We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference. Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.
I remember when I was much younger (before the days of social media, gasp!) that my family would go to the local library every week. We’d fill our arms with stacks of books and make our way home to enjoy our new-found decadence. But as I looked around at the other customers, they seemed to all be my grandma’s age–but guess what! Your local library is still relevant and it’s worth your time (15 minutes to be exact) to get your system started to regularly use this valuable, and money-saving, resource.
Your Library is Probably Tech-Savvy, Learn the Ropes. A few years ago, I discovered that my library had an online reservation system. Now, when I find new books, music or movies that I’d like to use, I just reserve it from my local library using my account’s search option. Time per item? 1 minute! Then my library online system emails me when my items are ready for me to pick up. Time needed? 5 minutes! And I get an email when the items are nearly due. Priceless! (Ok, saves about .25 cents per day, but it saved me tons of money on the front end by borrowing, not purchasing the item).
Tip! When you go to a book store, resist the urge to buy the newest book. Instead, take a picture of the book of interest and when you have time, check your local library website to reserve the book online. By changing your purchases into check-outs, you could save $100 or more per year!
Take Advantage of the Easy, Free Kid-Friendly Activity. I take the kids to the library about once every 2-3 months for a reading party. Since it’s only 7 blocks away, we walk there. When we arrive, each kid gets to pick out 3-5 books and we sit in the mini-chairs to read them. They’re new books every time and we end up reading the daily favorites 2-3 times each. The activity takes about an hour, so it’s great to pass the time. Try making an event of going to the library, your kids will enjoy it and the more comfortable they get, the better chance they have to keep using this great, free resource throughout life. (You’re right, this one doesn’t really fit with the 15-minute theme. You could make it a shorter trip, but that hour goes by quickly!)
Look through new releases often (online). I set a reminder in my calendar to check the Movie new releases every 4 weeks. Then I can scroll through the new items, reserve the ones of interest and wait until they become available for me to pick up. Sure it takes longer than Redbox or Netflix, but it’s free–and we’ve usually forgotten about the movie after it leaves the theater, so it’s a nice way for me to be reminded of movies that I’d wanted to see. Takes about 10 minutes to reserve the new items, easy!
Make your library a regular part of your life. You’ll eliminate excess from your life and save money, save the environment and you get great material for free!