Survival Tips for One-Income Households


Through the years of baby clothes and different strategies for small spaces, I think I finally have a handle on things.  Am I clean freak?  HA! HA! HARDLY!  These are the ideas that I have come up with to save time, space and sanity.  I will be adding to this list indefinitely…

1.  My single most best and favorite tip… ROLL all your clothes, towels, blankets.  You will be amazed at the space you save.  I guarantee you will add an extra shelf.

Here my blankets are folded… As you can see, two more blankets (of the same size as these) would have filled this shelf… Maybe a couple more if you want to JAM it in there.  lol

When you roll, you can do MANY layers… saving space… No more need to JAM it all in there and have it all fall on you when you open the door!  I could fit probably 8 more blankets in here… More, actually, because the blankets shown, are my biggest blankets!

2.  Put a load of wash in DAILY… If you keep it going and only do one a day, you will kick the fear of loads and loads of work to do.

3.  Use a “to do” list.  Organize yourself before you start.  That way you will be ready for those unexpected guests when it has been a while since your last toilet cleaning.  Have a separate cleaning calendar and fill the whole thing in.  No more guessing.

4.  Organize your medicine cabinet… I found that flipping cereal boxes inside out, taping back up and labeling them makes for a really easy and cheap way to organize all the mess.  This made me VERY happy… Wish I did this YEARS ago.  No more digging to the bottom of the box hoping to find headache medicine, all the while bending over giving you a whole new feeling to the headache.  You can have your kids decorate them as well.  Most mom’s have these items hidden anyways…  It will make you smile when you see them!

5.  Keep all your drawing utensils (crayons, markers, stamps, paper) and play dough separate from all the other toys.  I keep mine in a cute bin that holds everything.  I just keep it in the cupboard above the fridge and slide it out when I want it.  No marks on the walls and it is a real treat and creative tool that never gets old.  Just pull out the goodies and let them fish through the bin themselves.  No more whining that they don’t want to color with crayons.  They can do whatever they want and use their own imagination instead of relying on you.

6.  Toy circulation is a must!!!!!  Keep the kids excited about their toys.  Pull them out when the kids start acting naughty… Life saver when you get sick and there is no one to take care of you or your kids.  Just grab a bag and empty it on the floor.  Hours of fun!  When you get a new bag, bag up the old ones and put them back in the basement.  I have heard of people using this as a tool to get the kids to clean up as well… “Anything left on the floor is going in the garbage.  10…9…8… and so on”… Use garbage bags and they will think you are serious when all you are really doing is putting them away for another month.

7.  MAGIC ERASERS!!!!  Wow, shoe scuff marks, marks on leather, grease stains, wall stains, hard water build up, etc…  I am truly amazed.  And guess what?  You can get them at the dollar store (2 in one box).

Added 02-29-2012

8. Put up a tension rod under your sink to store your spray bottles on… Freeing up more space for your other stuff under the sink.  This is awesome!  Keeps it neat and you know right where it is when you go to grab for it.  Thanks to this blog, I have restored the sanity under my sink.

9. Use organizers whenever you can… I put a stackable organizer under my bathroom sink.  LET ME TELL YOU… I feel better because I did it.  Proud moment here.  The mess has a place now.  Nothing is falling out or getting caught behind the drawers… lol

Crazy me… I went to the dollar store and spent $4 on creating sanity in my snack cupboard… LOOK how pretty…

I didn’t spend much, but this does 2 things… makes it nice and organized (SANITY) and allows me to monitor how much my kids eat by dividing into snack cups (seems like they are NEVER hungry for dinner, but snacks?)…  I started to get lazy and let them eat right out of the bag without getting up to put it in a bowl for them… I don’t like doing that because that encourages bad snacking habits.  We all eat more out of the bag instead of listening to our body tell us we are done.  So, dividing into snack bowls before hand is really easy… I just tell them to grab whatever they want out of the snack drawer…  At night, they are told “nothing with sugar”.  And they know the difference.  I didn’t have to get up, it is all ready for them… Can we say… SANITY!!!!  Ahhhh
I will be getting one for my fridge… stay tuned for that post! lol

Until next time…

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