Buying a present for a kid’s birthday party, paying for a school trip and finding a new rubbish collection service. These are a few of the things that landed on my plate this week, aside from the usual buying groceries and returning library books. Thankfully, my husband pays the bills.
You think you have all these little jobs that keep things ticking along under control, then something new pops up. It’s constant.
I can’t make these jobs magically disappear, but I can share the tricks I use to keep on top of errands and household administration with a minimum of fuss.
Tips for simplifying errands and household administration
- Blitz your bills – automate as much as possible, pay up front if you can rather than in monthly instalments (one bill to pay rather than 12), and consider whether you need so many credit cards. We’ve been credit card-free for a good six months now and its really simplified things for us.
- Apply the one-minute rule – if you can do something in a minute or less, do it straight away. I use this for school notices – I read them, sign the form and put it back in the school bag straight away. Job done in the time it would take me to add it to my to-do list.
- Schedule a regular time to deal with errands – this way, when an errand crops up, you already know when you’re going to deal with it (Thursday mornings for me. It works well to dedicate one lunch break a week to the task). Errands go from being a pesky inconvenience that pop up and destroy your plans, to simply part of your weekly rhythm.
- Think what you can errands you can combine – it’s only relatively recently that I’ve learnt to drive and had my own transport. Getting around used to be more difficult so I was programmed to think, “Is there anything else I can do while I am here?”. Get into this habit to save yourself trips. I don’t make a separate trip to drop-off donations to the charity shop, I donate where I can drop-off on my way home from work.
- A special tip if you’ve got little kids, or even not so little, arrange a regular swap with a friend so you can do errands alone. You take their kids one week, they take yours the next. You’ll whizz through the errands in no time, use the left over time to relax and catch your breath. You’re allowed – I said so!
What’s your best tip for keeping on top of errands and administration?