A Simple Start Tips

We're asking you the question "What simplifies your life?" Share your tips and tricks on making life a little more simple. Tim and Pam will select 10 tips and the submitter will receive one of 10 great prizes! Share your tip here or view the others below.

Here are the tips we've received:

Use Camera Phone

Category: Organization

Simplify by using the camera on your phone! Snap a photo of kids birthday invites, band rehearsals and dentist appt card. It helps you remember dates instead of looking for that paper. Take photo of return address labels on holiday cards which will help update your address book, snap recipes or tips in magazines in the "waiting area". Anytime you think "I have to remember that, or I'd like to try that or share this" you can! Don't forget to download or delete regularly.

Wash One Set of Sheets

Category: Housekeeping

I always had 2 sets of sheets and every Saturday I would wash the dirty ones and put the clean ones on the beds. With just 2 kids, this meant 3 beds and six sets of sheets to wrestle with every Saturday. The worst part was trying to fold those sheets after they came out of the laundry. My tip? Strip the bed, wash the sheets and put THOSE sheets BACK on the bed. No more folding! Voila! Trying to fold double sheets is like being a one-armed paper hanger! And btw, fennel seeds are GREAT on pizza.

Individual Laundry Baskets

Category: Housekeeping

Having a large family (5 children) generates plenty of laundry so my tips are for laundry management! As laundry comes out of the dryer it is sorted into individual baskets for each family member so the kids can retrieve their clothes from the laundry room and put them away on their own. Also, the boys have individual mesh bags for socks. The dirty ones go in and the whole bag gets washed. The bag is returned in the clean basket! No more time on sorting/matching socks!

Fighting Siblings

Category: Parenting

Having trouble with fighting siblings? I have 2 daughters who are 2 1/2 years apart & they used to fight alot when they were younger. My mother in law didn't like it when they would fight so when they did she would sit them (Indian style) on the floor facing each other & make them sit very close & hold hands. If they would pull apart or keep fighting she would add a minute to their time. When they were around 3 & 5 she would start them sitting for 1 minute but as they got older she would make it longer according to their age. My mother in law has passed away but my girls favorite memory to talk about is when grandma would make them hold hands. It worked very well. My girls are 18 & 15 now & are the best of friends, thanks to Grandma. I hope you could use this in your family & that it works for you.

Cramps

Category: Other

Every woman has those days where nothing gets done because cramps have you down and out. Midol might work, but not every time! You want to be rid of those cramps, and in a matter of minutes? Fill a glass half full of water, then add 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar, and guzzle away! In no time at all, you will be back up and feeling fine! Proven time and time again! Thank you Jesus for vinegar!

Syncing our Calendars

Category: Organization

My husband, daughter and I all have smartphones that sync with each other and our computers/tablets. We keep all of our calendars synced together. This has helped when trying to schedule new activities or asking permission (my daughter) to do something. We then print weekly calendars and put on the fridge for a quick-at-glance check. This has made life so much easier! I no longer have to wait to make doctor's appointments until I get home to look at my calendar--I've always got it with me.

Use the Crock Pot

Category: Time Management

Take your crock pot out of the cabinet and USE IT! Make a weekly menu and be sure put at least 3-4 days of crock pot meals on it. There are so many recipes and you can place all the ingredients in the crock before you go to bed, put it in the fridge overnight and then before you leave for work, put it on and when you get home, your meal is ready! If you use crock pot liners, you saved yourself more time, by not having to wash it :)

Syncing Calendars

Category: Organization

We are a family of 4 and it gets very busy. So we use calendars quite a bit at home till we discovered the iPhone and iPad. I sync all our calendars to the main iPad at home. We all have iPhones and our youngest daughter has an IPOD Touch. So we are all aware what is going on in our daily life rather it is a bible study, youth group, pizza party, soccer games, gymnastics, work hours for our teen and etc. it has extremely helped us in many ways.

Kid Calendar

Category: Other

I would love to have time to make amazing scrapbooks and memory books for my kids (and me) to enjoy as they get older. However, I know I don't have time for that and all I would get is frustrated with how behind on it I am. So, I compromised. Every year I have a calendar made for each of my children. Each month has a favorite picture of them from the previous year. I hang these up and every week or so, I write down things they have done (appointments, play dates, movies, games, etc.). I also write down interesting facts about them (funny sayings they have picked up, a new movie/book/show that they love, etc.). Even though they are still young, I have already smiled (and cried) reading their calendars from just a few years ago. I can only imagine how much these will mean to me when they get even older.