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I Should Have Thought of That Earlier — The Grow Network Community
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

- Chinese Proverb

I Should Have Thought of That Earlier

Mary Linda BittleMary Linda Bittle Posts: 545 ✭✭✭✭

I like to think that I'm reasonably smart. The evidence does not always support this belief.

I've had my little dog, Sammy since the summer of 2017. Every week when I change the sheets on the bed, he "helps". Eliza Jane, the cat, usually comes in, too. With all that "help", the job took forever, and frustrated the heck out of me. The thing about companion animals is that they like to be involved in your life.

Yesterday it occurred to me that I could move the baby gate that keeps Sammy in the laundry area when I'm not at home to the bedroom door while I changed the sheets. I saved myself 20 minutes!

It makes me wonder how many things around the house, yard, and garden could be done so much easier if I just thought outside the box. How much time could I save by doing things just a tiny bit differently?

Have you found a creative solution to a chore?



  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,410 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well @Mary Linda Bittle - from my unusual posts you can tell that I fundamentally decidedly think Outside the box like 96% of the time. The problem is the other 4% that I either don't think at all, or I repeat screwy things, oh like procrastinating... argh! - is there hope? - I wonder.

    However Good change on your end. YEAH! 🤗

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,126 ✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle I know that I have solved a few issues in a simple way, but my simple mind needs to remember them first before I can share them!

    As for making the bed, I use the occasion for playing with my cats. As you well know, cats are fascinated by moving sheets.

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 75 ✭✭✭

    I love it when my cats help with making the bed! They always manage to make me laugh! Luckily the dog has great distain for this foolish behaviour! Her help would be awkward. I'd hate shutting the door in her face. At least the gatepost her see you. 😉

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 75 ✭✭✭

    Can't think of specific ideas right now. What comes to my mind is my husband rolling his eyes when I say, "I've been thinking!" 😆

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,126 ✭✭✭✭

    @soeasytocraft When I tell my husband that I have been thinking, he responds with "Oh, no!"

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 423 ✭✭✭✭

    This isn't really a chore, but it is one of those silly little things that I just thought of a solution to.

    We fill out time sheets at my job, and we have the option of keeping them in a folder on a certain teachers shelf. A few people have folders the same color or a similar color as mine. I frequently would pull the wrong folder off the shelf the first time. Finally, it occurred to me to color stripes on the spine. Now no ones folder looks like mine. (I also drew a dragon on the front but that was just for fun).

    It only saves me a few seconds, but it makes me happier.

  • Leslie CarlLeslie Carl Posts: 263 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 17

    @soeasytocraft @shllnzl LOL! When I say "I was thinking..." my husband says "We're in trouble now!". Sometimes he's actually right! 😉

    @Mary Linda Bittle For 2 gardening seasons, I've been putting up with cats digging in my newly planted garden beds, using them for potty boxes. They dig up my seeds and later, the seedlings. I end up having to replant areas in every bed I plant. They especially like to dig in my lavender bed. I planted 8 plants and only have 5 left. There's 12 cats on our friend's property where we are living and the raised bed garden is too large to affordably put a fence around.

    This year, I had the idea of covering the beds with row covers, which was much more affordable, and Voila! No more cats in the beds! For things I can't cover as easily, like pea and cucumber trellises, I'm putting down chicken wire and letting the plants grow up through it. That's been working great too!

    Now I just need to come up with a budget-wise way to do a watering system for the raised beds, so I don't have to remove the covers in order to water.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,126 ✭✭✭✭

    @Leslie Carl I am wondering if it would be worth your while to attract the cats to a non-food area of your yard?

    Do you have a small area that is contained? I'm thinking that you could plant some catnip, let it spread, and maybe the neighborhood cats could use that area as a litter box when they eat the plant leaves?

    Another idea would be to place the equivalent of a children's sandbox and let the cats have fun there.

    Those of us who have indoor pets do similar things: attract the pets to areas where they can be themselves and do no harm.

    You at least should have less of a rodent problem with the cats around.

  • Leslie CarlLeslie Carl Posts: 263 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl Funny you should mention that! After I got the row covers, our friend Rob, who owns the cats, decided to put some sand boxes around his yard in hopes of redirecting the cats there. And as I was writing the post that you commented on, I also had the thought of putting some catnip around the boxes to make them more attractive to the little gems. So, i'm really on board with your suggestion! Thank you! I guess great minds think alike, right? 🙂

    You are right about the rodents too.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,126 ✭✭✭✭

    @Leslie Carl Great minds do think alike. The TGN group does try to work with nature instead of against it.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,126 ✭✭✭✭

    Today I had a pet related breakthrough too.

    Pet birds are fascinating creatures but require lots of cleaning effort, especially if you give them what they need: fresh foods, foot toys, etc. Everything you give them requires a special cleaning effort. I really hate cleaning up after the bird so maybe I shut my brain off to get through it.

    Cleaning bird cages is quite the operation: You gather sprays, brushes, bucket of water, etc.

    Cleaning bird toys requires soaking them in water and scrubbing them clean with a brush.

    I have had this parrot for 10 years and today is the first time I looked at the dirty toys while I had a fresh bucket of water for cage cleaning. I picked up the dirty toys and threw them in the water for soaking -- necessary cleaning tools were in the bucket with them. Amazing! No separate soaking area needed that then would require cleaning too.

    I guess sometimes habits need to be broken.

  • Mary Linda BittleMary Linda Bittle Posts: 545 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl Yay! Better late than never. I feel a little better knowing that I'm not the only one who does things the hard way for way too long.

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 308 ✭✭✭


  • Mary Linda BittleMary Linda Bittle Posts: 545 ✭✭✭✭

    @lmrebert I wonder if I could do that with my little dog and cat? They make most of the messes around here!

  • yes but unfortionately I can't think of an example to share at the exact moment.

  • timtandmetimtandme Posts: 83 ✭✭✭

    I think we all adapt and learn to do things differently when something is a chore to do. My son is trying hydroponics this year since we've had such bad luck keeping the garden watered in the heat of the summer. I am hoping it will be much easier to maintain as he has promised.

  • Mary Linda BittleMary Linda Bittle Posts: 545 ✭✭✭✭

    @timtandme I've been thinking about doing a small experiment with hydroponics this year. Let us know how that works for you!

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,410 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The response I get it is "Love it, do share what more we can benefit from". -> I love being Appreciated. 🙂

  • Dennis BriesDennis Bries Southeastern WisconsinPosts: 12 ✭✭✭

    Just purchased a new tool for the workshop -- the price was right and it looked good in the photo in the ad The last time I purchased a similar tool in that category was 20 to 30 years ago! It was used and it took an hour or two to re-shape and re-sharpen it. I've already devoted over two hours trying to get the new tool sharpened and de-bured due to sloppy manufacture today. Probably should have gone to the second hand store and purchaed a much used tool -- over 40 to 50 years old -- and sharpened it myself == It would be on its second or third life and and antique at the same time -- also, it would still be made of old fashioned US Made in USA steel!

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 324 ✭✭✭✭

    My newly adopted dog kept peeing in front of my closet in my bedroom. I put a new dog bed (that is the same the one she has in the living room) in that place and no more accidents!

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