Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click the "Report Inappropriate Secret" on the secret's page and our staff will review it.
When I bring groceries home, I organize my pantry in categories of the food type; soups, canned veggies, ready mixes, pastas, rices, beans, Mexican...it's easy to then go to the closet and pull what I need rather than search the entire cabinet moving things around. I also do the same in my refrigerator.
To stop any temptations when I 'food shop' . I never shop when Im hungry, I make sure I have some veggie or nut snack on hand just to take the hunger pang away before shopping. I avoid the lanes where all the biscuits, cakes, crisps and choclates are located !
I had a grandson born in 2011, who lived with me. We would stack his diapers in a diaper holder/bag (Ones with the hanger inside) We no longer use the diaper stacking bag, so I hung it up in the laundry room, turned out to be a great place to store outgrown clothing that I took out of the dryer. Didn't realize this until we had a garage sale and I had the bag full of clothing items and all matching pieces were in the bag as well. Turned out, I didn't want to sell the diaper holder/bag.
SAVE clear plastic jars... esp the big ones from BJ's and other warehouse stores. Use for storage. We have various size jars with adhesive tape, pet supplies, pens, small toys, xtra spices, batteries, play jewelry in EVERY room of the house. Dust free, water & pest resistant, easy to find and look nice when lined up together on a shelf. Eliminate furniture, gain floor space. Win Win. Ask friends who work at day care, church etc to save containers. Easy peasy when its time to move or declutter.
After working a full week, Friday nights are my time at home to plan my menu for the workweek. Saturday is grocery shopping day, Sunday morning is for church, and Sunday afternoons are for prepping foods for the work week, and cooking a main meat to eat off for a few days.
When I break a task down into manageable chunks, then I don't feel so overwhelmed. Only a few minutes a day keeps junk mail curbed, keeps the kids' toys in the box where they belong, and keeps my desk drawers from getting too out of control. I set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes and go until the time rings. It's amazing how much I can get done in a short burst of time! :)
I have recently started to prepare vegetables when I get them home or shortly after. I have found that I can cut up bell peppers, spread them on a lined cookie sheet, freeze then put into zip type bags to freeze. I can then take out what I need when cooking. Also can work for onions.
I have over time put together a binder of recipes and menus for quick reference. I made sure to include some things that will freeze well here and there to double and add to my freezer for days things don't go as planned. I also try to use the crockpot once a week on busy days. This has been wonderful for adding variety to our meals and making them more enjoyable. It really got me out of the rut! We are eating better and it is actually cheaper!
When my house gets messy and it starts to feel overwhelming, I don't try to clean it perfectly right away. I designate one corner of a room (or big laundry basket) to hold all the bits and pieces that need to be put somewhere else, and clean the rest of the room. It saves a lot of running around the house in circles putting things away and makes "most" of the room feel organized quickly. Then I can deal with the pile of stuff more easily.