I'm really loving the Making Your Home A Haven challenge! I'm beginning to see some of the fruits of my labor. I am much more relaxed with regular planning and following a routine. I'm also much more productive. Knowing what I need to do each day and jumping in and getting it done has left more time for other activities that I enjoy.
This week's focus was errands. Monica encouraged us to find what works for us and build on that.
Well... I will go ahead and admit that I usually do not like running errands. I do like to get out of the house occasionally though, so running errands is a good way to do that. :-) Also, some things just need to be done and running errands is one of them.
That being said, I try to keep my errand running as short as possible. But lately, it hasn't been as streamlined as it could be. If you read here much, you'll notice a recurring theme. I love structure and schedule!
While doing childcare in my home, I would run errands on the days I had no kids. For a long time that day was Thursday, then later it was Friday. During the time I had kids full-time, I did my grocery shopping one evening a week and my husband did most of the other errands for me since I often wasn't able to get to the bank or post office during business hours.
Now that my schedule is much more open, I find myself just running here and there for quick trips instead of being more planned and intentional with my trips. Not good for optimum productivity!
It's high time to pull it together and streamline my errand running a bit more. This week I thought a lot about what day would work the best and how I could make it work better for me.
Here's what I came up with:
- Do the bulk of my weekly errand running and grocery shopping one morning a week. Right now I think Thursday will work the best. I've had time to view the sales match-ups, sale ads, Earth Fare releases their weekly coupon on Wednesdays and it's closer to the weekend but not Friday or Saturday which are always so much busier! I am much more productive when I'm at home most of the time and not out running around. Funny how that works, huh?
- Streamline how many stores I stop at. We are not that far in driving distance from most stores but our town is one of those where it is almost impossible to make several stops without backtracking somehow. If I were to pick 1 grocery store and 1 drugstore to shop at most consistently based on sales, coupon policies and location, I would pick Bi-Lo and CVS. So I will plan on doing most of my shopping at those 2 places. Depending on the deals and what I need that week may mean that I make a quick stop somewhere else too. Also, the occasional post office, library or other stop may be necessary some weeks.
- Do my errand running when I'm planning to be out anyways. I'm out early almost every weekday morning to run or exercise so I'll plan my trips then so that I don't need to make a second trip out later in the day. My exercise routine is not usually as long on Thursdays so that extra time will be nice to get me home and ready for the rest of my day before it's too late in the morning.
- Be flexible! Some weeks, I may need to run a few errands on other days, too. We like to visit thrift stores on most Fridays or Saturdays, so we often plan a few other stops while we're out. This is probably the most logical time to stop at Aldi if I need to shop there that week.
**Thanks to Monica for hosting Making Your Home A Haven!
** I'm looking forward to next week's theme/challenge: attacking the paper piles by filing, shredding or tossing them. Ahem! Both my home and I will benefit from this activity. :-)