Before having kids I was not the most disciplined with my time, often spending hours going down the Pinterest rabbit hole. But now with a never ending to-do list and somewhat unpredictable little ones around the house, I’ve learned a few ways to simplify my life. Honestly, these are things that I wish I’d implemented long before I had kids. But, better late than never!
Weekly meal plan: Every Wednesday or Thursday evening I sit down with our calendar and some recipes (aka my Pinterest boards). Based on what events we have, I determine how many dinners I need to prepare and what I’ll realistically have time to cook. Then I plan out dinners for the next week. By doing it this way I don’t have to think about what’s for dinner each day--all I have to do is look at my list that’s up on the refrigerator. And I prepare extra to make sure we have leftovers for lunches!
Once-a-week grocery shopping: Once I have the list for the meal plan, I go through the recipes and make a grocery list for the items I need. I also add in all the other staples we’ll need for the week. And then I do my groceries, usually on Friday mornings. That way we’re all set for the weekend and I don’t have to fight the weekend grocery store crowds. By shopping only once during the week, I have more time to do fun things with the kids!
Weekly cleaning schedule: Last year at my mom’s group, one speaker shared her tips for keeping a clean home. It really came down to a cleaning schedule of 15-20 minute tasks each day. For example, Monday’s task is dusting the house, Tuesday’s is vacuuming, etc. I put this into practice when I was pregnant with baby #2. I loved having a clean house, but not feeling like I spent a whole day cleaning! While this plan fell to the wayside upon Boyd’s arrival, I’m now dusting it off and putting it back into practice. An added bonus is that Gaby loves helping out with the dusting and vacuuming! It's a great way to teach her to be a helper as well as keep her busy by letting her be like mommy.
Laundry: The never-ending task. Seriously, it seems as though the second I finish a load, the baby has a poopsplosion. I’ve tried different approaches with this task, by doing it once-a-week or throughout the week. Because I don’t want to spend an entire day doing laundry and I like to hang dry much of our clothing, for us the wash-as-you-go approach is definitely working better.
Pack the diaper bag at night: This is another recent development for me. I was never one to have my school bag ready the night before, so I suppose it makes sense that I was not doing this as an adult. But I do remember the advice, and now with life busier than ever this is one thing I’m working on to make getting out of the house easier. It’s usually just a matter of adding a couple of diapers and a few wipes to the bag. But when I’m running behind in the morning, or get spit up on and have to change my outfit, the fewer things I have to take care of the better!
How do you simplify your weekly tasks? What other tips do you have?