Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top Ten Things You Can Do In Less Than Thirty Minutes

This is a guest post by my friend Karen Ehman, author of The Complete Guide To Getting And Staying Organized. Read on to the bottom of the list to find out about an exciting free offer she's got for you this summer!

Got 30 minutes to spare? I know, moms never have time to spare. So get up early, stay up late, find 30 minutes when you’re on hold with the insurance company. Just grab half an hour and tackle one of the following ten tasks, most of which can actually be done in less than 30 minutes.
1. Dump out one drawer in the kitchen. Sort the contents into three piles: out of place, throw away, and put back. Wipe out the drawer. Replace wanted items. Put those that are out of place back where they belong and pitch the throw-away items. If you find any items that are unwanted but still in good shape, place them in a box to be donated to charity or sold at your next yard sale.

2. Balance your checkbook. Go online or use the telephone teller to see which checks have cleared and which deposits have been made; then do the math to get your current balance. Warning: If it has been a long time since you’ve done this, it will take more than 30 minutes. If you do this every week or two, it will take much less time.

3. Purge your purse. Dump the contents onto the floor. Get rid of trash. Organize your money. Stash your receipts somewhere where you’ll be able to locate them when needed. And consider getting a smaller purse. If you buy a big purse, you’ll be sure to fill it.Think small! A “clutch on a string” type purse with space for a cell phone should do the trick. You can always keep this inside a larger tote bag or diaper bag if you want. It will be easier when shopping if you keep your main purse small and its contents narrowed down to the essentials.

4. Clean your counters. Move everything to one side of your kitchen counters. Wipe thoroughly. Move everything to the other side. Wipe the second half. Place it all back where it belongs.
Disinfect your doorknobs. This is likely the most germ-infested area of your home. Everyone touches the doorknobs, but no one cleans them. Experts say to give them a good rubbing with a disinfectant wipe every so often.

5. Clean out your fridge. Pull everything out onto the counter. Wipe down the inside. Replace only what is not out of date. Pitch the rest. If any items are near the expiration date and not going to be used soon, freeze if possible. You can do this with your freezer another time.

6. Mind the medicine cabinet. Check the dates on all your meds, and decide which ones must be tossed. Rid the cabinet of any lotions, shampoos, and products you don’t need. Wipe the shelves down and replace only what you’re keeping. I do this twice a year when the time changes. That’s also when we check our smoke-alarm batteries.

7. Purge the pantry. Remove all canned and boxed goods from your pantry shelves. Throw away what is outdated. Make a pile of what is still good but your family won’t likely eat. Donate this to a local food bank or homeless shelter. Replace items in an order logical to you. Sometimes, see if you can eat for a week with only the items you find in your pantry. I’ve invented some recipes this way. Go online to find recipes that pair items you have on hand. Shop for only what fresh items are needed to round out your meals. You’ll save a bundle on your groceries that week.

8. Add an address. Transfer any addresses from sticky notes, letter envelopes, and Christmas cards into your address book.

9. Give thanks. Anyone you’ve been meaning to write a thank-you note to? Do it now. And to make it easier in the future, place some thank-you notes, stamps, return address labels, and your address book in a basket near your sofa or in a tote bag you can take to the doctor’s office or carpool line. Grab it often to jot a note of thanks or encouragement to someone.

10. Peruse your porch. Take a look at what others see when they knock on your front door. Does your front window need washing? The porch need sweeping? Are there cobwebs that could do with a good knocking down? Take a little time to make the entrance to your home look presentable.

If you'd like to get more intentional this summer in using your time wisely and finally getting things organized around your house, join the free Facebook study Karen is hosting on her book The Complete Guide to Getting & Staying Organized.

The study begins June 1st and includes daily tips, discussions, giveaways, guests and a few optional conference calls.

Head over to the page and "Like" it to join and then stay tuned for details and a suggested reading schedule. You can locate the page by clicking here:
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Anonymous said...

I love these ten tips and hope to get to use at least the one about cleaning out a drawer; however, I have many drawers to clean out. I responded to your Friday blog, and I had asked about your children. I hope I did not get nosey or offend you by asking; if I did step out of bounds, I am sorry. Having been a teacher for so long, I am always into knowing age with a child to pray for that child. I taught elementary, middle school, and ended up with 11 yrs. in high school 9th grade language arts.
Again, I think you have a beautiful family, and I thank God for you and your blogging.
Jeanne, NC

Marybeth said...

Hi Jeane-- if you will email me privately I'd be happy to answer your questions! Thanks!