Saturday, June 2, 2007

Home Management Tips for Hot Food & Clean Clothes

By Rachel Olsen

Very few people I know enjoy doing laundry. It's rather dull and repetitive work that others rarely notice or thank you for. How many times have you been complimented you on your laundry prowess? However, ensuring clean clothing for the family is one of the tasks of the successful home manager. Here are two tips to help:

1) Start by beautifying your laundry area. Get rid of any miscellaneous clutter in your laundry space and leave only the things necessary to get the laundry done from start to finish. Then try placing an area rug, painting the walls, adding some potpourri or perhaps installing a radio to listen to while folding. Make the space clean and inviting to work in.

2) Do less laundry, more frequently. Facing overflowing dirty clothes baskets and mountains of clean clothes to fold can overwhelm your psyche and your schedule. Avoid it building to that point by gathering dirty clothes from everyone's hamper and combining into one load every day or so. Single, smaller loads take less time to dry and fold, and your favorite outfits will always be clean!

Providing tasty, nutritious meals is another highly important task of the home manager. How many times have we stood staring into the pantry or fridge at a quarter 'til 5:00 wondering, "What can I fix for dinner?!" This is a task the successful home manager will seek to stay on top of. She will even elevate dinner from a task, to a satisfying family ritual. Here are two tips to help:

1) Determine your dinner in the morning, or better yet the day or week before. Then you can ensure you have a plan and all necessary ingredients on hand. Early in the day I like to set on the counter my dry ingredients for dinner - such as jars of spaghetti sauce and a box of angel hair pasta. I often even place the needed empty pots on the cold stove burners. Crock pots are also a wonderful way to take care of dinner in advance. Each time I enter my kitchen, I see or smell my coming meal and am comforted knowing I won't be in the 5:00-quandry over what to fix. Its amazing how planning a nutritious dinner in advance can bring you such peace of mind!

2) Your family has to eat dinner each day anyway, so why not put in a little extra effort to make it an anticipated event. Set a pretty table in advance and include some cloth napkins or fresh flowers as a centerpiece. Turn on off the TV and turn on some instrumental music. Direct dinner conversation off of boring or touchy "family business" topics and talk about things like favorite vacations. Try eating by candle light occasionally. These all take small amounts of effort, but communicate in a big way to your family that you treasure them. Bon appetite!