My family is currently in a phase of life that one of my best friends dubbed as “The Thunderdome.” We have a precious infant and a silly, smart, and active two-year old. Life is so fun, but also extremely busy and chaotic. I started trying out some of these hacks when I was pregnant and they have really worked to bring some sort of order to our lives:
- Prep the night before
- My two-year old goes to Kid’s Day Out twice a week, and having everything ready the night before really helps us get out the door on time. Lunch is packed and in the refrigerator, extra clothes in the backpack, and his outfit, shoes and socks are picked out and on the dresser. I go so far as to put his backpack and my diaper bag in the car the night before so I won’t forget them.
- Run the dishwasher at night, unload it every morning
- I am type-A on some things, Type-B on others. One of my pet-peeves is a dirty sink. My mom always told me a made bed, makes a room look cleaner. I think a cleared sink makes the entire kitchen look cleaner. After dinner I liked everything picked up, put way, and dishes loaded. I wait until right before I go to bed to run the dishwasher to make sure every glass and dish is put in. I love waking up to a clean kitchen (a clean sink!) and clean dishes. I unload the dishes first thing in the morning, and the dishwasher is ready for its daily load of bottles, pump parts, kiddie cups, and plates!
- Make dinner in the morning
- I’m sure meals taste best when served right off the stove, but some days, I am wiped out come five o’clock. Since I don’t have school-aged children yet, I can make our schedule, and I try and have our mornings pretty laid back. I’ll get the meat browned for tacos, put together the lasagna and pop it back in the fridge, or start the tried and true crock pot. Bonus- double the recipe and freeze half of it!
- Pick up before going to bed
- You’re tired, your spouse is tired, but I’m telling you-Take 15 minutes and pick up! Put the pillows back on the couch, tidy up the coffee table, maybe go so far as to vacuum the rug. You will feel good in the morning when you come down to a picked-up house, even if it only last for 30 minutes!
- Sweep the floor
- After three meals, multiple snacks, prepping and cooking meals, my kitchen floor is a disaster! I try and take 10 minutes every day to sweep. A bonus is my two-year old loves to help! He gets out his broom and even grabs the dust buster.
- Make your bed
- Mom was right. Your bedroom really looks picked up when the bed is made. There might be clothes scattered on the floor and the Rock and Play still rocking in the corner, but my eyes goes to that made-up bed with an abundance of pillows and all is right with the world. The sheets and bedding for some reason feel crisper and more welcoming when they have been made all day.
Do all of these happen every day? Absolutely not! There are many a days where my bed looks the same when I’m crawling into at night as it did that morning, and evenings when my husband gets home from work and asks, “What’s for dinner?” as I blankly stare at him. But I know these hacks actually make life easier. My goal, as our family gets more into a routine, is have these hacks become more of our daily schedule. They make our mornings run smoother, our evenings a little more relaxing, and I can go to bed knowing we are prepped for the next day, and ready for any pandemonium that is to come!