These hacks will help you save time and money, and avoid unnecessary stress
If you are a busy mom, it can seem almost impossible to juggle everything and find time to yourself. You have an insurmountable list of tasks — work, cleaning, cooking, taking care of the kids — and it often feels overwhelming.
In today’s article I will share ten hacks that will help you optimize your daily schedule and get more done in less time. If there is a hack you use all the time, and it’s not in this list, feel free to share it with us by leaving a comment at the end of the post.
1. Refrigerator mats
When you are busy, the last thing you want to worry about is cleaning your refrigerator, yet over time dirt and food stains will accumulate. Though you need to clean your refrigerator thoroughly from time to time, there is a simple, inexpensive hack to help you keep it spotless.
All you need to do is get a set of refrigerator mats. You can find them both online and in many supermarkets. Most mats will be washable, reusable, and easy to clean. They will probably fit the shelves perfectly, but if they are too big, you can always cut them in any size.
2. Clean the house early or late
When the house is quiet, you have the chance to be productive and work without distractions. This is why it’s usually a good idea to clean the house and tidy everything up either early in the morning, or right before you go to bed — depending on your own circadian rhythm: some of us like to wake up at 5am, and some are night owls.
There is something satisfying about waking up to a clean house, or cleaning it right after you wake up. You know you won’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day, and you feel proud about yourself. If it takes you a lot of time to clean everything, consider hiring a cleaning person at least once a week or every two weeks.
3. Get a juicer
There is a way to make sure the kids consume enough vitamins and minerals every day, even if they don’t like to eat super healthy. If you get a juicer, you can create your favorite combination of fruit, vegetables, and herbs and turn it into a drink that tastes delicious and has countless health benefits.
It’s a good idea to prepare the juice for breakfast, or early in the afternoon — avoid making it at night as the vitamins may keep the kids awake. Eating enough fruit and vegetables every day can be a challenge, and if you cook all the meals yourself, it can be very time consuming as well.
Using a juicer is a useful hack which allows you to get in all the nutrients you need without much effort. You can buy a juicer online: there’s many different types and models, although their purpose is basically the same. Prices start at roughly $50, and it’s a great investment.
4. To-do lists
As a busy mom, you have a lot on your plate, and it can be hard to stay on top of everything. One clever way to plan all your tasks and activities in advance is to-do lists. You can write a list for the following day before you go to bed, or even for the whole week.
In general, the more organized you are, the less stress you will have. Even if you’re the most disciplined person on the planet, it makes sense to have a list of tasks so you are more motivated and don’t forget anything. Most people find that pen and paper works best (and it feels really good when you cross off items from the list), however you can use an app as well.
5. Buy groceries online
If you are used to driving to your local supermarket and buying the groceries yourself, shopping online can be intimidating at first, but in the long run it can save you a lot of time. Depending on where you live, there may be multiple options available, so take some time and see which store is best for you.
Some things you may want to check are delivery options, product availability, and how long it actually takes them to deliver the order. You can do this with your smartphone, but it’s always better to use a laptop — it’s easier and faster. Take some time to familiarize with the different sites, and when you are ready to order, don’t wait until the last minute.
6. Do the laundry less often
It may sound gross, but you don’t need to wash clothes as often as you think. It’s perfectly fine to wear something more than once — provided it’s still clean and fresh. By washing your clothes less often, you can save money, save the planet, and most importantly save a lot of time.
As a busy mom, you want to get rid of anything that eats up precious time (such as clutter: more on this later). You definitely don’t want the kids to wear stained or dirty clothes, but if you don’t need to wash something, don’t wash it. It will also make the clothes last longer.
7. Clothes for the whole week
We’ve just seen how doing the laundry less often can help you have more free time. Another hack to save time as a busy mom is to pair all clothes in advance — ideally for the whole week. Doing the laundry and ironing is already a big task, however deciding what to wear can be incredibly time consuming.
Surprisingly, most of us lose a lot of time when we think about what we should wear. If you have children, then you have to think about which clothes they should wear as well. If you prepare and pair all clothes in advance, you only need to think about it once, and you won’t have to worry about it for the rest of the week.
8. Meal prepping
How much time do you spend cooking and preparing all the meals each day? A lot, right? Something as simple as meal prepping is a cool hack that makes everything easier. You will save time, and know exactly what your family will eat for the following days. It also helps when it’s time to buy groceries.
Some moms like to prepare all meals for the following week on Sunday, however even if you meal prep, say, every three days, it’s still going to save you a lot of time. One key thing with this is meal containers. Glass containers are usually the best; they last for a very long time and they’re easy to clean.
9. Baskets with labels
As a busy mom, the more organized you are, the better. One simple trick to keep everything tidy and orderly is to get a bunch of containers where you can store anything from toys, to cleaning products, snacks, papers, stationery, and so on.
Unless you are an extreme minimalist, you probably have a lot of stuff lying around the house, but by using baskets and boxes you can still keep the house clean easily. If you have many containers, you can use labels so it’s super easy to find anything you need.
I get it. Most of the items you own are necessary, or useful. However if you are a busy mom it’s essential that you get rid of clutter: visual noise, stuff you haven’t used in years, anything that looks ugly and takes up a lot of space.
Besides looking bad, clutter makes it really hard to be productive. It’s a huge distraction, whether you realize it or not. You don’t need to become a minimalist, but you do want to focus on quality rather than quantity. There is a direct link between a clean, neat environment and your level of energy and even happiness. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and get rid of the stuff you don’t need.
Every minute you spend looking through clutter, wondering where you put this or that, being unable to focus because you’re not organized, costs you: time you could have spent with family or friends, time you could have been productive around the house, time you could have been making money.— Jean Chatzky
What’s your favorite hack to save time, money, or energy as a busy mom? Let me know by leaving a comment! 👇