Laundry Load Cheat Sheet

Laundry Load Instructions Printable :: maximizingdaysblog.com

I am one of those people that follow clothes label instructions.  Not to the letter for each, individual garment, but generally speaking, I group my loads of laundry by washing instructions.  

For instance, we have a number of items that shouldn’t be washed with fabric softener, including our performance wear, my husband’s socks and my Norwex cleaning clothes.  I call it the “Under Armour” load, because the majority of it is our Under Armour apparel.  Truthfully, it’s the “No Fabric Softener” load.  But who wants to yell down the stairs, “I’m putting the ‘No Fabric Softener’ load in the wash.  Do you have anything else that needs to be added to it?” Me either.  So ‘Under Armour’ it is.

I cannot fill my limited RAM with remembering the variables for each load.  

In our house, laundry is mostly my responsibility, but my husband will often graciously pitch in and check a few loads off of my to-do list.  He told me once that there have been many times when he would think to start a load of laundry, but couldn’t remember washing and drying instructions.  

I went straight from that conversation to our computer and created a Laundry Load Cheat sheet – a spreadsheet with washing and drying instructions for each load.  

As many times as I’ve done our laundry, I am amazed at how often I reference this sheet – hanging above our washer – for instructions.  

Laundry How To - maximizingdaysblog.com

Laundry How To - maximizingdaysblog.com

*These are not Pinterest-approved photos.  Those who are more creative and decoratively-inclined than I am would put it in a cute frame and hang other cuteness on the wall.  I recognize that there’s nothing cute about this.  It’s all about purpose.

Remembering each load’s specifications is one less thing I have to commit to memory.  And, my amazing husband uses it frequently as well! 

Get the printable here  and let me know how it’s helpful to you.

Laundry Load Instructions Printable :: maximizingdaysblog.com

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Capturing ‘Lost Time’

How to Create More Time In Your Day - Capture 'Lost Time' :: maximzingdaysblog.com
In working to maximize each day, I’ve found that the biggest factor in achieving that goal is capturing, what I call, Lost Time.
By lost, I mean those blocks of time between things where you’re either standing around waiting for something or where you’ve allotted more time for something than you need, so end up just finding something to fill that time.  When these times are and their length is different for each person, but we all have them.  Capturing those times and making the most of them can be the difference between a super productive day and a day when you go to bed feeling insurmountably behind. 
For me, my biggest chunk of “Lost Time” is my lunch hour.  I have one hour for lunch each day, and because I only work five minutes from my house, I am able to go home each day for lunch.  Thankfully, it doesn’t take me fifty minutes to each my lunch, so I capture that time and try to get as much piddly stuff done as I can.
Here is a sample of what my lunch hour looks like:
1-1:05 PM Drive home
1:05-1:10 PM Wipe down bathroom sink, tidy up bedroom, make bed (if not done earlier that morning), put away clean clothes, etc.
1:10-1:15 Pick out daughter’s clothes and pack day care bag for next day
1:15-1:35 Put away clean dishes, put dirty breakfast dishes in dishwasher, wash bottles, wipe down kitchen counters, fill water bottles, take out recycling
1:35-1:40 Pick up and sort mail
1:40-1:55 EAT LUNCH! (Sometimes I multi-task and respond to emails while I’m eating)
1:55-2 PM Drive back to work

How to Maximize Lost Time

  1. Identify it!  This may be the hardest step for some people.  We all feel like we’re going full speed every minute of every day.  Finding this time requires being objective and critically examining how we spend our time each day.  Try keeping track of what you do each day.  Once you start writing it down, you will see little gaps emerge.
  2. Make a conscious decision to seize it.  Almost every day when I come home for lunch, I can hear my couch saying ‘Come lay down on me. I’m sooo cozy.’.  But I know that if I take the next 35 minutes to get a bunch of small tasks crossed off my list, my evening will go so much smoother.  And if I’m really lucky, I’ll have even more time to relax on that couch later – and my husband and daughter will probably join me!  That being said, there are days when I listen to that voice and just relax.  We all need that once in a while too.
  3. Focus on the little tasks.  Notice that I don’t do anything that takes a long time.  Putting away clean dishes is the biggest job I’ll do over my lunch hour.  The point is to get as much of the “clutter-y” type tasks (those little to-do’s that just seem to clutter up your to-do lists) out of the way.
  4. Be efficient.  There’s a reason that I do those things in the order that I do.  Our bedroom and bathroom are on one end of the house.  I start on that end and make my way to the other end.  This minimizes extra trips.
  5. Match the frequency of the chunks of lost time with the occurrence of the task.  You’ll notice that most of the things that I do over my lunch hour are daily chores.  That’s because I have that chunk of time each day. If you have one hour every Tuesday between two kids’ events, fill that time with something that you need to do each week such as grocery shopping or running errands.
It is amazing to me how much difference it makes if I am able to get things done over my lunch hour.  When I walk through the door each night, I don’t see dishes piled up in the sink or have to walk around the basket of folded clothes on the floor to get to where my two favorite people are playing.  I walk over to them and get big squeezes, and I am able to enjoy it and not be distracted by all the little things that need to get done before I can cook them supper.
I get all that stuff done earlier in the day so that I can spend my time doing what I love most – enjoying my family and soaking up the time I have with them.

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Breast Milk Storage

Breast Milk Storage & Freezing :: maximizingdaysblog.com

If you are nursing and are able, building up a reserve supply of breast milk is a great idea.  When my daughter was born, I was working full-time, so breast milk storage was a necessity for me.

Building up a breast milk supply will necessitate a freezing and storage system.  Because of the nature of breast milk, it’s ideal to have a system where you can easily access the oldest milk.  And efficiently use the freezer space.

I did all of those things wrongs in my first go-round.  But I eventually figured it out.

Breast Milk Storage & Freezing Steps

1 – Decide on a “freezable quantity”.  What I mean by that is decide how many ounces you want in each frozen bag.

When I went back to work, I was pumping more than I was nursing.  Each day, when I came home from work, I combined the milk that was pumped into bigger bottles to take to day care the next day. Whatever surplus there was went in a separate (usually smaller) bottle and was stored in the fridge.  Once that surplus reached 5 oz. – my pre-determined “freezable quantity” – I would pour it in a storage bag.

If you’re pumping solely for the purpose of building up reserves, then you can skip the combining into bottles step.  Just pour the milk in the bag(s) and go to step 2.

*Tip: Even though the bags have ounce markings on them, don’t try to use the bag to measure.  Use the bottles to measure and then pour.

2 – Label the Bag

All breastmilk storage bags have a spot designated to label the important details.  For me, the two that mattered were the date it was pumped and the ounces.  Feel free to include any other information that you find necessary.

I found that the Sharpie Ultra Fine Tip pens worked best on the bag labels, so I kept one in the storage bag box.

3 – Lay Bags Flat in Freezer

This is a game-changer.

Laying the bags down to freeze (ideally, on a flat surface – my favorite was a frozen pizza or the top of an ice cream container) makes it so that the milk freezes flat which is so much easier to store.  If you set them upright in the freezer, then they become blobs with flags and there’s no good way to organize blobs.

4 – Store Flat Bags Upright in Deep Freezer Door

Obviously, this only works for people who have an upright deep freezer.

Originally, I bought this container to store the milk, only to find that it held a measly ten bags.

Breast Milk Storage & Freezing :: maximizingdaysblog.com

A deep freezer door is ideal because it’s the same width as the bags and it made grabbing the oldest milk from the front easy.

When I was adding to the supply, I put the newest milk at the back and it was a good cycle.

Breast Milk Storage & Freezing :: maximizingdaysblog.com

If you don’t have an upright deep freezer, another good option is pop can cases or my favorite bins.

My favorite thing about this process was that it didn’t take any more time to do it this way than it would if I wouldn’t have been so intentional and organized with it.  I only gained time and space.  That’s my ideal situation!

Sidenotes:

*I’ve reached the point where I’m now using the reserves that I had stored in the deep freezer.  At it’s highest point, three shelves were filled with milk, which was a lot, but didn’t seem like it because it all fit so nicely in the freezer door.

*The storage container didn’t go completely to waste.  It ended up being the perfect container to take a week’s worth of breast milk to and from our day care provider (when I was giving her frozen bags instead of thawed milk in bottles).  Once we got to solid food, it was ideal for storing pureed food pouches.

Breast Milk Storage & Freezing :: maximizingdaysblog.com

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