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Saving time is important

By By 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 do not 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 timely 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 one dinner at a church in Missouri we attended. The fruit salad didn’t taste quite 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 3-4 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. I also feel like even while I am asleep something is 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 do not seem interested in changing their schedule to suit me (imagine that!). I have found that if I get up early enough to shower, put on make-up, dress, etc; that, although I still do not look like June Cleaver, I do get more done. I am also ready for anything the day may throw my way. OK, well, sort of anyway.
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 one of my professors in college a “bribe” is for something illegal, so if it’s not illegal it is considered “positive reinforcement.” Just remember that the next time you “positively reinforce” your children – it will make you feel better to call it that anyway!
6. Use little bits of time. My kids hate this! I am always saying, “OK, we have 10 minutes that gives you time to . . .”
Although, I have a feeling my speech falls on deaf ears, I like to remind my kids that in just 10 minutes there are many little chores which can be accomplished and keep our house much neater! For example, do we have 10 minutes before we have to leave for school? Great! Then you can do at least one of the following (if you have not already which someone was probably supposed to) Make your bed; Wash your breakfast dish; Take out the trash; Organize a dresser drawer or two; Put away dishes; De-clutter the kitchen counter (Better known as the dumping ground of the house!); Put away any shoes left in the wrong space; Tidy a bathroom/bedroom/living room/sunroom; Bring laundry to laundry room and sort it (if you did it every day it would not be so much trouble!); Make sure sports gear is ready for practice or next game; See if your little brother combed his hair;
7. Another favorite time saver of mine is to combine as many errands as possible into one trip. Of course with today’s gas prices this is also just 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.
8. My greatest “time saver” is actually my calendar; without it I am so lost. In fact, I had an electronic one until a few years ago, but apparently the computer and my PDA had a falling out and got a divorce.
Nevertheless, I have a planner 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 is in mom’s planner!
Lastly, prioritize. Not everything has to always be done. Pick what is most important to you.
However, if you happened to find a way to squeeze another three to five hours into the existing 24, please share.
Do you have a comment, tip or suggestion you would like to share? Please send it to Mom’s Corner at: moms-corner@juno.com. Have a great week!