Jan 28, 2011

Balancing Your Life (Merrick)

With the start of the new year, I'm sure you all have many new years resolutions. This year, I decided to tone down my usual new years resolutions craziness and focus on the essentials. My main goals are to simplify and balance my life. I never want to be one of those women who is doing the laundry or cleaning every day of the week, or going to the grocery store every other day to pick up a few things. I want each day to feel individual and special, and be able to have time to do the important things, like playing cars with my little boy.

So let me tell you about a few things I'm doing this year, although not all of them specifically deal with saving money (but I'm saving my sanity here, and that is worth something!!):

I make bread every Tuesday -- I bake it, cut it up, put it in a bread bag, and it's ready for sandwiches and toast all week.

I clean the house every Thursday -- this includes cleaning both bathrooms, dusting, mopping, sanitizing doorknobs and countertops, and any small organizing jobs that need to be done.

I do the laundry every Friday -- this includes sorting, washing, drying, folding, ironing, and putting away ($$ saved by not running the washer/dryer every day!)

I go grocery shopping every Saturday -- this includes planning my weekly menu, clipping coupons, and then going to my regular grocery store (Smiths), Sam's Club for bulk items, Rite Aid for toiletry items, and Sunflower Market for specialty items. ($$ saved by not running to the store every day!)

In the interest of full disclosure, I babysit my neighbor and have art class on Monday's and Wednesdays, which keeps me busy all day. So I keep those days free of house duties.

Also, we do many small household chores on a daily basis -- take out the garbage, run the dishwasher, clean the counter tops, pick up toys, etc.

By dividing up my week in this way, my life is suddenly more balanced than it ever has been. My laundry basket is full, but I'm not stressed about it because I know it will all be washed and put away today. We are running out of milk, but tomorrow is shopping day so why waste my time by running to the store today (especially when I'll probably come home with $20 worth of groceries!) -- we'll just have toast for breakfast. And each of these daily duties only takes me an hour or two of hands on time, so I have plenty of time for other things during the day.

When you have specific days dedicated to your various duties, you can better commit to each of them and perform better at each of them. You're probably not going to save much more money if you spend hours clipping coupons every day -- you're just going to hate couponing.

So do yourself a favor and bring a little balance into your life this year. Everyone, including your wallet, will be thanking you.


Heather said...

I've been meaning to try this. Glad to hear it is working for you.

Tell me, have you already posted your bread recipe and secret tips? I've never had much success with it,but would really love to bake good bread.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this suggestion! The only one of these tasks I've managed to pin down is grocery shopping every Saturday (with menu planning, etc.), but designating certain days for laundry, cleaning, etc. sounds like a really smart idea.

Merrick said...

Heather: This is the bread recipe I use. It asks you to put it in a cold oven and then cook for 38 minutes from there, but my oven is kind of junky so I have to cook it longer, varying each time.

And as long as I let the bread rise a sufficient amount of time, it turns out light and fluffy and insanely delicious.

Also, Janssen uses White Wheat Flour for her, which is not quite as dense as regular wheat flour, but I've been using regular wheat flour and it still turns out great.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I never wanted to be one of those women who is doing laundry every day either. When I only had one kid I did what you are doing. I had a cleaning day, a laundry day, days I worked outside the home, etc. It worked great; my house stayed clean and my laundry stayed reasonably caught up. But now with multiple children it is completely impossible to finish all of our laundry in only one day, or with young boys to get away with having only one cleaning day per week. Bathrooms don't stay clean for an entire week with young boys :) I have found that for me it is easier to do one load of laundry every single day now (usually folded while I take 15-20 minutes per day to watch TV), than it is to devote two days per week to doing laundry. Folding laundry is actually my one excuse in the day to take a break from working, etc. to just sit down. I think that everyone just needs to find what works best for them. And really, doing one load of laundry per day doesn't really add up to more energy being expended than if I were to do 8 loads in one day.
But I loved the method you are using and should look at going back to it to the extent that I can. Thanks for the reminder :)

BrittWilk said...

i started doing something similar when emery was about the same age as your peanut. it does yield sanity. wonderful fabulous advice to the masses. thanks for posting.