Hello ladies, I got a suggestion fro "TegasMama" to start a thread about how to manage your time and house chores in a sanity saving way after I replied to "la miss"'s thread in the relationship section about being a newly wed overwhelmed by all her homemaker duties ... this way each of us can pitch in with a tip they use or heard of that would make the everyday agony less painful ... I'll start!!! As I said to la miss, there are two "keys for success": Settle into a routine Time manage 1) Prepare your breakfast from the night before. Lay the cereal bowls out on the table and bring out the cereal. You can use a big plastic cover to throw over everything and in the morning you just bring out the milk! That also goes for the lunch boxes too. Lay them all out at night and stick in the cookie bag and juice box etc. Plus, prepare their lunches a few days in advance (like make three or four choices of sandwich stuffing and tupperware them in the fridge ... a good week's worth .. for instance, feta cheese with mint in one tupperware, chicken salad, shredded whatever-meat-product-you-had-that-night, meatball sandwitch etc). When you wake up, put your coffee pot on and just make the sandwitches out of whatever it is you made. Stick it in the already layed out lunchboxes and you're set! You then have time to drink your coffee as the kids gets dressed so when they are finally down for breakfast, you are already coffeed up! haha 2) Wake up early even if you dont have kids!!! You will have more energy in the morning plus the kids/hubby are at school/work and you have more and quieter time to finish what you need to do. 3) Plan your day before you sleep! I usually make a list of what I wana do tomorrow (buy a new blanket for so and so, pick up a package at the post office "wink wink ", get new socks for so and so, groceries, etc) I usually also devide what I need to do throughout the day .. for instance I know I am free from 8 am to 11:30 when I have to get my kid from school .. so I see what errands can be done at that time and I write that on the list .. I am then occupied till after they are asleep so I plan the rest of teh errands at that time. 4) Plan your meals a week in advance and buy the groceries you need for those meals. That also means you do weekly grocery shopping and not monthly .. stick that list on the fridge so everyone knows what the meal is for today .. nice way to get them home on time (yaaa! we're having pasta tonight!) .. 5) Devide your chores over the entire week because lets face it you will NOT be able to do everything on the same day .. a schedule like this might help: a) Monday: boy's room + all bathrooms b) Tuesday: kitchen + groceries (I will tell you why these should be on the same day) c) Wednesday: closets + laundry (I will also tell you why these should be together) d) Thursday: girl's room + ironing e) Friday: living room (bookshelves) + toybox f) Saturday: your room + prepare meals in advance if you are free g) Sunday: prepare meals in advance and RELAX You should always clean out your kitchen cupboards and the fridge at least once a week or once every two weeks if you dont have kids. Throw out the old, wipe them out, line them with plastic sheets, and reorganize what got disorganized that week. While you do that make a list of all the items that you need to shop for. That is why you need to go to the grocery store on the day you clean out your kitchen so you still have a fresh memory of what it is exactly you need to buy. You should organize all the closets in the house on the same day you do your laundry so anything that you find stuffed in the back and needs cleaning could go in at once and anything that is clean but needs ironing could go in the ironing pile for tomorrow .. I find it extremely overwhelming to launder and iron and fold on the same day so I dont do that .. When its the day for cleaning a room as mentioned in the list above, it has to be THOROUGHLY cleaned! I mean AC vents, walls, under the bed, all light fixtures etc. That way you dont even need to spring clean .. its already being cleaned once a week or once every two weeks .. Organize everything in tupperwares!!!!!! I love those!!!!! Crayons, plastic spoons, sewing gear, etc. I also use plastic transparent containers to store sugar, tea, coffee, flour, rice, etc. That way I know when it is almost time to shop for more. I hate to use empty jars to store stuff. It just looks so untidy. Buy alot of plastic containers and tupperware to store leftovers and stuff so when you open your frideg or cupboards it looks so proffessional!! haha .. I even store winter clothes in the summer and summer clothes in the winter in huuuuge tupperwares!!!! Never go to sleep till you at LEAST tidy up the big stuff. Stack the magazines on the coffe table, locate and collect all the remote controls, return all the toys in the toybox, just the major stuff. So next morning you just need to vacuum and wipe the tables. Also do that with the bedrooms. After the kids are asleep just go in and fold what you can fold of the clothes, return the books on the shelves, etc. It REALLY makes a difference when you wake up to THAT instead of a pile of junk! hmmmm if I get any more I will post them ... do YOU have any???