Being a parent often means your to-do list is never quite finished, your laundry baskets are never empty and there are never enough hours in the day to stay on top of everything. Before you get too overwhelmed, check out these time-saving hacks for parents that just might make your daily routines a little easier.
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1. Organize drawers with piles of outfits
Set up five outfits for each child with everything from undies to hoodies all set to go in the drawer or closet. This makes at least part of the morning routine organized and stress-free while also giving kids some choice in their daily style.
2. Teach everyone this laundry rule
Instruct everyone in the house to turn clothes right side out and empty pockets before the clothes even touch the laundry hamper. Even small children can do this simple task, saving you time and effort when it’s time to do the laundry.
3. Use a delivery service
Try a program like Amazon Prime to have essentials delivered right to your door on a regular schedule. You can have everything from toothpaste to dog food delivered to your home so you’ll never have to run to the store for toilet paper at midnight!
4. Keep the car stocked
Always keep your car stocked with a few essentials and emergency items – snacks, water bottles, a couple of plastic bags, a towel, sunscreen in summer and hats and mittens in winter. In this case you’ll never have to worry about backtracking or making unnecessary stops when you’re on the go with family.
5. Mount hooks at your kid’s level
Teach your kids to go straight to these hooks as soon as they get home from school, and you won’t have to waste time nagging them or picking up all those backpacks yourself. It will be much easier for them to hang up their coats, backpacks and other personal items you’re sick of moving.
6. Cook double batches
When making meals for your family, make more than enough for one dinner. Divide the second batch of food into individually sized portions and freeze them in jars or Tupperware containers. You can then just grab a frozen jar of delicious homemade food and toss it in your bag on your way out the door to work. It will be nearly thawed by lunchtime!
7. Make food in muffin tins
Cooking food like meatloaf or banana bread in muffin tins instead of a larger loaf pan not only saves cooking and cleaning time, but also makes it much easier to grab a tasty snack and eat on the go.
8. Make these quick and easy 4-ingredient “cookies”
Whip up a big batch of these super simple “cookies” and your kids can grab a healthy breakfast as they zoom out the door. Combine one cup of quick-cooking oats, two mashed ripe bananas, two tablespoons of peanut butter (or other nut butter of your choice) and half a cup of dark chocolate chips, raisins or other dried fruit like cranberries, cherries or chopped apricots. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. For best results, line cookie sheet with parchment paper or use cooking spray.
9. Stop bathing your kids every day
Give yourself a break from the long, stressful bedtime routine now and then. Most small children really don’t need a bath every single day, and for children with dry skin, bathing only a few times a week could actually be much healthier. Unless you’ve got mud monsters on your hands, save yourself some time in the evenings to do something fun and relaxing together or simply hit the sack early.
It’s tough being a parent, and you deserve a break.
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