5 Crazy Things I Do to Keep Things Together
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Life can be crazy. The unexpected is sure to raise its head and knock your best plans off course. “Simple living” is a good thing to strive for, but sometimes it’s elusive.
Here are five kinda crazy things — at least in the world’s eyes — that I do to keep things a little more sane at my house. Please keep in mind that in NO WAY do I think these are must-do’s for anyone else. Like I said, I know that these are kinda crazy for the times we live in. But, they help me and my family.
1. I have my toilet paper delivered.
Oh, yes, yes, I do. About a year ago, I realized that we were constantly running out of toilet paper. I would cringe each time someone would tell me we were out. Running off to the store — when there were no sales to be had — became a regular thing. And no, I didn’t/don’t really have the brain power to follow the toilet paper sales.
Instead, I started ordering it on Amazon. Using Subscribe and Save, I have a regular delivery programmed. I watch for sales on Amazon, not hard to do when Kosher on a Budget regularly reports the toilet paper deals on her Facebook page.
(No, we don’t keep kosher; we’re not even Jewish, but I’ve found some great deals through Mara’s site.)
I’ve found such freedom in having the toilet paper delivered. I can’t tell you why. It’s pretty silly, really. But, I can totally ignore the paper goods aisle at the store and it is so freeing!
Plus, my people are all prepared when they need to do their business.
2. I don’t sort laundry.
A few years ago I decided I wasn’t going to sort the colored clothes from the whites. No longer do I need to wonder if this yellow shirt counts as white or colored, I just toss it all together. So far, so good. (I wash linens and towels separately and in hot water.)
Then to take it one step further, I put the kids in charge of their own laundry. So, I don’t have to sort the different piles either. Quite freeing and saves me so much time.
3. I am not afraid of fast food.
Well, sort of. I am picky about my fast food, limiting it to places like In-n-Out Burger, Rubios, or Chipotle. While I would love to feed my family healthy, home-cooked meals every night, that’s just not the reality. I have to be able to outsource. And In-n-Out Burger, the closest to our house, makes a pretty mean burger.
I even have everyone’s order programmed into my phone. We’re so complicated, that this helps me in more ways than one.
4. I don’t watch TV.
I grew up as a TV junkie. Today I’ve got too much to do. We had cable for awhile, mainly for sports, but now that’s gone, too. I can’t imagine how much time I would waste if I were watching TV. I know that for me it’s an all or nothing proposition — and I’m better off without Downton Abbey or American Idol.
Really, I am.
We do have Amazon Prime so we can watch movies and programs after the fact. This summer we’ve really enjoyed Foyle’s War which we treat like a movie. We’re not hooked to a time and place when we have to watch. Nor is flipping on the TV a habit. (And they just took it off Prime Instant Video, so now we’re even less likely to watch it.
5. I don’t wear make-up.
Last year I had to splurge for some make-up in order to do a couple TV appearances. I hated every minute of wearing it on my face and washed it off as soon as possible.
Do I have flawless skin? No. Do I look as young as I might if I wore make-up? No. Do folks see my unsightly pregnancy-mask-that-never-went-away? Yes.
But, do I have to wash my face every night? Or spend time in the morning putting my face on? No. And for me, this totally works.
Like I said, I don’t think these are things that everyone else should do — or not do, as the case may be. Instead, I offer them as examples of things that you can tweak to make life a little easier for you. Find your own groove, and make it work for you and your family.
I have a year’s supply of Tp stashed ( I am my father’s child, he had over 3 yrs stashed).
I wear a good sunscreen that doubles as my moisturizer. Mascara when going out , lip balm, body powder and sometimes Deo as I’ve found the body powder does a better job.
Kids always did their laundry after age of 5 most without help as I started them helping at 2. They regret they didn’t do the same with their own. I keep darks and red tones separate ..the rest is fair game. I make 5 gal of homemade laundry soap and use vinegar as the softener. I use auto dry cycle on the dryer wash the heaviest first and then what ever isn’t dry going in with the next load to dry. No rebooting. Have a drying rack …and actually being able to use my clothes line saves me time, no waiting for the dryer to finish to put in the next load.
I will text myself when out or I don’t have paper (I love post it notes) and pen/pencil.
I have 4 paper calendars (bills, appts, kitchen and garden) and I have the appts on my phone calendar also so I don’t have to come home and check after making an appt.
Even with being retired, I am still looking for ways to save time and money.
This is a great list!
I so sort clothes sort of. I wash anything black or red by themselves. I also sort out socks and underwear and do those separetely and sheets and towels are washed separetly. I am going to try making my laundry soap one of these days and I use only vinegar as a “fabric softener” I can not take the smell of most of that stuff.
I do most of the things you do on your list, except I do like my make-up! I order not only tp through Amazon Prime, but also Pull-ups, the thing we always tend to run out of at inconvenient times. Other ways I’m trying to survive mothering and homeschooling 4 kids 8 and under:
*Paper plates–I buy the biodegradable ones and I have found that it knocks my dishwashing load down from 3 per day to 2 per day. With a family of 6, eating 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, it makes a big difference in my time and I save on Cascade Complete Packs (the only thing that gets dishes clean in my old dishwasher) and the water bill.
*I don’t fold clothes–All of my kids have a bin in the laundry room where their clothes get tossed, unfolded. We have one basket for socks and it’s their job to hunt through the bazillions of socks to find a match. I do hang up dresses and nicer clothing that comes out of the dryer and put it in their closet, but the other clothing is tossed in the bin. I can’t stand to fold clothes only to see them unfolded by kids digging through their bin, so what’s the point?
*I’ve limited toys to just a few per kid and outfits to about 5 per kid. I have more outfits in the storage closet if I should need them and some toys in storage. The boys mostly play with legos and duplo blocks so those are out, but if they fail to keep them cleaned up, they go in “time-out” in Mommy’s room for a few weeks. Less is more!
*We’ve said no to extra-curriculars this year. I noticed AWANA nights were chaotic, stressful, and caused the little kids to be grumpy all day the next day so only my oldest child is allowed to go. I don’t help out at AWANA anymore and the kids aren’t in soccer or ballet or swimming.
*I don’t have a cell phone or an iPod or a laptop. We live in a rural, slow-paced town facing the mountains in Wyoming and don’t have a need for them, which means I’m not accessible 24/7 to my friends and family and I like it that way. I use my answering machine and caller ID to screen calls during our homeschooling.
I do most of the things you do..minus the amazon because shipping to canada is outrageous!
I also don’t have a cellphone…or a any kind of smart tech.
I write things down on paper…and when I’m not home then I’m sorry you can leave a message on our answering machine. I don’t have to be in contact with the world all the time and I don’t have to rely on electrical devices to check my schedule or grocery list. I find it very freeing not to be “plugged in” all the time for everything.
1. No make up
2. Job that supplies my work clothes.
3. Store brands for about half our groceries. The other half is due to reading labels and meeting my son’s dietary needs
4. Havent sorted laundry since son#1 was turned one, he’s eight now
5. Make my own laundry soap…..and when I make the “last” batch ingredients go on the grocery list.
6. Invested in cloth shower curtain liners. Haven’t had to purchase a new one in the 9.5 years we’ve been married.
7. No cable, no landline…..just internet, Netflix and cells
8. Bought my husband a keurig five years ago. I don’t drink coffee, but it saves my sanity to not have coffee wasted in the pot or spilled everywhere. Best $100 I’ve on my own happiness. Lol
I glad to see that I am not the only one forgoing makeup. I also freed myself from laundry by making my kids do their own. The next step in this progression is to have them each pick a night or meal to cook! It makes life easier and harder at the same time. Our kids are leaving the nest now and I find myself once again sorting laundry. What is up with that?
I don’t sort laundry either. I grocery shop only once a week at a small, local grocer. It always gets done in under 30 minutes. Usually 20 unless I run into a friend to chat with! I don’t have a cellphone. We don’t have a tv. I’m not on FB. But I still figure out ways to waste plenty of time…
Don’t we all. LOL!
I’m in the no makeup club too, unless special occasion like date night or Sunday church (I like getting dressed up once in a while, thought after makeup every day for years it took me a while to feel I was really “dressed” without it!).
I don’t sort laundry and my mom acts like I’ve broken one of the commandments. 🙂
we had amazon fresh grocery delivery for months after my second child was born. Felt indulgent but so worth it for that transition time. It remembers past orders and is a cinch. Not widely available yet, though (we are Seattle area).. When baby #3 appears this Feb we’ll probably do it again.
I almost never buy clothed for myself and the only jewelry I wear regularly is my wedding ring set.
I shower every 2-3 days. Used to bother me but not anymore. Better for your hair anyway, and feels like a treat when I do. I only blowdry my hair about once a year too.
best advice I got for buying kids’ clothes: pick a couple colors and a neutral for whatever season/size you need to buy and get all items in coordinating colors. I’ve done this for more than a year and it makes dressing my kids so much easier. My son has pretty much only worn red, white and blue in his 21 mos 🙂 ha! Also, old navy is great for baby/toddler boys so whenever I need to buy I go online and make a big order without dragging everyone along. Any store I can skip in person is a bonus.
Love the toilet paper delivery! ! I’m going to set this up today. With 5 kids and a full time job this sounds like a great time saver!
Thanks for # 5 . I was thinking I was the only one who din’t bother about make up after I became a mom 🙂
To be honest, I didn’t wear it much before then, either. I bought a stack of Mary Kay once at a party and hubs asked me to return it. He said he liked me better without it. Yay for marrying the right guy for me.
Well I have to be honest too LOL I didn’t wear much make up before either . The only time I had make up on my eyes was on my wedding day .
I don’t know if others mentioned it but I got this idea from a friend of mine – the sock basket. As the only female in the family, the pink/purple/teal socks are mine. Every other grey, white, black, greyish-brown guy sock is tossed in the sock basket in the upstairs hall. You find your socks. You match them. If your brother grabs your socks then you shouldn’t wait until it’s too late.
90 second eye treatment some days. No make-up. Conservative clothes area of the country so fads come really slowly so there’s not much to worrying about the latest and greatest. I have a basement that has an extensive pantry storage section so we rarely run out of a needed item. Costco’s giant containers/selection helps there too.
Emailed reminders go to the community garden and take vitamins. Otherwise I’d forget.
I stopped matching, too. Hubs go in his drawer. Since the kids wash their own clothes, they’re stuck with their own socks. Love it!
At my husband’s suggestion, we just started a 7 day meal plan. I mean… we eat the same 7 dinners every week. I thought I would hate it, but I actually love it. We are starting our 4th week and I am not sick of anything. And I have gotten more done in the last 3 weeks than in the previous 6 months. I was amazed once I realized how much time and energy I had been pouring into meals. I know I will eventually get sick of something, but I don’t have to change the whole plan. I can just change the one thing I am sick of, and then in a few weeks change another one.
I love this idea! I would like to maybe do a two week rotating meal plan. I can’t imagine the energy I would save!!!
Brilliant! Go you!
Yay I’m not alone in my craziness. I too do not wear makeup. I once sold Mary Kay for some extra spending cash and I hated wearing the makeup and giving makeup tips…I felt like such a hypocrite. I seriously did not know what I was talking about, but everyone has to wash their face so that helped. I never sort laundry or iron. I told my husband if he wants his shirt ironed just throw it back in the dryer. I work full time and have a 12 year old so ironing is not on my priority list.
Fast food is fine with us too, but only once in a while. I use my phone to leave myself notes or I even text myself so I don’t forget things.
These are great! My for-sure favorite is keeping the fast-food lists in your phone. I also try to maintain healthy eating, but we’re busy, and it doesn’t always happen!
Love this. I do all of these things (just recently started with the delivered TP) – but I never thought of the fast food order one!! It will come in handy – also with the hubby and his subway – (How did you want it???) 🙂 Thanks!
My girls do their own laundry and I only do laundry once a week. I use PlanToEat.com for my meal planning which has saved me from the “5-o-clock-what-do-you-want-to-eat” and saved me a bit of money. I use Amazon subscriptions for vacuum cleaner bags…never thought about tp! I only make dinner. Everyone else in this house is perfectly capable of making their own breakfast and lunch. I only vacuum upstairs every few weeks as the dogs aren’t allowed up there so it doesn’t really get dirty! I also have a vacuum on every level (basement, main, and upstairs).
A notepad on my bedside table with a click pen (so as not to ruin my bedsheets). It’s a life, sanity, sleep, and time saver.
Pinterest: now I can put all those neat homeschooling resources I read about into a spot where I can find them again. Love it!
Well, my TP isn’t on subscribe & save, but, I do order it frequently from Walmart along with any other personal items we might need. I’m so scatter-brained I would, like you pass certain isles and for a few months time I’d wonder to myself “why do I not go down those isles anymore? Oh duh, you order those silly.” I think I should get back to that practice, as it sure does save me time and money. When I shop online I’m not as tempted to add things I don’t need like I do when I go into the store.
I have been seriously considering moving some of my shopping to amazon 🙂 I’m right there with you on the no makeup thing! I can’t stand how it feels plus I’m allergic. When I wear it my eyes water and then the next morning I wake up with a headache, and eyes nearly swollen shut! Who wants that?
As far as the laundry goes.. well I have 4 kids 8 and under. Recently I got a dirty clothes basket for each one and they have to put their dirty clothes in the one with their name on it. (doesn’t always happen but for the most part they’ve done well) I can’t tell you just how much TIME that has saved me! If a kid is running low on clothes then I just dump their bucket in the wash then dryer and fold all their jeans tshirts etc and put away. Two of my three girls are in back to back sizes(though 3 years apart) and I had to check each tag which is tedious and made me dread folding laundry and now they problem is solved. 🙂
The tag checking drives me crazy. Good call on the separate buckets!
Love this. I.actually have a laundry station next to the washer and could put my boys’ names on each. We are starting to get them used to doing chores (little later than I had hoped).
To stay sane, I quit couponing (at least for this season of my life while I’m working full-time). I found that I was spending more time and money using them than I would have otherwise. They were stressing me out and I was spending money on bad-for-us stuff that we didn’t even really eat. Sure my grocery budget is a little higher now, but we’re eating healthier, so I’m willing to make the trade.
I created a “Wendy’s” list. It’s a list of stores or restaurants that I intentionally avoid after having had too many negative or stressful experiences (Wendy’s was the first on that list). Rather than trying to convince myself to go to these places (including Wal-Mart) to save a few bucks, I instead go to places that will leave me less stressed even if it costs a little more.
I’m also an Amazon devotee. And having just discovered the 20% discount that comes with 5 subscribe-and-save deliveries in a month, that’s my go-to. With two babies in diapers, I’m a believer!
My latest thing is to make a big pot of soup on Sunday afternoon and portion it up into small tupperware containers for the week. It helps to keep me from going out because there’s “nothing to eat” for lunch.
@Rachel I do the same thing! I make a big pot of soup once a week, and portion and freeze into individual servings. I LOVE SOUP year around.
I have four friends and once I month we all make a batch of soup and put it into 8 pint mason jars. We meet and swap 2 jars of soup to each person. You go home with 4 kinds of soup (2 mason jars of each kind) and have a great variety for the month. Totally fun activity with friends too…fellowship and thriftyness!
I quit most couponing, too. It was really freeing.
I did too, Jessica. Just not worth it. Some toiletry coupons, but not much else. Most of it’s junk.
I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone in your “craziness.” In fact, now I know why I can do so much and people think I’m crazy for doing as much as I do (school/work, etc.). I’m considering getting toilet paper delivered, but for now our budget is tight so I shop the sales and stock up for about 6 months worth. It keeps it off my to do list for a long time and I only look like a crazy person to those who see my back storage room.
I also don’t sort laundry or wear makeup!
Fast food is hard for me now that I’m gluten free, but when we can find a good deal or the days are crazy, we do eat out or do fast food!
Clothing: due to bad feet, I can only wear ugly orthopedic shoes for work and they’re expensive, so I just have black, that means just black pants. So I own lots of black pants and then any top I pick matches :-).
Personal care: I wear very minimal makeup. I do not polish my nails or color my hair. I only use shampoo — no conditioners, hair gels, etc.
Laundry: I only sort the towels and sheets from the clothes. I do not iron. I do not buy dry clean only clothing.
Clothing: I figured out years ago that simple, classic, well made, mix and match clothes make it much easier to get out of the house quickly in the morning. I buy only black, navy, red and brown clothing. Makes it easy to mix and match. I have only three pairs of shoes — athletic, black dress and navy dress. I only have two purses — one black leather and the other cloth cream or light brown. Add a simple pair of gold earring, my wedding ring and a watch and I am good to go.
I did have to laugh when my husband lamented on my last birthday how hard it was to buy me a gift when all the traditional gifts (jewelry, chocolates, flowers, lingerie) I viewed as wasteful, overpriced or unwanted.
I do almost all the same things! I do wear mascara and a silver eyeliner that I love on days when I feel like it, but that’s pretty much it. And I am seriously goingto check out getting our tp delivered now too! I haven’t sorted laundry in years. And we don’t even have Netflix. We have a library and a Redbox nearby.
Other crazy things we do?
I don’t buy clothes that need to be dry cleaned except for the guys suits.
I don’t iron.
We operate on an entirely cash system, we have one credit card for huge emergencies only. We save until we have enough cash to buy a new (to us) vehichle.
We owner financed an older fixer upper, and have upgraded, added on, and fixed up.as we save the cash.
We don’t have a land line or a texting plan.
We borrow tools that we only need everyso often, instead of buying and maintaining them.
We buy quality once, rather than poor craftmsnship in bulk.
in doing these things, we have extra funds to buy quality groceries, eat out when we desire, and indulge in the things must important to us, relationships and experiences rather than things.
Thanks for all your tips and insights. They are helpful and delightful!
Dry clean only is for the birds!
If it can’t survive the dishwasher or the washing machine, it doesn’t belong in this house!! (At least not during this season of our life).
I just discovered amazons subscribe and save since boy#5 was born in January. Best thing ever! I get diapers and wipes delivered and toilet paper, dishwasher soap, razors… It’s great!
Not much of a makeup person either. I wear a little of the powder foundation stuff but that’s about it.
We also canceled our cable almost 2 yrs ago and watch stuff on Amazon prime…again love amazon…their 2 day shipping is wonderful.
We could start a no-makeup revolution!!!! I’ve seriously worn make-up one day in my life and that was the day i got married. Not a fan, don’t need it and don’t want to waste the time and money. No one looks disgusted when they speak to me and small children don’t run the other way so I guess it’s ok!
The craziest thing we do is to hire a house cleaner – even though I am at home. Right now, it’s only for seasonal deeper cleans, but our goal is to prioritize this more regularly. A (very) clean house is important to my husband, and at this stage in life, I am not able to clean to that standard while keeping my sanity. I actually wrote a post about it on my blog this morning: http://helpmeetyourgoals.com/2013/09/09/goal-setting-and-priorities/
I think that’s a good kind of crazy.
I almost exclusivly shop at Trader Joe’s. It is small and easy to navigate with three small children and on our walk home from preschool. Pretty much if they don’t carry it, we very rarely eat it.
Since you like Foyle’s War, check out Lewis, also on Amazon. Same production people. We watch it the same way, as a short movie.
One-stop shopping is a great idea! I wish there were a store that actually sold everything I buy but there isn’t.
I am not on facebook.
I don’t use a ATM
I use envelopes to divide up my cash each month and put the “leftovers” in a vacation envelope.
I don’t have a smartphone. Just a simple cellphone.
I use lists to keep myself organized.
Cindy….I could have posted your items myself!!! They’re such second-nature to me that I don’t see them as different but I guess to other people they are! My husband thinks I’m crazy for not having Facebook or a smartphone but I know myself and I know that I would waste so much time with these items. We’ve also learned to live a very disciplined money life without an ATM card.
It is so encouraging to me that I am not alone in my “crazy” survival ways. Thank you for sharing your list.
Nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t sort! I do wash towels/sheets separately but that’s only because I prefer to wash them in hot water whereas I use warm or cold for everything else.
I wash the linens separate as well for the same reason. 🙂
I do the same…and I think my clothes are just as clean as if I would sort! And I like to do my linens in hot water, too.
I do all those things LOL – actually at our house I’d replace fast food with takeout – we don’t have easy access to the better places you have – plus I have less kids LOL
I buy a LOT from Amazon! Now that I shop more ‘natural/organic’ etc I find myself mostly at a few stores – NONE of them have all the normal grocery selections or good prices on the ones they do have – so I rely partly on Amazon to reduce the number of times I visit those regular grocery type stores.
I don’t miss tv at all – we do have netflix and amazon prime – kids watch – I watch a few hours a month – not that I don’t waste time but not that way.
I will say I do wear makeup most days now I’m approaching 50 [ugh that pg mask – had it for YEARS!] but really just a quick swipe of eye makeup and done and I can do it in under 90 seconds LOL – sadly now I’ve stopped my ‘cycle’ I’m breaking out again like my teens! Sigh – so that makes things a little more complicated. blech
One thing I do regularly that people think I’m nuts for is write myself notes in my calendar like the one I just added for May 2014: “start looking for sales on Goggles!” or the one that just popped up for Sept 1st “You have lots of jeans – they’re in the back of your closet shelf”
Because I can’t remember a)anything including b)where I PUT anything – works for me
That calendar thing is very helpful — I put reminders on my Google Calendar like “The Xmas stockings are in a blue box in one of the green Xmas tubs.” I would never remember otherwise!!
THAT is a fantastic idea. I’m going to start setting up reminders today. I’m always trying to be more efficient, like buying birthday gifts several months in advance if I see a good sale, but then I either forget that I bough the gift or forget where I’ve hidden it. Lame!! Setting a Google calendar reminder is the perfect solution. Thanks!!
Oh I forgot
6. I also keep a small tablet with me at all times to write things down. It makes me feel sane.
I don’t know if anything I do is crazy per say, but I do things different than most people my age/in my community. ( I live in the Reno/Tahoe area and I feel like 85% of people live outside their means here)
1. I wear my hair short/ get it cut at a barber (instead of a salon) I spend about $120 a year on my hair, including products, instead of $120 a visit
2. I DO NOT go to Wal-Mart. I go once a year (twice max) I do go to SAMs club with blinders on. It is just my husband and I so I stock up on all toiletries, non food, etc. once every six months or so
3. My husband and I have three checking accounts, we each have our own then a joint account. He pays all of the bills and I match his bill payments in savings, everything after that is ours to keep and spend as we wish
4. I also don’t wear makeup. I bought some for my wedding and that’s it. oh and I don’t sort laundry either.
The craziest thing I do is…..
5. Live within my means. I know its crazy. But honestly I have a varying income because I am in the service industry and I always match my husbands bill paying into savings before I have any personal money. That means some months I get my nails done, some I don’t. Some months I treat us to dinner some months I cook all meals at home. I do allow myself spending money, but we don’t go into debt.
Yeah, #5 is pretty crazy. We do that, too. 😉
I have all the fast food orders on my phone as well. I’ve also sent them to hubby’s phone so he also has the list so he can pick up food on his way home if needed.