Spring is a great time to not only freshen up your home but to evaluate how you can be more efficient in the everyday tasks that consume you. Mighty Mommy has 6 savvy timesavers that will free you up to enjoy more time with your family.
Now that spring is almost here, my family and I are looking forward to spending much more time outdoors. So before the lazy days of summer arrive, I always enjoy doing a thorough spring cleaning so that everything is in order for our much more laid-back schedule.
In addition to a good, old-fashioned dusting and purging I also like to freshen up our daily routines including finding smarter ways to save time and energy on many of our everyday tasks.
Today, Mighty Mommy shares 6 springtime sanity savers that will save you some energy and allow you more time with your family.
Tip #1: Rise and shine
Throughout my entire life, I’ve always been more of a night owl rather than a morning person. I enjoy the peace and quiet of late night hours because I have time to think, write, pay bills, plan meals, and get lost in a great book without any interruptions from my kids and even our dogs! The downside to this is it’s not as easy to roll out of bed early in the morning. This is especially true during the winter months because it’s so cozy and warm in my soft, flannel sheets on those frosty, dark winter mornings. Once daylight savings occurs, however, the days are longer and it’s much easier to get the day going. By simply getting up 20 or so minutes before the rest of your family, you can not only grab a little peace and quiet, you can get your day off to a super organized start which will save you time from the usual morning scurry if you tend to hit the snooze button one too many times. Rise and Shine a bit earlier and your entire family will benefit each day.
Tip #2: Evaluate your daily schedule
Now that you’re getting up a few minutes earlier each day, use this time for some reflection on how life is going. Are you always behind the eight ball each day running crazy looking for backpacks, kid’s shoes, missing homework assignments? Do you always have to punt at dinner?
By figuring out your time wasters and finding solutions, you'll save time and your sanity—so make a list of even two or three things you’d like to change in your family’s schedule and stick to it.
Tip #3: Buy color-coded towels
Raising eight kids means extra time in the kitchen, the car, and especially the laundry room. Once my kids hit their tween and teen years it seemed we never had enough towels. Long, hot showers became a staple in their lives and sometimes, twice a day! I couldn’t keep enough clean towels in the linen closet, and to be honest, I didn’t think it was necessary they use two or more towels each day. To solve this we purchased and assigned colored towels to each child. Each of them got 5 towels of their designated color and they have to make them last for the entire week.
Now they learn to hang them to dry for more than one use or take care of washing them themselves. They’re also very protective of their individual towel stash and because they’re color coded, everyone knows if someone is trying to borrow their towel. I’ve added hours to my week with this tip alone!
Tip #4: Have a car stash
Most parents spend a large portion of their days carpooling and attending their kids sporting and extra-curricular events. Just as our homes need a good, spring cleaning, so do our cars—after all, most of us practically live in them!
Just as our homes need a good, spring cleaning, so do our cars—after all, most of us practically live in them!
Take some time this spring to not only clean out your home-on-the-road (hard to believe those extra fast-food fries, juice box straws and Styrofoam coffee cups could be wedged so innocently under your car mat) but also think about what things you can keep in your car that will make life easier when you’re always on the go. For younger families that could mean extra diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes. For sports families, a stash of water bottles, peanut butter crackers or granola bars and an extra tube of sunscreen might do the trick. I even keep an envelope with $10–15 tucked away in my hidden glove compartment for emergencies.
Tip #5: Start a dinner swap
Meal time can truly be one of the most exhausting parts of a busy family’s day, especially if you don’t plan ahead and live day-to-day wondering what the heck you’re going to make for dinner once 4:00 PM rolls around. One idea you can incorporate (other than investing in some delicious, and time-saving meal planning) is to do a dinner swap with friends in your neighborhood or close by.
Pick one or two nights a week and set up a schedule with a few friends where you’ll all make one extra meal such as lasagna, chicken pot pie or other easy, casserole type dishes. Arrange a time for a delivery swap and you now have a couple of extra meals you can freeze each week. This is particularly helpful during the busy spring sports season when you may not get home until much later after spending hours on the soccer or baseball field.
Tip #6: Choose outfits for the week
When my kids were younger (nursery and elementary school) I would invest a chunk of time every Saturday afternoon putting five outfits aside for each of them for the week ahead. In fact, I would enlist their help in picking out clothes that they wanted to wear (there’s a fussy dresser in every family!). Once the outfits, including socks and underpants, were picked out, we placed them in large, flat plastic storage bins that slid under their beds. All we had to do was pull the bin out in the morning and grab that day’s outfit.
This was a huge timesaver each morning, especially when they were younger, and I had to get all of them out the door each day. Even if we had a day or two when someone didn’t want to wear what was picked out, it still saved hours of headaches because we could quickly find an alternative outfit without tearing apart an entire closet or bureau.