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Organisation is the key to the smooth running of a home, especially in today's hectic lifestyles where time is at a premium. Here a few suggestions which, although simple and easy, can make a vast difference and make life just that little bit easier.
Although some of these tips may not seem appropriate for your particular household they may just give you an idea of the type of things you can do to improve your own situation.
Prepare for tomorrow today, by laying the breakfast table the night before and ensuring everyone's clothes are ready for the morning. If anyone has packed lunches, prepare these and place in refrigerator.
When possible do advance cooking e.g. casseroles, cakes etc. Grate cheese for storing (this can be frozen ready for use at a later date), rub together fat and flour for pastry or scones (this will keep, dry, for three weeks in a refrigerator).
Work out a week's menus in advance; this enables you to get all necessary ingredients in one go which saves on shopping trips and thereby time and fuel costs.
Streamline your system
Getting up half an hour earlier may save an hour later.
Do first the things you rather leave as job dodging brings double fatigue - first the dreading and then the doing.
Tackle small chores such as cleaning a mirror or wiping marks of light switch when you notice them. Singly this takes minutes whereas accumulated it can add up to hours.
If you don't own a dishwasher speed dishwashing by leaving crockery from one course to soak in hot, sudsy water while you eat the next course; this way they almost wash themselves. Same goes for pots and pans. Stand cutlery and knife blades in water to soak.
These days most people use gadgets as memory aids but, if you have many family commitments, there is something to be said for the old fashioned notice board. Use it to pin up dental and other appointments, important phone numbers (doctors etc.), important birthdays, items that need replacing with sizes if appropriate.
Have a large file or clip for bills, paperwork and letters to be answered (if people still write letters) This should be checked every week to ensure any deadline is met and, thereby, avoid unnecessary penalties and/or charges.
Co-opt the family
The old adage goes "many hands make light work" and this is very true so getting the whole family involved is well worth a try although I doubt it will be easy.
Small children can put clothes and toys away. Hang a string bag over the bath taps so they can put away any bath toys before getting out of the bath which keeps then tidy and allows them to drain.
Give each child a named peg and allocated shoe space (a clothes peg with name marked on keeps boots together).
Older children can make beds, especially as most now have duvets; empty waste paper baskets and lay tables.
Teenagers can wash cars, change their own bed linen, dust, vacuum etc.
"Never put down what you can put away" - You can make things easier by creating collection points.
A large, lidded basket at the foot of the stairs for things waiting to be taken up, another at the top of the stairs for things to be taken down. A whole drawer or shelf in the kitchen for things that don't belong elsewhere. Hook a drawstring tidy bag inside each child's bedroom door.
Take the easy way
Standing takes six per cent more energy than sitting so, unless you are trying to lose weight, sit for chores like peeling vegetables and ironing. Using correct movement for each job is also less tiring so to lift something bend at the knees rather than from the waist.
How to declutter your life.
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