Last week I read a blog post about keeping your kitchen counters clean. Basically, the writer said that she only keeps three things on her counter tops on a regular basis. The rest stay in the cabinets until she uses them. I have kept my breadmaker, can opener, toaster, and blender on my counter for my entire married life. After reading this article, I put them away in the cabinets (definitely took some rearranging so that I could fit it all in there), but let me tell you, it has been amazing!
I have a very small kitchen. And just putting these things in the cabinets has made me feel like I have a huge kitchen! I am so excited about all of the new space that I have. I didn’t think to take a before picture, but here is the after…
Another thing that I did was sell my coffee table. Clarissa kept climbing through it and trying to climb on top of it and it really wasn’t built for that. I was concerned that the thing would fall apart and she would be injured. Can I just tell you how much bigger my living room feels? The original plan was to buy a new coffee table, but I don’t think I want to now. My living room looks so much bigger. I realized yesterday that I actually have room to dance now. (Which Clarissa thought was hilarious and Josie definitely went crazy trying to join me) Cheapest home makeover ever. And it didn’t cost me a penny. I actually made $20!
It was a very simple thing, but I had never thought of it before. So I wondered if there were things that I did to make life easier that maybe my readers haven’t thought of before?
I am a list person. I have lists all over the place. I used to ask for sticky notes for Christmas, but I think I have enough to last me the rest of my life! Seriously.
I have a dry erase calendar on my daughter’s door. Every month, I write in appointments, birthdays, pay day, trash day, etc. I walk by her door several times per day so it’s a great location for me.
I also have all of that on my phone in a google calendar app. I like to have it in both places. The physical calendar reminds me earlier in the week. My phone reminds me the day something happens. Moms get busy, so it’s good to have the extra reminders. The thing that I like about the calendar on my phone is that I can set up multiple reminders if I need to (a week in advance, 12 hours in advance, etc).
When I was a teacher, I bought a small laminator from Amazon. I still use it all the time.
I have a to do list/chore chart for myself. I do better with something I can check off my list instead of remembering what to do or being overwhelmed by all of the things that go in to keeping a house clean. So I have listed the three days I vaccuum, the days to wash diapers, the day of the week that I wash specific loads of laundry, certain chores that only need to happen a few times per year have been assigned specific months. This way, I just use a dry erase marker and check off when I do something. It doesn’t always get accomplished, but at least I have a goal…And if I’m having a bad week, the check marks get erased on Sunday anyway, so I get to start over!
I have 7 laundry hampers in my house. Sounds excessive right? But it works. In our bedroom, I have a separate hamper for whites, colors, pants, towels, and delicates. Clarissa has her own hamper in her room. And then of course there is the diaper pail. This way my laundry is already sorted. On laundry day, I just take that load and wash them. Note, I only really do one load of laundry per day (unless it’s diaper day, then it might be two) which gives me time to wash, dry, fold, and put away said laundry in the same day. But this also means that I do laundry six days per week. Find a system that works for you and stick to it.
I also have a dry erase chart for planning my meals. Some people plan for the month. I choose to plan for the week so that I can buy things when they are on sale and use them the following week in my planning. We pretty much have the same thing for breakfast every day. I make Tim’s work lunches on the weekend. And then I cook dinner every night. I like to bake, and all three of us have a sweet tooth, so I plan two desserts for the week.
I used to wait until Tim was home from work every day and ask him what he wanted for dinner. By then, we were both hungry and cranky because we didn’t know what we wanted to eat. This way, we both have input into what the week looks like and I know ahead of time what I am going to make. Dinner can be ready closer to when he comes home from work and it helps our evening to flow better.