Cutting Corners

I have been wanting to do a post like this for quite some time, and after reading Erin's this morning, I was inspired!

With starting back to work (albeit from home), trying to keep the house organized, dinners cooked, Logan happy, bills paid, me looking like a presentable human being, etc. etc. things can be tricky - and I am sure that most everyone can relate.

I like to think of myself as an organized individual, but I am also all about cutting corners to make life a little easier.  For example:

- I have two "junk baskets".  One is very large and one, small.  This keeps things out of sight and clean looking, but inside is a much different story.  One may find blankets, old cat toys, beach towels, loose change batteries, sticky notes, magnets, hair ties, pictures, used candle jars, newspaper articles, expired coupons and an endless list of other treasures if they were to look inside.  I don't let anything truly important (ie unpaid bills) slip into these baskets, so I take comfort knowing that when I don't have time to deal with something,  I can let it sit there for months if need be before I have to think about it.  The trick, however, is actually taking that time once in awhile to sort everything out.  Otherwise, one basket would quickly turn into ten.

- I organize mail right away.  Junk mail does not make it past the front door if I can help it.  Even magazines or catalogs that I know I won't get to go straight into recycling or passed along to someone else.

- Our dressers are not kept neatly.  While everything is clean and put away, things  for the most part get unfolded, out of order or placed in the wrong drawer.  Oddly, I don't stress over this.  No one cares if your work-out clothes or socks are wrinkled, right?

- I try and make enough food that I can freeze leftovers for another day.  I just started seeing the beauty in this routine and I plan to do it much more often.  There is nothing like having dinner just a defrost button away.

- I have one reusable bag on each floor that "catches" items that need to be placed on the opposite floor (ie, Logan's dirty clothes need to go downstairs into the laundry or my bedside water glass needs to come upstairs to be washed) and at the end of the night I bring the bags to the appropriate floor and put everything away all at once rather than making several trips a day.

Those are just a couple of ways that we cut corners around here, but I know there are many more when it comes to cooking, cleaning, gift giving, note writing, recipe finding, errand running, beauty routines...and the list goes on.

So, how do you cut corners?  I would love to "steal" your secrets, so share away!


Kasie said...

Crockpot! I also keep a big basket in the car filled with "out and about" essentials. That way, my diaper bag stays at a reasonable weight and I can just grab what I need out of that basket after we are out. Otherwise, diapers, toys, etc. come in and out in and out when many of them can really stay in the car!

Kate said...

I have 2 IKEA Kassett boxes - 1 for me, 1 for Evan that hang out in our entry-way cubbies. Any mail that needs to be kept but doesn't require any action to be taken (ie: NOT bills), such as financial statements from our 401Ks/brokerage accounts or pretty wedding invitations or greeting cards, get thrown in there. We usually just go through about 2x a year - once in the summer and once before Tax Time. This saves me from having an intricate filling system that has to be updated constantly.

I made a "coupon pocket" for the inside of my planner that stays in my purse... any coupons I get in the mail or in emails, I print out and put in the pocket for easy access. This ensures they are always with me and not sitting in a pile on the kitchen table when I find myself at CVS. And all those Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons (that don't ever expire even though they say they do)? I immediately put them in my glove compartment - that way I always have 30% off for those random trips to BB&B (I hear those work at Buy Buy Baby too!)>

Colleen Pate said...

I keep baby essentials (diapers,wipes, etc) on each floor of the house. That way they are always handy whenever you need them. I also purchased baskets for each floor for toys. That way you can have toys in any room but they are easy to clean up when you have adult time (when is this, you ask - never). Kids want to be where you are and that way they can have toys anywhere. I keep all essential cleaning supplies in every bathroom and the kitchen that way if I get the urge to clean a bathroom while I am in there on any given day - all the supplies are right there too.

My other stay organized secret is to get things done the night before. When I went back to work I made all the bottles for the next day the night before, got the diaper bag ready for the sitter, etc... This helped me not be so rushed in the morning. I am now making Hudson's lunch the night before and getting his backpack ready. All we have to do is grab and go.

Tiffany said...

Love these! The IKEA boxes sound like an even bette system that I thought I had with our file cabinet, the bag for the car and keeping a stock of bathroom cleaning supplies in each bathroom (maybe then I would clean them more?!) Keep them coming!

Mazhari Clan said...

I am super into baskets as well! LOL We have my husbands computer cord baskets in every room (he is a nerd and has tons of computer gadgets). I keep a basket under the coffee table with my must haves for watching TV for hours on end (UNO, nail file, pen, marker, take, stationary, lotion etc..) I also have put a basket into my bathroom drawer for my make-up, hair ties and hair brushes. And I have two for my lotions and perfumes. (I know that is a lot of baskets, but they are all out of sight)

As far as baby stuff, I try to keep one of every must have in each room we hang out in (so just our room and the living room). I have a pacifier next to my bed and one that has a home in a case in my basket under the coffee table. I also have a pump in my bedside table and one in a basket under the coffee table. (yes I am blessed with two pumps lol) I have taken a larger Tupperware and put it in the "drink" section of the fridge, this is where I place mommy's milk for my husband to find when I am not around. And I have stored each bag of milk in to 3 or 4 oz bags for him... because he thinks she can eat WAY more! and I hate wasting that stuff! It is like gold! He has no idea!

Now I need a way to hid my husbands mail that he refuses to throw away... we currently have a "burn" pile in the kitchen nook! AND IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!

(wow! when I reread this it seems like I have a massive coffee table because I am really able to store a whole heap under it lol)