With four children and an extremely busy life day to day, time is my most precious commodity. There are only 24 hours in a day, which is never enough. So we have to make choices. There are no right or wrong ones, just those that work for us at this season of our lives.
Here are some tactics I use to prioritize the important things and save time:
1. I rarely take or make phone calls. Whenever it comes to customer service or doctor’s appointments, I try to handle things through apps or websites. I am so introverted that talking to strangers throws me off for a long time after I actually finish the call – I forget what I was doing earlier and have to spend a few minutes collecting my thoughts. I don’t even always take calls from friends or family if I’m having a busy day.
2. I clean what is dirty and leave what is not. Housework is never-ending and I simply have to prioritize. Clothes are usually worn more than once. Towels and bedding are used for as long as they are tolerably clean before being changed. I do three loads, sometimes four, per week with a family of six. I do my best to sweep, mop and dust, but my priority is the “gross factor” things: toilets, showers, bathtubs, sinks, kitchen counters and stovetop.
3. Meals are simple and as healthy as I can make them. Dinner is most often soup, pasta with tomato sauce and grated cheese, a crustless quiche, or a salad and eggs in some form. If at all possible, I prefer to have only one pot, meal or mixing bowl to clean. I don’t usually freeze meals in advance, but I do like to make a big batch and eat the leftovers for next day’s lunch.
4. I make it a priority to get rid of as much clutter as I can or, better yet, never let it cross the threshold of my home. It’s a little easier said than done, because I live with a hoarder who can’t pass a dump without salvaging something that might be useful someday, someway. But yes, decluttering saves a bunch of time because you have less stuff to clean, sort, and organize.
5. I minimize outside commitments that would involve me herding the childremn there and back several times a week. We have one afternoon a week when we go to the library and, along the way, hang out with friends. I try my best to arrange any errands for the same day. My eldest daughter attends piano lessons, which she is able to do independently of me. Otherwise, I refuse to commit to regular extracurricular activities. The way I see it, there’s nothing that can’t wait until my children are old enough to go there and back themselves.
6 thoughts on “My favorite time-saving strategies”
Sounds like you really have things prioritized!! I was not great at that when my kids were home…heh, and often not now either…but one keeps trying to do better…even in old age!!
Blessings on you, and yours!!
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Oh Elizabeth, the time management thing is a constant struggle, but I sure am trying
One thing I have learned to defeat clutter is this; “Don’t put it down. Put it away.” It saves having to move things twice.
We always wear our clothing twice. When I take off a garment, I hang it in the closet inside out. That allows it to air out, and also reminds me that a blouse or dress needs to be reworn and then washed, We no longer sleep in the same bed, so I can get away with only washing the sheets every other week. I figure that averages out to washing them every week if we slept together! Bath towels can also go two weeks, but we get a clean washcloth every day. Also clean dish towels and dish clothes.
We’ve never had a washing machine in the house. The lady who lived here before used a wringer machine, which I like and have used – but not with three girls and a fulltime job! We’d have had to buy a washer and replumb the backroom, which we simply couldn’t afford. We’d sort the stuff at home, go to the laundromat and get the clothes in the machines, then zip through the grocery store. I’d send the girls back to put things in the dryers while I paid for the food and got it in the car. I’d get a weeks wash done and my shopping out of the way in a little over two hours. come home and the girls would put away their own clothes and lay ours on the bed, while The Squire and I got the groceries taken care of. Team work!
Even today, we go to the laundromat, swing into the library, go to KFC for lunch (we live such wild lives!) and then The Squire helps me hang the clothes on the line of the weather is nice. Otherwise it goes into the dryer, but he always helps me fold and put things away.
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This sounds like a lovely system! I personally adore my washer, but your way sounds effective too.
It can be frustrating when you discover the dress you wanted to wear today is in the hamper!
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😁 I can imagine!!