A catch-all basket on the kitchen counter helps keep counter tops clear of clutter. Pair that with Amazon Echo to time you – 2-minute-DO-IT!
The slow days of summer flew into fall leaving us wondering where the time went. Fortunately, our Junior League members have more than a few “life hacks” to help us save some of that fleeting time. Here are some favorites they offered up to keep us from constantly racing against the clock.
Gadgets and apps are the best helpers.
Alexa Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod — these are several of the home technology gadgets that can help you at home. The setup is a little time consuming but once done, you can turn lights off and on, choose a television program, make a phone call and play your favorite music with a word or two. The list goes on!
• Create a contact list on Google Sheets or on OneDrive to have easy access to addresses for holiday cards, thank you notes or party invites. You can also easily share info amongst groups — for example, if you are co-hosting a party or needing to share information as a room parent.
• The Tile, a tiny gadget that has become the “electronic key bowl,” is a way to keep up with your keys inside and outside the home. A Tile can also be attached to water bottles, purses, backpacks and any other items you (or your children) have a hard time keeping up with. And if you lose your phone, it can find that too!
Organize the Mess and Miscellaneous
Baskets, bowls and bins are organizational tools in the house and car.
• Keep baskets around the house to collect donations for thrift, miscellaneous items and dry cleaning. When the baskets are full, it is time to take the donations in to the thrift store, distribute all of the miscellany to their appropriate spots and send in the dry cleaning. A basket or shelf by the door reminds those entering to take shoes off when coming indoors. And a basket on the stairs is a catch-all for things that have come down and need to go up.
• Finding keys is easy with a key bowl by the door or a key hook on the wall. If you are in the habit of putting them in the same spot each time you won’t be searching when it is time to rush out the door. Similarly, a household "change bowl" is the perfect spot for families to drop their coins each day. Eventually, those pennies add up for a nice family outing!
• Clean up your car with a bin or two under a seat or in the trunk. Use them as a place to store snack bars and activities or to collect trash — dump the trash at the end of the day or any time you fill up at the gas station.
Begin Your Week Prepped
Sundays are great for preparing calendars, clothing and cooking.
• Read through your recipes and decide on what you will be cooking. Wash and chop fruits and veggies, divide portions into bags/containers and double check your staple ingredients (olive oil, spices, bread, etc.) to see if you need to run by the grocery store one more time. Pre-bag snacks for the week as well so they are easy to grab and go.
• Check over your calendar to see what you have on the agenda for the week. Sync family calendars so that everyone is on the same page. And if you keep a paper planner, now is the time to get out that pencil and make updates.
• Put together outfits for children and decide on your attire for each day of the week. This will keep morning clothing drama to a minimum (and maybe give you a few extra minutes for that Starbucks run as you start your day). At the end of the day, put clothes straight into the wash to keep loads from building up in the hamper. For dry clean only items, call your local dry cleaner for pickup and delivery options!
Keep a basket at the top of your closet for items you purge. When it's full, take it to the thrift store.
Serve Your Community
Volunteer opportunities are available for everyone.
• “The Junior League of New Orleans offers opportunities for community service and training that are concise and vetted so the time that a person spends at a shift or a training session is compact yet meaningful and complete,” said JLNO Development Coordinator Kathleen Ramsey.
• Flexible volunteer credits are a great way for JLNO members to complete requirements even when they are crunched for time:
a. Financial contributions to the Annual Giving Fund, Diaper Bank, Ochsner Milk Bank, Endowment Fund, Huete Scholarship Matching Fund and Scholarship as well as diaper and feminine product donations may count toward credits – members should see the JLNO Member website or contact headquarters for more information.
b. Members may also donate blood at East Jefferson General Hospital Blood Center, The Blood Center and Ochsner Blood Bank for volunteer or training credits.
• JLNO trainings are available to non-members as well as members. The Get on Board program is a workshop providing knowledge and skills to current members of boards of directors and non-profit staff members as well as those that may wish to become staff or board of directors members. Please visit jlno.org/getonboard to apply to attend Get on Board in early 2019.
• JLNO accepts donations from members and non-members alike – all of which funnel directly back to the community to assist women and children. New Orleans community members can drop off diapers (new or opened packs as well as new packs of wipes and unused diaper creams) to League Headquarters – and this only takes a moment! JLNO also has an Amazon wish list of items that ship directly to our Headquarters. Please visit jlno.org/community/diaper-bank for details on these options as well as hosting a diaper drive or making a financial contribution to benefit JLNO’s Diaper Bank.
If some or any of this seems a bit overwhelming, the ultimate Life Hack fallback is the “2-Minute-Do-It” rule of thumb. Active Emma Pegues promoted it as her go-to, “If it takes less than two minutes, do it. DO IT!” Now, go out there and tackle those minutes. You’ve got this!
Thank you to the League members who took time to share their favorite time-saver life hacks. Your contributions are appreciated!
Lindsey Andry, Kate Argote, Kathlyn Bethune, Jeanne Charlebois, Lisa Chmiola, Robin Carubba, Ashley DeRoche, Courtney Dufour, Amanda Frentz, Sarah Harbison, Melyne Holmes, Melissa James, Anna Kornick, Joanna Kuebel, Leslie Martin, Emma Pegues, Victoria Phipps, Kathleen Ramsey, Chelsey Richter, Christine Rigamer, Alexa Rotolo, Mary Schmidt, Taylor Sergeant, Michelle Soliman, Kimberly Tara, Cléta Toepfer