“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”

                                 Winnie the Pooh
Here are just a few ways that we have implemented this or heard how others have:

1. We start the next day’s laundry the night before. (We do one or two loads a day now; we used to do two or three loads per day.) The “little laundry lad” (many years ago it was the “little laundry lady”) starts his first load any time during the evening the day before. If it is a “fold up” load, he even puts it in the dryer before bed. If it is a “hang up” load, he leaves it in the washer and in the morning, runs it through rinse again then pops it in the dryer.* This way we have a jump on the next day’s laundry. (It’s even better if his fold up load is in the dryer dry and his hang up load is in the washer, ready to re-rinse and move first thing!)

2. We do not leave dishes to be washed tomorrow. We run the dishwasher after dinner and the dish person the next day just has to unload it and load the breakfast (and last night’s ice cream!) dishes in it.

3. Everybody goes through the house and picks up his or her things before going to bed. We do not have to start the day tomorrow with messes from the previous day.

4. If we have to get up earlier than usual the next day, we adjust our bedtime accordingly. This has had various levels of success—as it is easier said than done. But generally speaking, if we are doing something the next day that requires our getting up one to two hours earlier, we try to get everybody to bed an hour earlier or so.

5. If we have some place to go the next day, we get the things out, bags packed, etc. the night before and have them ready to load or already loaded. This has eliminated so much early morning hassle on “going away” days.

6. If we need a packed lunch for some reason the next day, we pack it and put in the fridge (the entire cooler in the extra fridge in some ways).

A huge part of being organized in home management is warding off problems before they start—seeing potential problems and solving them immediately (or even ahead of time). Starting today last night is one way we have found to do this. There are probably many things that you already do to make tomorrow better—think about these and see if there are others that might help your family, as well.

*We don’t iron much here. I have taught the kids to move hang ups directly into the dryer when the washer is done spinning, then to pull them out of the dryer when they are still hot, shake them, and hang the up. Eliminates most ironing.

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