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BMBL Podcast 008: Time Saving Hacks for Busy Mums

Welcome to Episode 008 of the Busy Mum. Balanced Life. podcast.

This episode has 12 time saving hacks for busy mums.

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This is episode eight of the Busy Mum. Balanced Life. podcast.

Hey, this is Mim Jenkinson and you’re listening to the Busy Mum Balanced Life Podcast.

Welcome back. And if you’re new here, hello. So nice of you to join me! Today, I wanted to share with you 12 ultimate time saving hacks for busy mums. And as I’ve mentioned before, I’m quite an organized person but not as naturally organized as I used to be. As I’ve gotten older and busier, I forget a lot of stuff these days. I actually use a planner to make sure that I stay on track with everything and I’m always kind of looking for ways to simplify my life so that I don’t have to remember as much and also save time because there isn’t enough time to do everything that I want to do. I don’t know whether you feel the same way. I’m sure you do. You can only do so much every day and every week and every year.

I think there are ways to spend less time doing some things so we’ve got more time left to do other things.

So, I’ve got 12 ways here that I am saving time. Not every single day or every week, but as much as I possibly can because I’ve just found that over the years they’ve really worked for me. If there are any of these 12 tips that you think, oh, I want to know more about that or you’ve not really gone into it enough, then let me know. I’m more than happy to share in more detail the way that I save time by doing these things.

The first thing I’m going to talk about is a subject that I’ve talked about on my blog quite a lot recently and having loads of conversations with you, you want to know more about it. It’s how I plan my meals.

I don’t do this every single week, but I try to do it as many weeks as I possibly can do because the benefits and the rewards from it are endless. And, and by meal planning, I simply mean that on one day of the week, generally it’s a Sunday, I plan what my family is going to eat for the following week and sometimes our plan every single meal for myself. But generally, it’s dinners. The benefits of doing this is that then on a Sunday, spending a few minutes planning, I know the ingredients I need and I get the ingredients. Then on a Monday, I know exactly what I’m cooking that night and every night for the following week. And it just means less standing in front of the fridge wondering what to make or not having the ingredients or the things that I need.

I save so much time and so much money because I don’t throw food away on the weeks where I meal plan. I don’t throw any unused or uneaten food away. None.So I’m not wasting money, not wasting food, not feeling stressed. Meal planning is awesome. I’ve put together a meal planning starter kit for you here and it’s totally free. It’s a free ebook with a meal plan and you can use that and get started too.

And I’m also running a program very soon called How to Meal Plan, which is going to be amazing and I’m going to share with you in way more detail how I actually meal plan, how I meal prep and some sample meal plans that I can share with you. Loads more info. I’m going to pop a link to that in the show notes as well so you can find out some more. But essentially if you want to get more information on that one, I’m looking for a few founding members to actually join me and get special, very cheap access to that program and lifetime access too. So you get all of the updates and you get a say on what goes into it. You can ask me anything. I’m going to help you anyway. Enough of meal planning!

That’s my first tip on the subject though of food. Tip two is that I double up. What I mean is I batch cook, which maybe you’ve tried yourself before, but I find that if I am, whether I’m meal planning or not, if I essentially just make a double load of something that saves me cooking dinner the following night. I mean this is not revolutionary. I’m sure you’re like, yeah, this is not exactly life-changing. However, when you’re on that day two and you’re really tired and don’t want to cook, yes it is life-changing. Let me tell you! So it might be as simple as just cooking up a batch of Chili or you know, mince on meet one day for the kids and the family and using it as a bolognese for one night and then maybe a chili the next night or perhaps, you know, I’ll get a cooked chicken and I can make that go into 1,000,001 different meals like stir-fries and curries and salads and sandwiches.

Meal prepping kind of falls into this category as well. IfI’m super organized, I’ll actually chop all the vegetables, and sometimes fruit, depending on if it’s gonna stay fresh for the next few days or the week ahead and just have them in the fridge so I can just grab the bits that I need for lunches or dinners and I find doubling up really helps save some time.

Tip number three on saving time is, one of the banes of my life when it comes to mess in the house. It’s the kids’ toys. I’m yet to find an awesome system that completely sorts this and I think it probably doesn’t exist cause at the end of the day, my kids are age four and six. They’ve got a lot of toys. They’re messy. But we’ve just tried to get to a place now where we’re not kind of falling over them constantly.

We’re encouraging the kids at their age to keep them tidy as well. So it’s one less task for me when I’m tidying and it’s something that they’re responsible for. We found a toy storage system that works for us and it’s a drawer unit that, you know, looks nice and is big enough to store their toys and they can sort them into things like lego or transformers or cars. Oh my God, we’ve got so many transformers at the moment. I give them the task of putting things away and I don’t think you’re supposed to bribe your kids but I do sometimes bribe/threaten them with any toys that are not put away, get thrown in the bed. Hmm. Do you do that too? Please tell me that you do that too.

That brings me onto the fourth time-saving tip and this completely depends on how old your kids are. They might be too young to get involved too much, but get them to help. Like mine are at the age now where they can do some things. So I can ask them to help me tidy up or set the table or empty the dishwasher or fold the laundry and like there were little things I can do that will keep them busy, get them to learn some skills and help me and get things done quicker.

Number five is to get them to help themselves. And again, this is totally dependent on age and obviously keeping them nice and safe too. But if you kids are old enough to make themselves drinks or snacks get them to do it for themselves, put them and like help them set them up. They can do it by putting things that are within easy grasp for them. So they don’t need to be climbing up on any surfaces. So for example, we have bottles and snacks and a cupboard that they can reach. There’s nothing at all that’s kind of potentially hazardous in there. They can help themselves safely, with permission clearly, or they’d be all over those snacks in moments.

Number six – we plan that the kids outfits in advance as much as possible. This is definitely easier now my daughter is at school, obviously she’s wearing school uniform every day as long as it’s washed and ironed, that’s nice and easy there. But otherwise, before I go to bed at night or before the kids are in bed anyway, I’ll hang up the outfit they’re gonna wear the next day and it just means that my daughter’s old enough to get dressed herself so she knows it’s there. With my son, it saves me a little bit of time in the morning, kind of rifling through to find him something to wear. I like to get my daughter, who’s a bit older, to help me choose her outfit sometimes as well just because there’s less chance of us having that squabble.

Number seven – a way to reduce time on laundry. How many laundry loads do you do in a week or a day? Cause it just doesn’t end. It doesn’t end. It doesn’t! I swear I must do at least two a day on average. Maybe even more than that. It’s only four of us in the house. I don’t know where all this laundry comes from. I try and get the kids to help me where possible. So it’s just little things like training them to when they take their clothes off, put them in the laundry basket, but before they’ve done that, make sure they’ve turned them the right way round. And it doesn’t always happen, you know, not gonna lie. My husband is actually really bad at this. Now, if he hasn’t turned it the right way around, I just refuse to do it so it can go in the wash and it can hang exactly the way he’s left it. And I think every time that’ll teach you, you’ll hang it the right way next time or you’ll turn it the right way around next time if he doesn’t. Um, I’ve digressed massively.

Tip number eight for saving some time is to clean before you clean. I hope this makes sense. This is something that I do in the shower. You know, this is a really silly little tip, but it just helps me a little bit. Have a squeegee in the shower with you so that after each of your showers do a quick squeegee down of the glass and the tiles and give it a quick wipe down. And while you’re in there you can just rinse it off afterwards. It just makes the kind of weekly or the daily clean whenever you’re cleaning your bathroom a little bit easier.

Next tip is being prepared for car journeys. And this is really focused on the kids, so we love to have a little busy bag in the boot. We update this every now and again because as the kids get older, they’re less interested in some of the old stuff. But we have just a few activities and things to do and maybe we’ll pop in there some snacks or bottles. If we’re on a longer car journey and it’s tough to either keep them busy while we’re on the road or whether we stop off somewhere on the way, if we need to keep them busy for a moment. Or if we get to a friend’s house and the kids haven’t got toys or something particularly to do, I just find that that can be really helpful sometimes.

Number 10 – this is a cleaning tip. FYI, I really don’t like cleaning. I’m so into organization and tidying and decluttering and I love having a clean house, but I just don’t enjoy cleaning. But I’ve got a couple of cleaning tips. This is ridiculous. This is a really super simple one as well. Mainly it works for me because I work from home but I have a lot of time, most of them nearly every day where I’m on the phone and I don’t need to particularly do anything at my keyboard, on my laptop, um, or make any notes. So I’ll guess I’ll just get up and try and do some tidying at the same time. I didn’t even know whether to put this tip in here cause you probably like that’s not very wise, but, um, it’s just a bit of a multitasking thing. Sometimes when I’m on the phone I’ll also be folding laundry at the same time. There you go. Mind blown.

Number 11 – I’ve got another cleaning tip! Actually it’s more of a tidying tip though, so it’s OK. I know that some of you do this cause I’ve talked about it before and you’ve been like, yeah, me too. But essentially if you’re in one room and leaving it to go into another one, have a quick look round, see if you can take something with you at the same time. And it’s just about being a bit more efficient and tidying as you go or moving things as you go. Um, you really don’t need me to spell this out for you but for example, if I’m going from the laundry to the bedroom, I’ll take the clothes with me. If I’m going from the bedroom to the rumpus room, I’ll take some toys on the way to know where I’m at. You know what I mean? Don’t you?

My last tip to be in a little bit more organized and saving some more time is to, and I’ve really been good at this recently, just stop falling down the rabbit hole of social media. I used to spend hours on social media every week and partly because it’s a big part of my job, but at the same time, we’re all the same, aren’t we? You can send someone a quick happy birthday message and then before you know it, you’ve taken a quiz about which Game of Thrones character you should marry. Um, John Snow obviously, but you know, it’s just, it’s just a waste of time potentially for most of us. Maybe try setting yourself a timer that when the alarm goes off you log off or giving yourself a little bit of a hiatus altogether from social? For me, I am on social media so much now for my job that I am not on it so much on a personal basis. And I have found that over the years people are kind of a little bit less social in, in certain ways, but then more so in others so that, but there’s always a rabbit hole to fall down when it comes to social media. And I have to be really strict with myself on not wasting time doing it. Because time flies when you are scrolling Instagram.

There are my tips! Now, you might be thinking there, I’m already doing them all. Mim, they have not changed my life. Or you might be thinking, oh, actually that’s interesting. Tell me more about that. Or you might have your own tips, but let me know?

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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.