There’s 168 hours in a week. Sounds like a lot right? But take out (at least) 40 hours a week for work, 5o hours for sleep, 5 hours for the commute and suddenly those 168 hours don’t seem so impressive. We’ve put together a list of the best time saving tips for busy Moms that don’t require sacrificing any precious sleep.
Time saving cleaning tips for moms
Give the kids chores
Ever felt like you could use an extra pair of hands around the house but can’t afford a cleaner? Enlist the help of your kids. Sure, in the short-term getting kids into the routine of doing chores is a time suck and let’s be honest, kind of a pain. But once they get into a rhythm, it definitely saves some time and teaches them responsibility. Just make sure the chores are age appropriate – check out this list if you unsure which chores they should be capable of doing. If they’ve never done chores before, start off by just giving them one or two chores for a few weeks. Then you can gradually build from there.
If the kids are particularly reluctant to help out, you can always tie the chores to their allowance or screen time. And if you want to go fancy, you can also buy a chore chart. Check out the top rating chore chart on Amazon. Otherwise there are plenty of DIY options on Pinterest.
Get the whole family involved in a 15 minute a day clean up
Set a timer (or use a playlist) and get the whole family to clean up for 15 minutes. Of course your home won’t be sparkling after this but it will somewhat help to keep clutter under control.
Take your shoes off at the door
If you find yourself constantly sweeping / vacuuming dirty floors, get your family to take their shoes off at the front door. It really is surprising the amount of dirt that is tracked into the house from shoes.
Skimp on the cleaner
The simple solution to saving time is of course to just outsource all your chores. But if your budget won’t stretch to hiring a weekly cleaner, look into a hiring a cleaner once a quarter. Get the cleaner to do a deep clean of all those pesky areas you just never seem to have the time to clean such as the bathroom shower, the oven, the cob webs in the corner etc.
Time saving tips for exercise
Ditch the gym and exercise with the kids
If you are a mom, you know how hard it is to fit exercise into a busy schedule. Finding time and figuring out the logistics to get to the gym can feel downright impossible most days. Even finding time and the motivation to do online workouts can be hard. A great idea to fit exercise into your routine is to work out while the kids are burning off energy at the park – there are heaps of playground workouts for moms online – see here for example. Or invest in a Wii fit – the whole family will have a blast and get fit at the same time.
Have a plan for when you have small pockets of free time
If your kids have a lot of extra curricular activities, plan ahead to use the time where you would otherwise just be half watching them on the side lines while scrolling Instagram.
If you drive to work, you could download some podcasts to listen to in the car. Or listen to audio books. You could even go all out and use the commute to learn a new language if you really wanted to.
Keep a list of non urgent tasks that need to be done around the house so that when you unexpectedly find yourself with some free time, you know just how to use it.
Time saving tips for cooking
Get a coffee machine with a timer
Okay so having your coffee brewed as soon as you wake up will not save you that much time but it will hopefully get you motivated to get out of bed without hitting the snooze button.
If you get takeaway, order a bit extra for the next day
Getting takeaway is obviously a big time saver over cooking from scratch. And there are usually reasonably healthy takeaway choices to be had. Of course takeaways can be $$. If you do get takeaway though, order a bit more for the next day so you have leftovers that you can stretch out by say cooking your own rice.
Make friends with the slow cooker
Slow cookers are great for busy parents. You just chuck everything in the cooker in the morning, set the timer for a couple of hours, and when you are ready to eat at the end of the day, dinner is ready. There are plenty of slow cooker recipes available online.
Cook for 2 nights instead of 1
If you’re going to the trouble of making dinner, cook double so you will have enough for leftovers the next night.
Get older kids involved
If your kids are old enough, teach them to make one or two easy meals. Then have them cook the same meal one night a week.
Get groceries delivered
It’s a no brainer that getting your groceries delivered is going to save you time. Sure you have to pay the delivery fee but if you pay attention to the specials you’ll likely save money overall. Plus you’re less likely to impulse buy and you’ll save money on gas.
Plan the week’s meals out in advance . There’s nothing worse than coming home from a long day of work with no idea of what you are going to make for dinner.
Keep a receipt tin (either virtually or in hard copy) of meals that you’ve made in the past that everybody liked. That way when you are looking for inspiration for the week, you can just look in your receipt tin.
Keep a rolling shopping list
Find yourself running to the grocery store multiple times a week because you’ve run out of something? Keep a list somewhere handy in the kitchen and get family members to write down items as soon as an item is used up.
Find creative ways to get the kids’ homework done
Fighting with kids over doing their homework is the last thing any mom wants to do after a long day. One silver lining with the pandemic is that it is taught us how to be much more comfortable with Zoom – even the technophobes. So if your kid has reading practice to do for example, get the kids to Zoom a grandparent or a favourite aunty to listen to them read. If you pick the kids up from school each afternoon, you could use the ride home to get them to read to you in the car.
Create a playlist to get your kids out of the house on time
One of the biggest stresses in the morning is getting the kids out of the house on time. Having to nag them every step of the way is not just a time suck but is also exhausting. Create a playlist of the kids’ favourite songs. Let them create a routine so they know that after the first song is over for example, they need to be out of bed and eating breakfast. By the third song, then need to be dressed etc. etc. By the last song, they need to be headed out the door. You can even make it into a game to see if they can beat the playlist.
Home organization time saving tips
Have a place for all the essentials
Lost your keys again? Can’t find your laptop charger? Has one kid lost their hat? You can lose a lot of time looking for missing items around the house. And it is downright stressful, when you need to leave the house by a certain time. Making sure all your important day to day items has a place will ensure that nothing goes missing and your mornings run smoother. If your home has the room, you could also create a mud room space preferably by the front door, where backpacks, shoes etc. are stored. When the family comes home from their day’s activities, everything gets dumped here ready for the next morning when it is needed again. If space doesn’t allow for a mud room, you can get creative and just repurpose a bookshelf. Pinterest has plenty of ideas for small mudrooms.
Buy duplicates of important items
There’s few things more stressful than having to get out of the house but being unable to find a hairbrush, the kids’ socks, hats etc. Buy two of everything that’s important to save stressing over lost items.
Keep a donate / trash box or bag handy
Is cleaning out your kids’ closets just one more nagging thing to do on your list that you never seem to have the time to do? Tackle it a bit at a time. Whenever a kid tries on an article of clothing that is too small, have a designated box or bag that you can chuck it into rather than just putting it back in their closet in the hope you will have time time to deal with it later. When the bag or box gets too full, donate it asap. Clothes that are damaged beyond repair can be used as cleaning rags for around the house. You could do the same with toys or books they have lost interest in.
Accept the mess
If you have young kids, it is impossible to have a spotless house all the time unless you have an army of outside help. If you just can’t cope with mess, try and keep toys in one contained area, preferably with a door you can just shut. Every night, make sure that any toys etc. that have escaped the designated area, are put back.
Ditch the iron
With all the wrinkle free clothing on the market now, is it even necessary to own an iron any more? Most clothes will look semi decent if they are hung up as soon as they come out of the washing machine.
Time saving tips for work
See if you can work remotely at least a day or two a week
Unfortunately not everyone has a job that lends itself to remote working. But if you do have a job that has traditionally been done in the office 5 days a week, see if your boss is willing to allow you to work from home 1-2 days a week. From not having to commute, to having time to do a load of laundry at lunchtime, this can be a huge time saving tip for working moms – not to mention a cost saving. Given that a lot of companies have become somewhat use to their employees working remotely at least some of the time, there has never been a better time to ask for work from home arrangements. Check out this article on how to best approach your boss.
Keep a time diary for a week or 2
Work out exactly where your 167 hours a week are actually going by keeping a diary of how you are spending each hour of the day. It’s the easiest way of determining if you can make any tweaks in your schedule to save time. You’ll also be able to plan better for small pockets of time you may have each week.
Outfit plan for the week
If mornings are rushed, try laying out your clothes for the week on Sunday night. At the very least, figure out what you are going to wear each day. If putting together a cute outfit everyday doesn’t bring you joy, streamline your work wardrobe to create a kind of work uniform – i.e. have a few key pieces that can be mixed and matched throughout the week.
And our final time saving tip for busy moms …
Prioritize sleep over getting stuff done
It’s tempting to gain an hour or two a day by sleeping less. And of course if you are managing to sleep 12 hours a day, you might be able to lose a few hours of shut eye. The majority of Moms struggle to get the bare minimum of sleep they need to function. Cutting back even further just isn’t sustainable in the long run and will likely lead to you being less productive. Instead. our top time management tip for moms is to figure out the optimal amount of sleep you need to function well, and focus on getting that amount each night.
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