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Home » Cleaning, Organizing, & Time Management » Day 3: How to Avoid Making More Work for Yourself
Cleaning, Organizing, & Time Management

Day 3: How to Avoid Making More Work for Yourself

You stumble into the kitchen, bleary-eyed. Coffee is a MUST, and STAT.

You empty the pot of yesterday’s dregs by walking over to the sink to dump it out and then walking back to the pot, where you then commence preparations for a new one. First you walk to the pantry to get the coffee beans and bring them to the counter. Then you walk to the cabinet above the microwave, where you store your grinder, and bring it over. After grinding the beans, you walk back to the microwave cabinet to put the grinder away. Then you walk to the drawer next to the stove to get the filters, and bring one back to put it in the pot. Then it’s back over to the pantry to put the beans away.

After the coffee is brewed, you walk to the cabinet by the fridge to get yourself a mug and then back to the coffeepot to pour. Oops, you forgot to get the flavored creamer from the fridge when you were over there, so you walk back and get it, then back to your coffee to put some in. Now you need a spoon, so it’s over to the drawer and then back yet again. FINALLY, as you take your first sip of the life-giving medicine and begin to feel its enervating effects seeping into your extremities — aaaaaaaaahhhhhh — you check your Fitbit and see that you’ve already used 500 steps. LOL.

Why make things harder than they need to be? This is one of the best organizing tips to avoid work out there. It applies to many areas of life and there are several great ideas for how to use it. Part of a series!

Obviously I’ve exaggerated the process a little bit 🙂 , but I’m guessing some variation of this exercise is carried out in many homes every morning. But there’s a better way!

What if ALL the coffee supplies were stored in the cabinet right above the coffeepot? Even the sugar and powdered creamer (if that’s what you use)? And what if that place was somewhere fairly close to the sink? It would be a bunch easier to make a pot of coffee, wouldn’t it?

Welcome to 31 Days of Practical Organizing Tips for a Homeschool Mom’s Life!
Every day there is a new organization hack to help calm the chaos.
Find links to all 31 days here: 31 Days of Organizing Tips.

 

 Here’s today’s tip: Store things close to where you use them.

Coffee supplies are just one example (but perhaps the most important, lol). Here are some more for you to pick and choose from and also get ideas of your own:

–Videos. Make sure they are stored near the TV/DVD player, not in a closet many steps away or in a different room altogether.

–Place a huge tub or decorative basket by the door where you usually come into the house. Everyone can put their shoes in it as they enter, and put them on again when they are ready to leave. It’s a pile of shoes, yes, but it’s contained in a basket. This is not for ALL the shoes, only the ones used most often, like sneakers or flip flops. It’s near the door, so you don’t have to go BACK to the bedroom to get your shoes when you are ready to leave. It’s easy to throw the shoes in, so they don’t get left lying around. If you have a coat closet right there, you can put the basket in the closet.

(Don’t expect the kids to line up their shoes neatly in a row on the floor. Not gonna happen. PLUS a basket is much easier to move to sweep or mop or vacuum under. But be sure it’s NEAR THE DOOR. 🙂 )

–Do you go to watch your kids’ sports events? And every time you have to load up those folding chairs into the car, right? What about just storing them in the trunk of the car all the time? Then they are always there when you need them. They don’t take up much space, and then you don’t have to remember every time.

–Store printer paper near the printer. Store the extra ink cartridges there, too.

–Store plates, glasses, and silverware in cabinets close to the dishwasher and sink.

–Store TP in the bathroom, not in a closet in the hall. This not only is more convenient but may prevent emergencies, lol.

–Store all your flour, sugars, spices, etc. near the mixer.

–Store your teacher’s guides near where you sit down to grade everyone’s work. For me, that means they are inside the buffet in the dining room, because I do grading at the dining room table. Storing them on a shelf in another room would mean I’d sit down and then remember I need them and have to get up and go get them and come back — as well as having to walk over to put them away when I’m done. It’s much easier to reach behind me and get them from inside one of the buffet’s doors after I’ve sat down.

–Store that second sheet set under the mattress of the bed it is used for. When you go to change the sheets, the new ones are right there waiting for you!

–Store trash bags in the bottom of the trash can.

–I keep my iron and ironing board in the master bedroom closet. The thing is, I don’t iron until I pull something out that I want to wear and see that it is wrinkled, lol. So if I had to walk to another room altogether to get the ironing board, or take the shirt with me and iron it somewhere else, I would probably never wear anything that needed ironing! You know I’m not the only one that thinks like this…

–My newest application of this tip is storing bathroom cleaning supplies actually in the bathroom. That means that when I get an urge to wipe the counter (not a frequent occurrence but it does happen 🙂 ), everything is handy right there; and I don’t need to go get it from somewhere else. That means I’m more likely to actually do. the. cleaning. Welcome to my world, y’all.

You get the idea. Saved steps means saved time and saved effort. All of which contributes to a less stressful day and more feeling like you are in control of life. Less mind clutter and more efficiency. And coffee in your system more quickly. All good things!

About the author

Ann Karako

Ann has been homeschooling for 18+ years and has graduated four children (one more to go). She believes that EVERY mom can CONFIDENTLY, COMPETENTLY -- and even CONTENTEDLY -- provide the COMPLETE high school education that her teen needs. Ann's website, AnnieandEverything.com, offers information, resources, and virtual hugs to help homeschool moms do just that. Ann has written Cure the Fear of Homeschooling High School: A Step-by-Step Manual for Research & Planning, and she founded the popular FB group called It's Not that Hard to Homeschool High School. She and her family, including two dogs and three cats, live in rural Missouri.

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Hi! I’m glad you’re here!


I’m Ann (aka Annie), a veteran homeschool mom of five. I believe YOU can do this homeschool high school thing!
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