It’s fall, y’all. This is one of my favorite times of year! There’s a chill in the air and the leaves have changed, which means the holiday season will be here before we know it. That means that as moms, we will be busier than ever, but it’s also a great time to get prepared and look for ways to simplify.
Here are my 10 favorite tips to save time and sanity this season:
1. Revamp your morning routine. When it’s cold outside, I am way more likely to hit “snooze” a few extra times, so I need to add some motivation to my morning routine. I make sure to have a fluffy robe right next to my bed so I can put it on immediately. I also make my bed as soon as I wake up, so I’m not tempted to climb back under the covers.
2. Simplify meal planning. If I don’t keep meal planning extremely simple, I won’t do it. We have a very similar meal rotation every week, which changes slightly for different seasons.
An example of a fall meal plan would be:
- Monday: slow cooker
- Tuesday: tacos or taco salad
- Wednesday: sheet pan dinner
- Thursday: sandwiches, wraps, or leftovers
- Friday: pizza
These categories eliminate guesswork, but still allow for some variety. With all the kids’ activities, we may eat dinner at 4pm or it may be 9pm, so I try to make things that can be easily reheated whenever people are able to eat them.
3. Keep a running shopping list. Another great thing about eating similar meals each week is that our grocery list is often similar. I also keep a running shopping list of items that need to be replenished. If it’s something that can’t wait until the next week’s grocery order, I will do a pickup during the week.
4. Create a seasonal capsule wardrobe. One of my favorite things about a new season is swapping out clothes. For several seasons now, I have been using a capsule wardrobe and it has made it so much easier for me to get dressed! (Yes, leggings and a sweatshirt still count.) It saves so much time because I never have to worry about staring into my closet and not having anything to wear.
5. Do one load of laundry per day. With a family of five, laundry is always a thing. Several months ago, I changed my laundry system to one load of laundry a day, which I put in the wash first thing in the morning, swap out at lunch, and fold and put away before bed. The older two children help with their own laundry, but this method works best for me because it keeps laundry (dirty or clean) from piling up around the house and saves my sanity.
6. Make a master list. There is a lot to keep track of, and sometimes I feel like my head is spinning. Writing everything down on paper really helps me clear my head, visualize all that needs to be done, and formulate a plan to get everything accomplished.
7. Cut back on social media and screen time in general. Social media is fun, but it can easily suck away a lot of time. I set aside a certain amount of time each day and set screen time limits on my phone to keep me from wasting my day scrolling. (This is an ongoing struggle, and I don’t always stick to the limits, but I’m working on it.)
8. Listen to audiobooks. I love audiobooks for their convenience and practicality! I have several holds on my Libby app at the library, so I almost always have one going. They help me reach my reading goals and keep me motivated to do chores around the house that may not be my favorite.
9. Set up an at-home workout list. Working out is so important to manage health and stress levels, but it can be difficult to find the time. Creating a workout list can help a lot. If I spend too much time scrolling through YouTube looking for a workout to do, it won’t happen so I need a few favorites that I can go to any time I have a few minutes. Taking the guesswork out of it means it’s much more likely to get done.
10. Manage expectations. I have set myself up for frustration so many times because I didn’t manage my expectations. It’s not realistic to think every day will go perfectly or that the to-do list will be completely checked off, so it’s so important to keep things in perspective. Some days are better than others. We just keep doing the best we can.