Making Life Simple
Whether it comes to managing and cleaning your home or it comes to scheduling appointments, the purpose of this page is to make this process as simple as possible.
Everyone lives a busy life where there isn’t enough time to do everything in a day. The objective here is to provide tips in how to make the most of your daily activities freeing as much time as possible to spend with your family.
Organizing Christmas Chaos
Break Out Your Planner
December 3, 2017
December has arrived and the days are quickly counting down to Christmas Day.
How do we manage the busyness of our already fast paced lives, but still add the extra burdens of shopping, Christmas school programs, work place parties, church pageants, Christmas recitals, and baking?
The best advice I can share today is to use your planner and prepare a week to week and even day to day schedule.
This is a great weekend to do this. It is still early enough to pull all your planning together using your time wisely. Every week is valuable to getting everything done with minimal stress. Be sure all your life activities are already on the calendar so you don’t overbook a day or night.
Talk to your spouse and sit down together to plan what you do together. Be sure this all goes to the calendar so you don’t have to remember all of this. If you shop together, plan this as a date and write it on the calendar. Then be sure when you go out that you take a few minutes out of that shopping trip to go out for coffee and re-evaluate your outing to determine if you need more time to finish. Have your planner with you and be sure before you go home you are on the same sheet of music.
Aside from your planner have a notebook available where you keep all your notes together. In this notebook write down each person’s name you need to shop for. Beside each person try to think about what their likes and interests are. Write down at least 3-5 of them beside each name. This will enable you to better plan for the best gift for this person.
Remember, have a budget preset and stay in the boundaries of this budget. It is okay if a person only gets one gift if it means staying within your budget. Make this gift meaningful and from the heart. Be sure it is something they like and not something you like. Not everyone’s interests are the same. Use your money wisely because there is nothing worse then giving a gift You know they won’t like.
In this same notebook have a section where you prepare a list of the goodies you like to bake or cook, especially if you give them away to family, coworkers, and the community. As you prepare your list of treats and such, pull your recipes together so you can create a shopping list based on what you need to buy. This will help to prevent you from buying what you don’t need. This will help to keep you on budget.
Speaking of budgets, this needs to be planned out thoroughly. Include any decorations and trees that need to be purchased as well as a gift budget and your food whether it be for baking or your meal. Don’t forget to add any needed babysitter expenses as well.
If you are traveling, figure into this expense your gas, lodging, and any maintenance that may need to be done before your trip, ie… tires, oil changes, windshield wipers, etc.
If you take all of this planning into consideration beginning now, you will be sure to cut down on the mental exhaustion of mental check lists and forgotten costs and figures. It will all be in your notebook that will go with you throughout the holiday season. This way if you happen to see something on your list and it is on sale or limited in quantities you can get it and remove from your list.
The key to all of this and the ability to keep your sanity through this busy season is organization. The more organized you are the less stress you will experience. In turn the less stress you experience you will be able to enjoy the season and it’s many blessings. The blessings of the lights, the music, the decorations and the festivities.
Invest in your planning now. It will all pay off later when you are able to cherish the joy of this Christmas season.
Organize Plan and Prepare!
Cleaning Up After Cooking and Baking
How To Survive The Piles of Dirty Dishes During This Busy Season
Are you like me sharing the fact we hate washing tons of dishes after cooking and baking?
I learned a long time ago to multi-task this horrible chore. While my food is cooking or baking I wash up the load of dishes that I dirtied while making what is cooking now.
It is a huge time saver because you should stay in or around the kitchen to be sure your food isn’t burning.
By doing this you not only free yourself up some time physically, but it will help to free your mind of time as well. By doing this you will have more time to do an activity, run errands or go shopping, or it will free you up the time to just sit back and put your feet up allowing time for some much needed relaxation.
This seems like a simple hack, but some of my greatest ideas in life have come from people sharing their thoughts while others like me say, “ Why didn’t I think of that.”
Happy Cleaning Up!
Calming The Thanksgiving Chaos
Advanced Preparations Calm Thanksgiving Planning
November 21, 2017
With Thanksgiving knocking on our door, it isn’t too late to be thinking about advanced preparations. Now is the time to be pulling this big day all together.
If you haven’t already done so, start your list today.
Plan for your dinner including appetizers and deserts.
Plan out your table and place settings (if you do this). At this point, simplicity would be your greatest friend. Use what you have already and repurpose things around the house to make your table scape beautiful. Nature makes for great table settings. Plan what you love because your thoughts and preparations will come easily and quickly to you.
Once you have the food list prepared, go to your kitchen and do an inventory of what you already have and what you need still. If you use a recipe, drag out the cook book and look at the ingredients to determine what you still need to purchase.
Make a shopping list according to what you are cooking and preparing.
Today is the day you need to shop. Make the time at some point to do this. You will be happy with yourself tomorrow if you do.
Try to make a half hour in your day or night to tidy your house by doing a chore that is bothering you thus freeing your mind of that chore or cleaning. Does this mean you do a couple of loads of laundry (making sure you have plenty of dish cloths to get through all your cooking, baking and cleaning up from your Thanksgiving dinner), vacuuming your house or mopping the kitchen floor? Do only what is bothering you, but the objective is to free you mind of this burden.
Lastly, sit down and prepare your list for baking or advanced preparation work for your big dinner. The key here is time efficiency. If you plan your baking and cooking accordingly, you will spend less time in the kitchen. The key to time efficiency is planning your cooking being sure you are not wasting time while things are baking or cooking. Planning ahead prevents this from occurring, freeing you more time to do something else.
This is the best day to bake your pies, breads, cookies and side dishes. Pull out your list and start precooking and prepping and baking your pies, breads, appetizers, relishes, potatoes, and vegetables that are ok to rewarm without them tasting badly. It may be a lot of work, but you will be thankful you did it today and not tomorrow.
The day of Thanksgiving shouldn’t be a day of stress for you. There is more then enough work that needs to be done that day, so if you take or make the time to invest in your preparations, you will be able to enjoy the beauty in the day.