Having a hard time finding the time to spend with friends, relax, or work out? To better organize your time, organize your home. Here are 10 tips that will pay off in hours of free time.
1. Clear the clutter. There are a few reasons to take a minimalist approach to knick-knacks and other dust-collectors: 1) It makes a room more serene and relaxing; 2) it's easier to focus when you limit the visual clutter; and 3) it saves time. How? By making things easier to find, easier to clean, and easier to navigate, you reduce time wasted shuffling, sorting, and clearing away piles of clutter.
2. Find a home. Having an uncluttered space is just part of the equation. To be organized, everything in your home should have a home. Then get into the habit of putting things away after you're done with it. By not having to hunt for misplaced items, you save time and lower stress.
3. Clean as you go. Along with putting things back in their place after you've used them, if you get into the habit of cleaning as you go-loading the dishwasher as you prepare dinner, wiping down the toothpaste tube and cleaning the sink after you've brushed your teeth-then dirt, dust and gunk won't accumulate, which saves cleaning time in the long run.
4. Prep for work. If mornings are a mad dash to get out the door, create an evening routine, such as gathering everything you'll need the next day. This might not technically save time, but it does get your day off to a more relaxing start.
5. Limit screen time. If your default mode at night is parked in front of a television set, then think about those things you say you just don't have time for-exercising, reading, visiting with friends, writing your memoir. The point is, be mindful of how you spend your time, and assess whether it's in line with your priorities.
6. Batch errands. Keep a list of all those things-to-do that involve driving, and do them all on one day. Plan your route for maximum efficiency and a minimum of driving. Compared to running multiple errand trips, this method saves a lot of time.
7. Bank online. Use your bank's electronic bill-paying system, and have all your regularly-scheduled bills paid automatically. Put aside an evening every week or two to pay other bills (again, electronically), and reconcile your bank statement. This not only saves time, it can potentially save money in late fees. Another time-saving extra-download your bank statements each month to Quicken or a Quicken-like program, and at the end of the year you can have a printout, coded with all tax-deductible payments.
8. Schedule cleaning. Now this may seem contradictory to number 3 (Clean as you go), but in fact, it's complementary. By cleaning as you go, you'll spend much less time doing the weekly big clean. If you have a spouse (or partner or anyone else living with you), set a time when you both can clean and crank up your favorite high energy music to clean by (Aretha, anyone?). Start at different ends of the house, commence cleaning and you'll be done in no time, with the rest of the day to relax.
9. Dispense with the dirty work. You've heard of a self-cleaning oven, well, how about a self-cleaning shower? With Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner, after the last shower of the day, you simply press the button and the cleaning formula combines with the water in the shower to clean up soap scum and mold & mildew stains. The first sprayer does a 360 spin around your shower with a penetrating cleaner. Sprayer two targets the corners, breaking down grimy build up. It gives a whole new meaning to clean as you go-it cleans, you go. Take the easy way out of cleaning your toilet with Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Gel. Just use the dispenser to stamp a gel disc under the toilet bowl rim and let it go to work. Each time the toilet is flushed, a small amount of the concentrated gel whirls around the bowl, cleaning it and leaving a fresh scent behind.
10. Outsource the job. Sometimes it makes more sense to hire someone to do a job that you don't have the time, inclination or expertise to do yourself. Hire the kid down the street to shovel the driveway or mow the lawn, contract a professional to do home maintenance projects, pay a computer whiz set up your new computer or if you're clueless about how to get organized, consult an expert. It all goes back to priorities and economics. What's worth more, your time or the cost of hiring someone to do the job?