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3 Helpful Ways Parents Can Get Organized and Find More Time for Family

By: Janice Russell at Parenting Disasters

Juggling multiple responsibilities as a parent can become overwhelming over time. Between managing work-related duties and a host of home and childcare-based chores such as cooking, cleaning, helping kids with their studies, and more, finding time for rest and leisure can become a novelty.

This was especially true during the pandemic, as most parents reported feeling extremely stressed, according to Frontiers. However, with some good organizational and time management tips, you can streamline your daily routine, manage home and work-based responsibilities, and still have time for activities that bring you a sense of joy and fulfillment.

In this article from the Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children, we’ll explore a host of strategies parents can implement to reap the above-mentioned benefits.

1. Create a Digital Family Schedule

Making time for yourself and your family is hard when you’re constantly chasing deadlines or chores. The best way to get ahead of your responsibilities is to create a family schedule. As the name suggests, the schedule should include the daily activities of all family members. For instance, it can include the duration of when you’ll be in the office and unreachable during meetings. Similarly, your kids can add their school deadlines in advance, so you can help them before the due date and avoid all-nighters.

While a physical schedule pasted on your refrigerator can work well enough, the better option is to create a digital schedule. The simplest way will be to create a shareable Excel sheet, but there are plenty of free calendar and scheduling applications that provide the benefits of setting reminders and sending notifications when needed.

Creating and following a schedule will help you to stop juggling between responsibilities and instead handle them one by one in an ordered fashion.

2. Develop a System for Storing Documents

It can be challenging to keep track of all healthcare-related information, especially if you have a large family or some of your loved ones have chronic conditions. The best option is to scan documents and, using a conversion tool, convert them into password-protected PDFs.

Next, these documents can be uploaded to cloud-based storage applications such as Dropbox or Google Drive and be accessed anytime, anywhere, especially during times of need. The same approach can be followed for other important documents as well, such as your child’s school-related documents. However, it’s best to avoid uploading documents with sensitive data such as your bank account details, driving license, etc.

You can use this same system for bigger changes in your life, like selling your home. There is a lot of paperwork that you will need to gather and complete during the buying and selling process, from appliance records to the deed and your home appraisal. Be sure to digitize these documents and organize them on the cloud for easy reference during this process.

3. Start Meal Planning

By planning meals in advance, you can avoid last-minute trips to the grocery store and cook in batches providing you hours of free time daily to dedicate towards leisure, self-care or family-oriented activities. Here’s a simple three-step process to start meal planning today!

Assign Everyone a Age-Appropriate Chore. Instruct your kids to make a list of meals they want to eat during the week. Next, you or your partner can buy the groceries, which can then be prepared and cooked with everyone lending a hand in the process.

Stick to a Grocery List. Always have a list in hand when visiting the grocery store, as it’ll help to avoid impulse purchases and keep the trips nice and short.

Cook in Batches. Cook meals that can be consumed for the following 2-3 days. Storing them in air-tight microwave-safe containers is the best way to retain the freshness and nutrients of the dish.

Stay organized for Your Sanity

Staying organized as a parent is not only good for your wallet but your mental health as well. By creating a digital family schedule, involving everyone in meal planning, and storing important documents safely on the cloud, you can overcome the hassle of chasing daily responsibilities and focus more on spending quality time with those you love.

Did you know LAAEYC offers Family Memberships? Join a community of educators and families today for only $35 a year!

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