a light weight TV tray to use as a desk.
5. My biggest vice is TV. I love to watch TV. Unfortunately, I really don’t have time to just sit and watch it, so in order to watch a favorite show. I have to have a chore to do. Usually it’s folding laundry, something I detest doing anyway. (I guess I’m actually bribing myself. Oops! I’m sorry – positively reinforcing--myself to fold the laundry. According to an education professor a bribe is for something illegal, so if it’s not illegal it’s consider “positive reinforcement.” Just remember that the next time you “positively reinforce” your children.
6. Another favorite time saver of mine is to combine as many errands a possible into one trip. Of course with today’s gas prices this is just also good economics. I try to keep two lists--one with things we need from the store and one with things I need to do out and about. The kids love to tease me about my lists, but they know if it’s not on the list it’s probably not going to be bought or done.
7. My last time saver is actually my calendar. Without it I’m so lost. In fact, I had an electronic one until a few months ago, but apparently the computer and my PDA had a falling out and got a divorce. Thus far my husband has yet to be able to reconcile their differences and make them re-marry. Ahhhh! Nevertheless, I have a calendar and without it I am most certainly lost. The kids have learned that just like the list if they want or need something or they want or need to be somewhere they better make sure it’s on Mom’s calendar! Now, if there was just a way to squeeze in a few more hours. . . .
Do you have a question or tip to share? Please send it to Mom’s Corner at: Mom’s Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640 or e-mail email@example.com. Have a great week!