Friday, October 16, 2015

Day 16: Smarter, Not Harder

I'm calling it. We've made it through HALF of October. It's day 16 of the 31 Days of Decluttering and Organizing. Thanks for reading and following along.

Found this little guy or gal on our porch today. :)

I've been thinking about the topic about working smarter, not harder. We have limited time. And many of us are busy!! 

Shop online 
Just yesterday I bought a pair of shoes online at Kohl's. I could go to the store nearby, but it's a 20 minute drive there and then another 20 minute drive back. That's not including the time I would spend in the store. And I didn't have other reasons to be in that area of town. I was able to use the same coupon I would in the store. Now I did go searching for a better coupon and found one that was 30% off and had free shipping. Makes buying them online even better than what I would have paid in the store. It is possible the shoes won't work for me, but it is a brand I've bought before. If they don't fit or I don't like, I will go to the store to return when I have something else to do in the area.

Combine Trips
If you still need to shop in stores, considering making multiple stops in one outing rather than all over town with out a plan. I try to combine errands with trips I make to get pick up my kids. When they had dance class, I would stop by to get gas on our way home. Or if I need an item from the grocery store I will swing by just before I have to pick up my daughter from band practice rather than leaving the house twice to accomplish the same things. It's kind of part of planning ahead like I mentioned in yesterday's post.

Cook Once, Eat Twice
Double recipes when you can. Cooking a double batch of something usually takes the same amount of time as if you were making one. Eat one portion one evening and freeze the remainder for later in the month. This will come in really handy around the holidays or any other time you want to be ahead on meal preparation. I do double batches of baked goods, soups and meats. Meats are easy to prepare in a slow cooker, too. Saving even more time!

Skip the Extras
This can mean lots of things. But primarily it means it is okay to say no. No to volunteering, no to an invite, no doing extras after an event to celebrate. It is okay to say no if whatever the 'thing' or 'something' is will impact your limited time. If it brings you stress and is unnecessary, say no. You don't HAVE to send holiday cards, or birthday cards if it isn't your thing. It's really hard to define what the extras might be for you. But evaluate and watch the kinds of things you spend your time on and decide if those are extras. Do you want to keep doing those things? You could try to skip whatever it is once and see what you think.

Have Less
Having fewer things is part of working smarter, too. The fewer decor items I have on my fireplace mantel the easier it is to dust.  If my child has ten t shirts rather than twenty, those are easier for the child to decide on and put away. And the child is still dressed, right? Less makeup, less time spent digging for the items you need. Less collectibles, should mean more money in your pocket and time on your hands. Enjoy what you already have. Or downsize and keep your favorite. And finally, less stuff just looks more organized. You don't even HAVE to organize it. It just looks better when there is less.

I'm sure there are plenty of examples of how working smarter, not harder is a good mantra for organizing and keeping a household running well. Do you have one to share? Do you double recipes or combine trips? Are you good at saying no? Do you see how having less is better?

We'll get back to more decluttering ideas tomorrow. I promise!!


  1. Lately Q & A with Marie Kondi has been popping up on You Tube [I don't know if link works]
    She has a different viewpoint and retains items that 'Spark Joy.' [I'm 225th on library wait list for her book [haha].

    I really like doubling up entrees that freeze well, mostly because it's one mess only making two meatloaves and some casseroles. This year I've enjoyed making a meal plus. For example, I make two extra chicken breasts or 4 extra pieces of chicken parts when baking chicken so that a 2nd meal can be created with merely a different sauce like pasta for coq-a-vin when initial dish was traditional roast chicken, mashed potatoes, salad and a couple of vegetables.

    Over the years I've developed a notebook for 'plan-overs.' It's merely entrees which use leftovers to create a totally different meal...just like they do in the better restaurants.

  2. Mmm, leftovers :D It used to be that my Mister would never think of having leftovers. Until I made too much spaghetti one night, which allowed us generous helpings the first night, with plenty left over - which we then had for dinner the next night. I was then asked to make that much *every time* we have spaghetti. I'm not sure what magic was done to bring him to his senses (because left overs are amazing, and it was silly that he never liked them), but I'm oh so glad he has seen the light (insert giggle here) xD

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