Do you ever wish there was more time in a day?
When was the last time you experienced a moment of overwhelm? The little ones are screaming. There’s a mess here, there, and everywhere. The phones ringing. And you haven’t even thought about what’s for dinner yet.
Stress is no stranger to moms. We handle everything and more on a daily basis.
With kids running around the house, sometimes our daily lives (and to-do lists!) are so unpredictable it feels impossible to get everything done and keep a clean and presentable home.
That’s why I compiled this list of 5 things you can do around the house to make your life easier.
Keep Laundry Separate
This one might seem silly. All the laundry needs to get washed anyway, right? Why does it matter if it gets mixed in together?
Hear me out. It matters.
Once the laundry is clean, what do you spend time doing? Separating it.
Now you might be thinking, well, I separate it while I fold it. That’s a good point.
And to that I say, the mental power that it takes to classify every item not only as a sock or shirt or whatever but also as mom’s or pop’s or junior’s is mental power that we moms so desperately need to reserve for more worthy tasks (like quick reaction times that feel like the difference between life and death).
With the laundry separated, you’ll find more missing socks. Rummaging through the will-be-folded-soon pile of clothes will be a lot easier when all the clothes belong to just you (or your child).
Teach Your Kids to Be Responsible
As a bonus, the practice of separate laundry enables us to teach our children responsibility when it comes to washing, folding, and putting away the laundry. If they have their own bin, they’ll gain a greater sense of independence and responsibility during laundry time.
Yes. I’m telling you that you can teach your kids important life skills and get help around the house at the same time.
The same goes for other chores. I find that my daughter wants to be involved in everything I do, even if it means doing the dishes.
You might think that your little one is too young or it’s too dangerous (I get it, there’s knives and hot water and a potential mess). I’m not telling you to leave your toddler alone in the running sink of dirty dishes.
Ask if they want to help you. Hand them safe dishes that they can load into the dishwasher. Ask them to dry the dishes with a towel or put them away in their places. This is a win-win-win because now you’re spending quality time with your kids, too.
Designate Clean Laundry and Dirty Laundry Bins
We might still be able to get the little ones interested in chores, but older kids could be less keen on keeping clean and organized. This trick is great for moms with older kids who would prefer to keep their clothes in a heap than in the closet.
This trick is also great for any mom who doesn’t have the time to put away the laundry immediately after it comes out of the wash (so every mom, right?).
All you need to do for this one is acquire some small laundry bins—each member of the family should have two. Label each clean laundry bin with the owner’s name.
If you’re like me, you’ll want to differentiate between the clean and dirty bins with color-coding (I like using white for the clean bins and anything goes for the dirty ones).
If you keep clean laundry bins in the laundry room, you’ll always have a place to put clean laundry that isn’t the bed, the couch, or the ever-growing laundry pile.
And, when a certain someone asks you for the hundredth time if you’ve seen their hoodie, you can direct them to their laundry bin. Keeping track of clothes has never been so easy.
Organize, Organize, Organize
Think of all the time we spend searching for lost items.
Some days I feel berated by questions like “Have you seen my… (insert object I have not seen).”
Especially if we’re heading out the door, these questions are asked in a panic: “Where’s my favorite shirt!?” And sometimes they’re just problems I’m meant to solve: “Mom, I can’t find my sneakers!”
Bettering your organizational skills will enable you to save precious time and energy by giving you easy access to items you need.
The number one strategy for organizing is what I like to refer to as mise en place which is a French cooking term that roughly translates to my personal motto “Everything has a place.”
When everything has a place that it belongs, and when everything is where it belongs, you’ll know where to find things.
When I talk to my kids about organizing, I like to frame it as if every item has a home. Similar items live together like a family. They don’t like to be apart for a long time, so if we’re done with it, we should take it home.
Crockpot Meals and Casseroles
Feeding a family takes cooking to a whole new level.
With more mouths to feed, you need to make more portions. That means cutting more vegetables, pan-searing more items, washing more dishes, and taking more time to do everything.
That’s why this life hack focuses on low-maintenance meals. I love my crockpot because I can make delicious meals in big portions with little effort and easy cleanup. The same goes for casserole recipes.
Any recipe that involves only one piece of cookware is a recipe designed for busy moms. Taking the time to browse simple, easy recipes will end up saving you a lot of time (and precious energy) in the long run.
Don’t worry about getting bored. There are endless possibilities out there! Get creative with your cooking and save time with one-dish meals.