Use baskets to put small items in so you do not have to search for small items like clippers and hair brushes, etc.
Wet your child’s shoelaces before tying them. You won’t have to re-tie them all day.
Put a steno pad (instead of a tear-off pad) and pen near your telephone. No more little pieces of paper.
Purchase indoor / outdoor olefin or propylene mats to catch incoming dirt.
“Everyday”-do an inventory task in your home: wash dishes, laundry, clean up, etc. Seems simple but if we stay on top of inventory items our family will keep running smoothly.
Allow children to only play with a few toys at a time. Small children become overwhelmed with too many toys.
Post a family calendar in the kitchen. Encourage everyone to use it . Post ministry events that will affect the whole family on it.
Purchase individual laundry baskets (assorted colors) so children can sort and put away laundry. If you have a 99 cent store close by you may be able to get assorted colors.
Guard against perfectionism: clean for hygienic reasons, not just for aesthetic beauty.
Label kids’ bureau drawers so they will put clothes in the right ones. Use pictures (i.e. from magazines) for small children who cannot read yet.
Post chores chart so everyone knows who is responsible for what job.
Put a ribbon on your car antenna so you can quickly locate where you parked your car in a mall or in a parking lot full of home-school vans.
Carry a calculator and coupon file with you to the supermarket.
Write down the aisles of your favorite supermarket. Photocopy it. Make your grocery list using the aisles as a guide. It will significantly cut down on your time in the store.
Make a master list of grocery staples. Post it on your refrigerator. Encourage everyone (within reason) to check off needed items.
Plan your menus with a “quick-meals” cookbook. Your local library has plenty. Try the ones for working mothers. You’d be surprised at the quick recipes we home-schooling moms can use.
Do your major cleaning in the Fall, not the Spring. Your efforts will last longer. Many mistakably believe Spring cleaning is best, but you should really deep clean in the Fall right before you’re about to close your home up for the winter.
Let the cleaning products do the work for you. Spray and wait for the chemicals to do the work. Always clean by circling the room like the hands on a clock.
Have a place for sale circulars. When a new one arrives, throw out the old one.
Open your mail near a wastebasket. Toss junk mail immediately.
Let your children make cards for friends’ and relatives’ birthdays and special occasions. They can also draw on old paper to make gift wrap.
Plan times to purge your family home files. Make it your goal to trash an outdated file each time you file a new file.
Instead of nagging, just state the obvious and give the person the opportunity to correct it. For instance, “I see socks on the living room floor.”
Give children their own small pitchers to pour their own juice or milk. This will help little ones feel more independent and keeps you from just jumping up to prepare them juice all the time.
Assign teenagers (both male and female) a day to cook dinner. They should be responsible for planning, shopping, etc. This task teaches them budgeting skills and practical household management. Your daughters will be well prepared and your future daughter-in-laws will thank you.
Train pre-teens to plan, shop and prepare family meals. As teens, assign them the tasks. Assign them cooking days. Schedule the time to train your children in your household schedule.
Invest in a deep freezer. It reduces shopping time, and allows you to freeze meals. Plan to cook once a week. Make it a regular practice to prepare two portions of meals when cooking. You may also reach out to single people in your congregations or new mothers.
Purchase a daily planner / organizer for yourself. It does not have to be expensive, an ordinary small notebook will do. Carry it everywhere with you. Or get a Palm Pilot if you’re technically inclined.
Let your children wear home-school uniforms (i.e. sweat suits) that you don’t care if it gets hopelessly stained. Of course, you should have a separate set of church/ out of house activity clothes. We should represent the kingdom well.
Set the table for breakfast the night before church. Pack bags for church and place by the door.
Plan a family clean-up day regularly as part of the home-school routine.
Put a shower cleanser in your bathroom in a spray bottle so family members can use it easily. Add a little baby shampoo, it cuts body oil and will reduce scrubbing.
Purchase a book on child development so you know if your expectations of your child are reasonable.
Use nylon shower balls instead of washcloths. Get a different color for each family member. Toss shower balls in the laundry weekly to sterilize them.
Use watered down anti-bacterial soap in a pump for kids in the bathroom. They always pump too much anyway. (You can also substitute anti-bacterial dish washing detergent. It can also be more economical).
Make home-school box for kids. Put in pencils, crayons, rulers, etc. Items will always be handy. Older students should be responsible for their own school supplies.
Make incentive charts for young children to encourage household cooperation.
Put a folder in your kitchen or bedroom for children to place activity notes ( ie. AWANA, scouting information, test to be graded, Co-op, etc.)
State family rules in the affirmative instead of the negative. They sound less punitive.
Use paper plates, cups and bowls especially when you’ve had a hectic week.
If you don’t have a personal spot in your home create one. Make a basket and put in your favorite book, a journal, etc. Teach children not to disturb you in your special spot unless someone’s about to lose a limb or the fire department is at the front door.