Senior Time Savers Tips

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How can I avoid waiting so long at my doctor´s office?

Best doctor appointments

To save time and avoid longer waits at your doctor's office, schedule your appointments wisely. Avoid Mondays and days following a holiday, when doctors are in greatest demand. Always arrive at office 10 minutes early.

How can I remember what I need when grocery shopping?

Grocery needs

I learned some time back to keep a list of those grocery items (and other supplies) I run out I use the last of them. I have a pad of paper that is not too wide, but about six inches long. On this I list what supplies I run out of and 1) replace immediately, 2)replace later. This helps when making my grocery list. You DO make a grocery list, don't you?? Keep your 'needs list' handy (I have mine under a magnet at the side of my refrigerator) so you can add to it easily.

How can I remove rain spots from suede?

Remove rain-spots from suede

To easily remove rain-spots from suede shoes, purse or jackets, rub spot area with a new/clean emery board.

How can I conveniently store my small appliance/extension cords?

Store appliance cords.

To store appliance cords, put them in empty toilet paper rolls, then write on the roll which appliance the cord belongs. Rolls can also be used to store smaller extension cords.

How can I remember what I need when grocery shopping?

Remembering chores

Ever go to bed at night and thinking "Oh, I've got to remember to do so-and-so in the morning"? Another good reason to have a small pocket-notepad and pen at the side of your bed! Write it down!! You'll find yourself more organized this way, and getting a good nights sleep, to-boot!

What can I do to remember things to do the next day?

Getting organized

I'm a believer in making lists; it leaves nothing to chance. If I'm expecting company for a week: I make a list of places I'd like to take them; a list of meals I'll prepare - a 'menu' for each meal, so to speak; list of possible restaurants they may enjoy; list of videos (especially for children); list of groceries to buy for meals; list of chores to be done BEFORE company arrives. Get the picture? So if you're going out the next afternoon, make a list of chores to be done or phone calls to be made in the morning...Get Organized!! p.s. you don't have to show everyone your lists (as in being regimental!), or abide by them to the letter, but they can sure be useful!

How can I quickly dry my wet boots/shoes?

Quick-dry wet boots/shoes

To dry-out wet boots or shoes, use the hair dryer on the inside of them. We'll be able to use them without overnight drying.

Why do I get so tired when I clean my home/apartment?

Save time on your house cleaning

I never overburden myself with cleaning chores. I have a 3-bedroom home and found myself worn out trying to clean in one day. All cleaning chores are done in the mornings when I am more alert (after a cup of hot tea). I first do my dusting of each room; then vacuum the floors, picking up dust that just settled there. Some areas I vacuum more than once a week; with pets this is a necessity. The rest of my day I spend baking, reading, writing, or whatever. Each day I allow a time for a particular cleaning chore and time for relaxation! If you have full-day plans, double-up on chores the day before.

How can I ´jump-start´ my Holiday dinners?

Holiday dinners

Planing a Holiday Dinner? Schedule the menu first, check recipes to be used, make a list of groceries needed and buy them timely. Don't forget the condiments: pickles, olives, breads, etc. And 'bookmark' the recipes to be use.

How can I easily press dough into muffin- and mini-tins?

'Tamper' for mini-tins

Tamper - a great little wooden gadget that resembles a small end smaller than the other. Really nice for thumb-print cookie or to smooth inside of tarts or mini-muffin tins (or regular tins) when recipe requires a dough-lining.

When is the best time to do grocery shopping?

Grocery shopping

To avoid crowds at grocery stores, avoid shopping in evenings and weekends. Best to shop early mornings or between 2 and 4 p.m. Also, stores are near-empty during important entertainment and sporting events on TV.

How can I avoid rush-hours at my bank or post office?

Banks & Post Offices

You can save time with trips to your bank or post office by avoiding the rush hours: most crowded between noon and 2 p.m., and on Friday afternoons.

How can I easily ship candy/cookies as a gift?

Save those 'mailing' boxes

Never can find that perfect mailing box when you need it, huh? Well, I save 5 or 6 nice mailer boxes during the year just for this need to mail gift packages; break them down (strip tape off and fold flat) and they're stored in back of closet ready for me to tape back up. Always handy to have on hand!

How can I avoid last-minute rush of a Holiday Dinner?

Clean china for the table

Don't wait 'til the last minute: be sure your china and glassware are freshly washed and dry a day or two ahead of dinner, then replace in china-closet and cover with clean towel.

What can replace my large kitchen ´grater´?

Handy gadget #1

A handy gadget for the kitchen is the 'Oxo Good Grips' (food/cheese) Grater Magnet. About 4-1/2" overall length including handle, with magnet to attach to stove, fridge, anywhere; always handy!

How can I store my out-of-season clothing?

Keep decorations organized

Another great use for storage container: use them to organize your decorations. One box for Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween, etc. If just buying the plastic type, choose size that works best for each occasion, that will save storage space. Much easier to find what you need. If you decorate extensively for Christmas, keep outdoor lights in one, garlands in another, tree ornaments in another. Or store items by room; all decorations for living- or den or kitchen, or bath-rooms, etc. in one container. Again, choosing the right size will save you space.

How can I ensure fresh bed linens for guest bedroom?

Keeping the guest bed-linen fresh

So, you are having guests for a few days. The bed-linen is clean, as no one has slept there since you washed them after previous guests departed. But you wash the sheets again to make them fresh. Well, not any more. When guests leave, wash the sheets and pillow cases, BUT, store them in linen closet until your next guests come; make up the beds just before their arrival. Always keep the spreads made up on unsheeted beds to protect from dust particles. No sense doing the same chore twice! Fresh guests, Fresh linens!

How can I avoid so much smoke in my wood-burning fireplace?

Open the flue

When cool weather sets in and we want our fireplaces burning warm, BE SURE that the chimney flue (damper) is OPEN! What a sooty mess to have smoke come INTO our homes, rather than UP the chimney.

How can I re-stiffen the veils on my hats?

Renew veil on hats

To re-new and stiffen the veil on a hat, simply place the veil between two pieces of wax paper and press lightly with a semi-cool iron.

How can I avoid last-minute rush of a Holiday Dinner?

Help setting the table

Busy cooks should not worry about setting the table. Place napkins, silverware, china, and glassware on table, then have the children set the table for us. Older children the china/glassware, younger ones the napkins/silverware; they usually enjoy being involved.

How can I ´jump-start´ my Holiday dinners?

Don't be rushed

Holidays can be hectic; let's avoid the rush of a dinner. Pies, cakes, 'dressing' and 'basics' can be made a day or two in advance. Even side-vegetables can be prepared the night before and re-heated in the microwave. Plan ahead and enjoy your great dinner!

Are there times/days I should avoid when contacting businesses?

Business & Services

Save time with contacting businesses and services. Their busiest days are Mondays and Tuesdays; busiest hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Avoid these days and hours to save time.

How can I keep my feet dry on rainy days?

Keeping feet dry

A quick way to keep feet dry when getting out in the rain (or snow): take two plastic grocery bags, insert a foot in each, close ankle area with a rubber band. Viola! Rain/snow boots!

How can I store my out-of-season clothing?

Storing your off-weather clothes

Seasons are changing and you need to find a safe place for the clothes you won't be wearing. Store them in the great plastic container until next season. Use container you are able to easily move about and place in closet or shelves. Place an old white sheet in the bottom/sides, put your sweaters in and wrap sheet around them. Heavy slacks can be placed on bottom or in separate container. Make sure that ALL stored clothing is freshly washed/cleaned before storing. Keep men's separate from women's clothes in different containers, and place stick-on labels on lids for identifying.

How can I avoid so much smoke in my wood-burning fireplace?

Wood for fireplaces

Start now to bring in wood for our fireplaces, somewhere out of the elements. Wet wood makes for more smoke and soot, so keep it dry. Less clean-up afterwards.

How can I save time when preparing a large dinner?

Prepare ahead - recipe ingredients

Precut all vegetables needed for your Apple Salad (NOT apples), turkey dressing, etc. ANY celery, onions, etc. will store safely for 2-3 days stored in bags or containers in refrigerator.

How can I keep reminders from last year´s calendar?

New Calendar? Transfer info

So we're putting up new calendar(s) for the year. Don't toss away the old until we've transferred all pertinent information to the new: birthdays, telephone numbers, anniversaries, appointments, etc. Calendars can be such great reminders!

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Guru Spotlight
Barbara Gibson