Who’s the boss in your family? In other words, who do you need or want to impress with your accomplishments when they come home from work or school? Do you have a hard time saying you sat on the couch all day knitting?
I can hear you already…you finished 6″ on your afghan and you are proud of yourself. Or you knit that pair of booties and a hat for the latest newborn grandchild, or the first of a pair of socks for yourself or Mr.
Unfortunately, Mr. may not be impressed, or you may still feel a bit guilty for having neglected housework or thrown together a meal at the last minute. So I’ve come up with an easy plan for knitting for hours while still getting a lot of other things done. It’s all about:
1. Studying your “flight pattern” in your house and planning efficiently;
2. Having food staples on hand at all times;
3. Having fun with your day.
My house is very small, maybe 1200 sq. feet, so planning my day is super easy. I also don’t have a large family to take care of, it’s just me and my partner. He works part time, so this schedule is for one of his work days.
He has gotten up before me, made coffee, and left the house by the time I get up.
Your Flight Pattern
I go from bed to bathroom, past the laundry area, and back to the bedroom in just a few steps. This is what I can accomplish in my first half hour out of bed:
I dump a load of dirty laundry on the dryer on my way to the shower, tidy up the bathroom (swish around the toilet bowl, wipe the sink and faucet, wipe the mirror, that sort of thing — just one or two things that need a spot clean and can be done quickly) — and put the laundry in the washing machine on the way by. I sort the whites and colored in two different baskets as they become dirty, so no sorting is needed.
I get dressed and make the bed. Ta Da. Look what I did on my way to the coffee maker for my first cup But even before that coffee, I have a glass of water. Whether you know it or not, you got dehydrated overnight.
Food Staples + Online Favorite Recipes = Easy Meals
Then I sit down at my computer and decide what I’m going to fix for dinner. If anything needs to defrost, I get it out now. Here is my list of “almost always have them all” staples: olive oil, beans, potatoes, pasta, rice, bacon, sausage, Parmigiano cheese, eggs, tomato sauce, garlic, onions, and lemons. With these on hand, I can cook up a storm even during a storm.
I’ve spent some time looking for recipes online, and continue to do so. I bookmark them and sort them according to types of recipes (desserts, casseroles, condiments and sauces, etc.) or by ingredients (chicken, pork, seafood). I rotate them in my mind — we had fish last night and pork the night before, tonight is chicken night — and also the starches/carbs: rice, potatoes, pasta, repeat.
I’ve got my favorite places to visit online so maybe I do a quick search for something new *chocolate cake, Smitten Kitchen* or *quick meal Food Wishes*. I did that for tonight and here’s what I’m making: Black Bean Soup and, thanks to Marie Callender, yummy “just add water” cornbread. I’ll tweak the soup recipe just a bit because I often don’t have exactly what is needed.
While I’m sipping that first cup of coffee, I’m checking my emails and doing my daily 10 minutes of online work. Ten minutes a day earns me $50 a month, which I spend on yarn, of course.
Now off I go to knit for 45 minutes. Why 45? Because it’s good to get up and move for 15 minutes out of every hour. What do I do for those 15 minutes?
Here Comes the Fun
My house is small and open plan, so I can hear the oven timer loud and clear throughout the house. I set the timer for 15 minutes, and in 8 hours I can get these things done, in 15 minute increments. The timer makes it fun – I see how much I can do before the signal goes off that it’s time to knit again. I can be a wiping whirlwind or a dusting diva for 15 minutes. Procrastination is a thing of the past — I can do anything for 15 minutes, if I get to sit down and knit again for 45.
*emptying the dishwasher
*mix up some No Knead Bread: so easy a 4-yr old can make it!
Don’t forget the laundry in the washer; when I have to go to the bathroom is when I’m passing by and remember to toss it in the dryer. And of course fold it and put it away when it’s dry.
That’s just what I thought of off the top of my head. Maybe there’s a closet you need to clean, maybe there is clutter that needs to be put away, and so on. You can’t vacuum your entire house in 15 minutes? No problem. Do some today, more tomorrow.
As spring approaches, there’s more to do if you have a yard, garden, patio, or balcony. And you can finally wash the outsides of those windows. Don’t be overwhelmed, don’t procrastinate, and by all means still spend most of your time serenely knitting.