How to save time as a busy mom
Have you ever seen someone juggle? I have to admit I really enjoy watching America’s Got Talent. In 2016 I remember watching a juggling artist who made it to the finals. His style was very graceful and I remember thinking how cool it would be to juggle like that. As a mom my metaphorical juggling is far from graceful. I never have enough hours in a day. I’m guessing if you are reading this you don’t either. I’ve found if I stay diligent to many of these tips, I end up with more time in my day. A few of these are goals I’m working on that I know will save me more time when I actually practice them. I’m sharing here to help you save time as a busy mom.
1.Prepare ahead for the next day
This is number one for me for sure. Not only does it save me time in the morning it saves stress. Picture this . . . everyone wakes up late, your family is racing around to brush teeth, get dressed and ready. They gobble down a quick bowl of cereal. They can’t find their homework. You throw some things in a lunch bag, and you race out the door red faced and everyone on edge. Now paint a new picture . . . you spend 20 minutes the night before picking out clothes for the next day, setting the breakfast table, preparing lunches, and making sure all needed items are in everyone’s back pack. It’s a much calmer picture right? And bonus points for making some easy healthy breakfast options ahead of time like these egg muffins or smoothie kits!
2.Create an easy organization station or drop spot
When I come in the door I’m tired and I don’t have the energy to put everything away. But, I don’t want piles of shoes and papers. I don’t want to spend time looking for my car keys and everything else I need the next time I have to head out the door. I made an organized drop spot. Make sure the spot has a place for shoes, bags, and a basket for each family member. I use this spot to put shoes, hang coats, and eventually backpacks and lunch boxes. I try to always put my keys and purse in the same spot so I’m not hunting, but I want a more intentional place to put those kinds of items. My 2021 goal is to create a charging station, so cell phones don’t stay glued to our hands. I’m starting this habit to be a good example to my daughter. Before I know it she’ll have a cell phone and I don’t want her addicted to it. Having a charging spot where the phones stay helps us all have self-control and accountability when it comes to technology. Periodically have family members empty the baskets and return things to the closet or wherever they belong.
3.Practice the 15 minute clean-up
Whether you feel your house needs this daily or a few times a week is up to you. Put on some awesome music, we love “Raining Tacos” by Parry Gripp, and everyone helps clean up. If you have a basket that has been accumulating items as you walk in the door, empty it and take things to the closet. Kids put toys away in easy to organize bins. If the shoes are overflowing, return them to the closet. Clean the kitchen or bathroom. Whatever you do fill the 15 minutes. It’s amazing how much clutter can be put away or cleaning can be done in 15 minutes.
This may be part of your 15 minute clean up, but really to save time in the long run this should be a separate task. I make it a point to do at least one load of laundry a day plus get the kitchen counter clean at the end of the night. It keeps the laundry and dishes from becoming overwhelming and time consuming. I also feel better about my day when I wake up to a clean kitchen countertop, even if I know as soon as breakfast is over it’s going to be covered again. Maybe this is all you can handle to start. But, if you are ready for the next level, give everyone one age appropriate task daily that helps keep the house clean. It should be one task beyond cleaning up their own clutter. For example, on Monday after homework is done and before kids are allowed to have screen time, they have to complete their task. Maybe it is vacuuming the downstairs. Or it could be cleaning all the bathroom countertops and sinks. Another one is dusting all the baseboards. Or one my toddler is great at helping with is using a baby wipe to get dust off cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathroom. By doing a little daily you won’t spend your entire weekend cleaning.
5.Deal with the mail the same day
Don’t let huge piles of junk mail and paper build up. Raise your hand if you’ve ever lost a bill this way too! Have an organization spot for things you can’t deal with immediately, and a system to organize any bills that aren’t auto paid online.
6.Clean your closet
I stand and stare at my closet and have to wade through all the clothes I don’t really wear anymore. What a waste of time! Less items but more quality is my new goal. One thing I have done is create bins for ease of putting every day tops away quickly. I’m looking forward to purging my wardrobe, so I can save time with easy outfits.
7.Clean cupboards and fridge
I waste more time looking for things then just about anything else in my day. If I had organized cupboards and a clean fridge/freezer I know the time savings would be beneficial. This is why one of my goals for 2021 is to clean one area or shelf in my house every week. Small steps, but hey I’m exhausted so I’m starting small. I cleaned out a shelf in my fridge the other day and I can actually see everything now. And I got rid of old jar of lemon curd that was stuck to the shelf. Yuck! I need to work on the kitchen cupboards desperately. We just keep shoving stuff in there and don’t really know what we have. I’m scheduling time for this, so my cupboards can look like this:
It’s going to save you money, but it is also a huge time savings. The scariest question in the world may be asking mom “what’s for dinner?” at 5pm. If I don’t have a plan I then spend a ridiculous amount of time staring at the fridge and cupboard because I know I have to answer the question eventually. Then I have to look up a recipe and figure out what to cook. But, with a meal plan I know what I’m making and I’ve got all my ingredients prepped and ready. I can actually enjoy the evening and enjoy cooking when I’m not scrambling. If you need help meal planning subscribe here and you instantly have access to all my past weekly meal plans plus a blank meal planning template.
9. Create snack stations
This goes along with an organized fridge and cupboard but more than that it saves time getting snacks for kids. One of the biggest ways to be efficient with your time is to complete a task, but as moms we know that’s easier said than done. Completing a task, much less a thought, is sometimes a rarity in my day. Having healthy snacks kids can access as needed without having to ask or get help will mean fewer interruptions for you. I love this self serve snack station from The Eager Teacher. My daughter always wants to get her milk herself from the fridge, so I think it’s time for creating snack stations at our house. As long as I’m still around to help monitor, encouraging this independence will save me time in the long run!
10. Empower kids to be independent
The less you are interrupted the more efficient you can be with your time. I try to get about 30 minutes to an hour of work done after breakfast while my daughter plays independently. Some days she gets really involved in her imaginary play and the hour flies by. Other days, I get interrupted every few minutes for opening play dough containers or getting milk out of the fridge and getting a snack. The more independent she can be, with easy access to activities and snacks, the more time I save. This is where a toy rotation really helps. My daughter will always play longer when she has something new to hold her interest. When kids are independent to get dressed and ready themselves, take on chores, and more you will automatically get more time in your day. Right now with a toddler it takes upwards of 15 minutes to get dressed and out of the house. I am counting down the days and working weekly on helping her to get dressed by herself. She already picks out what she wants to wear, with slight input from me as to weather appropriateness. But if she wants to wear pink polka dot pants with a red leopard shirt, that’s fine. Toddler life is all about bold fashion statements. My daughter also loves to cook with me. Currently it takes a bit longer because of some extra mess, but I’m putting in the time now so in a few years she’ll be independent and save me time in the kitchen.
SHOP THE POST
These 10 things may seem like a lot, but if they become part of your routine you will actually find you get more time back in your day and week. By making the job of keeping the house going a responsibility for everyone it takes the burden off mommy only. And everything is more fun when you are doing it together.
THIS MOMMY TRIED IT AND YOU CAN TOO!