Is there a mom out there anymore that isn’t busy? I think we all can use some time-saving tips on a regular basis. My haven for ideas is Real Simple. This magazine has given me many ideas on organizing my home, which has saved a great deal of time, and offers time saving tips in every issue, as well as sharing tips in an online e-zine that you can choose to submit to.
I think every mom has some time-saving tips up their sleeve. Here are just a few of mine:
1.Make sure you have a list of everything you need to purchase at the grocery store. If you shop at the same location on a regular basis, keep a by aisle listing of items that you need. I’m not quite this ambitious in my shopping, but I do keep my items listed by meat, dairy, canned goods, etc. This saves me time while shopping in the store and I can cross items off my list as I go. I put a star next to items that I know I have a coupon for, so I don’t forget as I check out. Because I always throw my lists away when I’m done shopping, I remember to check my stars (coupons) before I toss out my list at the end of each shopping trick. My kids can also help me make sure that I don’t forget the coupons, since they usually receive the task of throwing away the list.
2.Write down items in your calendar. Even regularly scheduled events can be written in a calendar. I keep mine in my desk drawer. It’s right on top, so if my husband schedules something and wants to make sure I can attend and I’m not home to ask, he can check my calendar and know exactly what activities are going on. This has been a great resource for me because I like to plan ahead. I can write down all of our activities and not forget them. If I have an important task that I need to accomplish, I write it down in my calendar and I alert myself using my cell phone that a task needs to be started. I find that I can put tasks as I think of them in the store, waiting during my sons’ gymnastics class, or at the gym, in my phone date book. Usually the time it takes me to put it in the storage device in the phone keeps this task fresh in my brain and I don’t need the alert. Consider how happy you might be though with a simple reminder that you did forget! It saves a great deal of time.
3.Those little cards that you receive from the doctor’s office to remind you for your appointment, I use tape and affix it to my refrigerator or other location after writing down the date in my calendar. You can always use an extra reminder! Not every doctor’s office phones to remind you of your appointment and by keeping a visual reminder in sight, I show my kids that health is important, whether you really want to attend the appointment or not.
4.Set realistic timed goals for shopping. With kids, shopping time is a commodity. I know that I have about an hour to get all of the items I need, no matter where I am, at the mall, grocery store, etc. I need to make sure the kids have a general idea of where we’re going, how long it will take, and what we will be doing next, (lunch for instance). If I do need a larger time to shop, I either have a break of something fun for the kids to do, like taking them into a store they want to see, or make sure they get a treat at the end (for good behavior only). By setting realistic times for myself and keeping my kids aware of how much time we will be at a location, keeps everyone in better spirits. Shopping can be stressful, but knowing what you’re going in for is a time saver.
5.Write down items you need to discuss with a friend. How many times have you received a call back from someone that you’ve been needing to speak with and then hang up without asking them the question you needed to. I have, several times. While email has been a helpful time saver in this regard, not all people use email on a regular basis, so having notes for items that need to be brought up are a great time-saver. I keep a note-pad by my bed, because generally right before I get read to fall asleep is when I remember these things and I can write them down and in the morning take them to the phone for later use.
6.Use drive-in services. Did you know that many convenience stores now offer drive-thru service? Ever needed to get gas and your kids were yelling that they were thirsty? Drive-thru services can save time and keep everyone happy. I’ve started using the post office through local convenience stores that have a small post office branch. I find that I save a great chunk of time not waiting in line and struggling with my children in the post-office. I also have often used the USPS website to purchase stamps (which ship for free).
7.Purchase regularly used household items in bulk. By shopping monthly, quarterly, or yearly at discounted wholesale locations for toilet paper, paper towels, etc, you save not only money, but timeÃ¢Â?Â¦. Have you ever reached under your cabinet and realized you just grabbed the last roll of toilet paper? Chances are, you have company coming over soon and that roll is due to expire shortly. By shopping in larger quantities for items that you are bound to use in a short period of time (even a year) purchasing in bulk is a great time saver. There are even companies now that offer these services online and will ship directly to you. Consider how much time you can save thereÃ¢Â?Â¦
Time certainly adds up. We’ve all heard the coined phrase, time is money. Unfortunately in certain instances, this can be true. In any case, for busy moms, time saved means more time to focus on the family, and maybe even ourselves. Every mom hopes for five minutes of peace every-day, and with time saving tips, hopefully you have those five minutes (if not more).