What good habits do you have?

marie26January 26, 2005

For me, it's picking up things around the house as soon as I see them and putting them immediately in their proper room. I've noticed that I say a mantra to myself that goes something like this "If I don't pick it up now, I will still need to pick it up later".

It's taken me years to get to this point. Today, someone called and asked if they could come over in a half hour. My house was in order but I remembered a time when I would have put their visit off for another day.

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Marie, this is a nice topic! I hope everyone will think hard and come up with at least one thing we're doing right amidst the clutter and disorder of our evolving homes :).

Okay, my good habit is always leaving the house tidy in the morning. I nag the kids to make their beds (hit or miss) but in the public area of the house I always do a 5-minute tidy, putting away random objects in the LR, placing the newspaper in the recycling bin, making sure the dishes are washed and kitchen clear, ditto on getting the bathroom clear of morning clutter and wiped down if necessary.

It really helps me to come home in the afternoon with the kids to a nice, tidy house. And my husband the neatnik comes home for lunch every day and I know he likes to have that break in a quiet neat area as well.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 7:50AM
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I have a good habit I lost story.

I have always put my car key in the side pocket of my purse.
Habit I got into years ago, when (before cars had remote locking) I locked my key in the car.

For some reason, I have been putting it in other places (my pants pocket, my coat pocket, other pockets in the purse).

Three times this week, I go to get in the car, and look in the "usual" place, but it's not there. So I waste 5 to 10 minutes searching.

The good habit worked for years!!! What happened to me?

Anyway, I resolved this morning that my old habit is coming back (where did it go anyway?), the key will ALWAYS go into that same pocket when I get out of the car. And I shall never have to go searching for it (in theory) ever again.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 8:25AM
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What an uplifting thread, Marie!

My best habit is that every morning at 6 am I drag myself out of bed and bake 24 protein muffins for my family. I freeze twelve of them and then defrost twelve of a different flavor at the same time. That way, I have two varieties of muffins to offer each morning so that everyone has something they like to eat. This routine takes 15-20 minutes, depending on what goes into the muffins. All of the muffins are usually gone by dinner time. Thanks for asking!


    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 9:15AM
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Making the bed and always knowing what's for dinner.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 9:20AM
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Fun thread! :-)

- Cleaning the kitchen every night before bed
- hanging my keys on the same hook whenever I walk in the house
- putting something back right away if I get it out (ie, if I grab a pair of scissors, I use them, and they go right back into the drawer)
- Menu planning and making breakfast/lunch at least a day (if not a week) ahead

I'm still working on developing more good habits, but these are pretty solid now. :-)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 10:35AM
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Great thread!

Cindy - I'm so impressed, what a great habit!

I just this past year got organized enough in my life that I always put my keys in the same place and clean my kitchen before I go to bed. These two basic things have immeasurably improved my life, but it took me till middle age to do them consistently. Kind of sad that I wasted so much time being SO disorganized but very grateful I finally "got it!"

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 11:12AM
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Mine are:

- taking 10 minutes to tidy up before I go to bed at night.
- doing laundry every Saturday night and having it done and put away by Sunday night.
- we keep a basket hanging near the back door and drop keys in it as we come in - no lost keys.
- one drawer in kitchen is designated for bills to be paid. All mail either goes into that drawer or into the garbage.
- Absolutely never pile dishes in the sink. I can't sleep if there are dishes in the sink! They need to be either washed or put in the dishwasher.

There are probably more but that's all I can think of right now.

One thing I need to work on is planning meals - I used to make a list and grocery shop accordingly - always knew what the menu was and it made things very easy. I need to get back into that habit!!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 12:37PM
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This is a great thread!!!! OUr house is offically under contract and the inspection is finished, so now I can start to live normally again!

Cindy, tell us more about the muffins. I am SO impressed.

My best habit: Going to bed with a clean kitchen every night!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 2:28PM
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I'm hanging my purse inside the coat closet when I walk in; keys and sunglasses in the drawer.

I try to keep the living/dining room picked up, so I have one place in the house that's calm where I can always invite guests in.

Been keeping a pitcher of water/ice on the counter to encourage drinking. Sometimes I slice an orange and layer it with the ice. It's pretty and a little sweet, and I love it.

When I put things away in the drawers (kitchen) I often straighten them. I'm still finding the best place for things as I get acclimated to my new space.

Throw away trash immediately!

Fill the dishwasher with soap as soon as I start to load dirty dishes. This tells me when the dishes are dirty (as if I couldn't tell...)

OK. I'm stretching a little here, but whatever it takes.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 4:07PM
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I toss the junk mail immediately.

I make the bed in the morning.

I put the dishes in the dishwasher immediately.

That's about it, LOL!

I'm working on the "putting away all the stuff I was just using."

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 6:59PM
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Janetwilson, I really like your idea of designating a kitchen drawer for unpaid bills. My counter is becoming a mess of papers. Now I just have to give up my junk drawer for an unpaid bill drawer.

Actually, my main problem is paper. This is a really bad habit: I literally have 7 drawers throughout the house that I stuff with paper that needs to be gone through and filed. I have a 5-drawer filing cabinet so it's not as though I have no place to file.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 7:22PM
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Three years of flylady and I finally have some good habits!

make my bed every morning.
plan my meals for the week and go to the store with a LIST that I pretty much stick to except for that impulse stuff in the Burt's Bees section.
hang my keys on a hook
change the oil in the car on time
get *everything* out of the car when I'm coming in the house (so it's no longer a catchall).
lay out my clothes the night before
do a load of laundry almost every evening

I still need to learn how to:
Really every night shine that sink. It's hard to make myself some nights.
Put things directly away.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 7:35PM
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I had so many good habits when I was younger, not sure what happened but I'm trying to get some of them back.

Thanks to flylady, I'm making the bed and dressing to shoes every morning and shining the sink. Still can't get those evening routines down very well but morning is working well.

One good habit that I'm very glad somehow I was blessed with is that I'm not a big spender and I don't like to shop. Even when I've had a lot more money than we do now since I retired, I spent only modestly on clothes and cars and furniture (for the most part, nobody's perfect LOL).


    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 11:07PM
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Make my bed every morning;
Eat breakfast every morning;
Keep up with laundry;
Write a weekly menu EVERY week before grocery shopping.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 11:20PM
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The muffins are made because one of my children is an extremely picky eater and ordinarily doesn't consume a lot of protein. So I stretch a box of Lemon Poppyseed or Cinnamon Strusel (both from Betty Crocker), or Blueberry or Cranberry Orange (Duncan Hines) using whey powder and soy protein powder, four eggs, a cup of olive oil, orange or lemon juice, chopped apples, etc. They take about 15 minutes to make (unless I have to chop an apple for the cinnamon muffins) and 15 minutes to bake in my convection oven. I buy white muffin paper cups by the 500 count and go through at least that many a month. There is so much sugar in the box mixes that I don't need to add sugar when I extend these recipes, but the whey protein powder tastes sweet. After they bake, I take a different flavor out of the freezer (in sandwich bags then in a rubbermaid container) and as I unbag the frozen muffins I bag the fresh ones, loading the frozen ones into the pan. The fresh dozen goes in the freezer. Then I put the frozen ones in the (turned off) oven for about 20 minutes, until 7:00 am. That is when breakfast is served. I have a Corning two-tier serving platter thingy that I put each kind on, and the children pick the flavor they want to eat. Every once and a while a flavor bombs. I put a half a cup of really finely chopped almonds in the blueberry muffins a couple of days ago and nobody ate them. Ditto on banana walnut. The lemon muffins are everyone's favorite (they have glaze). The mixes run about $2.00 per box on sale, and I stock up. We buy the protein powders from vitacost.com and the olive oil in large bottles at Sam's. I go through at least 3 dozen eggs a week. Thanks for asking!

This breakfast is repetitive, but reasonably nutritious. My picky eater's eczema (spelling) has subsided since I began serving these, I think it's all of the olive oil. And I cannot serve my children most boxed cereals. Not only are they junky, but they are expensive. This works well for my family of nine.


KATIE: Congrates on selling your home!!!!! Please post the details on the "Buying and Selling Homes" forum. Do you have a web link to your house pics? I hope the buyers love checkerboards!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 3:29PM
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I think this might apply here.....my habit is to always to write the date and names on the back of pictures. I started this 30 yrs ago, and have been very glad I did. If nothing else, it is going to be a "good thing" for our children, if and when they ever go through family pics.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 5:58PM
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Cindy, I make a batch of muffins every Sunday night for our breakfasts all week too (it's just the two of us, so I don't need nearly as many as you do LOL). It really is the way to go as far as easy and nutritious, isn't it? :-)

foggy, I *wish* my relatives all would learn to do that!! So many times they'll be going through boxes of photos, trying to figure out when, where, and sometimes even who, when all that could have been avoided with a simple notation right away. Congrats for such a valuable habit!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 6:33PM
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* Picking up daily before bed.
* Paying bills bi monthly on paydays.
* Placing unpaid bills in my bill drawer- along with any other pending business that I can deal with at that time, letter writing, etc.
* Keeping a to do list of running things to do, buy etc
* preparing for christmas a head of time.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 12:52AM
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*Use a D-ring for a keychain & hook my keys in my purse after I use them - no more digging in the bottom & I always know where they are

*Put my clothes in the proper place - either closet or hamper - when I change after work. I used to have a bad habit of piling them on a chair.

*Keep a running list on my Palm Pilot, by store, of needed items


    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 8:53AM
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You can keep a running list by store on your Palm Pilot? That is so cool!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 9:24AM
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Make my bed every morning before I go to work.I also make it a habit to never make a trip upstairs or down without a quick glance to see if there is anything I can take with me.

Eliza ann

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 8:50AM
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Is a "D-Ring" a carabinger? Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 11:18AM
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Yes, that's more the right term. I couldn't think of it when I did the first post. Right now I clip it to the strap of my purse. I'm looking at new purses right now; I'd like to get one with a key fob inside.

The software is called HandyShopper. You can create lists by store, even organizing the lists by category & indicating the quantity needed. When you need something, just click by the item. You can display the lists when shopping by "All" or "Need". It works really well.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 8:44PM
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Although I now have a DVR recorder, I still watch the commercials but make myself get up and do housework during them. The commercial breaks only last a few minutes at a time, but add them up over an hour or two of TV a day and the house stays very clean. Best thing is that I don't really feel like I'm 'cleaning'!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 10:50PM
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Oh I like this thread - good idea's.

make the bed immediately in the morning
pay bills bi-weekly
got through the mail and shred / toss junk immediately
in the evening make certain to clean the kitchen before tv
make lots of trips to the garage to the recycle bins

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 11:48PM
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Lots of good ideas on this thread!

I rinse all dishes (including scrubbing w/ a brush)immediately after use.

Dishes get done every night after dinner. (I can't stand the thought of letting dishes sit w/ food on them. They will just be more difficult to clean later and it is where bacteria loves to grow.)

I won't go shopping without a list created by planning out meals for the week.

I keep a list of stores and the items we regularly purchase at those stores. This way I don't forget something like bread or OJ at the store. I also check the current supply of everything on the store list before putting an item on the shopping list. It saves a lot of $ and space!

I keep 2 laundry sorters in my room. Clothes go righ into their respective place. It saves the need for sorting before doing laundry. The sorters also take up less space than piles of laundry would.

Things I need to work on:

Getting important mail downstairs on my desk.

Organizing store coupons. Grocery store isn't bad (although we don't use many grocery coupons, generics are usually cheaper) But Target, Lowes, Kohls etc coupons are hard to keep track of. And it is more annoying when you make a point of saving the coupon only to forget it when you go to the store.

Finding a place for magazines and current reading so that material is readily accessible but not cluttering up our table.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:37AM
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I try to evaluate the "added value" of my habits because I find myself doing things I like but the payoff doesn't justify the time and effort. Good habits have good rewards.

I have a way to go in maintaining some organizational habits but in other area I am pretty anal. Purse Management-Hang purse (which has car keys and phone attached) in same place upon entering the house
Magazine Management-Read magazines as soon as I can, cut out articles of interest, put websites in Palm Pilot for future exploration, recycle magazine ASAP
Mail Management-Cull out mail while walking from mail box to recycle bin and/or garbage can before entering the house with actionable mail
Bill Management-Set most bill payments on auto pay either through my bank or the vendor
Returns Management-Put purchases to be returned with receipt in trunk of car so it's available if I'm in vicinity of the store
Laundry Sorting-Keep laundry sorting bins and pretreatment spray in clothes closet; treat stains at the time dirty clothes are removed then put in appropriate bin i.e. White, color, dark, dry clean
Trip Management-Keep pre-printed packing check lists (vacation list, day trip, work) back door to be checked before leaving this is becoming more necessary as we age!
hAnger Management-No empty hangers on the clothes pole; put empty hanger on hanger collection carrier. Transfer to laundry room when full and place on pole above dryer
Freezer Management-Repackage bulky packaging to utilize freezer space better. Cut out cooking directions and label; place with frozen food. It's amazing how much excess packaging there is, especially with Costco/Sams bulk items

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 1:41PM
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Oh, let's see, this shouldn't take but a minute....LOL

I hang my keys on the same hook so that I can find them. I NOW write down every check in the register as I write it. I used to be baaad about it, but it drove my DH crazy and I've gotten better about it.

I go through the mail over the trash can, get rid of the junk and deal properly with the rest of it.

Notes are posted on the backdoor as to appointments, etc. That way we both see them everyday as we go in and out the door.

Have put a piggybank on the counter in my bathroom and one on the dryer. Loose change goes in both and it's amazing how quickly it accumulates.

That's about it. I still struggle everyday.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 11:30AM
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Always, always fold laundry immediately after dryer quits. This eliminates most wrinkles and just gets the dang job done! I can't stand folding "cold" laundry!

Make bed every morning.

Keep toilet article bag packed with hygiene and travel essentials and stored inside my suitcase.

Keep large shopping bag with handles in closet and toss in clothing, shoes, purses, etc. I want to give away. Once full, I take it to a charity.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 12:59PM
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I would love the specific recipe or the amounts you add to the boxed mix if possible. I have a nephew with autism who will eat muffins and is very picky but he could certainly use the protein in them. He eats very little that is not completely processed with no nutritional value. Thanks

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 9:40PM
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Not many good habits, I'm afraid.

I do hang up the key as soon as I come in every night. It's just one thing, but it has helped immensely!

Put away groceries as soon as I come in from the store. Sounds obvious, but when you live alone you justify all sorts of sloppy things. I also clear out anything that's gone bad when I put new groceries in the fridge. (Happens a little more often than it should!)

Have a little blackboard by the back door. On one side I write down errands I need to run over the weekend, so I can structure my trips economically. On the other side, I write things I need to get from the grocery -- with a note on what it's for if it's unusual. I can't tell you how many times I've picked up some oddball item, only to forget what recipe it was in!

Instead of a trash can, I reuse a plastic grocery sack. Gets at least one more use out of the bag, and prompts me to take out the trash at least every other day.

I crush aluminum cans, and break down boxes as I toss them for recycling. I try to always use a recyclable container (big kitty litter bag, box from Aldi's, etc) to hold the recycling. If I don't have anything handy, I use a brown paper bag, so I can toss the whole thing in the recycling dumpster down the block.

Always take the recycling Friday morning. If you wait until Saturday or Sunday, the dumpsters are all full.

I like to do big cooking on the weekends. By the time I've finished my meal, the food has cooled off, so I pack it up for future meals. Most things can be portioned out into sandwich-size ziplock bags, so I fill them, lay them flat on a cookie sheet and pop them in a freezer. The next morning I take out the cookie sheet, and store the packets on their side, like books, on the freezer shelf. Monday moring, as I'm headed out the door to work, I take 6-7 of them to work for lunch/dinner. Keeps me hitting the fast-food places, and I always have extra for others.
Maybe I have a few more good habits than I thought!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 7:54PM
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At my house, we have fallen into the habit of fixing dinner, cleaning up a little bit in a hurry, then going downstairs to eat in front of the TV. It's cooler down in the basement. But we end up watching something on PBS, and next thing you know, it's bedtime, so we go up to the bathroom to wash up ... and then find out in the morning that there was something in the kitchen that needed doing, such as putting the thawing meat into the refrigerator. Darn!

Our new habit is to remember to do a once-over of the kitchen before bed NO MATTER how tired we claim to be.

Another habit I have is the way I deal with magazines. Rather than allow them to sit around, I do a "salvage" operation. I write down anything I found interesting, such as websites, book titles, product names, etc., then I give it away or recycle. Later, I go through my list to decide if it is really worthwhile to investigate the items on it. 

Great thread! Thanks for thinking of it.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 10:44AM
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I just remembered another good habit. I used to let laundry pile up, so that I could have an entire load of dark colors that can stay in the dryer until bone dry, and another entire load of darks that need to be in the dryer just a little while, then hang until dry. Ditto the lights. Under that system, laundry would pile up, up, up!

But now I do laundry nearly every day. I just grab whatever is there, either dark or light on a given day, and just wash it already. I put it all into the dryer at once, but set it for low heat, and just 20 minutes until it stops on its own. Then I take out the "hang dry" items that now will not shrink, and set the dryer for high heat to finish socks, towels, etc.

And ... when hubby and I have been outdoors doing dirty, muddy, greasy jobs we strip off our dirty work clothes right into the clothes washer, then go take our showers.

Now that I do a little laundry nearly each day, that part of my life is much easier.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 11:22AM
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holleygarden Zone 8, East Texas

I make a list every night of six things that need to get done the next day. The next day, I do them! Sometimes, it's hard to get motivated, but I know it's so satisfying to mark them off and not get behind. This has helped tremendously keeping things organized and clean. Also, like chenelle, if I'm truly not motivated, I'll make myself clean during commercials. You'll be amazed how much work you can do in those few minutes every 10 min. or so.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 7:31PM
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I don't think I have any good habits that I do on a regular basis, That is the problem. They are called habits, aren't they for a reason?
But I sure appreciate this thread. It has inspired me. I just went and made the bed, swept the bedroom, hallway and kitchen, started a meal in the slow cooker that should be good for tomorrow's lunch (i.e. Saturday when DH is home and who will want to go out to eat if I don't have something going already.) Also, cleaned my kitchen counters, not perfectly but hey, they look a heck of a lot better than they did and I washed the few dishes that were sitting in the sink and which needed washing.

THANKS to all who contributed here!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 6:10PM
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Fly lady got me sold on keeping the sink clean. My sons were bad about using the sink with the disopsal and not rinsing the sink. I kept telling them it is the same as not flushing the toilet-which finally registered.
Also throw away junk mail immediately
Clean up kitchen every night
Wow, I really need more habits! Great thread.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 4:21PM
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Fly lady got me sold on keeping the sink clean. My sons were bad about using the sink with the disopsal and not rinsing the sink. I kept telling them it is the same as not flushing the toilet-which finally registered.
Also throw away junk mail immediately
Clean up kitchen every night
Wow, I really need more habits! Great thread.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 5:08PM
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This is a great thread! While reading what others do, I realized I DO have some good habits! :>)

I can't stand to have the bed unmade, always put car keys in the same place--self-reservation, too many times they couldn't be found-- recycle almost everything that can be recycled, and deal with junk mail ASAP. Now, if I can get myself to get rid of lots of stuff, I'll add another one to the list!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 1:49PM
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I put the keys in the same place, make the bed, and keep the sink and kitchen counters clean. I do laundry most days, and put it away immediately.

We clean out junk from the fridge the night before garbage day. We recycle everything possible, thanks to curbside recycling in our city.

Some things I learned on this forum and now use are to take empty hangers and put them in a certain place in the closet, so they're easy to gather when it's time for laundry, to tie certain tasks to things you do at certain times (so I now strip the master bedroom bed and throw everything in the wash before we go to church, then dry and re-make the bed afterward). Fly Lady taught me other things, like "do laundry every day."

I have most bills set up on auto-pay, and I have Quicken set up to remind me of all regular bills. I used to get late fees fairly often, which was stupid of me, but now that never happens.

Still working on putting things back in their place, routine tidy-up, and paper control. Yuck!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 9:38PM
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I take out the garbage every morning, keep my car and purse clean, use on-line banking, a lot of the little things listed above. My house is cluttered but not filthy. I keep my kitchen and bathrooms spotless, do laundry regularly, feed my family wholesome healthy meals.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 1:45PM
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I have a day planner and a Pending File. I use a 5x7 notebook with the days of the week written across the top of each page (pocketsize calendars and other systems were just not the right size for me). The Pending File refers to anything I write in the dayplanner that I have corresponding paperwork to go with.

For instance: right now I have concert tickets and plane tickets in my Pending File. The date for the concert and vacation are noted in my Day Planner (with a circled P to remind me that the corresponding paperwork is in my Pending File).

I also have paperwork that I have to bring to my next doctor visit. Ditto, noted in the day planner with a circled P to note that paperwork is in the Pending Folder.

I am invited to a baby shower. Date noted in the day planner and invitation is in the Pending Folder only because I need it for the driving directions, otherwise I would have thrown it out after noting the time and date.

We recently finished a few contracting projects around the house and kept the contracts in the Pending Folder until the work was finished. One job that had many details actually grew into a folder of its own.

I didn't invent this system; I read about it six years ago in a book called Order from Chaos. It has helped me tremendously and so do some other points in the book, about prioritizing my to-dos and setting goals and using the day planner to work towards those goals in little steps. I've always believed in slow and steady wins the race so I was willing to try this theory. The book also gave me great insight on an effective filing system. I also stopped writing notes on little pieces of paper and instead write everything in my day planner (I keep twenty or so empty sheets in the back just for writing down websites, books, etc.) Being able to review my upcoming day the evening before has even helped me to relax and sleep better at night.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 11:44PM
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I have a 6X9 zippered notebook, sortof like a dayplanner, but not. It goes everywhere with me. It holds a month-at-a-glance calendar with squares that I pencil in appts, etc. my address/tel book and a small legal pad. I am a list-maker. It is exhilarating to strike a chore from the list.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 8:54AM
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Have a plastic bin that I put things/clothes in I want to donate. When it gets full I bring it, or just wait for a call from charity t pick it up.

Other than that I am kind of disorganized.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 11:57AM
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I started shopping at a different grocery store. It's farther from my house, so I have to plan a bit more, but the prices are awesome, and the veggies are so fresh, I have a problem with buying much more than I can actually cook in a week.

Solution: I used my computer to print out a blank form with spaces for all the meals in a week. I start planning the menu before I get to the store. Then, as I am shopping, I write down veggies and main dish ideas RIGHT THERE AT THE STORE. That way, I can see which dinners still need veggies, and STOP PUTTING MORE IN MY CART when I have enough.

Leftovers get eaten up for lunches. My little menu sheet helps me plan that, too.

There are eight squares in my menu form. The eighth square is where I list all the fresh ingredients that need to be used up as soon as possible. I don't forget what I have in the refrigerator any more. I use it up while it's still fresh.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 4:38PM
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Always, without fail, hanging my keys on the hook by the door as soon as I come in. Also, always putting my purse in the same cabinet in the dining room.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 3:06PM
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1. Every time I take a shower, my mirror/medicine cabinet door gets steamed up. As I dry off, I take a dry corner ouf my towel and wipe the mirror. It stays clean always, no toothpaste marks.
2. I got this tip from a psychology class years ago. Rather than worrying about something that needs doing , visualize the project (whatever) already done and how good it feels. It will give you the will to get it done. Or at least take a good sized "bite".

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 5:20PM
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I always make my bed every morning as soon as I get dressed.

I take care of mail when I bring it in or if cooking right after dinner. I have a place to put bills and every two weeks I take them and pay them. If I need to file something I do it right then even if only one thing.

I got a notebook and put all the manuals that come with appliances, etc. attached the receipt to them and they are all in one place. So much easier if I need to find out if something is in warranty or if something isn't working correctly.

I have a folder for the flyers that I may want to buy something from that week. Michaels, BB&Y, etc. I keep that folder in my desk.

I also have a folder for some recipes that I like and use. Got rid of many cookbooks because I like to look online for different things but the keeper I have in the notebook.

I had a problem with paper and would get overwhelmed with things. If I need to correspond to something I received in the mail I will do it that night as to not put it off. If I can't get to it that night it will be the next.

I keep a pending file in my desk draw and go through it once a week.

I always keep my linen closet neat. I don't have that much stuff in there so I can. I limit my sheets, towels, blankets, etc.

When I watch TV I get up when the commercials come on and do something.

Not that good at making sure there is nothing in the sink because with kids that seems to be a losing battle.

I also keep a bag in the garage for GoodWill and when full it gets dropped off.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 11:22PM
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A bit like Jannie, with visualizing something already done, I have made it a habit to "swallow the frog". If it's a phone call, job, appointment or other unpleasant but essential talk, I'll just take a breath, close my eyes and "do it now". I've learnt it's much better to have it done and over than to torment myself thinking about it. Usually it turns out to be nothing much, but if I don't do it, it becomes a huge monster.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 12:06AM
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Something dd50 said reminded me of my own recipe books.

I used to have a lot of recipe books hanging around. In my effort to declutter, I looked through them and realized that there really weren't many recipes that I was actually going to try. So I photocopied the few that interested me, and Freecycled the books.

After the photocopy / magazine clipping stage, I try a recipe, keeping handwritten notes as I prepare it. If I change something and it worked well, I want to be able to remember it and do it again.

When hubby and I eat the new recipe for the first time, we have to decide if it's "a keeper." If it is, it goes on to the next stage. I actually type it up.

As the recipe evolves over time, I mark changes by hand, and eventually go back and edit the word processor version. After there are several changes to a page, it is worthwhile to print out a clean, new page.

I arrange recipes in three columns on each page, in my word processing program. I have several one-inch thick three ring binders. Each binder has a different category of recipes, such as "eggs, cheese & poultry," "beef, lamb & pork," or "desserts." Each recipe page is in a plastic sleeve to keep cooking reside from making a mess.

I stick the magazine clippings and hand written notes into the plastic sleeves on the back side of my printed recipe pages. That way, they are with similar recipes, and they don't fall out and get lost.

I have heard experts say that you really only need about 20 recipes that you keep making all the time, but I like much more variety than that. Besides, there is the seasonal aspect. You want to eat different things in the hot, summer weather than you would in the chilly, snowy winter.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 9:54AM
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I always store my purse in the same place in the closet, same for the backpack.

Empty the backpack of items like empty lunch containers, etc. as soon as I get home from work and put the items away in their proper places.

Have a specific place for most things, be it keys, pen, paper, dishtowels, etc. All the mail, coupon books, and catalogs have a spot on a rolling cart from Ikea.

Write the amount and due dates on the envelopes of bills. Keep them in a spot for scheduling online bill payment.

A paper plate with the word "Clean" written on one side and the word "Dirty" on the other side sits on the counter above the dishwasher. As soon as the clean dishes are emptied out of the dw, the plate gets turned over so "Dirty" is face up. (Our dw is stainless steel, so a magnet doesn't work.)

Write comments/revisions on new recipes we try, 3-hole punch them and put them in a binder in the correct category. (Only if they're keepers, of course.) (Not quite as elaborate as what Maryliz does, so the recipes can get quite marked up after a while!)

Clothes and other items to donate go into a section of the hall closet.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 4:51PM
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I wash sheets every Monday and do the mattress pads on the first Monday of the month. I also stopped hanging our jackets on the kitchen chairs. For me it's all about routine. I'm too scatter-brained not to have routines!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 11:50PM
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Actually its my daily routine, clean up the house. Attend to my family needs. Prepare food for them. And of course I don't forget to give time for my exercise at least 2 hours of yoga.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 10:18AM
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Here are few good habits I practice... I look out for good offers and bargains at the supermarket. I always plan meals before I go shopping so I'm not tempted to buy items I don't really need.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 7:43AM
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I'm very good with addressing and completing tasks all the way before I move my focus to the next thing. I've incorporated a couple safety nets for myself in the event that can't happen.

I've been drying my laundry on a clothesline for the last 1½ years. I'm not wasting time and electricity anymore by having to run the dryer twice if I've forgot to get the clothes out. I can put clothes away on my own time...wrinkle free except for a couple oddball items...and not live by the dryer's timeline. Plus, I'm saving $10-$12 a month on my power bill by not using the dryer at all.

I work hard at making sure I'm putting things away on a constant basis. When I say put away, I mean put away...ALL THE WAY in it's proper location. I'm not perfect, and I do get tired, so to allow myself some slack occasionally, I have a "designated spot" (DS) in almost every room where I allow myself to stash items that belong somewhere else if I'm feeling lazy at the moment. I've trained myself to look at the DS before I dash off to another place in the house so I can put something away...along the way...and not be running all over the house with no purpose other than putting away randomly all the time. I taught myself to do this because I have a 3 year old who drags out random stuff all the time just because she can.

I don't allow more than a few items in any DS at one time...so the habit of keeping up with it is what's key. I think many people refer to this as the old concept of never leaving a room empty-handed.

I'm very on top of my dayplanner and refer to it daily. I'm a listmaker, so I'm always prepared.

Mail is read and dealt with or tossed immediately everyday when I get home from work.

If I have a task or paperwork job I do NOT want to do...I make a point to purposely annoy myself as a game to force myself to get it done. Examples:
If I need to empty the dishwasher (I hate doing that!!!!)...I leave the dishwasher door open all the time until I can't stand it anymore and empty it.

If I have paper I must do something with & have a reason to not address ASAP, I leave it out in the open...in my way...so I'm annoyed with it and just get it done.

Those are mine.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 9:09AM
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I forgot to write my most useful and productive listmaking habit...

My shopping lists for food & household items begin at the stage when I'm running low on something...not when I'm out of it.

When shopping, I can look at the list, and I can either get everything on the list, or make some decisions based on $$ at the moment, which store I'm at, how big a crisis would occur if I hold off the purchase for a week for however long.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 9:19AM
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There are some good 'habits' here a fun read.

I keep plastic store bags in the compartment behind the front seats of my truck. Whenever I have trash I just grab a bag and then drop it in the dumpster in the alley before going into the garage.

In the morning I make coffee first. While that is brewing I pick up the familyroom/ kitchen where we spend most of our time. Wipe off the tables from the night before and put all the dogs toys away. When hubby goes to work, I make the bed. I have done this for years.

As I pick up the dirty clothes from the day before I take them right to the washer (whites go in the hamper to be done seperatley) after two day I add soap and the laundry is done.

I spend too much time doing too much of nothing so... I made a weekly schedule of chores that need to be done. I put it on a calendar on my computer and get reminded the day before what needs to be done, this way all the chores get done and I don't spend a whole day doing it all. Then when they are all done I can sit down at the computer and 'waste time'

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 1:15PM
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My late MIL kept her hpouse beautifully clean and tidy. After her death, I found a cleaning schedule she had torn out of a ladies' magazine in the 1980's. I looked at the list and thrw it away. Too bad. I know it really worked for her. And I know the value of a tidy house. You can find things easily. You can have guests any time. Life is peaceful. And after she died, without making any big changes, her house was sold in ONE DAY.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 10:41AM
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One of my good habit is I always hang or fold my clothes neatly in the closet, not throwing clothes on the floor or chairs/couch as I usually see in someone's house.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 10:37PM
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I make myself at least once a day do one of those "off the wall" chores. Like sweep the porches or check for cobwebs or clean out fridge or pull weeds from the cracks in the cement. Stuff that we don't normally do every week. That way I can pick whatever I "want" to do and feel a sense of accomplishment that I won't have to do it tomorrow.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 1:32AM
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I empty all wasatebaskets daily and keep the cat litter box scooped, so my house never smells. It may be dusty and cluttered, but it smells good. Oops, my daughter made tuna salad today and left the can in the kitchen sink. Gotta go...

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 9:40PM
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I have a weekly schedule I keep up. Monday is for kitchen, Tuesday is living room/dining room, etc. Each of those days include deep cleaning -- everything off counter, counter washed down, etc. AND the litter box is cleaned daily here, too!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 11:50PM
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I just found this forum so I am about a year behind most of the ideas. So I omitted things IÂve seen above
 Keep a pair of scissors on a hook in the laundry. This saves time to snip threads when folding clothes. More scissors are stashed in bedrooms and the LR so if I find a sprouted fiber while vacuuming, I take care of it at that moment.
 Mapped my grocery store and made a shopping list of my typical purchases with aisles numbered, leaving a few extra lines here and there for other purchases and a box for "fish/bakery/JoAnns/bank/other". I print them 2/page and keep the current one on the less public side of the refrigerator. By not retracing steps in the grocery, I save lots of time every year.
 Keeping my Christmas list running throughout the year so I am not stumped in December.
 I used to travel about 40 weeks/year. I keep travel-size toiletries in a see-through zipped bag. A little pad of post-its and a pen in the toiletries bag helps me know what to replenish when I return and I do that before I unpack the suitcase. A make-up bag is fitted with small sizes of my cosmetics. With this method, I never have to pack bathroom items for a trip.
 Squeegee the glass and tiles after every shower.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 5:20PM
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"Keep a pair of scissors on a hook in the laundry"

I love that idea.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 5:45PM
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1) Always look for glasses/dishes that have to go back to the kitchen when I get up from my desk
2) Quickly wipe down the surface of at least one of these items after I get out of the shower - sink, mirror, tub

3) Throw out my car garbage in the provided from-the-car receptacle everytime I go to dunkin' donuts or other drive-thru fast food

4)scan important mail or documents onto my computer

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 12:52PM
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Clean all trash out of my vehicle every time I get fuel.

Carry household measurements with me, such as table sizes and window sizes for items on clearance when I see them.

Keep a box for items to give away and take it when it is full

Keep a list of items to pack for certain trips. Such as construction mission trips, beach trip, etc. I take a copy of the list with me on the trip and add or delete items as I go.

I have three dogs with a doggie door so I get lost of dirt tracked in and two of my dogs (the Jack Russell and the Husky) shed A LOT. So during the week I usually leave my vacuum cleaner out and plugged up in an out of the way corner and I vacuum the traffic areas every day. This make it quick and convenient.

I keep a microfiber cloth in a drawer of the sofa table to quickly dust off all the dog hair. It works great on leather furniture.

I have all my bills set up so I can pay them at one time each month on line.

I open all mail as soon as I get home each evening. I throw out all the inserts and envelopes that come with bills since I pay them online. I even recycle the envelope they came in. I am considering going paperless altogether and receiving all bills and statements electronically. Bills to be paid are kept in a zippered bank bag.

When I find a new recipe in a magazine that I want to try, I tear it out and put it in a file labeled "Recipes to Try". After I try it I toss it or file it for the future.

I do not subscribe to any magazines. My mother brings me hers when she is finished. Sometimes 10 or 12 at a time. When I am finished with a magazine, I tear off the cover and place it in the magazine so I know it is ready for the recycle bin. If I am halfway finished with a magazine, I open it to the page where I stopped reading and secure it with a rubber band. That way I don't waste time trying to figure out what I have or have not read.

I like plastic pencil boxes instead of the plastic shoe boxes for organizing small things such as hair clips, pony tail holders, bobby pens, etc. They are also great for traveling. I put all my medicine in one.

I make the coffee every night before going to bed and set the automatic switch to come on.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:25PM
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A couple more, all refrigerator related...
I used my label maker and 3x5 cards to indicate the contents of my three freezer drawers... 1 Fruits and nuts, 2 Vegetables and pasta, 3 Meat and poultry. If a drawer does not have an easy way to tuck these in you could punch holes and twist tie them in place. Saves searching through all the spaces and wasting energy. My married daughter thinks I've become Martha behind her back.

No leftover goes in the freezer without a label/date.

When squeezing a lemon I keep any unused juice in small, lidded take-out container. Each will hold about 2 tablespoons. It is so nice to grab one of these when a recipe calls for lemon juice. (The old Crystal Light lemonade cylinders were perfect for stacking 5 of these. Too bad the cylinder has been replaced by an oval container.) This is also a good way to freeze a small quantity of tomato paste.

Do a quick once over on the refrigerator on "garbage night". I sniff and toss to prevent the accumulation of moldy oldies.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 9:52PM
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Every morning I take out kitchen trash and scoop out my cat"s litter box. No smelly house for me. Then I put on some coffee and read the newspaper. After all that work, I deserve a rest.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 6:48AM
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