To-Do Lists Organize the Unexpected

Working together with checklists, to-do lists make sure you tackle those jobs that don't show up on lists of routine chores.

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Time-Saving Tips for Every Day

Time is a democratic asset; everyone is given the same 24 hours each day. Save your precious time with these tips:

Don’t go empty-handed. Whether climbing the stairs, leaving the room, or going outside, take something with you to put away as you go. Trundle newspapers to the recycling bin when you go to the garage, carry a pair of shoes to the closet when you go upstairs, take out a bag of trash when you leave the house.

Use small bits of time to do small jobs. Fold socks during a television commercial. Give the sink a quick wipe-down as you leave the bathroom. Little efforts mount up.

Do chores while you chat. During telephone conversations, look for “busy hands” jobs that can be done while talking. Chop a salad, sort a drawer or return out-of-place items to their homes while you talk with family or friends. A cordless telephone or headset makes it easier to make good use of telephone time.

Double up on errands—or stay out of the store. Never make a special trip to do a single errand; instead, group them together. Visit the dry cleaner nearest the supermarket, or drive through the bank on the way home from work.

Make good use of travel time. Audio books are good companions for a driving commute; use trips to and from school to check in with children. Avoid talking on cell phones while driving, however; the timesaving isn’t worth the safety risk to your family—and to others on the road.

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Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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