8 Time-Saving Tips for Parent’s Weekly Routine

Family life can feel like a constant race against the clock, and while kids might not notice the kerfuffle, parents really can feel the strain of week after week of endless time-sensitive responsibilities.

Rather than letting this get the better of you, stick with us and learn a few incredibly useful tips which will let you become the master of your schedule, rather than beholden to it.

mom in kitchen with kids
Image source Pexels

Prepping Outfits on Sunday Evening

A recent survey from Pew Research found that 29% of parents are stressed more often than not, while 41% are exhausted by their roles on a regular basis. Taking steps to improve time management is a way to minimize these issues.

One major time-saver for parents is prepping outfits for the week on Sunday evening. It's like organizing a vacation properly, in that it makes the journey smoother and stress-free.

  • Plan Ahead: Lay out all clothes, including socks and underwear, for each day of the week. This avoids morning scrambles.
  • Weather Check: Use your favorite weather app (the likes of AccuWeather and WeatherBug get praise) to anticipate changes and adjust accordingly.
  • Involve Kids: Make it fun by letting your kids choose some items themselves. It can also be a teaching moment about weather appropriateness.
  • Special Days Ready: Prepare special outfits in advance if there's an event at school or daycare - no more last-minute wardrobe crises!

Utilizing Smart Home Devices

Smart home devices can dramatically cut down on daily time sinks, and with the market expected to earn $154 billion this year, there’s clearly demand to back up the hype. These gadgets are like personal assistants that never sleep.

  • Smart Speakers: Use Alexa or Google Assistant to set reminders, alarms, and even play calming music for bedtime routines.
  • Automated Lighting: Schedule lights to turn on and off at specific times. This not only saves time but also adds a layer of security.
  • Smart Thermostats: Program your thermostat for optimal temperatures throughout the day without lifting a finger. This is useful given that energy bills are rising 2% month on month.
  • Robot Vacuums: Products like the Roborock Q5 Pro+ and the TP-Link Tapo RV40C Plus clean up while you handle other tasks or just relax with the kids.

Streamlining School and Work Bags

Getting everyone out the door can feel like a herculean task – and it’s one that eats into 30% of our time on average each week. Streamlining school and work bags the night before can make mornings far less chaotic.

  • Daily Essentials Check: Ensure each bag contains necessary items like homework, laptops, chargers, lunch boxes, and water bottles.
  • Dedicated Storage Space: Assign a specific spot in your home where bags are kept ready to go. This minimizes morning searches.
  • Use Labels: Label folders and pouches for quick access to pens, notebooks, or any other supplies needed throughout the day.
  • Weekly Inventory: Do a weekly check to restock supplies - whether it's extra pencils for kids or snacks for your own bag.

Digital Calendar Syncing for the Whole Family

Keeping track of everyone's schedules can be a juggling act, especially now that 34% of people work from home, piling on even more domestic environment pressure. Digital calendar syncing makes managing multiple routines less vexing.

  • Shared Calendars: Use apps like Google Calendar or Apple Calendar to create shared family calendars. Everyone sees updates in real time.
  • Color Coding: Assign each family member a color for easy identification of their activities at a glance.
  • Notifications and Reminders: Set alerts for important events like school meetings, doctor appointments, and extracurricular activities.
  • Integrate with Other Apps: Sync your calendar with to-do lists or meal planning apps like Mealime Pro for comprehensive organization.

Batch Cooking and Freezing Meals

Groceries cost a family of 4 an average of $1,074 at a minimum each month, with more affluent households spending $1,635. Batch cooking is a good way to keep costs down, extract max value from ingredients, and claw back more free time.

  • Plan Weekly Menus: Decide on recipes that freeze well, like soups, stews, chicken casseroles, and pasta dishes.
  • Dedicated Cooking Day: Choose one day each week to cook multiple meals in bulk. Sundays often work well for this.
  • Portion Control: Use portion-sized containers to store individual servings. This makes reheating easier and reduces waste.
  • Label Everything: Clearly label each container with the meal name and date prepared. This ensures nothing gets lost or forgotten in the freezer.

Leveraging Grocery Delivery Services

Grocery delivery services are a lifesaver for time-strapped parents. It's like having a personal shopper handle the tedious part of meal prep, which BLS stats show can account for 53 minutes of our time each day.

  • Schedule Regular Deliveries: Set up weekly or bi-weekly deliveries to ensure your pantry stays stocked without last-minute store runs.
  • Meal Planning Integration: Services such as HelloFresh offer meal planning options, so you can select recipes and have ingredients delivered directly to your door.
  • Discount Alerts: Keep an eye out for promotions and deals, as you can use a dinner delivery coupon to save on costs without sacrificing quality.
  • Subscription Boxes: Consider using subscription boxes that provide pre-portioned ingredients along with recipes - great for trying new dishes without excess waste.

Setting Up a Homework Station

Creating a dedicated homework station can streamline study time for kids, making it more productive and less stressful. And since kids typically spend 6.8 hours on homework each week, this will be more useful than you might think.

  • Designate a Space: Choose a quiet, well-lit area free from distractions where your child can focus.
  • Stock Supplies: Keep essential supplies like pencils, paper, scissors, and glue readily available. Consider adding bins or drawers for easy organization.
  • Use Technology Wisely: Set up a computer or tablet with necessary educational apps and ensure there’s good internet connectivity.
  • Comfort Matters: Provide comfortable seating to help maintain proper posture during study sessions.

Morning Routine Hacks for Quick Getaways

Streamlining your morning routine can make all the difference between a frantic start and a slick launch to your day. If you’re looking to dip below the 1 hour average for this process, efficiency is key.

  • Wake Up Earlier: Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual. This small buffer can significantly reduce rush-induced stress.
  • Prepare Breakfast Ahead: Make overnight oats or smoothie packs that are ready to blend, ensuring a nutritious meal with minimal effort. This will also help with any health goals you’ve set.
  • Out-the-Door Station: Place keys, wallets, and any necessary items by the door in a designated spot to grab on the way out.
  • Limit Screen Time: Avoid checking phones or TVs until everyone is fully ready. It prevents distractions that delay departure.

Final Thoughts

These tips will change your routine and your life in small but impactful ways, and every little step adds up, so don’t expect radical improvements with one or two optimizations. Instead it’s better to take a holistic look at your family’s weekly routine, and aim to improve as many parts as possible to get the biggest collective benefit.

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