Every family these days is busy. If you’re wishing you had a few extra hours ever week, then these simple tips can help. When it comes to cleaning, every mum knows that the work is never ending. To make cleaning a little easier, follow these simple tips:
Instead of having a ‘washing day’ where you do a week’s worth of washing, why not put your washing in the machine in the morning and then dry it at night. It’s much more manageable than doing it all in one go.
Keeping toy boxes dotted around your house makes sense when you have children – instead of fights about tidying up, you can simply toss the toys into the box in whatever room you’re in. Better yet, you can teach your child to do it.
Invest in quick and easy cleaning products, like bleach wipes and disposable dust cloths. Even something as simple as washing all of your clothes in baby friendly washing powder can shave time off your chores.
Another good idea is to get help. Whether it’s hiring outside help to come in and clean once a month, or once every few months, or whether it’s paying a neighbourhood teen to wash your car or cut the grass, it’s okay not to do everything yourself.
Instead of doing mammoth cleaning sessions once a week, try doing half hour power cleaning every day. Do whatever you can while you’re cleaning, and then move on to something else. You could also try letting the dishes soak instead of washing them immediately. Drain the water, and then wash them – they clean so much easier that way.
When it comes to food preparation, there are plenty of ways you can save time too. Cook up big batches of food on the weekend and then freeze family sized portions to eat during the week. You could also make lots of baby food at once and then freeze portions in an ice cube tray. Finding one pot meals that your family enjoys is another good idea and using the time that you’re cooking to prep other food, like cutting up fruit and vegetables for lunchboxes, is another good way to save time.
While your baby is small, you’ll have to carry a lot of stuff around with you. Always make sure that your baby’s nappy bag is packed. Pre measure formula if your baby is bottle fed, keep spare clothes and toys in it and you’ll be ready to go in minutes, rather than worrying about getting everything together. Getting your baby used to cold formula straight from the fridge can be a big time saver, as can keeping pre boiled water in a flask, ready for use.
Get your partner involved in baby activities too. Dads are just as capable of bathing, changing and even bottle feeding your baby, and it frees you up to do other things. Likewise, getting your child used to being around while you do household chores, like folding washing or cleaning the bathroom, will make it easier to do them while he or she is awake.
Your baby’s clothes can also make a big difference to time. Choose easy to put on and take off outfits, and when the weather allows it, feed your baby in nothing more than a nappy. It makes after dinner cleanups a lot easier.
Keep bins or baskets of items that you use all the time – like changing supplies and toys, or even snacks, in easy to reach places throughout your home. You could even keep dry snacks in your car, so that you’re never caught short when you’re out.
When it comes to taking care of yourself, most mums will tell you it’s virtually impossible. A good idea is to have your hair cut or styled so that it’s easy to care for. Invest in accessories that make a difference and try to find easy up dos that work for you.
Go through your clothes and find the easy to wear ones that still look good. Keep them in a special drawer or on a designated shelf, and you’ll always be ready to go in minutes. If you make sure that you get ready for work before your baby wakes up, you’ll also find that it goes a lot quicker.
When it comes to errands, it can seem like they are never ending. Try shopping and banking online, or do your grocery shopping in your lunch hour. Try to shop at shopping centres that have everything in one place, so that you don’t spend time driving around in between, and minimise your driving time even more by working out a schedule for the day or week in advance.
If you find that you spend too much time in traffic after work, find out from your boss if you can work through lunch, and leave earlier to miss the rush. Use the time that you commute (on public transport) to make phone calls and take care of other tasks and if you’re breastfeeding, invest in a good breast pump. It’ll make expressing at work a lot easier.
Most importantly, get your baby into a routine. When your child has a routine, it’s easier to plan your own routine and you’ll get more done. Avoid spending too much time watching television or on the internet, and use files, calendars and other tools to keep your whole family informed about what’s happening. Don’t try to have the same level of social life as you had before, and spend time organising – it’ll save a lot of time in the long run.