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There are never enough hours in the day when you’re a mom. We need to take care of our families and our homes. Many of us also do paid work inside or outside of the home. At the end of the day, we find that there is little time for self care, hobbies, or dreaming about the future.
Nurturing yourself is no less important than it was before you were a mom, but to make time and space for it with all your new responsibilities, it’s time to become a productivity expert. Here are more than 50 time saving tips for moms to help you add a few minutes (or hours!) back into each day.
Time Saving Tips for the Kitchen
- Choose a limited number of favorite meals for your family and add them to a meal plan. This saves the time and energy required to constantly research recipes and decide what’s for dinner.
- Unless you are dealing with a medical issue, do your best to make one meal for your family rather than acting as a short-order cook to accommodate picky eaters.
- Double the recipe every time you cook and freeze half for a busy day.
- Consider investing in an Instant Pot, which can really speed up cooking time for items like dry beans and tough cuts of meat and which will allow you to cook meat right out of the freezer!
- Fill a shoe organizer with healthy snacks that kids can grab for themselves when they’re hungry, and hang it on your pantry door
- Keep healthy snacks that require refrigeration like pieces of fruit, chopped veggies, and cheese sticks ready-to-go, and on a shelf where your kids can easily grab them themselves
- Use a silicone liner in your oven so that you can easily catch and wipe up spills right away. This will save you the trouble of either using harsh chemicals to clean burnt on food or heating up the house using the oven’s self clean feature.
- If you enjoy eating salads for lunch, prep several at one time and store them in mason jars to eat during the week.
- Throw your kitchen sponge in the dishwasher whenever you run it to freshen the sponge and extend its life.
- Run your dishwasher every night, and unload it each morning.
- If you drink coffee, prep your coffeemaker the night before and program it to be ready when you wake up.
- Turn on a slow cooker in the morning to cook your dinner during the day.
- If you’re waiting for something to cook in the microwave or boil on the stove, use those seconds to do a quick tidy of your kitchen.
- Use a service like Instacart to deliver your groceries (even the ones from Costco!) rather than wasting time and energy walking through the store.
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Tips to Save Time Doing Laundry
- If you have a timer on your washer, throw a load of clothes in every evening, and set the machine to run early in the morning before anyone wakes up.
- Buy only one type or color of sock for each member of the family. If all of your daughter’s socks are the same variety of green and all of your son’s are the same color purple, matching and sorting socks becomes a non-issue. You’re also covered with a match if a sock is lost or gets a hole in the toe.
- Create a capsule wardrobe for each member of the family to limit time making clothing decisions
- If you’ve got very young children in the house, don’t do special loads of laundry just for them. Wash all your clothes in detergent safe for newborns (this is my favorite) and use a lingerie bag to keep their little socks and mittens together.
How to Save Time Cleaning the Bathroom
- Use Rain-X on your shower doors to make them easier to clean later.
- Clean the bathroom sink and toilet while your kids are in the tub. When they’re done, use a towel to wipe the floor using the water that the kids have splashed everywhere—it’ll look like you’ve mopped!
- Keep a dish wand full of cleaner to scrub the walls and doors of the shower while you’re inside. While you clean, you can do that deep conditioning treatment you’ve struggled to find the time for.
- Keep a squeegee in your shower to get most of the water off of the walls and shower doors after you’ve showered each day and prevent mold from growing.
- Wipe the shower down with your towel after you’ve dried off in the morning.
Tips to Make the Most of Your Time in the Car
- Stash snacks in the car to avoid emergency food stops when you’re on the road.
- Clean trash out of your car while your gas is pumping.
- Keep a travel potty in the car for potty-training kids.
- Batch any errands that you need to run so that you are not constantly driving all over town.
- Keep a change of clothes for each family member in the car in case of vomit, potty accidents, or messy outside play.
Time Saving Tips with a Baby
- Set up multiple diaper changing stations in the house, complete with diapers, wipes, and a waterproof pad to protect surfaces.
- Consider bathing or showering with your baby.
- Make a breastfeeding corner (or two) that has a water bottle, a snack, a book to read, a charger for your phone, some burp cloths, and anything else you think you might need.
- Buy a hands-free pumping bra so that you can multitask a bit while pumping.
- Consider pumping on one side while nursing on the other.
- If you’re formula feeding, mix multiple bottles of formula in a pitcher all at once. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
- Move outgrown clothing out of drawers/closets immediately, and place into bags labeled with the clothing size. This way, you can easily store the items for sale, donation or use by a second baby, you’ll know that what you have in the drawer or closet fits, and you won’t waste time dealing multiple times with clothing that is too small.
Time Saving Tips for General Household Cleaning/Organization
- Consider a robot vacuum to keep up on daily sweeping.
- Do a quick family pickup every evening to keep clutter under control. Family pickup means that EVERYONE pitches in.
- Run a dryer sheet over your baseboards to limit the dust that sticks there. (Or do what I’ve done, and just stop worrying about dust on your baseboards.)
- Make sure that everything has a home so that you don’t have to spend time hunting for it.
- Create a family “launch pad” where purses, back packs, keys, phones, etc. can live. It’s ok if this spot is a simple, non-Pinterest-worthy cubby, table, or set of hooks. It’s just to save you from having to turn the house upside-down to find an essential item as you’re walking out the door.
- Consider toy rotation. Just put a few toys out at a time and keep the others in a closet or basement. The few toys will be easy to clean up quickly, and your little one will appreciate having “new” toys when you bring the others out.
- Keep the cleaning supplies needed to clean each room in that room/on each floor (stash toilet bowl cleaner in each bathroom, keep a broom/vacuum on each floor, etc.)
- Keep a donation box on each floor so that you have a place to immediately stash items you no longer need.
- Find a local charity organization that will pick up donations from your front porch so that you don’t have to make a trip to donate them. If this service is unavailable in your area, put the box in your car when it is full, and drop it by the donation spot on a day that you’re already running errands in that area.
Time Saving Tips to Increase Productivity
- Wake up before the rest of your family to enjoy a few quiet moments and quickly do any tasks that require concentration distraction-free.
- Schedule a few times a day to check your email. If it’s not your scheduled email time, resist the urge to check the box as this can eat up tons of time.
- Turn off notifications on your phone and tablet for email and social media to avoid constant interruptions and needless scrolling.
- Consider deleting social media and game apps on your phone or tablet to prevent the temptation to use time wasters when you have free time.
- Keep a list of short tasks you can do “on the go” while doing things like waiting to pick up your kids, waiting in the doctor’s office, or waiting in line.
- Use Amazon’s Subscribe and Save to have frequently used household items sent right to your door.
- Use time spent waiting on hold to pickup clutter, clean a few emails from your inbox, or delete pictures off of your cell phone.
- Don’t waste time negotiating recurring bills or trying to grab a credit for phone, internet or cable service outages. For a small portion of the proceeds, Trim will do this on your behalf.
- Set your bills to pay automatically, or set a time weekly to pay them all online through your bank’s online website/banking app.
There you go—more than 50 of my favorite time saving tips for us busy moms! I hope something on this list was helpful for you. Have I missed any of your favorite tips? Tell me about them in the comments!
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