Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Top Ten Time Saving Tips for Moms



After being married almost 8 years before my son was born being a parent was new to me. I never had to think of time constraints or time management like I do now. Adjusting to the fact that a helpless little person needed my every moment was rough at first. Of course I savored every second of it but it was definitely something I had to get use to. I had to find ways to get stuff done for him, for me, for my husband and for our home. 

I still consider myself a new mom even though my son is 18 months old.  I find myself constantly running out of time to get done my "to do" list for each day. Thankfully I have learned a lot in the last 18 months on how to do tasks and chores in a way that saves me time.

My top ten time saving ideas are:

1. Use a baby carrier!
I found it so much easier to be able to do things like fold laundry while sitting on the couch, talk on the phone, read emails and so much more if I had my little guy in his carrier. He always wanted to be held and I was worried about him wiggling around so I always held him with two hands making it impossible to do anything else.


2. Cook meals in advance while your kids are napping.
I found if I made the meat or entree part of a meal in advance even if it was only for a few days it made it so much more simple to just steam veggies or boil rice to go with the meat I already had cooked. I alwasy do this while he is napping since he needs my full attention when hes awake and I need to pay attention while I cook or it turns out burnt or under seasoned.


3. Use the internet to help shop and pay bills.
Going to the store with kids can be a time drainer. Although its cute they want to help and want to be a little shopper on days when you need to just get it done it can be frustrating. If you know there are certain items your family needs monthly you go use places like Safeway.com or Alice.com to get stuff sent to you without having to do anything! Our internet and phone have online bill pay so you do not have to even fill out a bill and mail it just a few clicks! 


4. Make a Cleaning schedule.
I find myself getting lost in household chores and then I run out of time to do other things I need to do. I have days of the week I do things like the floors, the bathrooms, laundry and cooking. It makes it easier to not feel guilty about certain tasks I might not get done. If it is not my "day" to do it then I won't use my time on it and will get other things done. 


5. Use digital coupons and rewards cards.
I cannot tell you how many hours I spend clipping coupons only to have them expire, left at home or not even need. I use to cut all of them out just in case or to give to someone. It can be a time drainer to clip and organize them all. I am a couponer and love to save money, with our budget its a must but as they say time is money! So I use digital coupons loaded onto my rewards card. I load every deal and every coupon onto the card just to be sure I have it if I need it. I load coupons from the stores website as well as 3rd party coupon sites.


6. Make lists, even lists for your lists!
I know this may seem simple but for me I would be lost without my lists. I write things down for my son, the house and for blogging! I find this helps me to not waste time trying to remember this or that or having to go back to the house for something I forget. Which saves time and gas money! 


7. Know you limits and be ok with it!
Time is a finite. Theres no getting more or making more time. Knowing that you only have so much time in the day to do stuff is something to remind yourself of. Being ok with not accomplishing everything yo wanted to can be stressful but don't let this overwhelm you. Sometimes we can all be time wasters worrying or over thinking things. My mother in law gets stressed about house chores by being overwhelmed by the whole picture. I always tell her one room at a time and you will get there. 


8. Have two diaper bags.
For me I have a regular diaper bag and a mini back up one in the car. The back up one has non perishable snacks, diapers, wipes, a binkie, a stuffed animal, extra outfits, a coat, band-aids, hand sanitizer, an extra tshirt for me and emergency phone numbers in it (in case you lose your cell phone, no one remembers phone  numbers anymore!) I update it as we use stuff and my son changes clothing and diaper sizes. I have friends that have to run to the store or go back to the house when we are on playdates to get the item they forgot to put in the diaper bag. Me I just go to my back up bag and continue with the task at hand!



9. Buy extras if its on Sale.
Running out of diapers or baby food or the all important tp can be a time waster! When my son was first born I was naive to think I could just run to the store to get something. I learned real quick to get more than one of something if I see it on sale. This doesn't just save time but also money! 


10. Have a space for yourself.
This is along the lines of organizing. It will help you to have stuff you need like bills, letters, books, your cell phone all in one spot. Also it gives you a place that you can unwind and have just your stuff there. Metal clarity is a big time saver. Even if its just your own shelf in the closet or if you can a small desk in your bedroom this organizing spot to do your personal tasks will make them easier to get done and give you time later to be with your kids rather than trying to do both at once.




**I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here. 
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