I am sure this is a busy time of year for everyone, especially parents. School is almost out, sports are in session, traveling, holidays… this is supposed to be an enjoyable time of year, right? How about all those other tasks that none of us want to think about, laundry, cooking and dishes, cleaning bathrooms… The list goes on! I want to share 5 tips with you to help get you through the summer and get the most out of it.
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1. Making Shopping Easy
These days taking an hour to go to the store is a chore. Loading up the kids and then having to drag them in the store. They fight over who walks and who rides, and that’s if they both are not pushing to stand at the end of the cart. Not to mention having to tell them they can’t have every toy or junk food they see! Now I opt for any way possible to avoid these situations! I really enjoy going shopping by myself but again, that is not always possible. My dear friend introduced me to Walmart Pick Up! Have you heard about it? If not, Walmart grocery pick up is an online grocery service where you simply do your shopping online, add it to the cart, pay for it, and PICK IT UP! That is it! They bring your groceries out to you and load it in the car! The first time I went I tried to help load the groceries and the lady told me to have a seat in my car and she would take care of it! How awesome is that! If you order something that they are out of they replace it with a higher quality item for no additional charge as well.
Maybe not needing food, but you’re running low on toilet paper and laundry soap, you can get that from Walmart too or order it from Amazon. Amazon Prime members can benefit from home good deliveries arriving to their door in just 2 days. All you have to do is search for your favorite products, add your cart just like normal and check out! It is that easy! Just be sure you remember to put your order in a few days before you run out of toilet paper! If you are needing some groceries, check out the Prime Pantry so some good options. Here you can buy in bulk as well. Some products may even be eligible for same day or next day deliveries with prime, depending on your location!
2. Make Meal Prep Easy
Planning meals when you are busy is the worst! Having to plan meals and then figure out if they will cook on the stove, in the oven, crock pot… you get the point. Well let me tell you what has made my life so easy! My mother in law recently introduced me to sheet pan meals. These meals you can prepare ahead of time, put everything in a ziplock bag until ready to cook, then literally put it on a sheet pan and cook! I cover my pan with aluminum foil to make clean up even easier! My favorite one so far is sausage and vegetables.
1- 2 Packs favorite smoked sausage sliced
2 Red Bell peppers cut into chunks
10-15 Brussel sprouts cut in half
2 Large sweet potatoes cut into chunks
Put ingredients in a large zip lock bag, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Shake the bag to coat all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
When ready to cook, heat oven to 375. Place contents of zip lock bag on a foil lined sheet pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3. Make Cleaning Easy
For me, staying on top of the cleaning is the hard part! We are always on the go and if not then the kids are tracking in sand from the sandbox! Not to mention all the dirty clothes… it is never-ending. Cleaning our homes could be a full-time job in itself and we don’t have time for that! However, we don’t need a cleaning service to do to it for us, not daily anyway! Staying on top of it is key. We can’t let laundry pile up and do it all in one day… well you can but you will miss out on other activities and memories because you are practically locked in the laundry room for hours! How do we do it? Start a load of laundry every night, gather up all the clothes from the day and toss them in the washer. In the morning, switch the load to the dryer. When you get home take 5 minutes to fold and put away the laundry! You can save towels and do one or two loads a week. Same with sheets, make that a Saturday morning chore. Dishes are my least favorite task (we cook a lot though). What I have found to be easier is to load the dishwasher at night, wash what does not fit by hand. Run it while you sleep and empty it in the morning. After I load the dishwasher, I wipe the counters down and sweep real quickly. It takes maybe 15 minutes after we are done eating and then I have a nice clean kitchen in the morning! We have hardwood floors throughout our home so when I sweep our kitchen, I go ahead and do a quick run through of the house. With a dog that sheds and the kids, it helps keep the dust and dirt under control! These are basic tips, there will be more to come on how to keep your house clean and cleaning schedule soon!
4. Get in a Routine
The hardest part about the previous three steps is getting used to them! Getting yourself and your family into a routine will simplify it all and make your life much easier! Set time aside on a Sunday afternoon to prep your meals. Even if it is just two or three for the week because you know you will be eating out the rest of the time. Prepping now will save you 30 minutes a night during the week. When you are in a routine it feels normal and second nature. It will be easier to be on the go on the weekends and enjoy your family and friends because most of the hard work is already done! Missing a night of laundry is not the end of the world, but just make sure you get back on it the next day so it doesn’t pile up! Give yourself about 2 to 3 weeks to get used to your new routine and you will be amazed!
We are busy people and life is crazy. We are on the go all the time. We have kids to run everywhere, dogs to walk, jobs to go to, family and friends to see. However, it is important to remember to take time to relax and take care of ourselves! Yes, I said it, FOR OURSELVES!!! If we don’t take care of ourselves, who will? Here are some things I like to do to relax; watch a movie, sit on the front porch and be away from our electronics, get a massage, take a bubble bath, and work in the garden. Relaxing looks different to everyone, you decide what is relaxing for you and take the time to enjoy it. I love massages but obviously do not have time for them daily. However, I can sit on my front porch and listen to the nature around me! This is relaxing to me.Also, I wake up early with my husband every morning and make him breakfast. When he leaves for work, I take time to do my Bible study and daily devotional. This gives me time to relax in the morning so I start my day of in a good place. Maybe you need to update your patio furniture or get a hammock to relax on, or Try to find what works for you and your schedule!
I hope these tips help you to enjoy this busy time of the year a little more! Go enjoy the sunshine and warm weather!
The Squirrelly Mom