Thursday, 15 May 2014

Petitioning for a 30 hour day!

With the business of life everyone is trying to find ways to save time or be more efficient.  We have found a few things that work for us:

Meal planning - in order to save time and money it is essential for our family to plan ahead.  Before planning our meals each week we take a look at the calendar and consider the time available each day for meal prep.  Once we have determined what the week looks like we plan meals accordingly.  On days that we are running from one appointment to the next dinner will be cooked in a crockpot, a quick barbecue or maybe a pre made casserole.  I can't express how much of a relief it is to walk in the door after a crazy day and dinner to be ready to serve. 

Doing the prep work for meals can be done anytime, it does not have to be done the hour before dinner, so take advantage of the time you have.  Review your meal plan and try to simplify your meal prep by combining tasks required for the weeks meals.  We also will "double" certain meals and freeze the second one to enjoy on a different day.  We will also cook meals with the plan of having leftovers for lunch the next day.  

Pack ahead - with many weekly activities we have to pack/prepare for the daily events.  We pack once, after the activity we repack the bag for the next week eliminating the weekly search for the required gear.  We have swim lessons (for 6 children) weekly so our swim bag is packed and ready to go - when we return everything is thrown in the laundry then returned to the swim bag for next week.  For activities that require uniforms we store all the parts together in a suit bag, building routines for caring for the uniforms saves time in the long run. 

 Taming the housework - keeping the home looking presentable can also be challenging and a huge drain on time.   Really in order to keep your home clean your options are somewhat limited, don't live in it so it can't get messy, clean it or have someone else clean it.  We do multiple mini clean ups throughout the day, by doing many cleanups the house doesn't get to out of control.  Everyone that is capable of making a mess is capable of helping clean up.  We get up, get dressed and do a quick bedroom clean up.  After breakfast we clean up and put dishes in dishwasher.  We continue the trend of cleaning up as we go throughout the day, it doesn't have to be perfect but done often enough will stay fairly clean.  Using "Lysol wipes" to quickly wipe down the counter and toilet in the bathroom a couple times a day keeps it presentable, I usually do this after using the bathroom and make a point of alternating which bathroom I use.  Also a "scheduled" chore time is helpful for ensuring everyone is an active participant.  At our house after dinner for about 20 minutes everyone has a chore, Mom and/or Dad help and ensure everyone does their assigned chore.  We also have clear expectations typed out so everyone knows what needs to be done, this is handy when ensuring the task is complete to our standards.

 Dishes -  we cut back on the number of glasses/cups being used daily by having a shelf for people to store their cups between drinks.  We also wash dishes as we are prepare meals which makes for a quicker final cleanup.                                                                                                                                          

Laundry is a never ending challenge as the "laundry monster" takes over so that will be a separate post.

I am sure that you have little things that help save you time throughout the day, please share them so we can all benefit.

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