Today I share a small time-saving tip that I borrowed and upgraded.

When you empty the trash cans in your home, you usually replace the plastic garbage bag at the same time. But where do you keep the extra bags? Do you have to remember to bring them to the trash can, or do you have to make a special trip to the closet to grab one?

I noticed that professional cleaners cleverly leave a few extra bags on the bottom of the can, below the bag in service. The extras can't be seen until you need them, and they take up no space.

I borrowed that idea and improved on it. Instead of a few extra bags at the bottom of the can, I put an entire roll of bags down there. It takes up some space, but not nearly enough to be an issue. It adds some weight to the trash can, but not enough to matter.

This is a minor time-saver at best, but life is full of little steps, and many of them can be more efficient. I like to chip away at the needless complexity of life with the hope of taming some of it in the long run.

Do you have any small time-saving ideas to share? If I like your suggestions I'll probably use them on a future post either here or on the CalendarTree blog.


Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +36
  • Print
  • Share


Sort By:
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 30, 2014
Chutes. Build one into your bedroom that ends in the laundry room downstairs, and you'll never have to lug a basket of dirty clothes again (just clean ones coming upstairs). Even better for firewood, if your wood stove is in the basement...saves lots of lugging and keeps debris contained.

Also entertaining for pets and small children*.

*professional stunt pets and children only, controlled course, do not attempt this at home
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 25, 2014
Throw stuff!
No, really, as I move around my house, any time I see things where they don't belong, I grab one and throw it in the direction it should go. If I happen to be walking towards where it goes, I'll let it hitch a ride, and throw it when I get as close to it's proper place as I'm walking.
Sometimes a happy coincidence leads to me passing the place it goes, and I put it away, other times I just walk around the house once, picking up stuff on the floor next to where it goes, and put everything away, but I save a lot of useless walking around time-then again, since I've been doing this I gained 10 pounds...
Oh, and I recommend not throwing your i-pad/knives/dishes.
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 23, 2014
I could stop reading your blog, and save time. But life would be a little less enjoyable.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 21, 2014
That looks like the Costco roll that we have in the bottom of our kitchen trash container, we have the end of the roll rest over the edge of the top of the container so we pull it to retrieve the next bag, usually with the next one already up and ready for the next empty
Mar 20, 2014
I keep a roll of toilet paper looped in my belt at the back.

[I'm embarrassed at how loudly I laughed at that. -- Scott]
Mar 20, 2014

When I buy a TV, I get an envelope, put the receipts and manual in it, and tape it to the back. Ditto with refrigerator, microwave, etc. Even the dish washer, installed under my counters, has an enveloped duct-taped to the back with receipts and warrantee information inside. For the most part, these things aren't visible, because the backs aren't facing people. Some things (like my A/V receiver) have the envelope taped to the bottom, but that's not my preference.

[I love that idea. Thanks! -- Scott]
Mar 20, 2014
My company has little mottos written on the walls in various places. Here's one I like:

"Excellence is an art of inches. Thousands of things, done right, add up to an unassailable advantage."

Your garbage bag tip sounds like an inch of excellence.
Mar 19, 2014
I've purchased a NEAT brand receipt scanner that has streamlined my home office. I used to have to file everything that was important. This is a huge space saver. It was not a time saver initially as I had to go through the backlog and I have to scan the receipt or document and I had to configure the software with the filing system and categories I use. The payoff is when I need to look up an item and if I needed warranty proof I can print it out. It also exports quicken, excel and turbo tax. This is an awesome tool if you're organized, it's a must have. Unfortunately it is not magic and does require some discipline and forethought.
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 19, 2014


for guidance in this area :-)

Mar 19, 2014
yes someone said that this not good for the kitchen i am completely agree with it well quality of content is finest ..enjoy it

<b><a href="http://desertleather.com/">DesertLeathershop</a></b>
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 19, 2014

Biggest time saving thing I have in my life, is basing my business from my home. This also lets me live where I want to live, so I also save time travelling to vacation destinations. I'm already where I need and want to be.

Years ago I used to commute from San Leandro to San Francisco, or Concord, then to Livermore. Today those routes are much worse. I lived in my truck on the freeway.

Several years ago I helped a friend, and worked again down there for a few months. My work was one freeway exit from where I was staying. It still took 30 minutes to go one exit.

In fact not just saving time not commuting, but I don't even have to get dressed, shave or bathe. Now waste time trying to get that image out of your head.
Mar 19, 2014
I keep 5 gallon plastic pails loaded with firewood on my porch. Then when I need to bring in firewood for the stove its already to be brought in the house. The pail catches loose bark & dirty so my floor stays clean. The pail holds a reasonable load but not too heavy.
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 19, 2014
A friend of mine with a big family (5 or 6 kids) told me how she organizes the laundry:

Every family member has its own laundry bin where he/she drops it of. When the bin is full -> only the laundry from one bin is washed. Then after that there is no more sorting out necessary. ( I think she used a dryer as well, I don't remember).
Mar 19, 2014
Have two dishwashers. Take and use the clean dishes from one then place into the other until it's full. Run the dishwasher then repeat. You'll never have to empty the dishwasher again.

Eat while exercising, two birds with one stone.

When killing birds use a shotgun, a lot quicker than the stone method.

Save time on cleaning your shotgun by putting it in the dishwasher.
Mar 18, 2014
I make microfiber cloths into "wetnaps" by soaking them in sanitizer (a little bleach in water) and then wringing them out an putting them in ziplock bags - it makes it very easy to grab and use them, and they are handy - bathroom, kitchen... floors. It's not much faster than spray and wipe, but if I make a few on a weekend they get used up thru the week - and I just toss them in the laundry and re use them. Microfiber is pretty cool by itself - kind of cross between a squeegee and a chamois.
+14 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 18, 2014
None of my tips are likely to be especially interesting, but my kids are marvels of efficiency. Why waste steps carrying laundry to one's room and then endure the drudgery of folding, and drawering - only to have to reverse that weary process when one wishes to dress. Much better to store all clothes in convenient heaps on top of the washing machine. Cooking is tyranny -unless someone does it for you. Amazing to watch them embrace the raw foods movement when alternatives lag. Then there is the bedroom floor as all-purpose storage for any item to cumbersome to stow elsewhere (which is to say, everything).
Mar 18, 2014
Erggh. Snooooore. Zgragh. Zzzz-eh? Oh, sorry. I fell asleep reading this blog. But I'm sure a lot of people will find it really interestin. . . Zzzz. Snooore.
+16 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 18, 2014
I drink coffee black, which means it is too hot to drink when the coffee finishes brewing each morning. Rather than pouring a cup and waiting a few minutes for it too cool down or diluting it with an ice cube, I put my coffee mug in the freezer the night before. Pouring my first cup of the morning into the frozen mug causes the perfect heat transfer to occur, leaving a delicious cup of hot - but not scalding - black coffee.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 18, 2014
[To dry wet tennis shoes and other unwieldy items, just leave them in a sunny car.]

Works pretty well in the USA, but not in the British Isles: there is no sun there. ;-)

My wife is very fond of irises. But one problem with them is that they propagate themselves vegetatively, which over time leads to overcrowding and the need to divide the rhizomes and remove the surplus.

The last time they flowered she made a map of where in the iris bed the various varieties were located. So when we next thin them out, we'll be able to replace the varieties we're less keen on, and/or give away rhizomes that will produce flowers of a known colour.
+6 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 18, 2014
I have a tool belt that over the years has collected numerous screws, nuts, bolts and other miscellany, besides all the usual tools. Whenever there is a task where tools might be useful, I just grab the belt without thinking and invariably it has everything I need.

You should only put two three bags in the kitchen waste bin because of potential leaks.
Get the new Dilbert app!
Old Dilbert Blog