All right, modern mamis, we know you’re all superheroes, but even Wonder Woman had a utility belt. So if you find yourself needing a little guidance check out these 10 tips for managing your active family and busy home.
Start making grocery lists and to-do lists well before your head out the door, and be specific. Instead of writing ‘shop for dinner,’ try, ‘buy 3 onions, a bag of salad greens, and 2 cartons of milk.’ This way you will have identified the task and the exact steps to completing it. Get the whole family involved, especially if you’ve got picky eaters or kids with full schedules of their own. Posting lists in a high-traffic, easily accessible area of your home can help keep everyone in your family apprised of what’s to come.
2. Errand Day
After you have your lists completed, utilize just one day to try to get your errands done. This can keep you focused on enjoying your family on the other days, rather than on how you’ll squeeze a trip to the grocery store in between piano lessons and dentist appointments.
3. Family Schedule — Go Digital!
Provide a little structure for yourself and your children by creating a full family schedule, and remember, kids these days are even more tech-savvy than we are. Don’t be afraid to use spreadsheets, calendars, or apps everyone can access to add events, appointments, and more.
4. Seasonal Cleaning
Now is the perfect time for spring cleaning (though every season requires its own household cleaning jobs). Help your kids go through toys and clothes for donations. Not only will you get rid of unused items, but you can teach great lessons about doing your part for those in need.
5. Whistle While You Work
Having fun while maintaining the house means everybody wins. Try this tip for engaging kids with chores: tape off a square on the kitchen floor and encourage the little ones to sweep all the yucky stuff into it as a goal, or challenge the older ones to complete tasks on their own where they’re used to receiving help. Start using a timer to add a little extra excitement!
6. Outfit Planning
If you’ve got kids with strong personalities and lots of energy, consider storing outfits together instead of storing similar clothing items together. Rather than sorting through the closet, then digging about in the drawers, you’ll have favorite tops and bottoms together for an easier start to the day.
7. Chop Chop
Save a little time (and money) by chopping your vegetables for the week at one time. Put onions in one ziploc, carrots in another. You can even freeze some veggies for longer-term planning. With all the produce neatly chopped and stored, you’ll never have to dig rotten onions out of the depths of the crisper again!
8. Just In Case
Create little care bags to keep in the car for unexpected emergencies with an extra outfit for each child, toiletries, nonperishable food items, diapers, and anything else you know your kids might need. Next time you have an accident while out and about, or you get temporarily stranded with a flat tire or inclement weather conditions, you’ll have back-up supplies.
9. Hire a Professional
If you need a break from home maintenance or you simply don’t have the time to learn how to replace a T-joint, consider hiring a professional. As we all know, “cost” doesn’t necessarily equate to the money spent. You are powerful and you are capable, but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should; sometimes it’s worth more to catch your daughter’s soccer game than to stay home fixing appliances. Shop around to get the best deal, then sit back and relax with what matters most.
10. Slow Cook
A slow cooker can shed hours of cooking time from your schedule. There are even entire cookbooks dedicated to slow cooking recipes! Throw your meats and veggies into a single appliance and let it cook itself while you focus on what matters: your family!