Tuesday, September 2, 2008

10 time savers for the domestic goddess

10 time savers for the domestic goddess

Don't let the small stuff drive your batty! Here are our tips on how to simplify your life


Raking it in

Surveying the results of a hard day’s play can be a sobering moment, with Lego, Bratz shoes, bits of puzzles, craft clippings and textas sprawled across your living room floor. So save your knees and back by using a garden rake to scrape the lot into a pile in the corner of the room. From there, your children can either redisperse them the following day or you can put them away.

Stain makers

Vomit, blood and food – when you’ve got kids, you’ll need to know how to remove all of these and more from your furnishings, floors and clothes. The hugely popular bible of stain removal, Spotless (ABC Books, $19.95) has an abundance of good ideas bound to be used by families countless times. Burnt pans, urine soaked mattresses, laundry accidents and set orange juice stains – it can all be solved, say the calm authors, Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming.

Goggle wonders

If your bathroom sounds like a chamber of horrors on hair wash night, swimming goggles could revolutionalise your shampoo dramas. Letting your child wear their goggles in the bath or shower seems to help them overcome those shampoo-phobic fears about water and soap running into their eyes.

Beat the plastic

Holding back the tide of small plastic Spidermen, Pokemon cards and other precious trinkets which wash throughout the house is a battle you’re unlikely to win, but this idea from Spotless may give you the upper: provide each child – or adult – with their own bucket in a different colour. Use these to collect up the bits and pieces which accumulate around the house, then redistribute at a later date.

Mini van Goghs

Keep all those artworks which collect on your kitchen bench daily in A3 ring bound folders, one for each child. Either hole-punch drawings or slip them into plastic sleeves in the folder. It’s an easy way of displaying their drawings and the kids love looking through them.

Spag bol night

It’s the one question of the day you really wish someone else could answer, as figuring out what’s for dinner night after night is a tough call. Make it easy on Monday nights, by designating it spaghetti bolognaise night. If not spag bol, make it whatever else you can cook in industrial quantities, can freeze well and easily reconstitute into a meal. For ideas, check out our fab recipe book, Kids Meals the Whole Family Will Love!

Slow-cook magic

Crock pots may have an unfortunate 70s reputation but many household chefs swear by them. In the morning, you throw in all the ingredients for a spaghetti bolognaise, chilli con carne, casserole, curry or corned beef in, and at the end of the day, the slow cooker has worked its magic and you walk in the door to a home-cooked meal. So easy!

Rice cooking

Another appliance which earns its place in the appliance cupboard is the rice cooker; this work-horse will cook rice and keep it happily warm for hours. If you need to keep a meal warm for a second sitting, put the meal in with the rice.

Odd sock kingdom

Banish odd socks forever by buying the one colour socks in mega-multi packs. If you’ve got children of similar ages you can buy the same size, too.

Moving story time

It might be seem an extravagance, but the peace and quiet on a long car trip is worth the investment of an MP3 player for younger children. Download stories and songs to suit, and get those headsets on for a good few hundred kilometres of relative calm.


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