As a busy working Mom, we can never get enough tips and tricks!! It feels amazing when we try something new (especially something simple) and it makes our lives so much easier.
Below are some of my favorite tips for adding simplicity and efficiency to your beautiful (and crazy) schedule.
Cleaning is one of the hardest things for busy working Moms. We barely have the energy to get dinner on the table, let alone clean it up. However, a clean home makes us happier and calmer, so it’s important that we take care of our homes. Below are some tips to keep our spaces cleaner without working too hard…
Tip 1: Nightly Pick-Up.
Create a routine to clean 15 minutes every night and set a timer. The timer is the magic piece of this tip. It’s amazing how much gets done once the timer is set. If you’re having a really great day, involve your kids and your spouse. Assuming they aren’t getting in your way, your house will be MUCH cleaner. Not perfect, but better!
Tip 2: Clean Up while Getting Gas.
Every time you fill up your gas tank, while you’re waiting for the gas to fill up, glance through your car and toss out any trash. This will keep your car from looking too messed up…I’m always shocked at how much trash my kids leave in the back seat. Where does it come from?!
Homework….oh homework. It can be one of the most contentious problems in a household. It’s really hard for parents when kids refuse to do their work. Below are some strategies that really helped make things a bit smoother in my household.
Tip 3: Use Homework Caddies.
Invest in a caddy for each child and stock it with items they would need for homework and projects, such as pencils, erasers, glue sticks, post-it notes, small rulers, etc. Keep only your best and prettiest school supplies in it. (Eaten up pencils and broken crayons should not be included. The purpose is to make it fun and beautiful so they want to use it.) The key is to not let them use the homework caddy for anything besides homework, so it’ll feel even more special. When they pull it out to do homework, it’ll also set the tone in your household that it’s study time. But perhaps the best benefit is that the kids will stop asking you for a glue stick. And a minute later the scissors. And two minutes later the pencil sharpener…Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference.
Tip 4: Set a Homework Time.
Figure out when your kids are most likely to want to do their homework (if the answer is never, don’t despair!) and set it to “Homework time.” Some kids do best when they do their homework as soon as they get home from school. Pay attention to nights when things go well. I noticed that my kids need to rest after a long day at school and can’t settle down right after school. Instead, we set Homework Time to be as soon as dinner is done. The dishes aren’t even cleared off the table and boom, out comes the homework caddies. (I don’t want them getting involved in another activity so I’m quick about it!) Having a set time for homework creates a routine. The kids get used to the timing so there is less resistance (note the word “less…”). Also, you nag less. I don’t even talk to my kids about homework unless it’s after dinner. I don’t bring it up and remind them to do it any other time. This makes them happy and gives us a calmer home. Yay!
Decorating can be frustrating for busy Moms. We’re usually happy if our house is clean. But in our hearts, we’d love if our house looked nice, too. Here are some simple tips:
Tip 5: Check Etsy
When you need to buy something for your home, check Etsy first. You’ll be amazed at the creative and beautiful items you can purchase (mostly handmade) that will add originality and coziness to your space. Oftentimes, you would have made the purchase, anyway. Why not get something that’s unique which will add beauty to your home?
I first discovered this trick when I needed a simple organizer for my craft room. I did what busy Moms always do: I checked Amazon. Amazon had some pretty standard organizers but most of them were made of plastic or metal. Nothing looked very interesting. I decided to check out Etsy and couldn’t believe my luck!! I was able to have custom-made vintage jars to hold my craft accessories — and the artist even painted them the exact shade of teal I wanted for my office! Score! Give it a try and let me know if you score any finds! (Warning: it can be a bit addictive…’nuff said.)
Tip 6: Use Trays
When things are organized on a tray, they suddenly look less cluttered and more organized. If you’ve never used trays, you will be amazed at the difference it makes. For example, I use a tray in my kid’s bathroom to store their toothpaste. It’s a jumbled mess, but once you throw it all on a tray, it looks almost decent. It can be hard to find trays, though, especially low-cost trays. Get creative since you can use anything as a tray. You can use plates from your kitchen (which is great because then you can also throw them in the dishwasher!), serving plates, even pretty lazy susans. There are so many possibilities and once you start, you’ll start noticing more and more items in your home that could sit on a tray.
We may fantasize about beautifully decorated houses, but being organized is something we absolutely need — and our family thrives on. Below are some tips you may not have thought of, but they’ll make your house look so much better, which will make YOU feel better!
Tip 7: Use Lazy Susans.
If you thought Lazy Susan’s were something your great aunt used, it’s time to rethink this tool. I use them everywhere! My favorite place to use them is in my kitchen cabinets. They organize my items beautifully and I can easily get to things. I also like using them as inexpensive trays when decorating (see prior tip!).
Tip 8: Keep a Storage Box for Each Child.
Keep a container (one for each child) to store special schoolwork or projects. This helps with the clutter and makes decisions easier. If your child comes home from school with a very special project or picture, date it and stick it in his or her “Special box.” The key is to have only ONE box per child (even if it’s large). Having only one box will keep the clutter to a minimum and also help your child learn to prioritize and save only the best of the best. It’s also a lot of fun for kids to go through their Special boxes and see items they made years ago.
If you have any other tips, please please please share them in the comments below! Sometimes the most simple “hacks” can make our lives much easier (for me, it was the homework caddies!).
Sending you blessings and love,