Do you ever struggle with keeping up your home? I know that I definitely do! Here are 10 tips that have helped me on my road to attempting to be a better homemaker (and not the kind that burns Rice Krispie Treats three separate times on the same batch).
1. Have a Couple of Go To Meal Ideas – Sometimes crazy things happen during the day and plans fall through. Have at least a couple of meal ideas that are easy to pull together and that you tend to keep the ingredients for stocked in your house. This will save you from a run through the drive thru. (You know, unless you’re us. Then you still might go through the drive thru. But, we do know better.)
2. Have At Least One Go To Dessert – Again, have a dessert that you feel very confident making and keep all of the ingredients on hand. It seems like desserts are the kinds of things that pop up as needing to be taken somewhere, such as school parties, church functions, or just to surprise a friend. (One of my go to desserts are these “deep dish” brownies.)
3. Buy Extras of Pantry Items You Use Often – I make an attempt to always have at least one extra container of things like ketchup, mustard, light Ranch dressing, spaghetti sauce, vinegar, and a number of other items. I keep them all in the same area of the pantry, and try to remember to stock up on some of those things during good sales.
4. Write Up a Cleaning List for Your Home – I have tried to use a lot of downloadable lists from around the Internet to know what to clean around my house. However, I have found that for our cleaning days, it has been the most beneficial to us that I typed up a list of what tasks need to be done and now print it out each time. It helps everyone in the house know what needs to be done, and it’s a time saver for us.
5. Keep Extra Vacuum Bags and Belts in the House – If you vacuum uses these items, it is so handy to have them in the house rather than to be vacuuming right before guests come for Easter dinner and realizing that your bag is too full or that your belt has snapped.
6. Compile a Binder of Your Favorite Recipes – I have a shelf full of cookbooks. Hands down, however, my favorite and most used is a three-inch binder that I have used to put in recipes from magazines, blogs, websites, emails (when I have requested recipes of dishes I have liked that people have made), scanned from my Mom’s own recipe binder, and so on. If you tend to keep these kinds of recipes, a recipe binder is a perfect project for you too!
7. Keep All of Your Bills in One Place – This seems obvious, but I have been known to set the mail down on the counter and then it gets covered by something else. I do have one spot for all of my bills though, so when payday comes, I can grab them all down and sit down at my computer with my checkbook and a bowl of popcorn. (Well, except there isn’t really a bowl of popcorn. But, that makes paying bills sound a lot more fun, doesn’t it?)
8. Set Up Some Type of Money Management System – Whether you like to use envelopes for your bills, an Excel spreadsheet, a paper ledger, or some online program like Quicken or Pear Budget, it’s beset if you know where your money is going. It’s easy to spend a lot more than you mean to when you don’t have any idea where that money is going. Know why I also like tracking it? Because when I am putting what I paid on all of our bills and notice that I don’t have an amount to put in for the water bill, it probably means that I need to grab a shovel and dig out the pile on our counter.
9. Enlist the Kids to Help – If you have kids, they should be helping at some level with something around the house. Of course, infants are excused. (Go about your business, infants.) Even toddlers can and should help though. At my house, my kids range from six to eleven. I know that I don’t make them help enough, and I certainly didn’t make them help as early as they should have been helping. Know how I know that? It’s because they still get pretty excited about tasks like setting the table and moving laundry from the washer to the dryer. (They do not, however, get excited to help when we do an all family house clean up. They are apparently getting used to that.) If you’re really stumped as to what to have your kids help with, check out some of these age appropriate ideas.
10. Adjust Your Attitude – If you grumble about all of those tasks that you have to do around your house, you might consider adjusting how you think about those tasks.
There are way more than 10 things a person can do to be a more efficient homemaker. And, believe me — I need all the help I can get. Please share some of your tips for more efficient homemaking.
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