Life Hacks for the Busy Mom

With two young kids, Margo feels like she has limited energy and mental space - and like most parents, she needs to maximize her time! That’s where life hacks come in. After reaching out to her network of fellow parents (including co-workers here at Seventh Generation), she's compiled some great tips to help life run a little more smoothly. Read on for her great tips!

Digital making life easier

  • A shared digital calendar. In the past, my husband and I would often forget to communicate an appointment or activity until the last minute. A digital calendar helps us both view what's happening and when.
  • Shared lists. We use an app that allows members of our family to see a list of items that we're looking for. We also use the list app to keep track of gift ideas, house projects and wish list items.

Keeping things organized

  • List of supplies. Print out a checklist of supplies for each child and keep by the door. You won’t leave any important items behind as you head out.
  • Mudroom baskets. Have baskets designated for each family member to help them keep track of their personal items.
  • Plastic tubs for clothing and toys. From off-season clothes to everyday wear, plastic tubs help us keep track of each child’s clothing. They’re also great for organizing toys that may not be used as often as others.

Groceries and Meals

  • Pack an ‘urgent bag’. At checkout, have all of the fridge and freezer items bagged together so there’s only one bag that needs to be unpacked immediately. Many times I get home and one of my children is suddenly requiring ALL of my attention.
  • Frozen crockpot meals.  Set aside a few hours to prep ingredients for crockpot meals. Chop, measure and freeze the meals in Ziploc bags – and they’ll be ready for the crockpot whenever you need them!
  • Meal trade. We’re lucky to live near two similar-sized families, so we each cook and deliver dinner one night a week by 6pm. That saves us from two nights of cooking for ourselves!
  • Bring fruits and veggies. For the next potluck or classroom party, bring apples or carrot sticks instead of cupcakes. Not only is easier and faster for me to do, it also allows my child to make a healthy choice!

Cleaning and laundry

  • Take advantage of bath time. Keep cleaning supplies in the bathroom, and use the time while little ones are bathing to clean the toilet and sink.
  • Create chores for kids. Whether it’s packing their own lunches or putting their clean laundry pile away – having everyone contribute helps lighten the load and teaches skills needed to succeed in life.
  • Keep a basket in the laundry room. We have a laundry hamper in our room, but keep a basket in the laundry room to throw the kids’ dirty clothes into. It not only helps with sorting, but also makes sure their clothes are washed separately for when I use baby laundry soap.

One of the most important reminders I’ve heard is to simply ask for help. Put it out there! Creative solutions to problems can come from simply discussing them. What mom-inspired life hacks have you used?