Monday, April 23, 2012

Simplifying Me: Mergers and Consolidations

HA! No, no business talk today. And given my previous job, Mergers and Consolidations give me a bit of a tick in my neck at the thought... (I was a payroll manager, and our company liked to buy, merge, and consolidate companies quite a bit... made my job... fun... *ahem*)

When a business merges, there are good reasons. Efficiencies that can be found, money that can be saved, and a variety of other reasons, but those first two are a big part of it many times.

I, uh, dressed up as a pink slip for Halloween one year
for work... Can't believe I'm actually posting this....
I'm finding that I need to do some consolidation in my home as well.

If I do something 7 times a week that takes 15 minutes each, and consolidate and just do it one time a week for 25 minutes...

15 x 7 = 1 hour and 45 minutes

Verses 25 minutes...

Voila! A savings of 1 hour and 20 minutes!

You non-math people are cringing right now, I know. Sorry.

Here are a few examples of things in MY schedule that I'm attempting to merge or consolidate, or have successfully done in the past. I'm ever keeping an eye out for other things as well!

Appointments

At any given time we have appointments with cardiology (echo/EKG/Dr visit/Labs,) Cardiology (labs only), pulmonology, GI, eye doctor, dentist, pediatrician, hearing specialists, feeding therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, early interventionist, and I know I'm probably forgetting one or two others. (we used to see ENT but thankfully we're done with them at the moment!)

When we first got home, this was absolute chaos. It's settled out just a bit now... but it's still overwhelming.

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to consolidate doctor appointments. Specialists are booked out months in advance, and have super limited timeslots that they see patients, and rarely do they every work in my schedule's favor.

In my attempt to reign in the madness, I took a long hard look at therapy appointments, the only place I had any say over. Right now we have 3 different therapies on a weekly basis on two different days. My goal is to change them to be all on the same day. Not only will this consolidate appointments to one day, but it will also save on gas and wear/tear on our aging vehicle, which is a HUGE thing for us these days. I average 3 trips a week to Nashville (a 45 minute drive) so this will take me down to one or two trips a week.

I'm still working with all the therapists to find a solution, and my sister has offered us to "nap" at her house between appointments, so I'm praying this consolidation works and eases things a bit for both Annabelle and I! If worst comes to worst, we'll switched to every-other-week therapy. My last resort, because I REALLY think she needs it weekly, but I hope to avoid that for now.

Food Prep

A while back, I started preparing Annabelle's formula a day in advance. It works super great, I make a pitcher full and just have to get out what I need at any given point without any additional mixing.

But each day, I make a mess trying to measure out formula out of small containerss and then I have to clean what I measure it with and in general, it's just another daily mess I make and have to clean up.

So today, when I was contemplating the idea of "merging" and "consolidating" at home, I had a brilliant idea. What if I did the "measuring" of her formula powder on a weekly basis. One can of formula makes about a day and a half worth of food. So, today, when I measured out her formula, I took 2 emptied cans and a tupperware container, and I measured out 3 extra days worth of formula, put lids on them, and was done.

So, from now until Thursday, when I have to prepare her food, I just pour in the water, pour in the pre-measured formula, stir, and I'm done. No hunting for measuring cups. No spilling power all over the counter as I try to make sure the amount is level. No cleaning up a mess.

I figure on Thursday, by the time I refill the empty containers I have, I'll have more empty containers, and can fix a weeks worth of formula. Heck, I might be REALLY crazy and get in the habit of measuring a months worth, once a month, when her formula is delivered. I would MUCH rather spend an hour once a month doing something than 15 minutes a day....

Our weekly syringe party...
Other stuff...

I do the same thing with a few other things, like cleaning her medicine syringes. I have about a weeks worth of syringes. I rinse them out as I use them, but keep a bin of them and sterilize them once a week.
I also make up her meds a day in advance (not allowed to do it any less often... darn...)


When NOT to consolidate

Never mind mergers and consolidations... when it comes to laundry and cleaning, they are two places where I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to outsource.

Same with mowing the lawn (a wretched task I'm trying to take over to help my hubby... although I refuse to weed-eat... I'm not THAT good of a wife...)

Seriously, I tried to consolidate. Get in and do all the laundry in one day. But it just doesn't work. In the first place, it LITERALLY would take a whole day to do it. And I rarely have a whole day to do one thing. And second, we are family of 6. Laundry comes out of our ears when I wait that long (aka what my hallway looks like right now... it's not pretty. I'd post a picture but... I have a little bit of pride left. Not much, but a little.)

I'm learning that, for my sanity, that it's best to stay on TOP of these things and do them little bits at a time. I get less overwhelmed that way.

But... it's easier said than done, and I'm still a work in progress on this part, as evidenced by my extremely messy house and my ultra embarrassment when anyone walks in and sees it....

Discussion: What are some areas where YOU can consolidate? And... do you hate doing laundry as much as I do???

16 comments:

EJ said...

Go ahead & outsource laundry. I taught my kids to wash clothes when they were 8 & 10, & they've been washing their own clothes since then. They've never ruined a piece of clothing, and they've learned to take wallets & mp3 players out of pockets. Seriously, if you have kids tall enough to reach the bottom of the washer while standing on a stool, start her 'wife' training. There's nothing that says that just because they have school, they shouldn't help at home.

Anonymous said...

Amen to what EJ said! My boys learned to use the washer/dryer when they got old enough to reach the knobs (about 8 years old). Now that they're on their own, it's a necessary skill they already had. =)

Tricia said...

Teaching my kids to do their own laundry was the smartest thing I've ever done. We have 5 kids & do a ton every week. My 12 year old does his laundry on Monday & Thursday, & his bedding every other Saturday. My 9 year old does his on Tuesday & Friday, & bedding on the opposite Saturday from his brother. I do my 6 year olds, but he moves it to the dryer & then folds it & puts it away himself. This is great bc I dont have to try to figure out which socks belong to which kid - their wash is separate. They do clothes on cold & bedding on hot. That leaves me with laundry for me & my husband, which happens daily, our bedding (every Wednesday), my 6 year olds bedding (alternate Saturdays), towels (Monday & Thursday) & my 2 daughters, which I wash together & with their bedding bc I do it all in hot. They're only 3 months & 18 months, but my older one is always around to help put stuff in the dryer.

charity said...

i hate doing laundry but luckily me and my daughter have enough clothes for a week so i only have to do it once a week. i would probably do it more often but i live in an apartment so i don't.

EJ said...

Seriously, between 8 and 12 are awesome times to teach kids about household stuff. They're tall enough to do a lot of things without the pesky teen opinions. I taught both my kids bachelor cooking, how to clean the bathroom, etc. Basic household hygiene stuff. My son needed more advanced cooking lessons last year on college break because he was living in the frat house and had to cook his own meals. Apparently, McDonalds, Subway, and Ramen get old in a hurry! But when he left home, he had the basics down, and my daughter has been known to cook whole meals. (She still lives at home, but not for much longer, I think.)

Jenny said...

I DESPISE laundry and have been working hard at consolidating this awful task too. And I actually have found that doing 1-2 loads a day really makes it more bearable. I start a load in the morning, switch it to the dryer at lunch and start the other load for the day if there is one and then when I get home, I fold one and switch over the other. Now if only I could get my family to put away their clothes everyday so there isn't a constant pile of folded laundry on the couch. SIGH. If it's not a pile of dirty clothes, it's a pile of clean ones somewhere else, right? ;) Good luck with your efforts! :)

Lisa said...

I don't mind laundry as I can usually do a few other things while I am in between loads. My son helps with the sorting and the hubby has to haul to clothes up the stairs. I don't trust the hubby near the washer as I have had clothes be a wide array of colors or just not be clean! Now just generally picking up my house, that's a whole different matter. . . bleck! I've reached a point of "oh well, at least my house is lived in and I can see MOST of the floor!" :)

I have been working on "mergers and consolidations" in my routines as I will have another little one in my house come August. It's harder than it looks, glad to hear others are working towards the same goal! Good luck in your endeavor, Krista! :)

Casey said...

You are SUCH a numbers person. ;)

Your schedule would completely overwhelm me. You're my hero for making this all work!!!!

Krista Phillips said...

You all are making me feel SO much better... I'm glad I'm not the only one who isn't a laundry/cleaning lover!!

And you bring up a FANTASTIC point... although I would call it delegating vs outsourcing... HA HA!

I think I need to reserve the art of delegating for a future blog post, ha!

Valerie said...

Methinks Karalynn better get ready to do some laundry. :)

Tricia said...

Ooh - speaking of laundry....it's not really consolidating, but it IS a big $ saver: have you thought about making your own laundry detergent? We make ours, it takes an hour every few months & saves us a ton. Google homemade laundry detergent. All you need is a bar of fels naphtha soap, borax, & arm & hammer WASHING soda. The recipe makes a 5 gallon bucket full of detergent. :). Also, I've never commented before today, but I love reading your blog. I don't know how you manage as well as you do!! And praise God for his protection of Annabelle. He is so good!

HERE I AM KAYCEE said...

Dear Krista,

I am so pleased I came across your blogspot.

Praising God for you family and for the strength you have shown... Annabelle is indeed a special daughter with a special heart. Your journey has touched my heart deeply.

You have a very beautiful blog with a lot of inspiring posts! I'd like to invite you to be my friend and follow each other:)

I enjoyed my stop at your blog and I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts.

GOD BLESS!

Love and care, Kerrie (aka KC)

Beth said...

Laundry is my least favorite thing to do. This summer, in order to make life easier in this area in the future, I plan on teaching my 6 year old and 5 year old how to do their own laundry. I already make them put their own clothes away once they are folded. Now it's time to teach them the rest! Another area I consolidate in is errand running. My daughter goes to preschool 3 days a week. I make sure to run all of my errands on those days when I am already on that side of town. This saves on gas and keeps me from running errands every day.

Amy Bennett said...

These are some great ideas! Like Jenny, I stay on top of laundry by doing 1-2 loads a day. I throw it in every morning once everyone is up and then move it to the dryer (and start a second load if needed) at some point during the day, then fold it once everyone is asleep. Ours gets put away before I go to bed, and kids goes in a basket outside their room. I put theirs away in the morning as they're waking up and getting out of bed. Works pretty well for me - although, like Jenny, I really wish I could get them to put it away themselves! Hmmm...maybe it's time for Sierra to start putting her own away now that she's 5! Loving these organizational ideas! We could all use them! Great mom!!!

Dina said...

I don't know if this helps, but everybody in my house wears white footies. Even tho mine are 12, 17 and 21, they all wear close to the same size footies that i do, so they don't get matched, they just get thrown in a basket, and when they put away their clothes, they grab a handful of footies to go with them (we do have a large basket of footies, all the same style, brand i bought at a sock warehouse. We have done this for years now, even when they were smaller. Socks really don't stretch out to where they don't fit smaller feet that bad. My youngest and oldest have been wearing the same socks for years. (They do have a few colored socks, but they are responsible for washing them on their own and keeping them matched)

Dina said...

One other thing we do during the summer...not so much during the school year except during breaks...three kids, one gets a week off...one has laundry duty mtw, second one has kitchen duty mtw, then they switch and one has kitchen tfs, and the other has laundry, tfs. Sunday is no chores, and they get one week off every three weeks. It's very nice during the summer. Since I work out of the house, it doesn't matter to me if they get up and do it first thing, or right before 5pm, they have the freedom to choose when, as long as it is done before I walk in the door.