Rushing around, carting kids from school to activities to appointments to home, making a mad grocery dash in spare moments- it’s no wonder that parents are exhausted and looking for any possible way to simplify home life while not sacrificing the precious time they have with their kiddos. Below are some tried-and-true life hacks to simplify your home life and allow you room to breathe and relax!
Prep, prep, prep!
The biggest time sucker for busy families seems to be meal planning and preparation. One way I’ve found to save precious time is by meal planning for two weeks at a time. Find recipes you love and keep them together in a binder or utilize Pinterest by categorizing recipes for easy retrieval. Make your menu, and try to use the same ingredients more than once. For instance, say you need two tablespoons of cilantro for your tacos. Instead of wasting the rest of the bunch, make some enchiladas or a Thai recipe that allows you to use that fresh produce instead of tossing it! Make one big grocery trip for your two weeks and save lots of time running to the store for all those little items.
Consider doubling a batch of whatever you’re making and throwing one entire meal in the freezer for those long days. Find some slow cooker recipes and have everything thrown in there, so all you need to do is plug it in before you leave in the morning. A little time spent in preparation honestly does pay off!
Purchase a horizontal shoe stacker for your closet. Take all of your kid’s clothes, put them together in full outfits, including socks, underwear, headbands, bows, etc., and slide each outfit into one of the slots. This saves a surprising amount of time since your kids can become (or work on becoming) independent by getting themselves ready.
Do you pack lunches every evening? Keep lunchboxes, baggies, containers, plastic wrap, and whatever else you may need together in one big basket or drawer to cut down on searching for that elusive lid for that one container that’s perfect for the sliced peaches your daughter has to have! You can also use a weekend afternoon to prep produce and sandwiches for lunches. Slice your favorite veggies into sticks and put in snack-size bags, chop fruit and rinse with lemon juice to prevent browning and then throw them into small individual-sized containers, and premake sandwiches. Store these all in a basket in your fridge so you or your kids can grab what looks good and voila! Lunch is served!
Doing small things- washing the dishes while your meal is cooking, picking up a room during a commercial break, or folding a load of laundry while watching TV-, saves a lot of time. If possible, deep clean one area each night, or every other night. Scrub a bathroom, wash a window or two, and in no time, you’ll have a sparkling home. This is definitely easier than cleaning your entire home in one evening or spending your weekend tackling a huge job.
Hopefully you can use some of these tips to help your family life feel less rushed and more peaceful!