Are you ready to get your life back? Try these five easy ways to save time at home that got us an extra 15 hours every week!
How did you spend your time before you had a family to care for?
Did you go to scrapbooking parties? Maybe you dabbled in sewing or painting?
Before we had kids, I used to spend hours decorating our home. I would spend all day at work looking forward to getting home and attacking another project.
After our first daughter was born, that all changed.
And it was good. I loved being a mom.
It wasn’t until I started planning her first birthday party (and going totally overboard) that I realized how much I missed creative pursuits. Trying new recipes, hosting family and friends for parties, and changing up our home decor.
Eight years and two more kids later, time is extremely precious.
It’s taken some trial and error, but we’ve found a few crucial ways to take back our time so we can actually do some of the things we really love.
5 Ways to Save Time at Home (So You Can Do What You Really Want)
Even if it sounds like drudgery, meal planning done right can save TONS of time and stress.
There is an art to finding the right system for your family, so it can take time to get it right. But it’s so worth it once you get it figured out.
Knowing what we’re going to make each week saves time preparing our grocery lists, reduces the amount of grocery shopping we have to do, and saves time in actually making dinner each night.
Seriously, so worth it.
Our Time saved: 3 hours per week
2-Stop Writing Down Repetitive Tasks
Some people love their paper planners, but I have one question: How much time do you spend writing the same task over and over again? Or even just writing the same items on your grocery list?
Writing by hand is slow, and there’s just no need to do it that way anymore.
Electronic scheduling and tasking tools make this easy, but what if you just love your paper planner?
- If you’re a paper planner person, get stickers made with the things you do over and over again and use those instead of writing them down.
- Make a printable shopping list pre-written with the groceries you buy every week. Then just add the new items you need to the end. (If you make use of the next tip – this will practically be done for you!)
Time Saved: 1 hour per week
3-Grocery Shop Online
At the beginning of 2017, we started doing all our grocery shopping online – and it was life changing.
Sounds silly, right?
But I had gotten to the point where grocery shopping was taking four hours (!) to finish. And, even with a good list in hand, the impulse purchases were getting out of hand.
These days, our groceries are delivered early on Saturday morning. And within an hour, they’re put away. It’s amazing.
The best thing is, you have tons of options for online grocery shopping these days, including:
- Amazon Fresh (we know people who LOVE this new service)
- Walmart grocery pickup (a great option if it’s on your way home from work)
- Safeway Delivery
- Peapod – This is the service we use and love.
Time Saved: Up to 3 hours per week!
Think about those tasks that take a LOT of your time, and that you HATE to do.
Then, pick one of those tasks to outsource. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Hire a cleaner.
- Teach your kids to clean the house.
- Pay the kid next door to mow your lawn.
- Swap babysitting time with a neighbor.
- Join a neighborhood carpool to get the kids to school.
- Look into laundry cleaning services (yes, they exist!)
For us, it’s housecleaning and yard work. Those were both activities that would take up almost our entire weekend to finish. It was causing stress in our marriage, and we weren’t getting to spend enough time hanging out with our kids, much less doing the other things we really love.
Making the commitment to spend less in other areas of our life in order to outsource those tasks has made a huge difference in our lives, and it’s worth the other sacrifices we make.
Our Time Saved: 5 hours per week
5 – Streamline Kids’ Activities
We know families whose kids actives take up every single spare moment of their lives. It seems like every time we want to get together, they can’t because they have to take one or another of their kids to some kind of practice.
And you know what? We miss hanging out with them.
For a while, we started to fall into this rabbit hole as well. It was getting difficult to manage all the activities. And when the husband went on travel, life was pure chaos! So, a difficult decision had to be made.
We cut our kids school-year extracurriculars down to once per week. Not only that, but we found activities that our older two could do at the same time.
So, instead of rushing in and out of the house after school, arguing over who is taking which kid where, and how travel will affect it, we take our kids to the same place at the same time every week.
I know this may change in the future, but since our youngest is only two years old, and weekday babysitting is pretty much nonexistent, it’s what we have to do.
Our Time Saved: 3 hours per week
Total Time Saved: 15 hours per week!
Let’s consider this again: We’ve streamlined our crazy schedules to get back 15 hours every week. That’s more than half a day!
Don’t get me wrong, our lives are still hectic. With three young kids, there’s just no other reality.
But now we have at least a little more time to spend doing the things that weren’t getting done before. And when those are done, we get to finally have some time doing the things we used to do before we became parents. Sometimes our kids even join in on the fun…and that is the most precious part of it all.
Now It’s Your Turn
Take a look at your schedule and figure out where you can use some of these tips to save time at home. You can start with something easy, like a reusable grocery list or give Amazon Fresh a try. Or you can go big with hiring a housecleaner. The important thing is to try something.
How will you be taking back your time this year?
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Milena | Craft Beering says
All great tips I can benefit from! Now if only I could master the discipline to do what the mind says I should:) Happy New Year!
[email protected] says
Great Post, I don’t have kids but I have my own business and a few years ago I was running 2 so I am always looking for ways to save time. These are great tips if you have the money, unfortunately I like to save money so Im a do it yourself, list needing, saver. Maybe someday I will but I can’t justify paying someone to clean, mow my lawn, or deliver my groceries no matter how long it takes. I hope someday I can loosen up and outsource these things but till then……Im a penny pincher.
I love these tips, just wish we could afford someone to come in and help clean. My how that would take press off. Planning weekly weekday meals is a lovely idea. Happy 2018
If I spend less time on social media I would have plenty of time to get things done. Found you on Over the Moon Link Party.
Great tips. I practically need all of those – except the hand writing of lists, mostly because I don’t make lists at all unless it’s absolutely necessary. I do intend to make an effort at meal planning this year because with the hours I’m putting in at the office it’s getting harder to get home in time to cook anything remotely interesting and healthy.
Thank you for joining The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!
Mother of 3 says
Those are fantastic tips; tough sadly the grocery one is not an option in our area (at ALL!). I do find meal planning helps and on nights I’m making a casserole or a soup I try to make extras so I can freeze and keep an easy meal on hand for a night when I do get caught up in an activity and run out of time. Pinned.
Nikki Gwin says
Great tips! I do hope to be able to afford a house cleaner one day. And the grocery thing is such a dream! I hate that job. But right now it just isn’t in the cards. Or the wallet.
Meghan Weyerbacher says
Great post love it ? saw this on link up party fortheloveto.
Rosie Digout says
Great tips! I have a mobile app that I use for grocery shopping, it also has all the current flyers. Each week, I can scan or search for sale items, add them to my weekly list. So simple, so easy. Every now and then, like you, I use the shopping online for groceries. It’s awesome when you don’t have a lot of time. I always ask my self – what’s the best use of my time. If not me, then who. If not now, then when. It helps when learning how to prioritize tasks and activities.
Michele Morin says
I love how you kept track of the time saved! Very motivating!
Jessica - A Modern Mom's Life says
These are amazing tips. I need to work on the meal planning part for sure. I stumbled this post because I love it!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Leslie, great tips. And I LOVE the before and after of your linen closet — good job! Can you do mine?!
Great tips to be more productive as a mom.Loved the tip about swapping baby sitting hours .#BloggersPitstop
Kristin @ Peppermints and Cherries says
Meal planning is such a time saver! Thanks for this reminder as I need to do this more consistently! I have a toddler and a preschooler, but I can already see how quickly time passes as the activities are added to our days…streamline! I am visiting from Friday at the Fire Station link-up.
Natalie A says
I’m pretty sure many people could use help on how to save time at home! I love these ideas, and I need to incorporate some of these ideas into my life, so I can save some extra time. Thank you for sharing your helpful tips!
Jann Olson says
Really great tips! My, how times have changed. I must admit that I thought that when I first heart of grocery shopping on line I thought it would be wonderful for a busy mom! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing at the To Grandma’s House We Go link party!
Michelle Leslie says
They’re all great tips Leslie. It’s amazing how time just seems to disappear especially after you have kids, but I wouldn’t swop them for the world though 😉
Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle says
Wonderful tips for a family with children. All great ideas that would help keep the stress down. Always a good idea.
Blogger’s Pit Stop
Jodie Fitz says
We all need time savers!! Thanks for joining us last week at Reader Tip Tuesday! We hope to see you at this week’s party. xo
Linda S says
Streamline and Outsource – wonderful advice! Thanks for your tips on how to make that happen.
You made me laugh with your advice to stop writing down repeating entries in my planner. I KNOW we have Bible Study every Wed night so nothing else ever gets scheduled in that spot anyway!
Great ideas, thanks for sharing last week on our Hearts & Home Blog Hop!
Lynda Hardy says
I’ve used an electronic organizer system for years -It gets used daily – the pretty paper ones? Not so much – I have a big collections of them with 2-3 pages used. SO with you on that! Thanks for sharing with Party in Your PJs.
Carissa - All Day Mom says
Amen to minimizing kids’ activities! I really like your tips here!
I recently started ordering toiletries from Walmart online to pick up in store, to help save money from wandering around Walmart and filling my cart! I hadn’t thought of it as a time saver but you’re right, it definitely is!
You’ve listed some great tips that we use in our home as well. I am especially fond of number 5 and that’s what we’ve decided to do as well. Spend less time in the car and more time as a family, cooking, cleaning and playing together. One of the key reasons we choose to cut and streamline the activities was that we decided that family dinner time was super important for us to reconnect and chat during the week. I would really like to get a cleaner 2x a month but it’s been $$$ but we do it once a month and I love it.
One tip that saves stress in the morning for us, is that I make my outfits on Sunday evenings for the week. I also have my kids put out their clothes the night before to cut down on any decision making in the morning when we are trying to get out of the house quickly.