What I Learned From A Time Audit

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:34 am on Monday, March 2, 2015

time-management

What’s the most precious resource in your life? For me, it’s time. It’s the one thing you can’t get back. So I decided to see if I could free up a few more hours a week by doing a Time Audit.

For two weeks, I carried a notebook with me and wrote down everything I did and how much time it took me to do it. Then I broke all my activities into categories, tallied how much time each one took, and compared them to total time spent. From there, I broke the categories into percentages, so I could tell how much time I spent working, sleeping, eating, watching TV, and so forth.

Why do this? To:

    * Find out what I was really spending my time on.
    * Find extra hours in the week.
    * Learn how to use my time more efficiently.

Writing down everything you do is an annoying chore, but it was worth it because now I have an accurate idea of how I was using my time, and where I was wasting it. I learned a lot about myself in the process.

Here’s a few things I learned:

THE GOOD:

I work a lot. Turns out I spend the majority of my time working, which is fine with me. I love to work.

I read a lot. I was surprised to find I spend a portion of every day reading books. I didn’t realize it was such an ingrained habit, and I think it’s a good one to have.

I spend a lot of time socializing, being active, and playing with my son. All good things.

THE BAD:

I sleep too much. What? An adult woman who gets *too much* sleep? Yep. I was frequently getting over 9 hours of sleep per night. I believe in getting enough rest, but that’s just ridiculous. So I started getting up an hour earlier, which means an extra 7 more hours a week.

I spend too much time cleaning. I was shocked to find that I spend 9 hours a week just cleaning. That’s insane! My house isn’t even that clean. I’m trying a new system out to save time—if it works I’ll save an extra six hours a week. Stay tuned for a post on this.

I spend too much time cooking. In my effort to stop eating out so much, I’ve been making meal plans and cooking at home. The uptick of that is that I spent way too much time in the kitchen and at the table—up to 15 hours a week. Can you ever win? I like to cook, but over an hour of total time on a weekday spent devoted to dinner (including eating) seems excessive. SO I’ve been experimenting with a new system for that too, and it seems to be saving me an extra five hours or so in the kitchen. I’ll share about this in a separate post too.

I watch too much TV. This one shocked me. On a weekday, we watch maybe one or two shows and that’s it–but if you add that up along with a movie or two, and it ends up being 12 hours a week, a major time suck. I figure seven hours a week is enough TV for me, which will free up about five extra hours a week. I’ll look into how to fix that one too.

So: If I address these problem areas, I’ll free up 23 hours a week.

That’s right, if I change some of my habits, I’ll gain almost an entire day of free time per week, thanks to the time audit.

I’d better get started.

5 Romantic And Pretty Valentine’s Day Decorations

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:10 am on Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine’s Day is on Saturday. Here’s some easy decorations to make the house look more romantic.

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Candy and Flowers for Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Cork Heart

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Paper Heart Garland

wall-of-paper-hearts

Wall Of Paper Hearts

Giant Wall Heart

Geometric Wall Heart

Keep Your Fridge Cleaner With $2 DIY Fridge Mats

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:01 am on Friday, January 23, 2015

Anything that cuts down on cleaning time is worth considering in my book. So I like this idea of making DIY Fridge Mats out of $2 place mats.

Instead of having to clean your entire fridge every time, you can just take out the mats and clean them, thus cutting down on the time spent cleaning the fridge and keeping things tidier overall.

I like this idea. Hmmm…

DIY Organizing Round-Up

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:50 am on Monday, January 12, 2015

I’m making a lot of progress with my New Year’s Resolution to organize the house. In fact, I’m almost done. I just have to do the following:

1. Jewelry Box
2. Bookshelves (ugh)
4. The Blanket Chest
3. Garden Tools

I think I’ll tackle the jewelry this week and then the rest will follow. It’s nice to have an organized house. Here are some posts to help you out if you’re doing the same:

5 Ways To Organize Blankets

Organize Kid Bath Toys With A Recycled Mesh Bag


Organizing On The Cheap: Make Your Own Drawer Dividers


Four Ways To Store Plastic Grocery Bags


Paper Towel Holder To Store Garbage Bags


My $.55 Under-The-Sink Toothbrush Holder


4 Uses For A Magnetic Strip


Use A Pillow Case To Organize Your Sheets
(This works great.)


Use A Shoe Organizer To Organize Cleaners


Use Shower Rings To Organize Your Closet

Turn An Old-Fashioned Spice Tin Into Easy, Cheap Bathroom Storage


Use Buttons as Earring Holders


4 Clever Yarn Storage Ideas


5 Creative Ways To Store Wrapping Paper

Three Ways To Store Christmas Lights


Framed Organizer For Spools Of Thread


Keep Drawer Organizers From Sliding With Adhesive Velcro

Keep Drawer Organizers From Sliding With Adhesive Velcro

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:59 am on Friday, January 9, 2015

I love these pen organizers from the Dollar Tree–as I have demonstrated here and here. I also use them to hold my pens in my desk drawer. The problem was that every time I opened the drawer, the organizers slid around and messed up my pens. It was annoying.

Professional organizers use museum putty to solve this problem. They stick a little bit of putty underneath the organizer so it doesn’t move around. I didn’t have any museum putty, but I did have this:

This is adhesive velcro. It has a tacky back on each side that can stick to most surfaces. I put it on the back of my organizers and stuck them to the bottom of the drawer. Hurrah! No more sliding.

The whole project took five minutes. Here’s how to do it:

1. Measure the organizer

2. Cut two pieces of velcro to the size of the organizer.

3. Stick one piece of velcro to the back of the organizer.

4. Stick the other piece to the velcro, like so:

5. Peel the backing off the velcro.

6. Carefully press the organizer back into the drawer where you want it to stay in place.

That’s it. No more sliding organizers in the drawer.

My $.55 Under-The-Sink Toothbrush Holder

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:44 am on Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I don’t like having toothbrushes and toothpaste on top of the sink in the bathroom. For ages, I looked for a basket that would fit on the inside of the door of the bathroom vanity, but they were always too wide or too big.

Then one day, I hit upon a solution: I took two adhesive hooks from the Dollar Tree ($.11 each) and hung a narrow pencil holder from the same store ($.33) on them. My new toothbrush holder fit perfectly on the door. I was thrilled.

But when I put our toothbrushes and toothpaste in the basket, the adhesive on the hooks didn’t hold and the whole thing fell off the door. So I looked in the household toolbox and came up with spare adhesive strips from another set of hooks we bought awhile back. Perfect. I put the strips on the back of the hooks and pressed them on the cabinet door. The basket hasn’t come off since.

So my Under-The-Sink Toothbrush Holder cost a little over half a buck. And I can remove the basket and wash it whenever I want.

Awesome And Creative Organizing Products

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:50 am on Tuesday, January 6, 2015

If you’re into organizing your house, a few organizing products can make a huge difference. Here are a few Awesome And Creative Organizing Products that have worked for me.

Single Corner Shelves. I have two of these, one for my bowls and one for my plates. This was the product got me excited about organizing in the first place, which I wrote about before.

Cupboard Shelf. I love these things. I use them for mugs, office paper, spices, and baking dishes. Why are they so exciting? They let you utilize vertical space in a cupboard, thus doubling what you can store there. You can get them at most major box stores. They cost around $7.

Dollar Tree Self-Adhesive Hooks. These hooks can’t handle a lot of weight, but come on: you get nine hooks for $1. That’s $.11 each. I use them to hold my dust pan, toothbrushes, and baby bibs.

Dollar Tree Pencil Holders. You can get three of these narrow plastic bins for $1. I use them to hold organize my junk drawer (above), pens, and extra kitchen supplies.

Lid Holder. If you get the right kind, you can use these to hold cutting boards, cookie sheets, or plates, as well as pot lids.

Small Lazy Susans. I have two of these in the pantry, one to hold herbs and one to hold oils and vinegars. They also sell a double-tier lazy susan, which I wish I’d seen before buying the other ones.

Under The Sink Organizer. I don’t have one of these, but I would if I hadn’t spent my organizing budget on all of the above. It lets you organize around that pesky sink pipe. Great idea.

What organizing products have worked for you?

New Years Resolution: Organize My House

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 11:00 am on Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I’m super excited about organizing.

It all started when I bought these single corner shelves at the Container Store.

I put them in my overflowing cupboard to stack my bowls and plates vertically in the shelf. Suddenly, not only could I access everything in the cupboard, I had enough extra room to move the beer glasses too.

This was very exciting!

The beer glasses had been shoved in this other cupboard where they didn’t fit. Suddenly, they had their own section right by the other glasses–which was the logical place for them to go.

!

Since then, I’ve started organizing my entire house. I’m about half done with this project and I’m seeing some equally exciting and interesting results. For example:

* I’m saving time when I clean up because everything has a place.

* The house is generally cleaner because I’m more inclined to put things away.

* I’ve found “homes” for things that have floated around and annoyed me for years.

* I’m better able to see what I have—and what I don’t need.

* Instead of having to dig for things, they’re at my fingertips.

* The house is more peaceful and pleasant to be in.

So that’s my goal for the new year: organize my entire house. I’m off to a good start, too. So far I’ve done:

    All of the cupboards and drawers in my kitchen
    Under the kitchen sink
    The hall closet
    My bureau
    Bedroom closet
    Office closet
    The batteries
    My desk
    Brooms and mops
    Bathroom cupboard
    My son’s bath toys
    Medicine cabinet
    The fridge
    Junk drawer
    Craft supplies
    Art supplies
    Gift wrap

Still to do:

    The top shelf of the pantry
    The deep freeze
    The fridge freezer
    The blanket chest
    Son’s closet
    The photographs
    Bookshelves
    Jewelry box
    Outdoor gardening supplies

And then I’ll probably go through and refine systems that aren’t working until the whole house is running like a well-oiled machine.

That’s the theory, anyway.

Happy 2015!

5 Creative Ways To Store Wrapping Paper

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 10:56 am on Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rolls of wrapping paper tend to thump around in your closet if you don’t make an effort to store them. Here are 5 Creative Ways To Store Wrapping Paper:

1. HANG THEM FROM A CLOSET CEILING. Put that wasted space to good use.

2. FENCE THEM OFF WITH A TENSION ROD. Stand them against the wall so they won’t fall over.

3. PUT THEM IN A CLEAR GARMENT BAG. Then hang the bag in a spare closet.

4. STICK THEM IN A TRASH CAN. This is great if you need to access the wrapping paper all year long.

5. INSTALL RACKS ON THE BACK OF A DOOR. Turn it into an entire gift wrap station.

Christmas Round-Up

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:06 am on Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Have A Merry Christmas With These Red Holiday Cocktails

Make Your Own Candy Canes

How To Make A Floating Christmas Tree

Himmeli-Style Christmas Star Tree Topper

8 Great Appetizers

Easy DIY Colorful and Fun Fruit Ornaments

Glamorous and Impressive Appetizers For Your Next Holiday Party

5 Christmas Ornaments You Can 3D Print

Gingerbread Toddy

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