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Life changing products or habits?

(43 Posts)
evelynj Mon 24-Jun-13 11:27:06

hi all

Just wondering if you have discovered something that has made your life easier, better or more efficient & if you'd kindly be willing to share?

My items that I can think of are

1. ettore window cleaning kit (a 12 inch 'mop' & squeegee - same as pro's use). About £20 off eBay & is such a quick and great job I've bought it for presents for everyone since. I will try to use it on the tiled bathroom later & confirm if it's a good job.

2. Latex pillows-like memory foam but better. Not as heavy & faster bounce-back-ability, (bit pricey tho but worth it).

3. Tweezerman tweezers. Just really good tweezers, ( also bought as presents for friends who didn't have them & they were appreciated)

Recent idea is to buy a years worth of birthday cards for all family-I'm off to do this at the cheap card shop today after a recent run of birthdays meaning wasting an extra 15 minutes here and there constantly getting cards.

Any tips from any areas greatly appreciated!

MERLYPUSS Mon 24-Jun-13 12:08:08

I have a birthday card stockpile and kids present stockpile too. I have twins and if they are both invited to the same party they like to take a present and card each for the host. When I see a bargain I pick it up and pop it into the box.

ihatethecold Mon 24-Jun-13 12:45:28

watching with interest.

im constantly forgetting things. i really try to be organised.

evelynj Mon 24-Jun-13 16:09:16

Just back with the pile of family birthday cards. 25 for under £17 so
quite happy with that.

I usually have a pile of kids & generic cards that I keep but would appreciate ideas for presents stockpile-kids and grownups. I'm thinking for kids (mine is 3.5 so his age), books, bubbles, pez dispenser, multi pack sweets, crayons/felt tips, colouring books-Stuff from b&m and home bargains is good.

Adults-smelly candles, socks, jams & chutneys, decent smellies, alpaca scarves, nice chocs, vases-stuff from tk Maxx is often good.'. I don't really like to give a lot of useless filler presents but will often bulk out pressies with books I've read that I think the receiver will like, (adding a note to say read this & thought of you or something relevant).

Always harder to buy stuff for parents& in laws-age 65ish.



Ogg Mon 24-Jun-13 19:48:20

I just order a crate of reasonable wines and some posh wine bags off ebay

evelynj Tue 25-Jun-13 08:20:55

Good idea-where do you order your wines from ogg?

mrspaddy Tue 25-Jun-13 08:31:57

One thing I do is buy the packs of cards from the book club at work and when I see cards on offer I add into it.

I buy Christmas wrapping paper that has a plain/damask design so I can use it all year around.

I stock up on Clarins Hand and Nail cream when on offer 20% off in local chemist for school secretary - emergency presents etc.

I love my flat mop so bought one for upstairs and downstairs.

Colour catcher sheets have allowed me to get through my washing quicker - can wash more together.

My one time saving thing is cooking big batches of dinners from scratch. Buying a large turkey to make a lot of curries from. Saves money too.

Bake my own bread.

I am going to invest in a heated clothes horse/airer next. Also a line upstairs on landing (retractable - saw that tip on here grin.. hate clothes clotgging up the whole house).

Just a totally separate one - when I see clothes I really love and know I will wear a lot I buy in bulk. Saw navy and black boyfriend cardigans that are nice and light for only 15 pound and I am going to stock up because surely when I get paint or something (teacher) on one and need a replacement non to be found.

Might look at the window cleaning product on ebay.. hate windows and ironing sad

mrspaddy Tue 25-Jun-13 08:32:53

clogging blush

mrspaddy Tue 25-Jun-13 08:35:12

Oh I also bought a little 'Chilli' hoover that is tiny but brilliant and fits neatly in kitchen beside a dresser so hoover a lot more frequently/quickly (Lakeland). Also a friend of mine batch cooks homemade scones and puts them in the freezer (they cook 20 mins in oven from frozen). must try this.

MERLYPUSS Tue 25-Jun-13 09:36:35

I second the batch cooking. I always have a vat of 'mystery mince' in the freezer that can be turned into chilli/spag bol/ lasagne/shep pie etc on swimming nights.
Re the kids toys I also pick up garden stuff at end of season sales. Things like water guns and bubbles for the next year. Bootsales often have sealed board games or 'seconds' books at our local so they are good. Poundland can occasionally have branded stuff. I got zhu zhu pets, gormiti, uno card games, bin weavils stationary(stationery?), lunch packs and water bottles. You just have to buy them in advance and think if they dont get gifted would your children would use them. Lidls had official character back packs for £4 this week and it coincided with the sticker packs in poundland. Sainsburys had peppa pig pencil and art cases for 75% off last year. Buy in the sales and put away for later is my best tip.

evelynj Tue 25-Jun-13 22:45:31

Hmm, flat mops-think I have one that I've never used-will have to try it out again.

Have you researched models of heated clothes airers? I'm intrigued.

I have a handheld dyson which I love & use all the time-should have been on my list.

I like the mystery mince also! Agree with buying stuff in the sales-must check poundland more regularly, although I'm determined to buy less 'stuff' for DS & expected baby.

I buy a lot of RFQS food & fill freezer-large upright & small freezer so plenty of from to stockpile.

Ruffello Wed 26-Jun-13 10:09:47

Another fan of the Dyson hand held here.I got mine recently and use it a lot, particularly on the stairs and small areas that need spot cleaning. No more hauling Henry up and down the stairs!

TheThickPlottens Wed 26-Jun-13 10:21:59

Two laundry baskets near the machine. One for whites, one for colours. No more rooting through dirty clothes before loading the machine.

Bulk cooking is my life saver with two young dcs. And meal planning.

MrsHoolie Thu 27-Jun-13 07:52:48

I buy frozen chopped onions and frozen chopped garlic.

I found that the fresh ones would go off as I just wasn't using them enough.

MinimalistMommi Thu 27-Jun-13 17:38:59

Mrs I do too, but I sometimes wonder if it 'flavours' the rest of the contents of my small icebox. Have you ever noticed this?

MrsHoolie Tue 02-Jul-13 23:52:59

I'm not sure if it flavours it but the garlic smells strong when I open the freezer. I should probably stick it in an extra bag.

Betty5313 Wed 03-Jul-13 07:02:16

I made big drawstring laundry bags. Four of them, two hung on back of the bathroom door for us and two on Dd's door. I separate the whites and colours into each bag, when full just take them downstairs(or chuck down the stairs, can't do that with a basket!) then empty into washer. No more carrying baskets downstairs, no more sorting laundry. Brilliant!

MERLYPUSS Wed 03-Jul-13 09:46:35

I do the laundry bag thing but I use pillow cases. We have white one for white underwear and a dark one for boys socks. I chuck the whole case in the washer. (still get lost socks - where exactly do the spares go?)

TheFallenNinja Wed 03-Jul-13 09:57:54

Steam mop

Food processor.

notso Wed 03-Jul-13 10:12:57

Keeping bedding sets in a pillowcase is a massive one for me, my airing cupboard is always sorted now thanks to that and learning how to fold a fitted sheet properly.

Having a couple of cooking days a month where I batch cook and freeze. I also peel and chop veg in bulk and freeze it then just take out what I need. I know I could buy frozen and I have but always find bad bits or find it's not chopped the way I would like it.

Keeping swimming and sports kit bags in the utility room so they get repacked straight from the dryer/line rather than lost in the clean washing piles.

redwellybluewelly Wed 03-Jul-13 14:20:49

Meal plan and batch cook are long standing time savers

I store a clean set of bedding in a tub under each bed, we have a cot, a single, a double and a king and after some late night instances of needing sheets in a hurry and they are mostly light coloured this helps

Repack nursery bags and changing bags night before, I'm liking the tip about keeping swim and PE bags in laundry room (mine are a bit small at the moment!)

Keep double up or unwanted gifts to one side for regifting (but I do note who gave them to me!)

Always have a charity bag on the go for decluttering

Never leave a room without taking something which doesn't belong in it

My favourite don't put it down put it away

evelynj Wed 03-Jul-13 23:09:59

Notso-bedding sets in pillowcase is a good one for me too-I have about 6 duvet sets for our Sks bed though-just no need! Like the idea of putting them under the allotted beds they fit though, may start that & make more room in the airing cupboard.

I reuse and add the colour run sheets to a wash (always seem to pick up a little but not much 'dirt' but thinking I'll start doing underwear in one wash with baby clothes so anything small and fiddly is separate-I may turn to the tumble drier in winter so this would help organise faster, will have to work out how much it would cost per load.

Also going to add steam mop to my wish list on amazon. Actually that is another thing I think useful-if you have a wish list, it's fun to add to and then you can talk about it often and instead of getting rubbish presents, actually get stuff you want-just have a variety of priced goods-I've had books, tangle teezer brush, filing boxes, kitchen paraphenalia & bits that I'd really like but can't justify buying myself. Always such a nice surprise to get something you really want. When someone asks me if there anything I want for birthday I never remember theses things off the top of my head....

redwellybluewelly Wed 03-Jul-13 23:18:36

On that note of presents being fit for purpose I keep a page in my diary for when I think of a present for someone or they mention something they like. I can't always get it but it does make Christmas and birthdays easier. I also keep an Amazon wishlist for books and for gifts for my DC, my mother refuses to use this as a resource but my very generous MIL always looks there first.

confusedofengland Thu 04-Jul-13 15:17:32

One thing that has helped me recently is, rather than try & do everything when DC are not around, to actually encourage them to 'help'. They are 4.6 & 2.2 and absolutely love to help and it means that I have more times when I can do things smile

evelynj Fri 12-Jul-13 01:38:32

Have started trying to instil the mantra 'don't put it down, putt it away' to DS & he's actually learning quickly & becoming tidier so I'm quite delighted. Shame if I turn my back he causes havoc & mess again in 30 seconds.....ho hum.

Another thing I do is if I have a baby wipe that has run over a face or hands, look around for a grubby bit to wipe with it, work or cooker top usually - I do notice more dirt in kitchen cupboards this way but they get cleaned over the course of a week or so.

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