Time Saving Tips for Busy Families

As a mother of 3 and always feeling like I am never a head of the game, I have dug up some tips and advice from the experts on how to stay sane.  Fascinating enough some of the tips were things I had already been doing, so I was a step ahead of myself after all.  Never knowing what could happen or what lies around the corner is a worry of mine, Luck favors the prepared…  Ever since the first little guy came across I have loaded the diaper bag full of things that I “MIGHT” need, and also stashed extras in every vehicle.  I also thought I was just a hoarder keeping extra candles and gift cards lying around, but to come find out this is a tip to being prepared….Well without ado let get to these tips, because we don’t have time to waste. 😛

Baby Blogger mentions that you should keep extras in your busy rooms of what you use frequently, this way you will stop wasting time running between rooms.  For example scissors, reading glasses, baby wipes…..  Also I found interesting to keep cardboard boxes labeled “trash,” “donate,” or “consign” in the garage or storage closet. Then routinely you are ridding your house of unused items and clutter.

To save time on chores she recommends skipping the ironing and using the dryer for 15 min. to reduce wrinkles.  While we are on laundry she also recommends just washing everything all together in cold water, that way you skip sorting.  Store sets of sheets and pillowcases inside unfolded pillowcases to make bed changes fast and easy and minimize clutter in your linen closet.{I do this one and love it}

Keep disinfecting wipes in the bathroom for quick cleanups around toilets, sinks, and mirrors. You could even do a speedy wipe-down while you bathe the kids. One final tip she had that I found useful was to do 30 min of cleaning after supper and the whole family is to take part in the festivities…{I like that bring on the help.}

Kori Ellis is another blogger I got great tips from and she hit the nail on the head with number one. We tend to go-go go from the time we roll out of bed to the time we roll back in. To have a few peaceful moments to our selves we should get out of be 15-20 minutes before the kids do. Now I am not saying to cut your sleep as parents we need a healthy amount of sleep, so don’t go crazy here thinking you can be superman or something… Another great tip of hers was figuring out your time wasters, I think she got this from Chalene Johnson or maybe vice versa… We all have things we do that waste time. Do you spend 10 minutes looking for your keys every morning? Start putting them on a hook on the door. Do you waste an hour surfing the web every night before bed? Limit screen time in your house (for your kids and yourself). By figuring out your time wasters and finding solutions, you’ll save time and maybe some sanity. Need a tip for getting on the road in the morning without a screaming match or 3 extra trips into the house. Well try laying the kids clothes out at night after they go to bed, put your things by the door to grab on the way out, have all homework and school stuff put away and ready, you can even have lunches ready and made the night before. By doing a little extra the night before, you can cut down on the chaos in the morning, when people are tired and more irritable.

Tip for shopping lists from Maureen Nuccitelli. She suggests, hanging small dry-erase boards with markers inside the linen closet and pantry. As you run low on toothpaste or peaches, mark it down on the respective board. When you’re ready to go shopping, check the dry erase boards, make your list and wipe them clean.

Lori Radun mentions that you need to identify your non-negotiables boundaries to protect that time. Then you must set strong boundaries around those times and keep it holy. {For me that would be every night from 6-8 is family time (No computers, i phones, or kindles, and Sunday is mainly Family Day}

Now some of the things I had mentioned above that I do already. I always have extras in a bag that goes with us on trips and just to take a trip up town, I leave it in the car. I have diapers stuffed into the glove compartment and remember those fanny packs, well I have them stuffed with germx, baby wipes, bandaids, a paper clip, knife, a lighter, flashlight and anything I think that may come in handy. I also have books, toys and snacks with us wherever we may be going. You never know when you may get stranded and tempers flare and you need a distraction, or the kids may just get dirty and you need clean clothes, but I will tell you those extras have saved me many of times.
I also like to have gifts at my home, I have a cabinet where I store items that I can use as a present if needed. Candles, books, toys, towels, utility knives, flashlights, lotions, etc…. all these items I keep around just in case I forget to buy a present or the kids come home and inform me tomorrow is the teachers birthday, for any certain reason I may need a thank you gift. In my file cabinet I have a stack of cards as well ranging from wedding, showers, thank you, sympathy, birthday cards, for those emergency cases. That way you don’t have to make a mad dash up town and try to find that card and gift when you are supposed to be headed to their house. Luck favors the prepared RIGHT! ! !

As for my work I try to schedule things, for instance when I do dishes I am trying to get Clayton to realize that is his ART time. He can color, paint, use shaving cream, the intent being he is having fun while I get some work done. Another scheduled time we have is when mommy goes to do her workout, that is when Clay gets to play his video games. Therefore he is happy to finally get to play and I am thrilled to get my sweat on.

One final tip that I have for any parent is to take time to themselves. As caregivers we tend to take care of others not considering our needs. What happens then is emotions and negativity build up and eventually you get broken down due to not taking care of yourself. So I advise you to make time for yourself daily, whether it be a bath, or 10 minutes in a book, for me it is getting in my workout and checking in on my challenge groups. Something about having a great workout, sweating, pushing myself to do better, that is just refreshing to me and energizes me to continue through the crazy day. Whatever your revitalizing activity is Please set time out to do it, nonnegotiable, you need this time to yourself. Life is crazy enough without throwing in worn out, stressed to the max parents into the mix.

I hope you have found these tips helpful and come back for more. Have a GREAT week.