A mum’s work is never done – at least sometimes it seems that way. But if you’re struggling to
balance childcare, housework and a job, don’t worry. We’ve put together ten top time-saving tips
to help you keep on top of things.
Finding it tough to juggle everything? Our top ten time-saves for busy mums will help you to
get your life and home in order – giving you more quality time with your little ones and maybe
some ‘me-time’ too.
1. Know what’s essential
When your mind’s full of to-do lists, chores and appointments, it’s easy to get stressed out. Don’t
expect too much from yourself. Write down everything you think you need to do, decide how many
of these are essential and focus on completing them. Feeding the kids, paying bills and going to work
are obviously must-dos – but do you really need to wash the skirting boards today?
2. Keep your home clutter-free
Nothing’s a bigger time-suck than searching for lost things. So try to stick to the old adage of ‘a
place for everything, and everything in its place’. Have a clear out and reorganize the way you’re
storing stuff – you’ll save time in the long-run and you could make a little extra cash by selling some
3. Get into good organizational habits
If you’re a little on the disorganized side, train yourself (and your family) to get into good habits.
Don’t expect miracles though. Focus on one thing at a time to make sure it becomes part of your
daily routine – like dealing with the post as soon as you pick it up or making packed lunches for
everyone each evening.
4. Delegate the chores you can
If you’re a first time mum, it’s natural to think you have to do everything for your little ones. But
mums who are old-hands or experienced in fostering know that giving kids a little responsibility can do wonders for their confidence and prepare them for the future.
Start by teaching toddlers to return their toys to the toy box when they’ve finished with them. Older
children can tidy their rooms and you can then move onto teaching them how to do other tasks
around the home.
5. Do a little each day
Trying to do too much at once has been the downfall of many a busy mum. Make life easier for
yourself by scheduling in small tasks each day rather than saving them all for the weekend.
Break large tasks down into mini-steps – so instead of spending a whole day cleaning a room,
you could clean the worktops on Monday, clear out a cupboard on Tuesday, wash the floor on
Wednesday and so on.
6. Keep on top of the paperwork
Bills, notes from school, insurance renewal forms and so on can soon build up, so make sure you
have a good system in place for managing them. A sensible filing system is the key to keeping the
paper monster at bay, so setting one up should be the first thing you do.
Try not to deal with a single piece of paper more than once – shred things you don’t need
immediately and file things you need to keep straightaway. Deal with things you need to take action
on as soon as you can, then shred or file the paper once you’ve done so.
7. Plan your meals in advance
Meal-planning is a great way to save time and money. Dedicate some time each week to sit down
and plan your family’s meals for the following week – ideally, the day before you’d usually go
shopping. This will mean you can get all the ingredients you need for the week, so you won’t need
to stop off at the shops mid-week because you’ve forgotten something.
Batch-cooking food can be a real time-saver too. Cooking a lasagne, cottage pie or stew? Cook twice
the amount and pop half of it in the freezer for the following week. You’ll cut the time you need to
spend in the kitchen and could knock a few pounds off of your shopping bill too.
8. Make use of the internet
The internet’s been a real blessing for busy mums. Get online and you can save time in a range of
ways – from switching to paperless billing and paying online to arranging for your weekly grocery
shop to be delivered and booking family holidays.
You can also network with other mums on sites like Netmums– after all, why waste time worrying about something when another experienced mum already has the answer?
9. Use apps to keep you on track
Thanks to smartphones and tablets, you don’t even need to stop and log on at your home computer
– you can access the web while you’re on the move. And there are smartphone apps for everything
from managing your household budget to keeping on track with your diet, so you can make the most
of any time you have to spend commuting to work or waiting for the kids to come out of school.
10. Don’t forget to relax
Finally, remember to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling run down, things will soon start to get
on top of you. Make sure you build in a little relaxation time into your schedule, however indulgent
it may seem. See a movie with the girls, enjoy a candlelit meal with your partner or enjoy a leisurely
soak in a bubble-filled bath. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to go again.
Have you got any tips for other busy mums?