Wednesday 18 January 2017

A Parent's Work Is Never Done: Life Hacks That Could Help...

It’s understandable that when you have children to care for, a house to keep on top of, work to do, and bills to pay that life can get overwhelming. 

It seems to me that a parent’s work is never truly done, especially with that “to do” list that just doesn't ever get completed. 

Of course, we should all learn to give ourselves a break and take each day as it comes, after all, it’s hard enough being a parent. But in lots of cases we could make a few changes around the home to make our lives a little easier, or at least save us money or valuable time in the process!

So I thought I would share with you some household hacks that could help you out...

busy kitchen cupboard

Get your cupboards and kitchen organised

Many of us will spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It might be to prepare the meals for the family, or even to enjoy a peaceful coffee while everyone is occupied (rare, I know!) I've found that it is much easier to enjoy this part of your home if you can keep it organised. The last thing we want is to be searching for the pan lid, the vegetable peeler or a pair of scissors in a hurry and not knowing where they are! A great tip is to make more of the space you have. Magnetic strips can help with storing things, hooks can keep those pan lids in easy reach, and even clips can go a long way to ensuring you store food correctly. I have a simple label maker - and find that labelling my shelves and containers really helps with keeping things neat and to hand.  

Protecting your appliances from hard water

Some people live in areas that have something called hard water. This is where the water contains certain elements after the filtering process has taken place. While this isn’t harmful for us to drink, it can be an issue for those trusty household appliances we have grown to rely on. Any parent will agree that a washing machine is never off duty, and in our house neither is dishwasher and kettle. All of which can suffer when you live in a hard water area. Sometimes having a water softener system or treatment to hand can help you prolong the lifespan of your appliances, saving time and money in the long run.

Consider DIY cleaning solutions to keep your home sparkling, and bacteria free

Bicarbonate soda, lemons and white vinegar can all be trusty cleaning solutions to your home. The combination of some of these ingredients with other store cupboard items can make oven cleaning feel like a dream, and is a fabulous chemical free way of ensuring bacteria is removed from work surfaces and other places. Vital when you have little people in your home.

cleaning products

Organise your wardrobe to save minutes in a morning

This is a biggie for me and has made such a difference to my time management and general happiness. Before I learnt to stay on top of my wardrobe it was messy, disoragnised, hard to navigate and full of things I never wore/didn't fit/didn't like. I would open the wardrobe door in the morning (inevitably in a hurry) and despair - thinking I had absolutely nothing to wear! 

As a parent, getting enough sleep can feel like something totally out of reach and while we can’t change the way our children rest at night, we can save ourselves precious minutes in the morning by re-organising our wardrobe space. 

Donate all the things that don't fit, are past their best or you don't like. Then organise your wardrobe into sections such as:

-Gym Kit

Make sure your shoes are all paired up, use hooks to hang coats, scarves etc and even using baskets to store underwear and accessories can really help to make the space a dream to navigate. This means that on those busy sleep-deprived mornings a lovely outfit will always be to hand and you won't start the day off in a bad, disorganised manner.

Declutter your home

Finally, and most importantly for me just decluttering your home, in general, can have a positive effect on your daily life. You will feel less stressed and overwhelmed by the tasks at hand and much calmer in a neat, tidy and organised environment. Even if you spend five minutes each day sorting out a drawer or room in your home, in the long term it could make a huge difference!

Be bold and decisive - donate things you no longer love, need or want - find a permanent home for everything. When new items are bought into your home ensure you have a designated 'spot' for them, and if you don't have room then throw something out to make room for the new item.  

Teach your children a similar principal with their toys and belongings - getting them into the habit of donating their old/unwanted/grown out of toys to charity, or a local nursery, children's centre, Doctors surgery, hospital or shelter is a wonderful way to teach them generosity along with organisation skills.

Do you have any major life hacks that help you to stay on top of your household? I'd love to hear them!

Mrs B