5 Household Routines for Busy Parents in 2023
What are you most looking forward to in 2023? After the hustle and bustle of holiday gatherings, January is a great time to get back into nature, go on forest adventures, and explore outside. As a busy working mom, I love to free up my weekend time to adventure. But how? Here are 5 household routines for busy parents that work! These have helped us spend less time on chores, so we have more time to play!
One of the most important routines in my home is to meal plan for the week ahead. I think ahead to which days have a short turnaround time from getting home from work to our evening sports or classes. On those days, I plan to set the crockpot in the morning, so dinner is ready as soon as we get home. I also like to make a big pasta dinner early in the week so I can send leftovers for lunch. I use a weekly calendar to plan out school lunches and dinners. Once you’ve created a couple good weeks with family favourites that work, keep those plans and just rotate them every few weeks!
Large Batch Prep
We like to have a slow start to our Sunday mornings with a BIG pancake breakfast to fuel us for our adventures. While you’re already in the kitchen, whip up an extra batch of pancakes and throw them in the freezer. These make a quick and easy breakfast on busy school mornings! Just grab some pancakes from the freezer, throw them in the toaster and you’re ready to go.
Online Grocery Shopping
This is one of the household routines we picked up during lockdown in 2020, and it has been a game changer! How fantastic is it that I can have somebody else run around the store for my groceries? Every Monday, I open an online grocery order and leave the cart open throughout the week. Whenever I notice something running low, I just pop onto the computer and add it to the cart. At the end of the week, I review my meal plan for the week, add any other items I need and submit! We pick up our grocery order Sunday evenings and I don’t have to set foot inside the store.
The “School Zone”
Another strategy that keeps us organized is having a “school zone” in our house. I put a coat hook on the wall at kid level for my child to hang their backpack on. Below, we keep a basket that catches all things “school related”. This is where we keep lunch bags, gym shoes, library books, communication folders, etc in this basket right below the backpack. This helps immensely, so we don’t spend hours searching the house for lost items! Teach your kiddos early on where to put their items as soon as they get home from school. This will make your school mornings run smoother with everything in one place!
Another tip for a smoother new year is to get the kids involved! Kids can start to help with chores around the house from an early age. You’ll find lots of ideas online for simple chores kids can help with. In our house my son helps sort the laundry, picks up his toys and books, helps with dusting, wiping the dinner table, clearing the dishes, unloading the dishwasher, and more! Spreading out the work amongst all family members will make your home run smoother. Everybody learns to be responsible for taking care of the house together which means… More time for family adventures outside the house!
Need more tips? If it’s in the budget, here are 2 bonus household routines for busy parents. Around here, we love our robot vacuum that cleans our floors when we aren’t home, and “takeout Fridays”. We all deserve a night off once a week and by Friday nights, I’m usually ready for somebody else to do the cooking! I hope one of these tips inspires a new routine for you in 2023 to free up some time to do more of what you love! What are you most looking forward to changing in the new year? What are the tried-and-true routines that work for your household?
Sandra, teacher and mom living in the PNW