To me, summer feels like some weird abyss where bedtimes don’t matter, meals are random, showers are optional (depending if you went in the pool that day, of course), and the house is covered in sand and wet towels. It’s SO FUN, but if I’m honest, I’m craving the organization and schedule of the school year starting soon.
This is the time of year where I start to get a game plan for how I want my household to run when our days get busier. The time that we have together as a family is so precious, and I know I don’t want to be spending all of our free time running errands and doing the dishes. I’ve rounded up some time savers that already work for my family, some advice from friends, and some tips from everyone’s friend: the internet. Hope there is something that will help you too!
- Stop using the dishwasher. Sounds counter-intuitive right? I’ve got to give the credit to my husband for thinking of this idea, but it has drastically cut down on the amount of time I spend doing the dishes. Everyone in my household now has one plate, bowl, coffee cup, and glass that they are responsible for during the week. These dishes are hand washed and put into the drying rack next to the sink. The two minutes that I take to wash my plate after I use it compared to the time I used to spend emptying and loading the dishwasher at least once a day saves so.much.time! Of course we still use the dishwasher for other random dishes, but hand washing is really so much faster and easier than you think.
- Meal plan for the week and stick to it. I like to plan out what we are going to eat for the week early Sunday morning before everyone else wakes up. (Heaven to me is drinking hot coffee in a quiet room, by myself, while perusing Pinterest). I write down our meals for the week on the white board in our kitchen and I try really hard to stick to the plan, unless my husband randomly wants to go out to dinner. Then I cheer with excitement 🙂 I make sure to pick meals that sound delicious so that I’m excited to make them during the week. If it is just a chicken breast with steamed broccoli, we probably aren’t going to want to eat that by the time Wednesday rolls around.
- Order your groceries online. I love ordering my groceries online! I use Harris Teeter Home Shop and it keeps me from overspending and it saves me time. I try to order my groceries by Sunday morning, so I have stocked fridge for the week by Sunday night.
- Take ten minutes at night to plan for tomorrow. Take the meat out of the freezer for tomorrow’s dinner. Pack the kid’s backpack so you aren’t rushed in the morning. Look at tomorrow’s schedule so you know what’s on the agenda. Package up snacks and lunches. Pay a bill. When the kids are sleeping and you have a glass of wine in hand is a great time to do this.
- Let your kids pick out their clothes for the week. This is a genius idea that my friend passed on to me! Get one of those five space hanging shelves. On Sunday, let your child pick out the five outfits they are going to wear that week and put one on each shelf. Since they were the ones who picked out their clothes, it should eliminate (or cut down) on fighting and save time in the mornings! So smart!
- Utilize your crockpot. Fall meals are meant for the crockpot! Let it do the work for you a few times a week and save time by not cooking. Here are some of our family’s favorite crockpot recipes: