Are you a parent juggling the demands of family life, constantly trying to keep all your plates spinning and wondering how you are going to survive the madness? We have some great ideas and ‘Mum/Dad’ hacks to keep your plates whizzing around and even give you time for a (brief) sit down!
Organising Hacks for Busy Parents
#1 Squeeze EVERY Second
Try setting your alarm a little earlier to make the most of the day. Whether you work or not the glorious minutes or hours before the rest of the family wake up can be insanely productive! Use them to eat breakfast in peace, exercise, shower (without company) or even cook tea ready to be warmed through later.
#2 The Hall Board
List what your kids will need each day of the school week and check their bags each night. A whiteboard or chalk board is perfect for this so nothing gets forgotten. Note down after school activities, parties and even doctors appointments as well.
Obviously where older children are concerned get them in a routine of checking their own bag every night. This should avoid the morning-time treasure hunt we often find ourselves embroiled in to find shoes/PE kit/Coat/Mums sanity.
When it’s time to leave the house in the morning ensure everything you need is where it should be - ready to head straight out of the door!
Let school shoes live by the door, coats hung up where they can easily be grabbed and school bags and lunches stacked ready for collection.
We love the Launch Pod idea for this – especially if you have a small tribe of offspring to herd! Keep all of the kids’ stuff organised with the help of handy hall storage solutions such as the one above. The cubes can be used to house PE kits, lunches, school jumpers, snacks and shoes so nothing gets left behind.
TOP TIP – Label each Childs coat peg with their initial as they will love it!
#4 Label, Stack and Store
Making it clear to the rest of your family where things belong upstairs or downstairs has never been easier. Simply label Really Useful Boxes and away you go. Stack in the bottom of wardrobes, cupboards and shelves to keep living space clutter free.
May sound a little regimented but this will shave hours of hunting down Henry’s Lego Men or Holly’s left ballet pump…
#5 Pay for a little help
Ok, this depends massively on household budgets, but if you can, paying for a little help with things like cleaning, ironing or gardening can be an investment in sanity and may even claw you back some valuable ‘me’ time!
The number one most important thing that a busy family needs is a strong routine. Conquer your to do list faster and give children a feeling of stability with set mealtimes, clubs, bath/shower times and bed!
#7 Make a Menu
Make a list of all the meals that you are going to make for the week on a Sunday including breakfast, packed lunches and snacks! That way you will find you don’t waste as much (if any food) and you will save time in the supermarket and kitchen!
Use your bullet journal to plan your week, list favourite family meals and write down your shopping lists.
TOP TIP – If your little ones aren’t keen on healthy snacks try tempting them by chopping the fruit and vegetables into bitesize chunks. Invest in a little snack Tupperware box and you may be surprised by how much more inclined to eat it they are!
#8 Cook more – less often!
Make big batches when you cook, half for eating and half for freezing. This will be a particularly useful on crazy weeks when all you need to remember is to defrost the food in the morning!
TOP TIP – Grab a Sharpie Marker and label all your old Chinese cartons and Tupperware so you know what meal you are defrosting. No more ‘Surprise’ meals for tea…
#9 Shop Online
Getting your grocery order delivered saves time, hassle and even your sanity if you have little ones at home. Most of us have all felt the pain of an aisle-side tantrum... Perfect for avoiding shopping hell and even though you may be charged for delivery you will save on impulse buys so may even find your weekly bill cheaper!
TOP TIP – Opt for chopped frozen vegetables and herbs when shopping. Saves time at the chopping board and reduces waste for your bin!
#10 Homework Hacks
Timers and bribes can transform homework hour especially if you have less than enthusiastic participants. Set the time for 20 minutes of reading or maths homework every night and if the works complete offer reward of choice. This can be a simple as a couple of jelly beans or a trip to the park on Saturday.
TOP TIP – Put a desk and chair in an area near the kitchen – you can observe homework and help where needed while still getting jobs done.
If you don’t have the hours in the day to root out your needle and thread when it comes to labelling uniform simply invest in a fabric pen Can be used along double seems in collars without showing through or on shop sewn labels. Initials or surnames suffice!
TOP TIP – Use on PE bags, PE pumps, inside pencil cases and anything that can’t be nailed down!