Do you ever feel like time is just slipping away and that there’s never enough time to get everything done? Luckily, there are simple things that you do to accomplish more every day.
Keep reading for 15 ideas on how to save time at home.
1. Make a list of what you want to accomplish the next day
Make a list of what you want to accomplish the next day and prioritize them.
Creating a list the night before will give you more time to think about what you need to get done the next day. Trying to accomplish this first thing in the morning will likely leave you feeling overwhelmed and more likely to forget important tasks.
Having everything written down will make it more likely that you will actually do most of what is on the list.
Prioritize everything by picking the top 3 things that HAVE to get done and then list out everything else based on what you would like to get done. This will help to make sure you get what’s most important done first.
Don’t worry if you can’t get to everything that day. This is the joy of writing everything down. You will still remember what you wanted to get done and can move it to your to-do list for another day.
In addition to writing your to-do list, you could prepare a grocery list, meal prep, or take inventory of your pantry and fridge/freezer.
2. Complete one big task every Sunday that you dread
Finding a task that you usually dread during the week to complete on Sunday will start your week off right.
This could be getting through piles of laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming and mopping the floors, or it could be decluttering and organizing your closet.
Also, think about tasks that don’t need to be done as frequently and often get pushed way down the list. Such as, cleaning under the fridge and stove, power washing the outdoor furniture, cleaning your car, etc.
Making sure you always get through one big project on Sunday will save you time during the week when you’re busier.
For cleaning tasks, if you complete something that you normally avoid, it will speed up the cleaning process the next time because you won’t have to scrub as much.
Decluttering means you will have less stuff in the home to pick up and clean around, which will save you time every day.
3. Get rid of everything you don’t need or use on a regular basis
Decluttering your home can include, going through your kids’ clothes to see what they have outgrown, finding items that are garbage, or things that you just don’t love anymore.
While these tasks may not seem like they would have much effect on the time spent completing things each day, they actually do.
This is because extra items sitting around the house mean more to clean up, more to organize, and finding spaces for items that you may not even need.
Going through your kid’s clothes can be time-consuming at first, but once you only have what they fit into, you will spend less time picking out an outfit.
You will be able to clearly see what they have available to wear and you will know that what you have chosen will fit them. So there will be no need to go back and pick a different outfit.
If you are spending time picking up items, cleaning around items, or putting away items that you don’t even use. This is just a waste of valuable time in your day.
Take the time to go through your home and decide what can be thrown away, what to donate, and what to sell.
For more decluttering tips:
4. Ask your family to help with chores
This can feel like pulling teeth at times, but since everyone is living in the house, it shouldn’t just be up to you.
Make a list of everything that needs to get done in the house for the week and split out the tasks based on the age groups of your children and decide what your spouse could help out with.
While the house may not be cleaned exactly the way that you would have done it, it will at least be done. Plus it won’t take as long overall, so there is more time for more enjoyable things.
Everyone is capable of helping with something. For kids, they could make their beds, put their clean clothes away, clean the dishes, put the dishes away, set the table, put their toys away, dust their bedrooms, etc.
5. Prepare what you can for breakfast the night before
If you like to have coffee in the morning, put the water, coffee grounds, filter, etc.. into the coffee maker the night before.
Some coffee makers have an automatic start so you can set it to start at a certain time in the morning. However, if you don’t have that, then you can still click the start button first thing in the morning to get the coffee brewing.
If you have any vegetables to cut up for your breakfast, do that in the evening and store them in the fridge.
Set out any cooking tools, utensils, and dishes, that you will need to prepare breakfast so that you’re not searching around for what you need.
If there are any meals that you can prepare in the evening, that will save lots of time in the morning.
Being more prepared will also make it more likely that you eat a healthy meal instead of just grabbing something quick.
6. Put clothes and lunches out the night before
For every member of your family, pick outfits out the night before so that you aren’t feeling rushed in the morning. This could include hair clips, elastics, headbands, etc.
Put anything in your purse that you will need for the next day. Locate your keys, wallet, sunglasses, cellphone, etc. so that you’re not searching for it in the morning.
School lunches can mostly be prepared the evening before. I sometimes like to wait until the morning to prepare some items, so that they are more fresh for my kids, such as sandwiches or cutting up an apple.
Anything that will still be fine the next day can be prepared and put into the fridge. For items that don’t need to be refrigerated, just put them right into the lunchboxes and keep it on the countertop the night before.
This may not save much time to the overall day, but it will help you start the day out right, instead of rushing around trying to prepare everything before running out the door.
7. Take a shower at night instead of in the morning
Often people have more time at night than they do in the morning. So taking a shower at night will ensure you’re not having to rush around in the morning.
If showers tend to give you energy, then try to have your shower right after dinner so that you’re giving yourself enough time to wind down in the evening.
Showers can be really relaxing and give time to think and work through problems. So taking a shower at night can allow you to process the events of the day better.
Having a shower at night also means that you aren’t having to dry your hair in the morning or maybe at all, which can be a big time-saving opportunity.
8. Break down big tasks into smaller ones
Big tasks take a lot of time and energy to complete. Breaking them down into smaller tasks makes them easier and more manageable, which saves time in the long run.
Instead of cleaning the whole house in one day, break it down into rooms, or floors.
I switch up how I clean, but sometimes I group all similar rooms together and fully clean those rooms one day, such as bathrooms one day, where I scrub everything down, and vacuum and mop the floors. The next day may be bedrooms, where I will wash the sheets, dust the furniture, vacuum the carpets. And so on.
Other times if I have a bit more time and energy I will clean the whole upper floor and the next day will be the main floor.
Base this on how much time you have on that particular day and how quickly you can get it done. If you are really dragging your feet, these tasks are going to take longer because you won’t want to move as quickly.
Where if you broke it down into smaller tasks, or picked a day where you were feeling more motivated, you would get it done quicker and save more time overall.
9. Limit time spent watching TV or playing video games
We all have our favorite shows or video games, or maybe social media platforms, but they can really waste a lot of time in our day when we could be more productive.
Before deciding what to cut out, get a pen and paper and actually keep track for several days of how long you watched TV shows, how many hours you played video games, and how much time you spent scrolling through social media.
Once you see where the majority of your time is spent, you will know where to cut out some of that wasted time.
TV, games, and social media should be a reward for getting the things done that you need to get done.
So if you know that your favorite show is on tonight and you really want to see it, you need to first get your organizing task done, or your cleaning, or picking up the groceries. Then once you have checked that off of your list, you can watch your show.
10. Add to your grocery list as you run out of items
Have you ever sat down to create a grocery list and just felt completely overwhelmed with determining what you need?
Most people buy the same items frequently and only really stray if they are trying new meals.
So create a master list of the items you buy often and hang it somewhere in your kitchen. Then as you run out of items, you can check off that you need to add that to your next grocery list.
Have a binder with your family’s favorite recipes in it so that you can easily pick some recipes for the week ahead. Once you have a set meal plan for the week, then you can add those ingredients to the grocery list before you need to go.
Don’t ever wait until the day you have to go grocery shopping to start preparing your list. It takes more time than gradually adding items to the list throughout the week.
You will also be overwhelmed and will likely end up forgetting something that you need. This will add to the overall time you spend during the week going to the grocery store, as you will need to go back a second time to pick up the items that you missed.
As a side tip, I create my grocery list based on the layout of the grocery store. So as I am picking up items, I can just keep moving forward and don’t have to waste time going back to a section of the store that I was already in.
11. Clearly label jars and containers with what’s inside
Creating labels is a simple way to save time every day at home.
You can purchase labels already made, create your own with a label maker, or use a Cricut to make your own beautiful labels.
Everything should already be organized in the places that you use the items, so you will have a general idea of where to go to get the items. But if your bins, jars, containers, etc. have clear labels on the front to say what they contain, you won’t have to go searching through multiple bins to find what you need. Or play the guessing game of whether it’s baking powder or baking soda in the container.
12. Do a small load of laundry each day
Throwing a small load of laundry in the wash each day and then transferring them over to the dryer doesn’t take very long. So why not do this every day?
It may seem too frequent, but really the machines are doing most of the work. You will always be on top of the laundry and because they are only small loads, it will take less time to fold and put away.
Smaller loads also don’t wash for as long and take less time to dry. So the start to finish time will be less and you can then fold the clothes and get on with your day.
If you iron, there will also be fewer clothes to iron at once.
Using dryer sheets can help to keep some of the wrinkles away, which will cut down on the ironing time.
13. Keep an extra set of matching sheets for all beds
If you can, purchasing an extra set of sheets will save you time each week when cleaning the sheets.
This is because you won’t be waiting for the sheets to wash and dry before you can make the beds. You can immediately remove one set of sheets and put another set on.
It may not seem like this would save a ton of time, but it’s more about the mindset.
When you’re taking the beds apart, you are already in the right mindset to get it done. So take advantage of that and get the beds made right away.
If you are waiting until the one set is clean and dry, you may forget about them and end up having wet sheets come bedtime. Or maybe you forgot to remove the sheets from the dryer until it was bedtime and then you’re tired and having to put the beds back together.
14. Clean out your email inbox every evening
Whether your work e-mail and/or your personal e-mail, this can save a lot of time during the day and allows for a more clear start to your morning.
For personal e-mails, any company that you have ever purchased anything from, or any freebie you have ever signed up for will send e-mails often. This can get overwhelming quickly.
So take some time to unsubscribe from any e-mail lists that you aren’t really following anymore or stores that you don’t shop at anymore. This will cut down considerably on the time that it takes to go through your e-mails and leave you only with what you enjoy reading.
For work e-mails, clear out anything that you don’t need and create a folder for e-mails that you still need to take action on. Anything that has already been dealt with but needs to be saved should be in their own folders and not in the main inbox area.
15. Get up 30 minutes earlier to get your day going
This may seem like a simple idea, but sometimes creating a new habit can be really hard and take a long time to adjust to.
I would suggest easing yourself into it by going to bed 5-10 minutes earlier and then waking up the next morning 5-10 minutes earlier.
The next night shift it another 5-10 minutes and keep going until you are on the schedule of going to bed 30 minutes earlier and getting up 30 minutes earlier.
Once you are in your new schedule, you will be able to get more accomplished. Where if you forced it, you may actually get less done because you will be more tired.
You’re not actually gaining time in the day, but that 30 minutes in the morning will allow you to get a few things done at home before heading out for work, and enjoy breakfast. This will help you to have a more productive, successful day.
We can’t create extra time in our days, but we can use the time that we have more effectively. Complete what you can when you have more free time and aren’t feeling rushed and stressed out. Many times this means getting more things done in the evening so that you are setting yourself up for success for the next day.
Some of these tips may not make an immediate improvement in your day. However, once they become a regular part of your routine and you’re cutting out things that are just taking up valuable time, you will notice that you aren’t rushing around as much. You will have more time for what needs to get done and what you truly want to do.
I hope you will test out all of these tips for yourself to see how much of an improvement they will have on your life. You may be surprised how much of a difference some small changes can make in the way you feel each morning when you wake up.