I don't know about you, but I don't know any moms that aren't busy! It doesn't matter if you stay at home, work from home, or work outside the home. The key to keeping your sanity during the years if raising children, requires planning ahead and utilizing time saving tips.
1. Keep a master calendar. This can be on your mobile device, a purse sized paper calendar or organizer, or a large one at home. Personally, we have so many doctor appointments and other time sensitive things scheduled, that I have a very large calendar at home that I can SEE first thing every day. Mine is in month blocks, and that helps me know what things are coming up.
2. On grocery shopping day, plan a schedule of time where you can chop fruits, veggies, and other food items immediately when you get home. This helps make sure food isn't wasted, makes it easier to use when needed, keeps you on your diet plan, and dramatically saves time when trying to prep meals.
3. Along with fruits and veggies, I like to brown and season my ground beef, marinate chicken, etc. then place in freezer safe bags. Each morning I pull that evenings meal items out of the freezer and put into the fridge to thaw or the slow cooker to cook on low all day.
4. Learn to use and rely on your slow cooker, George Foreman (or similar indoor grill), or outdoor grill for meal preparation. I LOVE using my slow cooker because once everything is prepped and inside I don't have to do anything else to it! At dinner time, I just grab plates, bowls, etc and serve everyone a healthy meal. This is especially great for families eating at different times due to scheduling conflicts. It stays warm and ready.
5. I only use Dishwasher Safe kitchen items. I do not use any pans, dishes, etc that cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher, and this includes my crock for the slow cooker. Granted it does need to be cooled before placing it in the dishwasher, but I fill it with hot soapy water and let it soak overnight, then place it in the dishwasher in the morning.
6. Let your appliances work for you. Set your washing machine (if it has this feature) to start washing a load of clothes about 45 minutes before you get home. Once you are home you can pop that load in the dryer and start another load. You will be able to stay on the constantly regenerating monster known as family laundry, doing 2 loads per day (if you need to do that much), and not be up all night long!
7. Use the internet to your advantage! I just tried out the Amazon Home Products services this week. I ordered basic home supplies that we use every day, at prices lower than sale prices in my area, used the e-coupon, used the shop and save service, and paid with credits I got from Swagbucks. I ordered them on Monday, and received them today. There is no need to run around to multiple stores or warehouse clubs to get many items.
8. To keep my house clean in minutes a day, I have a plan that works for me. I "assign" one room to each day, and do any "deep" cleaning needed on that rooms day. Then I just do quick pickups of all the other rooms in about 5 minutes per day. For example, I clean my Kitchen each Wednesday because Thursday is trash pickup day. I empty and clean out the fridge, counters, etc. and mop/sweep the floors really well. Then it's just basic dishes and quick swipes of the counters the rest of the week.
9. Pay your bills and manage your money online if possible. You can probably take care of your money needs in about 15 minutes per week, don't have to worry about items lost in the mail, you have electronic confirmation that the payment was received, and you can see your bank transactions to catch errors when they happen before things snowball.
10. Each night, lay out any clothes, paperwork, or items you need for the next day. Make sure the kids backpacks are ready to go, and homework is done before they go to bed. Keep your purse and car keys near the door you exit. This will save you time running around frantically searching for items you need for the day, and forgetting things, making you have to drive back home to get them.
These are 10 of the tips that I implement in my daily life, that help me ensure my household runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. It's not perfect, and I make changes when and where needed as the seasons of our life change. I would love to hear from you any tips that you use to help save time!
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”