Monday, April 19, 2010

10 Things


I love having little systems or simple solutions around my home to make things run a lot smoother.  I'm not an expert in the field of organization and home management, but I've managed to find a few things that work well for us.
In no particular order here are 10 simple things I do to make my life easier.

1.  I own a dustbuster.  With a toddler who loves to cut up paper into teeny tiny pieces and spills the occasional bag of glitter, a dustbuster is so very, very nice.  Small spills, baseboards, stairs... I love it.  I even use this baby for a quick vacuum around the house when I probably need to get the large vacuum out, but don't have the time/energy.  An  small investment I have never regretted.  

2.  I keep a bottle of spray 'n wash in Beanie's bedroom.  Most of the time her clothes need a quick stain treatment before going in her laundry basket...I save myself several trips to the basement laundry room this way.

3.  I have a small basket under the kitchen sink for washcloths, dish towels, table cloths, etc.  Another way to limit running back and forth to the laundry room.

4.  Baskets, small containers and trays.  I'm not necessarily an organizing dynamo, but having stuff put into a basket makes it look so much nicer.  Even just a little dish or tray on your side table makes bobby pins, earrings, barrettes, safety pins and buttons look intentionally cute, rather than like a pile of junk you didn't want to put away.  Which it is.  

5. Separate cleaning supplies under each bathroom and kitchen sink.  I'm sure many of you do this, but for some reason it feels rather lux having a set of cleaning supplies--sprays, sponges, rags, cleaners--in each major hotspot.  I especially like knowing I'm not using bathroom sponges to clean the kitchen.    

6.  I keep an empty tote bag by the entry way coat rack.  Whether it's to pack a quick lunch or to take the library books back I always keep a sturdy tote near by.  When you're in a hurry it's nice to know exactly where that extra tote is.  

7.  I have my credit card number memorized.  The upside:  Makes it a lot easier to shop online.  The downside:  Makes it a lot easier to shop online. 

8.  I have a pad of paper on the fridge {it's magnetic--duh} to keep a running grocery list.  That way if my husband asks for a particular item I tell him "put it on the list" and I don't have to remember that random thing he wanted a week and a half ago.  

9.  I keep a notebook and pencil in my purse at all times.  You never know when inspiration hits or when you just really, really need to write something down.  

10.  And finally, we use the envelope system for many of our monthly expenditures.  This takes the guess work out of budgeting {mostly} and really simplifies the process.  For example, we have envelopes for groceries, eating out, entertainment, etc.  Each month we take out the allotted amount in cash, stick it in the envelope and voila!--the budget is done.  And once the money's gone, it's gone.  It's been a great system for us and makes it so much easier to track ongoing monthly expenditures.  We do keep a more extensive record for other expenses, but this really helps with the things you know you're going to buy month after month.  

So what about you?  What are your great tips and solutions for making your home run a little smoother?        

      

6 comments:

  1. I love stuff like this! Reminds me of a Real Simple article. Thanks for sharing.

    Also, what brand/model dustbuster do you have? The one we bought clogged easily and didn't hold a charge long so I'm reluctant to buy another one.

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  2. these are great. i do some of these too and so impressive about your money envelope thing. that's awesome. i should try that.

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  3. I love these. I've been on the fence about the dustbuster for a while now, and you've just pushed me over the edge. I second Katie's question.

    I posted a few of my tips and tricks a few weeks ago...

    http://blog.ryanandalissa.com/2010/03/good-ideas.html

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  4. Thanks guys.

    Katie and Alissa--I have the Black and Decker dustbuster. I believe it's the cyclonic 15 volt. {I think it's 15.2 or 15.3 but I can't remember}. Anyway, it's been great. You can take it apart and wash all the pieces separately, like the filter and it helps it keep working well. And I haven't had a problem keeping the charge. I actually tried to find the link on amazon, but it looks like they don't carry it currently. I only paid around $35-40 as I remember.

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  5. You should write for Real Simple. You totally sold me on the dustbuster idea, too. Do you think they make one that would suck up baby spit-up? Ha, ha.

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  6. I love having eyebrow tweezers in my car for those sunny moments when I have to wait somewhere!

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