After one thing to do, one more thing comes in. There’s much to do until we feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Being a working mother is hard, we are not only busy with work, but our task as a mom cannot be ignored. This might be especially true if your kids are still very little. If you have this problem, this post will help you a lot. By tweaking little things, it can make your life much easier. So, I’m going to share them with you. And for your information, these are not magic. A smart collection of everyday life hacks for busy mom was provided here to help you increase your productivity. Try some of them. I bet you will enjoy it. So, let’s begin!
AROUND THE HOUSE HELPERS
1) Hide cleaning products within easy reach. Let’s say you procrastinate cleaning the bathroom, but then you’re embarrassed when people show up and get a look at your dirty toilet and toothpaste-smeared countertop. Solve the problem by keeping your bottles of cleaning solution and a wipe-up sponge under the bathroom sink. It can take a minute to freshen up the bathroom when you’ve got the right cleaning tools on hand.
2) Keep stuff in unexpected places. Let’s face it, we do most of our living in the kitchen and living room of our home. Why not stock those areas with extra supplies so that we can grab them when we need to? Suppose you had a set of extra toothbrushes and toothpaste strategically stored in a kitchen cabinet? Then, everyone in the family could finally brush after every meal. Or, maybe your son or daughter forgot to brush but it’s time to leave for school. A quick grab of the right supplies can save time a lot.
3) Do laundry in the morning. It only takes a few minutes to grab a basket full of laundry, haul it over to the machine, and toss in a load. If you work from home, you can take breaks between projects, and flip the laundry from washer to dryer in the process. Waiting until the end of the day, when your energy and patience has decreased, is not a good practice if you want to keep up with clothes-washing for your family.
4) For everyday cleaning tasks like sweeping or vacuuming the floor. Tackle house cleaning by task, not by room. Start with a quick tidying up and put stray items back in their proper places. Next, vacuum every room in the house. In other words, spend the same amount of time that you might take to deep-clean one room, doing a quick overhaul of the entire house. If there’s time leftover, you can go deeper, perhaps by tackling dusting next. See how far your cleaning takes you. No matter which chore you’re forced to stop at, at least now you have a semi-presentable place to welcome family and friends.
5) Make beds on the spot. Your bed-making skills don’t have to measure up to the U.S. army’s standards. Just make quick work of pulling up and tucking the sheets, then smoothing the blankets and bed spread over the pillows. You can accomplish this in less than one minute per bed.
6) Don’t leave the restroom without doing a quick clean-up on your way out. Your bathroom will stay much cleaner if you clean on the spot. Got a quick moment to spare after a potty break? Grab the spray cleaner and sponge that you keep under the sink. Give the vanity a quick squirt and wipe. Wash the toilet with some conveniently stored bleach cleaner. Sponge out the tub or wipe down the walls if you’ve just finished showering. Refill the soap dispenser and stock toilet paper. Use a quickly dampened wad of tissue paper to catch stray hairs and shoe dirt. Your bathroom looks presentable and it only took two minutes!
7) Lock up pets when you leave your home. This doesn’t have to be in a crate or cage, necessarily. Simply shutting your cats in the basement, gating your furry friend in the kitchen, or closing the door of your bedroom while your dog is sleeping in there, could save you a lot of potential hassles when away from home. Pets can be destructive, and some may get nervous and “act out” or even become ill when left to roam the house unsupervised. Save yourself time to clean up and fixing of broken items by safely corralling your pet when you’re away.
8) Invest in a sharp pair of kitchen shears. They’re so handy you may even want to pick up a 4-pack, to stash in various hiding spots of your home. Use them to cut up your child’s food, snip ingredients into bite-size pieces right in the pot they’re cooking in. Snip up a slice of pizza, chop herbs on top of your salad. You’ll also find shears handy for breaking into sealed packages.
9) Wash or rinse dishes right away. Dishes that sit in the sink with food on them take the longest to get clean. This is true whether you hand-wash or have a dishwasher. If you’re short on time, soak or rinse dishes quickly before you start going to work.
10) Reuse bowls or glasses. Dirty dishes really stack up quickly when we take a new one for every little thing. Choose one glass or mug as yours to use for the day. Stash it nearby wherever you plan to be. When you finish your drink, instead of adding to the collection in the sink, rinse it out to reuse.
11) Wipe or rinse “barely dirty” plates or kitchen utensils immediately. If you slice some cheese on a plate, instead of putting the plate in the sink, just do a quick wipe with the soapy sponge; rinse, dry and put away. Pot lids can be quickly rinsed and stored after use. Just made pasta? Rinse the used colander in hot water, then dry and place back in the cabinet. Just being proactive about cleaning dishes on the spot can really cut down on the amount of water, soap and elbow grease or machinery needed to wash your family’s dishes.
12) Pot-scouring supplies are your friend. Who likes washing dirty, food-encrusted pots and pans? No one. They make non-toxic abrasive cleaners and scouring pads for this purpose. You’ll be less likely to procrastinate pot-cleaning duty if you soak the pot immediately after using and then use a bleach-free abrasive powder or a scouring sponge to remove any stuck-on debris.13) Plan meals once a week. This is so much better than trying to come up with an idea for dinner when you’re feeling the late-afternoon sluggishness and lack of focus. You don’t always have to stick to your original meal plan, of course. But do take stock of whatever main courses and potential sides you have on hand. If you’re aware of what’s available, you can make a quick task of a hurried but balanced dinner that suits your family’s busy life on the go.
13) Plan meals once a week. This is so much better than trying to come up with an idea for dinner when you’re feeling the late-afternoon sluggishness and lack of focus. You don’t always have to stick to your original meal plan, of course. But do take stock of whatever main courses and potential sides you have on hand. If you’re aware of what’s available, you can make a quick task of a hurried but balanced dinner that suits your family’s busy life on the go.
14) Set aside a “shopping day” and a “cooking day” once or twice per week, so you’ll have make-ahead meals and easy ingredients at the ready. On cooking day, you can prepare more complicated entrees like lasagna or chili, that freeze well and can come to life with a few zaps and turns in the microwave. Don’t forget to label your frozen entrees with the contents and the date, so you’ll be able to use them in a timely fashion.
15) Leverage leftovers. Some people loathe leftovers. They still haven’t figured out they’re the basis for quick, easy, creative and delicious meals! An example: Let’s say you roast a chicken on Monday. Tuesday morning, simmer the bones, then serve chicken noodle soup that night and freeze a few servings for easy lunches. Wednesday, some of the leftover meat becomes chicken salad for lunch. Thursday, the remaining chicken goes into a delicious quesadilla with beans, peppers, and cheese. Whoever said leftovers are boring just wasn’t realizing their productivity potential!
16) Cook out of one pot when possible. Crock pots and pressure cookers are great for this purpose. Mix up meat, potatoes, veggies and seasonings in the morning. Turn on your slow cooker and you can come home to a delicious, one-pot meal for the whole family to enjoy.Try stir-frying as another method of dirtying fewer kitchen pots. Cook veggies in a large flat pan, then set aside in a large bowl with cover. Next, sizzle up the meat, and then place on top of the veggies. Finally, in the same pan, add some liquid and cook noodles or rice until soft, and then drain any excess liquid by making use of the pot lid. If you want to mix all ingredients back together in the pan, you can do that. Or, simply mix up the meat and veggies, and serve separately from the bowl of rice or noodles.
17) Try stir-frying as another method of dirtying fewer kitchen pots. Cook veggies in a large flat pan, then set aside in a large bowl with cover. Next, sizzle up the meat, and then place on top of the veggies. Finally, in the same pan, add some liquid and cook noodles or rice until soft, and then drain any excess liquid by making use of the pot lid. If you want to mix all ingredients back together in the pan, you can do that. Or, simply mix up the meat and veggies, and serve separately from the bowl of rice or noodles.
18) Frozen veggies trump fresh. Frozen veggies are better for a few reasons. One they’ve already been washed and trimmed for you, so that’s a huge time saver. Two, they’re frozen shortly after being picked, so their nutritional value is superior to the vegetables in the produce department which spend far too much time in transport. And three, a microwave (or even a sauce pan with a little water in it) will steam them up in minutes to serve with dinner.
19) Grocery-shop during “off-peak” times. People who don’t plan ahead find themselves battling throngs of shoppers at the supermarket at noon on a Wednesday or on a Saturday afternoon. If you know you need to replenish your family’s food supply, then head out bright and early after the kids leave for school. Or, if you’re a night owl, make short work of a post-dinner grocery shopping trip.
20) Mix and match ingredients from the four food groups. Another way to create easy and delicious meals is to cook and store things that will be useful in a few different recipes over the course of the week. For example, if you fry up some country sausages one night, you can enjoy some with potatoes and peppers for dinner, then use a few leftover links to liven up an omelet or add flavor to a bean, spinach and pasta dish. (It also helps to have a tub of cooked pasta on hand as well!)
21) Make old food removal part of grocery shopping day. Make this a new house rule: before you put new food in the fridge, take old food out. We all have that old Tupperware full of mysterious, unidentified mush taking up space in the back of the fridge and creating a bad smell in the kitchen. As soon as you come through the door with groceries, make a beeline for the fridge and toss those funky containers into the sink. Leftovers shouldn’t be eaten past 4 days anyway. So you can’t recall what it is, chances are you should toss it.
22) Take an iced-tea time saver. No need to wait for a huge pot of water to boil when making homemade iced tea. Simply boil one cup of water in the microwave, then add 8 tea bags and let steep. Cool it off with a scoop of ice cubes, then pour into a pitcher along with seven more cups of water. Genius!
SIMPLIFY YOUR HOME
23) Buy plastic bins. They’re cheap, but you can probably get them even cheaper secondhand – so keep an eye on the local secondhand store and stock up. Just be sure that if you buy used, the lids snap on securely. Also purchase a few Sharpie markers, and blank labels or masking tape. Whenever you have the better part of a day or even a spare moment, pick a closet or drawer to go through.
24) Have a purge party. Having too much “stuff” weighs us down, especially when we haven’t taken stock of all that we own for some time. Pick a weekend or two out of your busy year to purge the house of items that would better serve someone else, as well as organize what you plan to keep. Toss your household finds into categorized bins and boxes – kitchen, summer clothes, Christmas deco, Halloween costumes, old toys, and so forth. Later on, bag up what you don’t want, to donate to Goodwill. Once you do this, you’ll find that you’re apt to spend less on things you don’t need, because you already know where it is. This is a great feeling and can make life so much easier.
25) Keep a party box handy. You probably already have a bin full of Christmas decorations. But do you have one full of party supplies? Amass a small collection of celebratory essentials by picking through secondhand store offerings, hitting up garage sales and perusing the clearance racks. End of season is a great time to score some holiday themed party goods. Just be reasonable about what’s fun and useful versus what’s excessive. Isn’t it a great feeling to know exactly where the birthday candles and balloons are on the night before your child’s big celebration?
26) Invest in a collection of all-occasion cards. Let’s face it. Those musical cards are great, but they end up going into the trash a lot of the time. And at $5 to $10 a pop, that card money’s better spent on a thoughtful gift like a photo album filled with memories. Head over to Amazon and shop for a bulk supply of birthday, get-well, congratulations and thinking-of-you themed cards. Also, pick up some thank-you cards and generic invitations if you still prefer the mailed kind. You won’t believe how much less stressed you’ll feel when running out the door to a birthday party or heading over to the hospital to visit a sick friend or family member when the greeting cards are within easy reach.
27) Pack a snack to go. Having healthy snacks on hand can curb a wild urge to sail through the Mickey D’s drive-thru. Every mom should have one of those carry-along coolers made from soft, wipeable material. Fill with juice boxes, water bottles, fresh fruit and granola bars to keep the kids happy as you go about your daily adventures. Even if you forget the food bag, you can keep a can of mixed nuts or trail mix in your car to stop your energy levels from plummeting and stave off road rage or thwart a mommy meltdown.
28) Fill your tank on your way home. No one likes to be in a rush to get somewhere, only to slide into the driver’s seat and realize your car has no gas. Be proactive about petrol. When the gauge reads less than a quarter tank, fuel up before you head home. Make sure there’s a full tank if you plan to take a long drive, especially if it’s to an unfamiliar area where you could end up getting lost.
29) Pack the trunk with a seasonal stash. Your “adventure bag” and accompanying items should be season-specific and ready to go when you are. If it’s beach weather, load up the back with a couple of folding chairs, plus your take-along tote filled with sunscreen, water toys, pool floaties, bathing suits and beach towels.
30) Cash on hand can get you out of a jam. Sure, everybody uses cards these days. But what happens if there’s an emergency situation where you need bills and coins? Not every place accepts credit cards. Just having a twenty, a few singles and some change in your wallet can make for greater peace of mind and that “just in case” money that you might not realize you needed.
31) Buy an extra set of toothbrushes and toiletries for the family. Keep a plastic container filled with soap, deodorant, shaving razor, family toothbrushes, toothpaste, comb, and any other toiletry take-along. When it’s time to hit the road, you won’t have to stop at the store for supplies.
32) Don’t forget the pet. Does your pet accompany you on family outings? Then be sure to keep some special things in your trunk to enhance his experience. Two portable pet bowls, one for water and one for food, a kit with a stake and long lead for him to run on, pet harness or leash and jacket if it’s chilly. Don’t forget poop bags, a snack bag full of his favorite treats, and some wet wipes in case things get messy.
33) Keep your technology up-to-date. A smartphone that runs out of battery, or a fairly slow desktop PC. These are some of the disorders that slow your work and increase your stress levels. Technology sometimes slows down your daily life. So make sure your power bank is charging and keep your PC or laptop up-to date.
34) Put technology in its place. Too many people let technology “own” them when it should be the other way around. If email dings and beeps annoy you, then silence your phone. If Facebook alerts distract you from finishing an important project, then forgive yourself for not responding to people at a time when you need to focus. Take a tech and communication break when your mind needs a rest. Or, use email and social media as a reward to yourself for completing a task. You’ll find that you accomplish much more in less time without smart phones and computers distracting you.
35) Do other stuff while your computer is “thinking.” You don’t have to sit there feeling impatient, waiting for your technology to do its thing. If you’re downloading a program but it’s taking too long, hop up and wash the lunch dishes in the meanwhile. If your email is loading too slowly for your likes, grab your smart phone and message someone you’ve been meaning to respond to. You can make an all-day marathon of computer maintenance and housework, and not even get into a bad mood while doing it!
36) Stop using technology as a procrastination tool. Smart phones and computers enhance our productivity if we use them right. However, they can also complicate matters. Sometimes two phone calls to two people work better for making plans than a group email with five people tossing comments back and forth. Saying “I can’t access my email right now” might just be an avoidance tactic. Knowing which is which requires us to be honest with ourselves about what we want to accomplish with whom.
37) You don’t have to “like” everything on social media. Liking is seen as a time-saver, but is it really? We “like” to communicate approval, show support, and acknowledge that we’ve read someone’s message. But sometimes liking doesn’t really convey what we mean to say. So is it worth the hours, days, weeks and years we spend clicking that little “thumbs up” or open-mouthed smiley? What if instead of logging on ten times to leave seventeen likes on one thread, you gave no likes but instead logged on once, read everyone’s messages, then crafted a thoughtful and thought-provoking, four-line reply? How much more productive and fulfilling would that be?
BEAUTY MOM HACKS
38) Curlers and comb are some of your everyday life hacks weapon. Curlers are your multi-tasking secret beauty tool. Busy moms don’t have hours to fix their hair like they did in high school. Thanks to bobby pin-free curlers, you can style your hair on the go while attending to other matters, like finding lost shoes and ironing flannel shirts. It takes less than 10 minutes to put even thick hair up in stay-put curlers like the kind Conair sells. Take them down, brush, smooth and you’re ready to face the world!
39) Healthy skin comes from within. A few foods, added to the diet at the right moment, or when consumed daily, improve the look of your skin. Better skin means you won’t have to waste hours shopping for and testing out the perfect cleansers and beauty products in an attempt to look more youthful. Instead of products, try a daily glass of lemon water first thing in the morning, or drink apple cider vinegar. Cinnamon sticks, black pepper, whole cloves and fresh ginger steeped in a homemade chai will definitely cleanse your digestive system after a rich and filling meal – making your eyes look brighter and your skin glow with good health. Fresh juice from carrots, apples, ginger, kale, parsley, celery and other fruits and vegetables will prime your hormone function, which makes the skin more elastic and supple. Healthy fats such as coconut and olive oil enhance the complexion too. Good health and beautiful skin go hand in hand, and that’s a beauty time saver for sure.
40) Don’t leave home without your makeup bag. We’ve all left the house looking like a hot mess. A small take-along bag that contains makeup essentials can be just what you need to save face. You can hastily apply lipstick while parked at the doctor’s office, powder your nose in traffic or pluck those unsightly chin hairs for a quick moment in the driveway.
SELF HEALTH IS ESSENTIAL
41) A day of rest keeps you at your best. Whether you practice organized religion or not, a “day of rest” really does seem to be the glue that holds marriages and families together and keeps things on a high note at home. These days, weekends get booked up so quickly thanks to social media and smart phones. This isn’t healthy or desirable. If you crave one day out of the week where you can just play it by ear, be spontaneous about your day, or simply relax at home… then, by all means, take it. Not factoring in relaxed leisure time can really suck the life out of a marriage, causing needless stress, possible arguments, and resulting family dysfunction. This is NOT productive!
42) Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying too much stored fat taxes the body and throws off our internal systems. If you enjoy being engaged in an active life and plan on longevity, then eat in balance and be sure to get moderate exercise. Not taking care of ourselves today can mean precious living time gone to waste while under a doctor’s care.
43) Keep yourself and your family healthy with holistic cures. Some people don’t believe in holistic cures. Perhaps they’ve never tried them. In addition to a healthy diet, herbs and spices available help boost immunity, fight infection and keep our bodies in balance. Many people use essential oils to shorten the duration of their illnesses. If you don’t enjoy missing out on fun plans and activities due to illness, then look into essential oils, herbs, and spices for their healing properties.
44) Release your stress. Life is so busy and fast paced, isn’t it? You can feel the tension mounting as the hours fly by while you’re checking off your never ending to-do list. Everybody needs some stress release each day, or at least every few days, to keep the mind sharp and the body fit. A stress release might be a rejuvenating yoga session, a walk with the dog, or how about spending some time with your family or shopping? Take that stress relieving break when you start to feel irritable, short tempered or mentally scattered. That’s your body and mind calling out to you to expend pent-up energy, so heed the warning and you’ll find yourself in a more relaxed and productive place before you know it.
45) Always practice good hygiene. Good hygiene is important for your medical, social, and psychological reasons. It not only reduces the risk of sickness, but it also improves the way others look at you and how you look at yourself.
So, that’s 45 everyday life hacks for a busy mom to make life easier. I hope you find some of the tips useful and use it in your life. Have fun and let’s get the thing done!