Somedays, we have the feeling that there is just not enough time to get anything done in our homes or for ourselves. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom with children to care for or a parent that works out of the home, maintaining a balance of home, family, and personal time is not easy. Opportunities to accomplish things occasionally present themselves and you don’t want to spend half of that precious time thinking about what you should do. Having a running list of things to do in a certain time frame is a great way to be prepared. Say you have half an hour until its time to meet the bus. Or let’s say dinner is in the oven and you have half an hour until it is time to set the table. Simply check out your list hanging on the refrigerator or neatly placed in your household binder and get started. It feels so good when you can knock something off the ever-growing list of to dos.
Sweep the floors. Sometimes, especially when my children were young, I think I could have fed a small village from what was under my table. All it takes is a few minutes and a broom to sweep the kitchen, dining area, and even the entryway (which usually attracts a lot of dirt and debris).
Clean a bathroom. One of my least favorite chores, I think because I get caught up in believing I have to do all of the bathrooms at one time. Not true. Slow and steady wins the race.
Dust a room. I’m thinking about my bedroom right now with its thick layer of forgotten dust everywhere.
Organize a corner or a drawer. Don’t try and do a whole room, unless you have a good portion of a day. However, you can still do a lot in half an hour. Just concentrate on a smaller part.
Clean out the refrigerator/freezer by removing everything with green fuzzies.
Teach the kids a life skill: tying shoes, sorting laundry, starting the washing machine, loading the dishwasher, creating a menu plan for the week, etc.
Make some progress in a cool chapter book series.
Sit down for a joint coloring session. Kids love it when their parents
Bake cookies with the family. Not only are you teaching them about recipes, measuring, and chemistry, but you are providing your family with a snack or dessert that is filled with ingredients that you recognize and approve (unlike many store-bought snacks).
Organize a quick impromptu family game: board game, card game, video game, or soccer match.
Lace on your shoes and head out for a run or walk. All it takes is someone at home to keep an eye on the little ones.
Curl up in your chair for some grownup reading time. Kids benefit from seeing parents read, so no guilt here!
Take a bath. Talk about multi-tasking: getting clean and relaxation.
Write a card or a letter to someone special. Snail mail is still one of the most meaningful way to communicate. Show someone you care about them on pretty stationery.
Go online to begin planning your next date night or girls night out. Dreaming of these small adventures are a great way to escape daily pressures for a little while.