There is a wealth of timesaving resources available to households these days. However, what is seen as a miracle household time saver in one home may be a complete time waster in another. The key is to find out what works best for you and your family dynamic. These time-saver tips for your household may initially require you to invest in some planning and organisation. In the long run they will save you valuable time.
Everything has a place
Allocate a place for every item you use on a daily basis:
Car and house keys should be placed on a hook by the front door.
If you wear glasses, leave the case for them on a hall table or your bedside table.
Set up a mail tray to file your bills in when they arrive rather than leaving them in a jumble on your desk.
Most people like to take their shoes off at the end of a long day. Get a large plastic tub and pop it outside your back door and get everyone to pop their shoes in it rather than leaving them lying around the house in different places. It will help reduce the clutter.
Make sure every family member has his or her own allocated towel hook. That way, there is no excuse for leaving wet towels on the floor.
Use a planner
A planner is an invaluable tool when it comes to saving time in your household:
Whether you use an electronic planner or a paper version, a planner is a must.
Using a planner takes all the guesswork and stress out of knowing what is happening in your day-to-day life.
Diarise all the birthday dates and celebrations for the months ahead and pop in reminders about them in your planner the week before. This will save you the mad scramble of having to source cards and presents on the day itself.
Pop reminders in your planner about dates or weekly events with an extra alert the day before. That way you will remember to pack up the nappy bag the night before if you have Mother’s Group or pop the contract in your bag before work the next day.
Make sure you’ve got your contact details in your planner like your name and phone number. That way, if you accidentally mislay it you will get it returned.
The old saying “a stitch in time saves nine” rings true here. If you spend some time stocking up, it can save you valuable time down the track.
If you spot a bargain on something that might make a nice birthday present then buy a few of them to store away.
The same applies to buying cards, sticky tape and wrapping paper. This means, when it comes to birthday parties you will save valuable time by being organised and having all the supplied you need at hand.
Do more than one thing at once!
If you are on hold on the phone use the time to sort through your bills pile.
When you’re chatting to a friend on the phone use that time to unpack the dishwasher or fold some laundry.
If you have an at-home indoor exercise machine this means you can catch up on your magazine or book reading.
Embrace the idea of lists:
It’s a sensible plan to have a variety of notepads where you keep running lists of different things you need to remember.
The different lists can include everything from a list of daily tasks to a notepad that records the medications you take or the exercise plan you have for the week ahead.
Lists can save you time as they’re fantastic reminders of what you are going to do next, and they give you a very specific focus as well.
Use what works for you
Tailor time saving tips to what works best for you:
Some people are at their best first thing in the morning, while others are night owls and do their most effective work then.
Decide which time of day is best for you and use it to get through the household tasks that require your attention at this time.
Break big tasks down
Some household tasks can seem overwhelming and the amount of time you need to devote to them can be all-consuming:
Break these tasks down into manageable bite-size pieces.
If you’re reorganising the linen cupboard or cleaning out the fridge, focus on doing one shelf a day.
Allocate 15 minutes a day to the task and then leave the remainder to the following day. That way it will get done at a time and pace that best suits your needs.
If you ignore big tasks, they can become more unwieldy and overwhelming. But if you break them down into small pieces it will save you time and energy in the long run.