One of the easiest ways to save money and reduce stress is to stay organized. Here are some easy organizing ideas to get the most benefit for the least work!
10 Easy Ways to Get Organized and Save Money
- Hang up your keys. (Preferably by the door.)
- Find a place for your purse, coat, gloves and other frequently used items and always keep them there.
- Make your bed each day as soon as you crawl out of it.
- Get dressed. Even if you are a stay at home mom or a mom who works from home, get dressed. Clothes really do make the man or woman. You’ll be just as productive as you are dressed which means if you are dressed for sleep (pajamas, sweats or a robe) then you will get about as much work done as you would when you are sleeping. That may be stretching it, but you get my point.
- Wash the dishes and wipe the counters after each meal. No matter how large or small the meal or how tired and in a hurry you are, do the dishes. Even if you are hurried or late in the morning you wouldn’t dream of leaving the house half dressed. Make leaving your kitchen clean as important a priority as getting dressed for work. This may seem impossible at first but once you are on top of things it should only take five or ten minutes to clean your kitchen.
- Get rid of trash. About 50% of what unorganized people have in their homes is trash or stuff they will never use again. Stop wasting time taking care of it, moving it or stepping over it. As you walk through the house, pick up garbage and toss it.
- Control your laundry. Don’t let it control you. Follow these simple steps to help keep your laundry from taking over your home and you.
- Place a hamper or basket for dirty clothes in each bedroom and/or bath. Make sure that everyone’s dirty clothes are put in the hamper before bed and in the morning. Laundry laying around is the second biggest cause of clutter after trash, so arrange things to prevent it!
- The laundry isn’t done until it is put away. Get out of the mindset that if it is washed and dried it is done. Folding and putting it away is equally as important.Some of us think that if we get the laundry washed and dried that’s all we need to do and it’s okay for the family to just pull stuff out of a pile. That makes as much sense as cooking a meal and expecting everyone to stand at the stove and take turns scooping the food out of the pan and eating it one spoonful at a time. You wouldn’t dream of doing that. Yes the food is cooked, but the meal is not complete until the table is set and the food is put on plates. Do the same for your laundry. Put it away.
- Pick up continually. This may seem like a pain to do at first but if you stick with it, it will become a habit. I didn’t realize how much of a habit it had become for me until I was visiting my daughter’s the other day (Hey! That’s me! ;-) -Tawra). As I was walking into the kitchen, I picked up empty glasses and odds and ends on my way. Then when I walked from the kitchen to the bedroom I picked up toys as I went in there. It wasn’t even my house but I had seen something out of place and out of habit picked it up.
- Read and dispose of newspapers and magazines. There are usually two reasons people have stacks of newspapers and magazines piled around:
- They want to save one article from it. If that is the case, then cut the article out as you are reading the magazine and file it. Trust me, you not only won’t cut that article out at a later time, but you probably won’t remember what or where it is.
- They don’t have time to read them. If you aren’t going to read the magazines, the why are you subscribing to them? You’ll never catch up later if you’re not reading them now. Stop your subscriptions. This doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing. If you can’t keep up with the daily newspaper, then just get the Sunday paper. Most people usually have more leisure time Sunday to read it. Pick out one or two of your favorite magazines and stop subscribing to the rest.
- With any item, if it is broken or you don’t use it anymore, get rid of it. That includes clothes, toys, furniture, decorations, dishes and exercise equipment ;-). If it’s not important enough to fix right now, you don’t need it!
Would you like to get organized and reduce the stress of clutter and cleaning?
The How To Organize And Clean Your Home ebook set includes 3 ebooks to make it easy to organize your home, eliminate clutter, conquer the laundry pile and reduce your stress with better organization. Learn more here!
Thanks for all your organizing tips. Organization really is the key and limiting the amount of stuff we keep is so important. I have the empty nest now and we are living in a tiny home. Being organized for our smaller space will really help us be more relaxed when we’re at home. Thanks for the reminder about why it is so important to be organized.
Yes, it makes all the difference in the world, with or without kids!
Dear Tawra, I am a stay at home mum who desparetely wants to become an organised person (our home life, since we first got married nearly 18 years ago, has always been pretty rubbish really, because of the chaos and disorder in our household). One problem I have now, is that whilst I try to get organised, I feel so guilty because I’m not doing anything fun with my little ones (I don’t really have anyone to help out with my kids). I do believe that our lives will be better if I can get organised, but at the same time I can’t help wondering if organised mums do get to spend plenty of good quality time with their kids, or is all their time spent on being organised, i.e. tidying and cleaning ?
Ellen I decided to answer this question for you instead of Tawra because of the 2 of us I am probably the more organized one even though Tawra does do a great job. I have had this question many times before and here are a few things to think about. Be careful you are not using spending time with your kids as an excuse to make yourself feel better for not getting organized. I don’t know how bad it is but if you are really serious about making things better for your family than if you put your heart into it and work hard you can with in a few weeks have your home pulled together and organized so that it will only be a short period of time that you may have to cut back on the “fun” activities with your kids.
As far as an organized mum spending all her time working on being organizing and not spending time with her kids, it is usually just the opposite. You see as you said yourself your home life is bad because “of the chaos and disorder”. What happens is you probably spend way more time trying to find the kid’s shoe, toy, pants or that school paper etc. than an organized mum spends getting organized each day. Once you have order it doesn’t take much time to keep it that way. I would spend about 1 – 1 1/2 hours a day cleaning and doing the laundry. Then I spent maybe an hr on making meals if that much. That’s about 2 hrs a day and the rest I could spend with my kids if I wanted to.
Another thing is you are doing your kids a disservice because if you do nothing but spend “fun” time with them you are not teaching them the things they need to grow up to be a responsible and productive adult. I mean all they ever saw was mum having fun and not working at her “job” so they grow up thinking they should just have “fun” all the time. By teaching them to put their toys away you are teaching them to be responsible and take care of their things – not to take them for granted. By teaching them to fold the laundry, do dishes, hoover, make simple meals you are teaching them life skills that I have so many adults now write me because they are miserable because their mum never taught them how to clean, do laundry or organize things. Even a toddler can be taught to pick up their toys or empty a small trash can.
Emotionally you are doing them a disservice too because a child feels so proud and good about themselves when they have done even the smallest “job” and done it well. It builds their self confidence and self esteem more than anything else – even more than mum playing games with them all the time and being at their beck and call.
Last but not least and what most mums don’t realize is children so badly need order in their lives. It is very stressful for them when they don’t. Their whole world is your home – it doesn’t matter to them what is happening outside of those four wall and the chaos there, just what is happening in their home and if they don’t have some order and routine it makes them nervous and stressful. It makes them feel secure to know their favorite toy is right on that shelf and it scares them to death when they can’t find it.
This does not mean at all that your home should look magazine perfect all the time and that you can’t on the spare of the moment say to the kids lets go have a picnic even though you know you need to dust or hoover that day.There needs to be balance in life.!You can’t have extreme amount of fun or extreme amount of work all the time. Balance! I kept my house reasonably organized and clean and my kids grew up to be great responsible adults and we have a really good relationship. Don’t use spending time with your kids having fun as an excuse to not get organized. I mean you said yourself the way you are doing it is not working. Get some help to get on top of things and then spend time each day getting things in order and the rest spend with your family in peace. Go to Living on a Dime youtube and check out some of our organizing videos to help motivate you before you start. Hope this helps.
A large trash can and clothes hamper really helps in my 12 year old son’s room. He gets a $5 allowance/week for chores and keeping his room clean.
great article. i love the analogy of eating at the stove. its hilarious.
Great article and very motivating!!! I have finally after 14 years of marriage gottena handle on the Laundry Mountain. We throw all the clothes worn each day into the washer and run it overnight on a small setting of water. The next morning I hang it out. Or you can pop it in the dryer. It is only a few things so it quick to fold and put away. Seriously, like 5 minutes at most. On the weekend I do the sheets and towels or anything that needed bleach, or special treatments. My house was always covered with baskets and piles of laundry in various stages. The simple step of washing daily has saved my life. If it can help someone, I hope it does.
We had six children and a two story house. They were responsible for taking dirty clothes to the basement. When I came home from work each day I went straight to the basement and sorted clothes. I did about two loads every day. Socks, underwear, towels were tagged with different threads for each child. I washed, dried, folded, and put clean clothes into one of six baskets on a big table. The kids would go to the basement, retrieve what was in their basket and put them away. Worked great for us, saved me a lot of steps.
Judy, Can you elaborate on the tag with thread system for your children’s socks, towels, and underwear? I also have 6 kids and am pretty overwhelmed with the socks.
We safety pin our socks together, and have for years. I finally told the kids I was not matching their socks anymore and I wasn’t have a basket of socks in my room waiting to have homes found for them. Works well, and very rarely do we ever lose a sock these days.
The one idea Get Dressed.
It helped me lose weight. When I am in a fibro or CFS flair the last thing I want to do is any extra motion. So dressing when the only time I went out of the house was first thing in the morning to wait for the school bus with my sons seemed so much extra I would just throw on my lounging robe.
The meds the dr gave me to help made me eat more than usual. In one year I had gained 100 lbs.
Since I wasn’t wearing out door clothes very much I didn’t see the weight going on. Lounging robes hide a lot of dirty big secrets.
Now I get up have hot shower to loosen me up get dressed and seem to have the energy to walk to the post office even though I hurt. In the last year I have lost 100lbs and I am on the last 30 which hopefully will go the way of the dodo. Having gout for the past 6 months though have cut down on my walking so it will be a slow haul but it is doable.
So yes get dressed it changes your attitude as much as you change out of your pj’s.
Wow you are truly an inspiration! I too have fibro along with a myriad of other health problems but I have noticed weight creeping back on me as well and I live in my pjs or worse get dressed then sleep in my clothes. I am gonna make a concerted effort to get up and get dressed for each day and make small goals to get on top of my house and the junk I am storing in it. Thanks again for the inspiring effort you told us all about. Cheryl
I am definatly guilty of not dressing in the mornings and also of washing and drying the cloathes without folding and putting them away. As a matter of fact I have a full basket of clean cloathes to fold and put away just sitting there. I think for the next 2 months I will make an effort to do both of thouse on a daily basis. I know I can do it and I want to do it. anyways thank you for the articale. I will definatly put it all to use in my daily life.
If possible, schedule a weekly trip to the local public library to read magazines and newspapers. Take a notebook to copy recipes or photo copy anything you want to save. Of course, if you don’t file them right away it just leads to more clutter. Just had a thought. Use your digital camera and take a picture of what you want to save then download it to your computer and save in appropriate file folder.
Sylvia, I use to do this years ago when my kids were little. I have never been able to really afford magazine subscriptions so going to the library was my break from the kids. I would sit for a couple of hours reading magazines. It was nice too because we were always remodeling so our house was usually hot in the summer with no air or cold in the winter and I did so enjoy just sitting in a temperature perfect place. As you can see it doesn’t take much to make me happy. :) :)
That’s a good idea. I have a binder that I have put the recipes I have collected in.
Why do people giving tips for organizing always tell people to put their keys near the door on a table or on a hook in the kitchen or garage? Security experts will tell you to NEVER put your keys someplace like that. If someone breaks into your home,you are giving them fast,easy access to everything those keys go to & making it easier for them to get your stuff! And you may think nobody will ever break into your home, but consider this – by hanging your keys in plain sight, you are making them available to ANYONE who enters your home by your invitation. This includes your friends & family members, your kid’s friends & parents, service people,repairmen,delivery,etc. Hang them right by the front door & even the mail carrier or pizza delivery could snag your keys when you turn your back to put that package or pizza down or grab your wallet! Please find someplace safer to keep your keys! Otherwise, some gret ideas, thanks!
If someone breaks in I will have to change the locks so for me I will just keep them by the door.
I keep my keys on the doorknob~I’m thinking that they can easily get to mycar~sshould someone break in
I also keep my keys on the doorknob and am thinking~Not Good! Gonna find a new place
I put my keys on my night stand. I live alone and if something happens I would press the alarm button on my key bob.
Good idea. My sister in law fell on ice leaving her daughters and going out to the car. No one knew she had gone to take her bags out and they couldn’t hear her hollering. She had broken her knee badly. She did have the presents of mind to use the alarm system on her key bob to make the alarm go off on the car which they heard and came out to find her. So really good idea.
My husband finisheda foot long piece of wood and added hooks. He screwed the wood to the inside of the closet door in the mudroom. Now we ALL know where the keys are…..so handy and not visible to visitors.
I use a latde hikers clip and clip my keys to the handle of my purse. It works great for me. When I ho in a store, I clip my purse to the cart and makes my purse safe
Sorry, should have made myself more clear. Yes, if they break in you will have to change the locks anyway & they are going to get away with a lot of stuff anyway. But if you are like me & a million other people, you also have keys to your vehicles, on your keyring, or like my husband & step-dad, you also have keys to the sheds & outbuildings, your office, etc. So if they take your keys hanging by the door,they will drive away in the vehicles parked in your garage, towing your atvs,boat,whatever, behind it & the vehicle will be loaded with everything that was safely locked in your shed.
I knew someone this happened to once. They kept all their keys hanging in plain sight in the kitchen. When their house was broken into, the thieves had quick access to their vehicles in the garage(which they took), took their motorcycles & snowmobiles,everything in their shed & also had keys to the toolbox full of expensive tools, the gun safe, jewelry box, safe, etc. In a matter of jsut a few short minutes, they lost several thousands of dollars worth of property that was never recovered.
Of course the chances of this are so slim anyway, but I am so paranoid that I don’t leave any of my keys in sight. My son confirmed this many years ago when he was going through a bad rebellious stage as a teenager & he thought he was so smart to beat his curfew because I locked the door if he was late, so he’d have to knock to get in & I’d know he was late. He took my house key (when I wasn’t looking) off my keyring that I always left sitting on a counter, had his friends take him to get a copy made & put my key back.He thought he was going to just slip into the house in the wee hours undetected – he didn’t count on mom’s super-human hearing when it comes to the kids, so he got caught red-handed anyway!LOL! And spent a LONG time getting extra – special, one-on-one time with mom & dad every night!
Clutter can start on your keyring too, obviously. Why have the keys to the snowmobile, the shed, and the gun safe on your usual keyring? I only have the keys to my building, my apartment, and my bike chain-lock (or car for you) on my ring. Even the key to the mailbox isn’t on there because it is one thing less to change completely in case I lose the ring. That one is hung near the door, but it is unlikely anyone will steal the mailbox since it is nailed to the wall.
All my other keys are stored away in a convenient but unobtrusive place.
I’m lucky to live alone, so I just leave my keys in the door.
Also some mechanics say if you are one of those people with two pounds worth of keys on your ring the continual weigh can at times mess up your ignition (the place your put your keys in to start your car).
I don’t have anything on my key ring either that someone could steal unless it is my car and if they want it they are more then welcome to it. If someone steals my car then they would have to be very very desperate.
My husband also warns me not to have too many keys on my car key ring, for the same reason, it will break the ignition.
I keep my keys by the door or I would never know where they are at. When I leave, my keys go with me, do I don’t get the part that they would get them, unless of course they got in while I was asleep. Any more clarification on that point? Theresa
I make a point of only wearing clothes with pockets, so my keys live in my pockets, along with my wallet and a handkerchief. It’s really easy to leave in a flash to pick up a child when everything is already handy–and it prevents those ADD moments of, “Uh oh, where’d I leave the purse this time?” Not to mention, it keeps those keys VERY hidden!
I used to always loose my keys in the house. I got in to the habit of putting them IN my shoes. I can’t leave the house without shoes and therefore my keys either..lol.
I LOVE the tip “get dressed” I used to stay in my pj’s and that made “running to the store a huge chore. Now I get dressed and I’m always “ready” to go anywhere.
I once read a tip that said “Get Dressed the night before…” in your work out cloths, that is if you’re planning to work out in the morning. Then all you have to do is fall out of bed and work out and you’re done.
Great idea about going to bed in your workout clothes!
Ann, your comments were so funny. I like the idea of getting dressed at night in work out clothes to be ready to work out in the morning. I usually change into sweats BECAUSE I want to work out, but usually never get to it, which means I’m living in sweats all day. LOL! I think I’m going to try sleeping in sweats so I can roll out of bed and actually exercise first thing in the morning. Regarding the keys, by the door or kitchen is logical because that is where we tend to place them. Also, my favorite tip about keys is to have them on a strong clip which you can attach easily to your purse, bag, or belt loop. I never lose my keys!
After the clothes are dried outside on the clothesline, I fold them as I take them down. That way I get to spend a little extra time enjoying the weather and most of the work is done when I get inside. ( you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to get a teenage son to put away his laundry when its already neatly folded!:)
Heidi you are so right. I fold mine too as I take them down. We are getting ready to do a video on hanging clothes on the line but I equally was wanting to show how I take them down because I fold as I go. By the time I go into the house all my things also are neatly folded and ready to put away.
That was part of the reason I wanted to show everyone how to hang clothes out because if you hang them right folded is a breeze. I have no piles of laundry in the dryer, laying on the floor or couch waiting to be folded.
And like you said soaking up a little sun and natural vitamin D never hurt anyone.
I fold each persons clothing off the line individually. Often I grab the boys and we all fold our own stuff off the line. They much prefer that to touching each others underwear (Although clean) taking everything down and hauling it in.
I keep my keys on one of those clasp things, and I keep that hooked on to my purse strap. If I’m not taking my purse somewhere, I clip it on to my belt loop.
I have never in my entire life lost my keys (and I’m 51) because I do it this way. My keys are always handy!
I despise pants without pockets
I do the same mine is pink cammo. I also use the clasp to hook onto shopping carts so no one can steal it.
Our door is metal so I bought 2 magnetic hooks…the keys are always right there. If someone is at the door they don’t see the keys hanging in plain sight as they are hanging on the backside of the door. I never realized how clever I was until this article!!! LOL
I put my keys, my cell phone and my purse in a “safe” location but always in the same place, so I can immediately put my hands on them, even in an emergency. I agree that by hanging them by the door, someone who had been there earlier (a repairman, for instance) would know where they are and could easily grab them at a later date. Just too handy.
My daughter-in-law used to come by to visit and leave her purse on our kitchen table. Then, we’d all go to the back of the house to watch TV for several hours. If someone just came by to ask for directions, for instance, and saw her purse, they could break in, grab it and be out of there in no time flat! So, I suggested she move it to a different, less obvious place. Out of sight, out of mind!
And, my mother-in-law just told me today that, while shopping, she hooks the baby safety strap (connected to the grocery cart) through her purse handles. If anyone even tried to grab it, they’d be completely caught red-handed, trying to pull it out of her cart! Smart woman!!!
Your mother-in-law is fearless! After reading an article about the shopping cart baby seat–I won’t touch it. #1 contaminate is from a leaky diaper; need I say more? I use a carabiner and hook my bag to the inside of the main cart as far from the baby seat as possible.
On laundry- I wash a certain load type each day except Sunday. the schedule is right above the washing machine. This maximizes load size and minimizes time, arguments, and detergent, water & electricity costs. Also I have a rolling laundry sorter with multi-colored mesh bag-one for each type to save sorting time. The only thing I watch for is inside out clothing which wait til next time if their not right this time. Then when dry I put tops on one side of basket and bottoms on other so that each type can be quickly hung/folded and placed together in respective area.
On keys-I have the bare minimum on a carabiner hook. And lately buy purses with those round metal rings that hold the strap to the purse so I have an instant place to store keys. And use the carabiner to fasten purse strap around shopping cart handle.
On getting dressed- another advantage of morning showers besides the instant wake-up is that it forces you to undress which means you have to re-dress anyway. Take change of cloths to bathroom before hopping in. Then you’ll have one less thing to worry about picking up later-the towel- cuz it’s already in bathroom.
Thanks for the tips– I am going through them. It really makes a difference in how a place looks. I am working through the other tips in the organization section.
I really enjoy your website– keep up the good work!!
Thank you Helene. If you have any questions or just need some cheer leading if you start flagging in the middle of getting things done just holler. We have some super encouragers on this blog.
When I was working, I had my keys on a clip with a long chain. I put the keys in my pocket and clipped the chain onto my belt loop. Now that I’m retired and not going out much, I have the keys in my purse with the clip attached to the strap. I can get them out easily when I need them, and it’s not obvious that they’re there.
I used to have a sock drawer, an underwear drawer, and hang my t-shirts in the closet. When I came home after surgery, I put the socks in the underwear drawer and the shirts in the sock drawer “neatly” folded. It makes getting dressed so much easier with my arthritis. I can get everything out and get dressed while sitting on the bed. I have a sofa table at the foot of the bed where I keep my pants at night and my pjs during the day. It makes putting laundry away very easy, too.
My kids are 10, 11 and 13…all are in charge of their own laundry. They have a certain day of the week they are to do it. It makes life for me (2 jobs, scouts, sports, plus Im a student) much easier.
The wash is always done together. The boys when they were home wore dark clothes and so does their dad.
So the darks lights and whites are done at the same time.
I have discovered that if I dump the baskets onto the bed during the day to fold them (now that there is just Don and I) I get them put away the same day.
We have to sleep in the bed so it has to be cleared off. It is always made first thing in the morning so it makes a good easy surface height as well.
When the boys were home they did the laundry most of the time and they helped with meals which in our house are very casual. So that took a lot of the organizing out of one persons hands.
We did dishes by hand because it gave me a chance to keep in touch with their lives. Not a lot to do other than talk when you are standing in a small area.
Since I bought a bright pink lanyard for my keys, and a bright pink phone cover, I find them much quicker! Yes, I hang my keys in one place always, but I used to sometimes ask my dh to look for them in my purse! And he would! Now with that long bright ‘tail,’ I can find them much more easily. My dark phone used to get lost in the purse, too, but bright colors stand out. Much easier.
Super idea Jill (like the name too :) :)) Bright color for wallets are great too. I love the pink idea. My kitchen tools (small hammer, pliers, screwdrivers) kept walking off and I could never find them when I needed them. This went on for years. Finally one year I asked for a set of my own tools and I wanted them to all be pink. I did this with the idea the guys in my life wouldn’t be caught dead using a pink handled tool. I must have been right because 20 years later I still have all of my pink tools and know where they always are. : ) : )
I have pink handled tools too. My boys and husband ALWAYS sneak them and are poor on the return so I always catch them and give them grief.
When organizing keys and wallets cell phones and the like. Do not keep cell phone near the wallet.
It will mess up the metalic strip on your debit and credit cards so you will have to replace them more often.
Also if you have battery operated things do not keep them near your hearing aids. My husband kept his cell phone in the pocket with his hearing aids while at work and his cell phone was dead by the end of the shift and his hearing aids needed new batteries.
Getting dressed first thing is key for me to get working. And that includes wearing real shoes and not slippers. I find I can’t move very quickly in slippers, but can really move with regular shoes on.
My house keys are on a ring attached to my wallet, so as long as I have my keys to lock up the house, I also have my wallet.
I know a lot of ladies like to have multiple purses. I just have one purse. It’s fairly small, so I’m not straining my shoulder with it. But still everything I need is in there. I keep it on my desk, and I can run out the door on a minute’s notice.
And when I’m waiting in the parking lot of my daughters’ school, I use those minutes to clean out my purse, get rid of papers, receipts, etc. Cleaning it out regularly makes it easier to find what I need, when I need it.
It’s been years since this was posted but I wanted to chime in. Tech is different now, I keep my keys zipped into the pocket in my purse. Many newer cars have push button start so as long as the key is in the car you can start it. I was also forever locking myself out of the house, my husband bought us a push button door entry lock. Press the four digit code and I’m in. We have two on our home and 2 at our summer camp. I have memory problems and the 4 locks are all programmed with the same code.
I, too, put the baby seat safety strap through my purse handles if I get tired of carrying it while I shop, although I NEVER walk away from my cart. I actually see shoppers’ purses wide open with wallets peeking out and ready to be stolen while the shopper is half an aisle away. Tommie
Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and
wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your
blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!
So glad you are enjoying it Katrin. Many are not sure about signing up for our bi weekly newsletter thinking there are catches but there aren’t it’s totally free and just like getting the newspaper twice a week but doesn’t cost a thing. Hope you enjoy it. I also try post a different post from the web site each day for everyone to read. Hope you enjoy them and don’t be afraid to ask any questions you want.
I like that in your organization tips you focus on setting up systems that you adhere to. It’s much easier to form good habits and stick to them regularly than to have to keep making up ad hoc solutions.
One other tip I like to give out is to find the best technology that can systematize things for you. That really frees you up.
Just wanted to say greetings to you both from australia. Thankyou for an absolutely great site, the tips are magic, the inspiration and encouragement are fantastic. I am a practicing Catholic and I find your faith and Christian references, together with your faith comments are as a breathe of fresh air. On seeing your mail in my inbox, I settle down with a mug of tea( well I am British!) and settle in for a good read. Your articles are as I have said, practical, “doable” and easy once you get into the swing of it. The recipes I do find a little daunting at times, as ingredients are unfamiliar to me-cultural differances!- I do have a friend in USA who can usually work it out for me! But really I just wanted to say, thank you for your site, and all you write and indeed, research. People like you, make this sad sorry old world of ours, a better place. Hope you are both in better health now, God bless you both.
Thank you for those sweet words. We do love to hear from our readers in Australia. I wish I could do something different on the recipes for you but I’m afraid it is a little hard although holler if you have a question on any ingredient or something and we will try to help you. I have a pen pal friend in England and we get a chuckle all the time when we have to “translate” different words in writing each other even though we both speak English. Like I think your counter tops in the kitchen are called benches aren’t they? Like I said I do enjoy hearing from you guys and please don’t hesitate to ask anything.
I do hope you are enjoying your “cuppa”. : ) Here is a poem I saw yesterday that I thought was cute:
Come and share a pot of tea
My home is warm
My friendships free
When I get up, First I do myself. (Which is shower, get dressed. Take my medicine).Then I make my bed, I gather the trash from the whole house and take it out.I take out the mail to go out, Pick up the paper.Come in and make Breakfast.Fill the sink with hot soapy water. Clean the kitchen counters,dishes.Take something out or lunch/supper.I only wash on Mondays. Tuesdays I have a different job depending on what week it is.( 1st week:Kitchen Duty),2nd Week:All glass surfaces all over house)3rd Week:(storage areas)4th Week: (Odd Jobs)5th Week: (If there is one)Pictures in albums,Recipes in cook book.
Just found your site! I declutter for a living and it is astonishing what I find in my client’s homes. Even more astonishing is their “reasons” (excuses) for having it all. I was able to declutter 29 full Hefty bags of unused fabric from one client’s garage. It was all clean and in great shape. We donated to an organization that makes clothing for needy children around the world (http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/). It makes so much sense to donate everything you edit out of your house; you are free of clutter and someone is blessed by your contribution. Win-win.
I’m going to have fun working my way through your site. Thanks for the great tips! I found you via your video on how to fold a fitted sheet. I’ve been doing that for years, and it works great for the older sheets that are only elasticized at the corners. Unfortunately newer sheets seem to be completely elasticized to go over the larger pillow-top mattresses, so I’m challenged a little more than I used to be when cleaning out a linen cupboard. First world problems, right?
This sounds like a great place to donate that extra fabric. I just found out about another place I would never have thought about that can use the fabric too and that is they are teaching the prisoners to quilt in our area and need fabric for them to use. Once they get the quilts made the donate them to the Red Cross to give out. Thought this was another different place that will help a lot of different people.
My difficulty is I wash & dry the laundry & hubby is supposed to fold & put away. It’s not as important to him, and to keep the peace, I don’t bring it up. At least it’s all in his study.
I wonder if you had him do another one of your jobs and you take over the folding of the clothes. No offense to our gentlemen readers out there but a majority of guys do not understand the concept of folding clothes. They don’t understand why they can’t leave them in the dryer or just pull them out of the laundry basket as they need them. It really is a guy thing and I have found it is hard to fight against and change certain behaviors so I would trade the job that goes against his instincts for something else like setting the table or cooking.
On the laundry issue, we moved to South Africa in 2001, and our house here was equipped for a front loader washing machine right in the kitchen. I wasn’t real pleased at first, but now just enjoy how little time and few steps it takes. I keep one hamper in the hallway, and do a load almost every day as our little front loader doesn’t hold half what a top loader does.
I hang the laundry as soon as it’s done spinning, and tend to putter outside a little and do garden jobs at the same time. Hanging laundry is one of my favourite jobs.
Another thing that makes me love my home set up is that I have do laundry by hand for the 5 of us often when we are on ministry trips. After a 10 week trip, I’ll be ready to kiss my little machine.
You know Vicki I have heard so many people say there is no way they would want the washing machine in the kitchen and I have never been able to under stand why they wouldn’t. I would love to have my washing in my kitchen. 2 of the houses I have been in the machine was right next to the kitchen and it was the handiest thing I ever had. Even now I have to haul the stuff up and down to the basement and I think why in the world do people put their machines all the way down there or out in a garage. Never made sense to me so I am so glad to hear you say you like yours in the kitchen so I don’t feel as alone in thinking this.
I keep a house key and allotment gate key tied to the bag that I take down to the plot.There is a hefty fine for losing that. Another house key is supposed to be in my handbag on a keyring that has a tiny torch on it. Spares, e.g. to leave with a neighbour when we’re away, live in the cupboard under the stairs.
When I was growing up and we had to haul all of our water, my mother did her laundry in a wringer washing machine, with portable rinse tubs, in the kitchen. I thought every one did. Her mother was English, the kitchen was the largest work room in the house (a laundry room was un heard of) and besides, she could keep an eye on this machine that still needed a lot of supervision.(Nothing automatic about it). My fondest memories are of the sweet smell of laundry soap, bleach and the gentle rumble of that machine, (with various piles of laundry on the floor), while my mom sat in a sunny kitchen and was able to put on a kettle while she did the laundry. The laundry was always done up and out of the way by supper time. Many old cookbooks have recipes for meals designed just for laundry day, as there was an understanding that the kitchen may not be wholly available for the entire day.
Yes they use to always put something simple on for a meal on laundry day. I put a recipe years ago on the web site that I called laundry day soup and talked about that. For a long time I didn’t know why they always did the laundry on only one day instead of spread out like we do until it dawned on me. With out automatic washers they had to haul out the big tubs heat up the water and even further back make up a large fire outside sometimes. Who could do that more then once a week it was a lot of work. Duhhh. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner.
Hi Jill: I have a stacking washer/dryer in my back hall off the kitchen and I love it! I can hear when the washer goes off (can’t always with the machine in the basement). it’s so convenient. It was great when my mom was alive, I didn’t want an 80 yr old, trying to navigate our curved basement stairs when no one was home. It was a relief to me not to have to worry about her falling. And, I’m not going down there when I’m 80 either!, LOL.
I know what you mean Donna. This is the first house I have had with the washer in the basement and I really don’t like it at all. That is one of the reasons I really wish I could move. : )
I agree with all these except for making the bed immediately. Each of us sweats at least a pint of water per night, so by making the bed without allowing it to air first, you’re making an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, moulds and dust mites. To avoid this, fold the covers back over the end of the bed and make the bed later in the day.
I do maybe once a week let my bed air out just so it will smell fresher but we really don’t sweat a pint of water at night.
I know you guys may find this hard to believe but when our readers make definite comments about things I usually do quite a bit of research on them to make sure they are true before I post them. I did the same with this one and I just want to give you all a heads up on this because most of us do this. We read something from the internet and assume it to be the gospel truth. You need to research this stuff really well.
Sweating isn’t a problem at all. The rumor was maybe started by mattress companies to get you to buy new mattresses. Unless you have a special illness, are exercising real hard or something like that most people hardly loose a pint of water during the day let alone at night. Most moisture they loose at night is through their mouth by exhaling.
If you have a problem with mold it is probably caused more from the humidity in the air so airing your bed out will not help with that. Dust mites are there because they like to eat our flakes of skin. Which means you need to just change your sheets at least once a week and vacuum your mattress every couple of months and even less than that if you have a mattress pad on your bed. Also bacteria is there because we need to wash them and make sure we wash them in something that kills bacteria. Vinegar and many natural things do not kill bacteria so that is why some are having more problems with these things.
Thank you so much, Jill! I have always been a proponent of the make-your-bed-right-away school of thought, but then I married a man who insists that beds need to air every morning. I never thought to research the myth about sleep sweating until I read this very post. If people perspired so much then we would wake up soaking wet. Now I’ve learned that the roughly six ounces of fluid that we might lose while we sleep gets lost through moisture in our breathing. I feel so validated.
Love it, Jill–you rocked this answer. Read that comment and went, “Whaaat?? No way!” Thank you for your forthrightness.
Hi there Tawra and Jill,
I totally get that organization for the kids. I taught both of my boys, (they are about your age Tawra) to not only clean their bathrooms, mop the floors, do their laundry, and if it didnt get put in the hamper, it didnt get washed and told them no one wants to be around a stinky guy because they have dirty clothes on. I made them each a copy of all the family recipes and if they wanted to cook with me, that was always a blast. Today, my oldest who is married with 3 kids, does the laundry, cooking etc while the wife is at work or vise versa. They share in the chores together and it works great. The other son lives on his own and manages everything to a T. Once in a while they will call and ask if I had a recipe for something. Of course I share. It does make things happier in the house as well.