Household management for working moms is one giant responsibility. And we have a very limited time to do so. So today, let’s talk about 5 ways to manage our homes more efficiently and effectively so we have more time to do the things that we want to do.
TIP #1: MAKE YOUR SPACES WORK FOR YOU
The very first household management tip that I have for you is to make your space work for you!
Don’t get caught up with how other people have their house function – you do you.If you have a formal dining room but you never use it, feel free to use that space differently. Your house is supposed to work for you and not the other way around.
And realize that this is a process. Sometimes you have to try a few things before you finally find the right fit.
Let me tell you about my office space.
When we first bought our house a few years ago, we had this idea that I would set up my home office in the basement. There was a lot of space, there was a window to give me plenty of natural light. It seemed like a perfect fit.
I was also a little influenced by a friend of mine, who just created her home office in the basement as well. It sounded great, and wanted to create a similare space in my house.
However, I quickly realized that basement was way not the right fit for me at all. Why? Because it too cold for me! Our basement is the coldest spece in the house. In order to make my home office work there, we would have to run a space heater all the time. And that would mean a huge electric bill.
So we decided to move the desk into the playroom – we sort of divided the room into two areas. One of the kids and one for me. And after a year of that arrangement, I moved all their toys to their dedicated playroom. And now I have an office all to myself.
You might be wondering why I did not start that way from the very beginning. But beause there are a few steps to get to the playroom and my daughter was too small to climb them when we first moved in. But a few months ago, the time was finally right.
This is what I mean by saying that you need to make it work for you and for it being a process. Don’t limit yourself with your space. Make it work for you.
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TIP #2: GET RID OF STUFF/DECLUTTER
The second household management tip I have for you is to get rid of stuff. Think about it – less stuff means less things to manage. That a win right there.
I am not saying you have to be a minimalist. But for the most part, we all have too much stuff! And it clutters our homes and makes it difficult to keep organized and clean.
I used to spend so much time cleaning my house each Saturday. And I finally had to stop and think what in the world was taking me so long. Our house is not huge so there really aren’t that many spaces to clean. And I finally realized that the majority of my time was spent putting this way – or rather moving them from one space to the other.
So I started slowly decluttering our house. Getting rid of anything that we did not use. And I made sure that I found a space or a home for each item. That has been a game changer for me. I find it so much easier to manage our things right now.
Our spaces still get cluttered. I don’t know about you but my kitchen and living area can go from clutter free to a total disaster in an hour. We bring groceries, backpacks, and kids bring toys. But we are able to clean it up really fast. Because we know where everything is going.
TIP #3: LET SOME THINGS GO!
The next household management tip is to let some things go. This is a hard one for me. I like to be in control and have things a certain way. But I came to realization that I was setting unrealistic expectations for myself. It was that mentality of ‘what will other people think’?
And then something funny happen. Last year, I was in the middle of preparing for Christmas celebration in a few days. That meant that I had some cooking going, and the house was a total mess. Kids toys everywhere, baking ingredients and over the kitchen counters and my clothes, and gift wrappers on the kitchen island. You name it.
And at that exact time, my neighbors knocks on the door. They brought some Holiday cookies for us. And I invited them into this mess – I mean that was the polite thing to do, right?
So imagine me clearing the dining room table to they can actually sit – I definitely felt embarrassed at first. And as I apologetically made a comment about it, they quickly dismissed it as: this is how normal house with small kids looks like.
And after a few days I realized that something has changed in me. I survived the unexpected visit into my ‘unprepared’ house. And nothing happen! So maybe I was stressing over something that didn’t even exist?
TIP #3: ROUTINES ROUTINES ROUTINES
The reason why they are so important is that they help everyone stay organized, you manage your time better, and you don’t forget to do things.
Don’t think of routines as a rigid schedule where you stand with your watch to make sure everything is done at the exact time you want it to be done. It’s more like a routine flow of things.
For example, my kids have a very simple routine: get up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, and go to school/daycare. If your kids know what is expected of them, they will be self-sufficient and do things much faster.
And you as working mom will have a less chaotic start of the day. And we all want that, don’t we? 🙂
TIP #4: MEAL PREP AND MEAL PLAN
The next household management tip is to spend some time on meal planning and meal prepping. Thinking every single day about what are you going to eat for dinner or what are you going to pack for kids’ lunches can be exhausting and overwhelming.
I have learned that when I spend some time on the weekends creating a meal plan for the week – things get so much easier. Because when I have a plan, I can get all the necessary ingredients in the grocery store and not have to worry about stopping by the grocery store on the way home from work. And I can prep some things ahead of time.
The wonderful thing about meal planning is that I can think about it from a practical point of view. For example, Wednesdays are the busiest days for us so I plan a slow cooker meal for those days. I have also learned that I’m really tired after the whole week so Friday evenings are our take out days. Knowing that ahead of time really takes a lot of stress away.
So figure out what works best for you.
BONUS TIP: INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY
Let’s talk about a bonus household management tip, which is to involve your family. I don’t remember seeing it written anywhere, but there appears to be this unofficial rule that household management is only womens’ job. As working moms we simply cannot do it all. So ask for help!
Me and my husband divide our responsibilities. For example, I do all the cooking and he will wash the dishes and unload the dishwasher. If we would change those roles around, we probably would eat take out all the time. So figure out a system that works best for you.
Involve your kids. This will teach them good habits for when they are adults.
I will tell you that my cleaning habits are from childhood. I did not love them by any means when I had to do them. But when I grew up, they just became part of my responsibilities. I knew that certain things had to be done in order for me to manage my house.
Of course kids will not do things the exact way you would like it done, but it will get done. So let go of perfection and your household management will become much easier and less stressful.
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Are any of those areas challenging for you? What other household management tips do you have for other working moms?