Tips for Working Parents: Saving Time at Home
You may work outside the home, but you still have a household to run. And you need all the help you can get to keep your family, and your home, organized. Don’t try to be perfect. Instead, be flexible. To get you started, here are some time-saving tips you can adapt to your own household and needs.
Stay organized by keeping a big calendar on display. Enter each family member’s activities and appointments. This helps avoid any surprises or missed appointments. Everyone knows where everyone else is and what needs to be done.
Reduce clutter by keeping a basket at the bottom of the stairs, or in each room. Then make it a family rule to put all clutter in the basket before leaving the room. Or make cleaning time fun with a quick, 10-minute clean-up. Turn on some music and set a timer for 10 minutes. See how much family members can clean before the timer goes off.
Keep food simple, easy, and nutritious. You don’t have to make a big meal every night (or ever) unless you really enjoy doing that. When cooking a main meal, make extra to freeze in meal-sized portions. This will give you easy, heat-and-serve dinners for another night. You can also plan and make a few meals ahead of time for the entire week.
Buy your child socks in only one style and one color. This will help you save time sorting. You can also avoid pairs that don’t match. Have your child help you sort and fold laundry, too. This will also give you some time to spend together.
Make it a habit to combine errands and appointments. Don’t make lots of small trips. When you’re going to the grocery store, pick up your dry cleaning nearby. Try making dental appointments for your children and yourself on the same day.
When your bills come in the mail, put them all in one place. Then set aside time twice a month and pay everything that’s due. If your partner is better at balancing the checkbook than you are, switch duties with your partner. Or try to arrange to barter with someone who’s good at it, in exchange for a service from you.