I always thought that when I quit my job I’d have oceans of time open up in front of me like Moses and the Nile. HA…There never seems to be enough time! I like what this Parenting.Com article says — in short, organize, you can’t do everything, and don’t be so hard on yourself Reminders most of us moms/parents need — I’ve started realizing that time is also a way of thinking – do you let time manage you or do you manage your time?
When I feel like I’ve been herding my family all day, I take a one minute breathing break and make time ‘stop’ – and that really helps – I make time stop by becoming hyper aware of things around me – I take a deep breath – try figuring out the birds chirping, the leaves rustling, I look around and take mental ‘pictures’ of my surroundings – funny – someone gave me this suggestion when it came to my wedding – she was saying how fast it goes by and needing to stop time by pausing and looking around soaking everything in – and that is what I do once in a while now!
I know this post is supposed to be time savers – but I look at this two ways – doing things more efficiently by saving time, but also savoring what time you have so it matters. With my kids growing like weeds, I know this time is fleeting (sob) so I try spending the time enjoying it rather than stressing about rushing towards something else or by heaping more expectations on myself – i.e. how I spent a couple of hours cutting and glueing felt so that my daughter would have her name on skewers that I would then place into the fruit salad as a centerpiece for her birthday celebration in school…and we ended up not using them (eye roll) – the kids were so busy rushing towards the food it didn’t matter. Ugh, we all throw away time in more ways than one…
Avoid the whole trying-to-pick-out-the-perfect-outfit morning madness. At the beginning of the week, Mommysavers.com founder Kimberly Danger sorts out seven outfits with her kids and puts each one together in a sweater rack or shoe cubby. This saves time in the morning and also short-circuits potential arguments about what to wear.
Don’t run to the store every time your child gets a birthday-party invite. Instead, stock up on one-size-fits-all kid presents whenever you spot a sale. Keep your treasures on a designated closet shelf so there’s always something you can pull out, wrap, and give.
There’s no reason to sit through commercials — record your favorite shows, then fast-forward through the ads. If you must watch television in real time, hit the mute button and, during the breaks, sort the mail or catch up on magazines.
Who says the cookies you send in for the preschool bake sale need to be from scratch? There’s a reason grocery stores sell refrigerated dough. And when you are baking, don’t underestimate the power of aluminum foil. You can line any baking dish or cookie sheet with it, and then you don’t have the hassle of scrubbing pans.
Touch mail no more than twice. Don’t let paper pile up on the kitchen counter — put all the flyers and catalogs you know you’re never going to look at in the recycling bin; as you receive monthly bills, throw away the outer envelopes and place the bills in a to-be-paid folder. Same goes for e-mail: Answer it immediately, then delete.
Forget asking your kids what they want to eat. As they’re debating ham and cheese versus PB&J, you could have already packed the lunchbox and sent them out the door. As for dinner, don’t even think about making different foods for each member of the family. Kids can eat what the grown-ups are served. Or fix a bowl of cereal.
As long as you’re paying the teenager down the street, ask her if she’ll fold some laundry or straighten the toy shelves while she watches TV after the kids are asleep.
Sure, it’s tough to entrust your child to someone else’s minivan. But if you don’t share the driving with friends, you’ll end up living in your vehicle as you ferry your child to school and sports and other activities. (And think of the money you’ll save on gas.)
Sure, every penny counts, but when you’re running from store to store to get the best price on a sack of potatoes, the gas alone isn’t worth it. Save money the old-fashioned way — clip coupons and make just one trip.
Even a 3-year-old can master a simple sorting system. Set up a couple of baskets — one for whites, another for colors — in his room. Also, teach kids that clothes can usually be worn more than once before they need to be washed. This doesn’t dawn on most of them until they go away to college and start doing their own laundry.
If you’re spending the time to whip up dinner, double or triple the recipe and freeze it. You get two or three meals for the same time it took you to make one.
It seemed so necessary when you bought it, but that changing table isn’t the only place you can do diaper duty. Keep a few clean diapers and changing pads stashed throughout your house to save you from running back and forth to the nursery.
Originally published in the November 2008 issue of Parents magazine.
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- Ways to Maximize Family Time! (declutterorganizerepurpose.wordpress.com)