Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: siamesecat2965 on January 09, 2013, 01:21:50 PM

Title: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: siamesecat2965 on January 09, 2013, 01:21:50 PM
What are things you've done or changed (in the way you do things), however small and insignificant, yet seem to make things better or easier for you? If that makes any sense.

Mine are simple. I am the queen of procrastination, and have been guilty at times of not quite being able to get it together.  I've started figuring out what I'm going to wear the night before, so in the morning, that's one less thing I have to do. I am NOT a morning person, and that simple step has made it soooo much easier, IMHO, to get going and out the door.

I'm also a slob, and tend to leave clutter around, which annoys me. I've started trying to keep things picked up, and putting things away as soon as I'm done with them. I've also tried to make a concious effort to put anything I might need in my purse or bag, i.e. receipts for returns, coupons, anything like that, so I can tackle them quickly, and get them out of the way.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: Bijou on January 09, 2013, 03:03:29 PM
I have had terrible insomnia for many years and spent most nights sleeping just a couple of hours, spending most of the time in bed with my brain wheels spinning, restless and frustrated, not to mention constantly exhausted the next day. 
I have started getting up at the first sign of restlessness and going to the recliner chair where I get cozy under my yards of fleece (2 and 3 yard pieces of 60 inch fleece) I recently bought, and, oddly enough, fall asleep.  I might sleep for just an hour or two, but I flip on the TV or work a word game and then drift off again.  Nights are a lot less hateful.  And I'm getting more sleep. 
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: Girlie on January 09, 2013, 03:31:37 PM
I've put away the debit card for gas and food purchases for my husband and me. I take out a set, flat amount from the account every week, divy it up between us, and that's our allowance.

Since I'm the one who has to keep up with the account and our expenses, it's a LOT easier doing it this way. The other way (where we both used our debit cards whenever) was a lot harder because he was always having to report to me for every dime he spent! This way evens it out a lot better. :)
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: pixel dust on January 09, 2013, 03:40:05 PM
I'm quite lazy and normally hate cleaning, emptying the dish washer, putting dishes in the dish washer, etc. I just started this a couple days ago but it's worked the past couple nights so I'm going to try and keep doing it. I put my favorite band on loudly, do NOT turn on the TV or sit on the couch, and immediately start doing the daily household chores (a load of laundry, loading the dishwasher, getting dinner ready, etc.) and in 15-30 minutes I'm on my couch watching TV with a neater house and dinner in the oven. :)
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: guihong on January 09, 2013, 03:50:33 PM
I have a milk crate basket near the front door where backpacks, purse, dayplanner, errand stuff lives.  When we're leaving for school/work/etc., I pick up the entire crate and set it on the floor of the car or the passenger seat.  Library books don't get forgotten around the house or in the back seat  ::) and we're not rushing in the morning finding things.

I am what my counselor calls an OosOom (Out of sight, Out of mind).  Like SiameseCat, I tend to leave things out because "I'll just need that again soon", or out of laziness or not "seeing" clutter.  I too have made an effort at picking up as I go, policing a room I'm in for anything wrong or out of place, purging belongings so there's less scattered around, and finding homes for everything.  My favorite is clear plastic bins, where I can see things but they're in order.

I am the master procrastinator, again like Siamese and a lot of others.  I get overwhelmed if I think a job is too large or complex.  So I break things down: say it's cleaning the kitchen-I clear one counter, or do one load of dishes.  That way, I see progress and I get more motivated to finish.  Actually doing the job seems to go faster and with less stress than the procrastination and angst about beginning  ::).

All of these are a work in progress, naturally.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: LibraryLady on January 09, 2013, 03:54:37 PM
Ever since our minister did a sermon on prayer; I have been laying my problems/thought up to God each night (or your deity of choice).
It has surprised me sometimes how long I pray and what I pray for.

I have found that I sleep better at night.   :)
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: PastryGoddess on January 09, 2013, 03:54:57 PM
I set all of my clocks 10 minutes forward.  I still rush sometimes, but I'm a lot less stressed
I write for at least an hour a day.  Sometimes I only get 500 words, sometimes I can do 2000, but at least I'm writing and not procrastinating
I get on the treadmill for at least 15 min each day.  I know I'm not always going to want to go to the gym, but I have to pass the treadmill to get anywhere in the house.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: onyonryngs on January 09, 2013, 04:14:59 PM
I used to let the laundry pile up.  It gets overwhelming with kids sometimes.  Now, rather than do everything on the weekends, I try to do a couple small loads during the week and then fold while I'm watching my shows.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: SheltieMom on January 09, 2013, 04:31:39 PM
I set all of my clocks 10 minutes forward.  I still rush sometimes, but I'm a lot less stressed
I write for at least an hour a day.  Sometimes I only get 500 words, sometimes I can do 2000, but at least I'm writing and not procrastinating
I get on the treadmill for at least 15 min each day.  I know I'm not always going to want to go to the gym, but I have to pass the treadmill to get anywhere in the house.
My mother used to set the clocks forward. My brothers and I learned to tell time that way, and had trouble with clocks that were set "right"!
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: onyonryngs on January 09, 2013, 04:34:06 PM
I set all of my clocks 10 minutes forward.  I still rush sometimes, but I'm a lot less stressed
I write for at least an hour a day.  Sometimes I only get 500 words, sometimes I can do 2000, but at least I'm writing and not procrastinating
I get on the treadmill for at least 15 min each day.  I know I'm not always going to want to go to the gym, but I have to pass the treadmill to get anywhere in the house.
My mother used to set the clocks forward. My brothers and I learned to tell time that way, and had trouble with clocks that were set "right"!

I do that with the clock in my car.  My husband did me a "favor" once and reset it at daylight savings time & I took me a week to figure out why I was running late.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: BabylonSister on January 09, 2013, 07:20:59 PM
After allowing my weight to creep up over the space of two years, I decided at the end of last summer to stop my lifelong habit of constantly nibbling. It took some weeks to get over it (before, I would sometimes nibble without even realizing it) and I had to learn new habits, but it was worth it.  I lost about 14 lbs. and went back to my pre-marriage dress size. I still treat myself to nice foods, but now I have a full scoop of ice cream once a week rather than constantly sneaking a little spoonful here and there.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: AtraBecca on January 09, 2013, 08:57:55 PM
We-ell... I've taken up Primal living, I don't eat wheat, soy, vegetable oil, or pretty much anything processed. I started going to the gym, got a personal trainer - expensive! - and so far I've lost 70 pounds and I feel fantastic! ...Up until today, when I started getting a cold. Le sigh.

I suppose those aren't SMALL changes, though. XD
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: afbluebelle on January 09, 2013, 11:11:11 PM
I like clothes. I buy clothes. I realize I have way too many clothes... but when you don't wear them often, you want to wear everything that you think is groovy  :P  I need to get rid of a lot of stuff.

Just did a mini purging of my closet/room. 4 purses, 2 tote bags, 6 pairs of pants, 2 nice blouses, a bunch of shirts, 4 scarves/pashminas, and my favorite fantastic leather coat with poofs on the sleeves and trim. Not sure if they are going to consignment, Goodwill, or Freecycle, but they are on their way to a new home.

I still have a ton of stuff to go through. The plan is for DH to take these out, see what kind of local response there is for gently used items, and come back with the info. With the new AF uniform regs, I have 3 pairs of brand new steel toed boots that need a home (that retail for well over $100  ;D) Plus quilted overalls, 2 formal dresses, barely used shoes (late growth spurt  >:( ), and a bunch more clothes and randomness. I'd have a yard sale, but after a couple of traumatic childhood incidents involving yard sales, I kind of don't want to. Plus, most of what I have is clothes and knick knacks....


Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: girlysprite on January 10, 2013, 12:34:31 AM
Since a while, I start up my ipad and read during night time feedings of my baby. The whose feeding, burping and putting to sleep cycle can last an hour, and I really needed something to keep me awake and pass the time. Before, every minute crept by on the back of a snail, and this reaulted me in being less patient and being quickly frustrated. Now I am so entertained by fun articles at times, that I sometimes look up to notice the baby has fallen asleep on my breast.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: dawnfire on January 10, 2013, 05:37:19 AM
Since a while, I start up my ipad and read during night time feedings of my baby. The whose feeding, burping and putting to sleep cycle can last an hour, and I really needed something to keep me awake and pass the time. Before, every minute crept by on the back of a snail, and this reaulted me in being less patient and being quickly frustrated. Now I am so entertained by fun articles at times, that I sometimes look up to notice the baby has fallen asleep on my breast.

that how I read my e books. I have an e reader on my laptop and set up so I only need to use a finger to tab through pages.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: siamesecat2965 on January 10, 2013, 09:48:27 AM
Wow – how funny is it that I also do some of the same things mentioned here?

Girlie, I have been doing the same thing for several years. I take out x dollars every week (It helps we have an ATM for my bank right in my building) That’s my gas, grocery, laundry and other “stuff” money for the week. And whatever is left over, goes in an envelope. Sometimes its for fun, like taking on vacation or girl’s weekend away, sometimes if I have a few extra expenses in a week, I use it so I don’t have to go back and take out more. It seems to work pretty well, esp when I play the game of how much can I have left over? Between that, and dumping my change into a jar, I’ve had enough to pay for a lot of stuff!

Pixel dust, I DESPISE emptying the dishwasher, but one time I said enough is enough, and actually timed myself doing it. When I figured out it took me less than 3 minutes, it wasn’t so bad anymore. Same with straightening up my bathroom. I can put all the makeup back in the bag, stuff in the medicine cabinet, and fold and hang my towels nicely in under a minute. I’ve also done the “start my chores first thing” thing, because if I sit down, and turn on the tv, its all over!

I also tackle my cleaning and de-cluttering in 2 ways. I will either focus on one thing, like going through, shredding and organizing papers, then moving on to putting my clothes away, or focus on one thing, such as clearing off my coffee table, then moving on to the nightstand.

And guihong, I am totally an OosOom! I don’t use the crisper drawers in my fridge because they are dark brown, and I never remember that there’s anything IN them. In fact, I kind of recall putting something in there a while back, and don’t know if I ever took it out or used it!  I don’t know why, but if I can’t seem something, it just doesn’t exist.  Very frustrating, esp when people say “well, just try and remember it” But my brain doesn’t work that way.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: Dindrane on January 10, 2013, 10:31:45 AM
I sometimes have a hard time getting going in the mornings. I am very decidedly a morning person, but the way it translates for me is that I need a fair amount of time to really feel like I'm awake and prepared for the day (in other words, half an hour of extra sleep usually does less for my feeling of alertness than half an hour spent reading the paper).

On the other hand, I have a lot that I do every morning before work. I go to the gym, I have to fix my hair (even on days when I don't actually shower), I put on makeup, I make my lunch, I make my coffee, and I typically need to take some time to sit down and eat breakfast while reading something fun. Even though I get up at about 4:45 every morning and don't need to leave the house until 7:45, I barely have enough time to get it all done.

I've tried doing some of those things the night before, but I'm usually so wiped by the time I get home from work that it's just an exercise in futility. Several weeks ago, I tried changing around the order in which I did things. I used to shower, put my hair up in a towel to let it dry some before I did anything else to it, make lunch/breakfast, eat breakfast, and then deal with my hair and makeup. Since hair and makeup both have pretty fixed minimum amounts of time that they take, it was impossible for me to "make up" time if I was running late.

Now, I put my hair up in a towel to let it dry a bit, make my lunch, fix my hair, put on makeup, and then make and eat breakfast. So all I have to do after breakfast is put clothes on and brush my teeth. I can rush breakfast if I need to, and I can rush getting dressed (since I pack my work bag before eating breakfast), so it's much easier to make up time if I woke up a bit late or spent a bit too long on something.

Except for today. I'm getting over a cold, had the worst time getting up this morning, and pretty much just decided I'm taking some sick time so I don't have to rush. I'd have been late either way, and nothing starts my day off worse than feeling rushed.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: snowflake on January 10, 2013, 10:48:55 AM
Along the lines of praying:

I try and remember everything in my life that is going right and say it out loud.  I try and remember all the people who are doing their job and who have made my life go right.  (Like the garbage men who are working in the snow this morning.)

You can say this as a prayer or out to the universe in general. 

Wow!  What a difference in my mood!  I was raised to be negative and complaining (we thought that made us "intellectual").  I've been trying to break that habit for oh, about two decades now and it takes some work.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on January 10, 2013, 10:57:19 AM
When both kids started school, I'd make myself crazy trying to get everyone up, fed, dressed and out the door with all of their stuff in a timely manner.  It seemed like we were always looking for that library book or a missing shoe or something.  Don't even get me started on the wardrobe issues.  I thought they'd be teenagers before I had to deal with that but my oldest kid started at the tender age of 5.

It's so simple but it took an embarrassingly long time for me to discover that if I got everything they needed ready the night before (backpacks packed as much as possible, clothes picked out, coats/hats/mittens/boots all in one spot) things were much less hectic in the morning.  Now that they're older, I encourage them to get their stuff ready themselves.  And it takes me all of 5-10 minutes and very little stress.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: oogyda on January 10, 2013, 11:56:03 AM
Oogydad recently started shaving after he showers instead of before.  He says it's made a huge difference since the hair and skin have been softened so much more by the water and heat.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: dawnfire on January 10, 2013, 04:38:57 PM
Oogydad recently started shaving after he showers instead of before.  He says it's made a huge difference since the hair and skin have been softened so much more by the water and heat.

my other half shaves while showering. he's set up a fog proof mirror in the shower and does it in there.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: heartmug on January 10, 2013, 05:17:04 PM
Ever since our minister did a sermon on prayer; I have been laying my problems/thought up to God each night (or your deity of choice).
It has surprised me sometimes how long I pray and what I pray for.

I have found that I sleep better at night.   :)

It has worked for me too.  And if the problems start to creep back in before I am actually asleep, I count my blessings instead.  I will start listing the people and things I am thankful for.


One de-cluttering trick I learned from the old show "Clean Sweep" that I have been doing for 5+ years now:  every time I buy a new piece of clothing I throw out or donate one piece of clothing.  My closets and drawers have stayed clutter free!  It has also saved me on $$ because I will be in a store and want a blouse for instance, but can't think of what I want to get rid of, so I will put the blouse back.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: m2kbug on January 10, 2013, 07:28:26 PM
I've worked with emptying the basket.  Because I don't want to run back and forth and up and down stairs, sometimes clutter piles up.  I put all items in a pretty basket that looks nice sitting out.  Items go in the basket and when it's full or every two/three days, take the basket upstairs and items have to be put away and dealt with immediately.  I then fill it with anything upstairs that needs to go down (not really laundry, that's a separate basket), and deal with those items right away.  Then leave the basket for the next trip where I just plop things in there until the next time.  It helps me get things put away and it's a smaller, less overwhelming chore.

I separate my silverware in the dishwasher so that when it comes time to put the clean dishes away, it's easier to grab and put the silverware away in their separate slots in the tray.

I have two baskets for laundry, one for lights and one for darks.  It's easier for me if I don't have to dig and separate on laundry days.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: Dindrane on January 10, 2013, 08:06:57 PM
On the subject of laundry, I have increasingly been hanging up my clothes to air dry, rather than using the dryer. Pretty much all of my shirts and work pants get hung up, and I usually only dry my jeans if we need to fill out a load or I'm in a rush. This is partly because my clothes last longer that way (and don't shrink), and partly because our dryer takes forever and we try to keep those loads to a minimum. :)

One thing I learned that makes a huge difference - hang up pants upside down. I put the pants legs together so that the seams are all lined up and the front and back creases are folded. Then I use one of those hangers with clips, and clip the bottom hem of the pants to the hanger. What I end up with are pants that don't need to be ironed, and have nicely defined creases. I leave them hung up that way in the closet, too.

Being fussy about hanging up my clothes to dry in general saves me a lot of time ironing, and means that when they are dry, I just grab the hangers and stick them in the closet.

The other thing that has helped enormously was starting to use two separate baskets. My husband can't for the life of him remember which of my clothes can be dried and which can't (even though the answer was increasingly becoming "nothing but socks and underwear goes in the dryer"). It's also easy to miss clothes that need to be hung up if you wash a mixed load, and I had a few t-shirts shrink because they accidentally got dried.

I don't know why it didn't occur to us sooner, but we now have two differently-colored laundry hampers. One has clothes that should be dried, and the other has clothes that should be hung up. It's super easy to sort clothes as you toss them in, and it means we can (usually) wait until we have full loads of one or the other.

Since we wash everything in cold water and down own many whites, sorting light from dark isn't something we typically bother with, except for like brand new jeans or something.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: oceanus on January 10, 2013, 08:29:35 PM
Drinking more water, less soda.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 10, 2013, 08:43:29 PM
Meal planning is a big one for our family. There are only three of us, but DH and I take our lunch every day and I take dinner on Wednesday since I have a late class after work. I no longer plan in a this day we will have that kind of way. I plan out two soups, three kinds of sandwiches, a few meals that can cook in the slow cooker all day, and a few that are quick. I try to rotate through proteins, so we aren't having the same things every week. It makes it so much easier to not have to stop by the store on my way home.

I do laundry on weekday evenings so I don't have to stay home on the weekend doing it. I also try to make sure my gas tank is full so I don't have to stop on Monday mornings which are as manic as the song suggests.

My google calendar keeps me straight. I have all of our events, homework, special days for school, camping trips, etc on it and I would be having constant conflicts without it.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 11, 2013, 12:25:24 AM
Since a while, I start up my ipad and read during night time feedings of my baby. The whose feeding, burping and putting to sleep cycle can last an hour, and I really needed something to keep me awake and pass the time. Before, every minute crept by on the back of a snail, and this reaulted me in being less patient and being quickly frustrated. Now I am so entertained by fun articles at times, that I sometimes look up to notice the baby has fallen asleep on my breast.

This is the primary reason we bought our iPad in the first place  ;D
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 11, 2013, 04:42:40 AM
Awesome suggestions! In a previous apartment I had two separate laundry baskets, one for whites and one for colors, but my current apartment is too small for that. I often think back on those two baskets as I'm digging into my single basket and making big piles on the floor.

I also started putting my clothes out the night before. I like to sleep as late as possible, and I felt like I was always just standing in front of the closet staring at it dumbly in the mornings, trying to figure out what to wear. So now I just grab things the night before and don't have to think so much in the mornings.

I have also found that timing myself on hated tasks really helps. Like cleaning the toilet or bathroom sink--it usually takes far less time in reality than I feel like it does in my mind, which encourages me to just get up and do it already.

Also, I really like making lists and setting "goals" for myself for the day/week, and trying to get all those things marked off. It helps me to stay focused if I'm feeling kind of aimless.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: siamesecat2965 on January 11, 2013, 08:54:47 AM
I've worked with emptying the basket. 

What I do is the stuff that doesn't get hung on the rack to dry, I dump ON my bed. This way I have no choice but to put it away when its done. Its usually socks, undies, stuff like that, but it works.

I separate my silverware in the dishwasher so that when it comes time to put the clean dishes away, it's easier to grab and put the silverware away in their separate slots in the tray.

I do this as well. Amazing how much easier it makes things!
I have two baskets for laundry, one for lights and one for darks.  It's easier for me if I don't have to dig and separate on laundry days.

I have two hampers, and I separate my clothes from undies, socks, washclothes etc. Since I have to schlep to the laundry room, it makes it easiser for me to stuff it in the bags I carry the stuff down in.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: VorFemme on January 11, 2013, 03:57:28 PM
I like clothes. I buy clothes. I realize I have way too many clothes... but when you don't wear them often, you want to wear everything that you think is groovy  :P  I need to get rid of a lot of stuff.

Just did a mini purging of my closet/room. 4 purses, 2 tote bags, 6 pairs of pants, 2 nice blouses, a bunch of shirts, 4 scarves/pashminas, and my favorite fantastic leather coat with poofs on the sleeves and trim. Not sure if they are going to consignment, Goodwill, or Freecycle, but they are on their way to a new home.

I still have a ton of stuff to go through. The plan is for DH to take these out, see what kind of local response there is for gently used items, and come back with the info. With the new AF uniform regs, I have 3 pairs of brand new steel toed boots that need a home (that retail for well over $100  ;D) Plus quilted overalls, 2 formal dresses, barely used shoes (late growth spurt  >:( ), and a bunch more clothes and randomness. I'd have a yard sale, but after a couple of traumatic childhood incidents involving yard sales, I kind of don't want to. Plus, most of what I have is clothes and knick knacks....


If you are active duty at a base - the Officers' Spouses' Club will have a thrift shop that takes consignments (and donations) to sell.  Their percentage almost always goes for for college scholarships (wife of a retired officer and worked at the last base's thrift shop for several years).  If it doesn't sell, you do have to pick it up (and pay the % to keep it) or leave it as a "donation".  They may also have a bulletin board on the front of the building that costs a small fee to post an index card with an ad on it.  Local credit union may have an online "bulletin board" for similar sales and print a version (trimmed to fit the amount of paper that they want to use).

If you are a reservist and NOT near a base - Craigslist for what you want to sell, GOOD stuff in like new condition to a consignment store, or possibly eBay (if you have the time & energy - which you may not). 

Or donate it to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or possibly a local family/women's shelter.
Title: Re: Small Changes You've Made That Make a Difference
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 04:18:50 PM
I'd have a yard sale, but after a couple of traumatic childhood incidents involving yard sales, I kind of don't want to.
:o You must tell us what happened!