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How do you get everything done?

(30 Posts)
wigwam33 Wed 25-Nov-15 21:47:04

As the message says really. I'm after your top time-saving tips, systems and 'cheats'.

I only have two small children and struggle to get everything done. I know I need to improve my systems as I'm not a systems person at all. I have to cook everything from scratch due to allergies so that takes time, though I'm getting faster. So please give me your best tips and tricks.

ASAS Wed 25-Nov-15 21:53:49

I don't. That's just the way it is here. I realised early on there's no such thing as have it all, just have to do it all.

I prioritise meal planning and laundry. The rest gets done when I can.

Remember your two small children love you. That's the prize smile

RachelZoe Wed 25-Nov-15 22:13:00

Forget systems is my tip. I'm one of those hyper organized sorts and rigid systems are the path to hell. Reaching organizational nirvana is about being adaptable and getting things done regardless of what happens, having a system tends to fall apart when one of your kids decides to shit themselves or you're feeling really tired and awful and you just can't. Life doesn't work on a system, it puts too much pressure on as well.

Number 1 tip, above all else, is have the absolute minimum amount of stuff you can, have a really good, deep clear out, the less stuff you have, the easier it is to keep on top of things. Especially clothes and crockery/cutlery, if the laundry/washing up NEEDS to be done, it's more likely to get done.

With the food, freeze it, soup bags are particularly great and it's easy to cook and easy to pack nutrition in. Also, mini quiches, I'm obsessed with them, in a muffin tin, freezeable and again, can pack good stuff in.

What specifically are you having trouble with? If we know the main problem areas we can probably give better tips.

Scotinoz Thu 26-Nov-15 03:02:01

Sort laundry each night, put load in machine and run every morning. Keeps laundry pile down.

Meal plan. Boring but works.

Tidy every night when children are in bed. Keeps on top of toys, mess, crap.

Have a place for everything.

Use the TV as a babysitter blush - amazing what you can do during 2 episodes of Peppa if you're focused!

CheerfulYank Thu 26-Nov-15 03:19:27

I don't. I have three DC (8, 2, and 6 months) and a mad Labrador (7 months) and I'm just starting to not feel like I'm drowning every day.

I just kind of constantly do things. Basically I don't stop moving until the kids are in bed at 8 and then I collapse.

I look forward to tips!

Lovelybitofsquirrel Thu 26-Nov-15 03:28:47

What they all said ^^
My biggest help is batch cooking when I can and getting stuff in the freezer so that there's something to eat available on days where otherwise I'd be lucky to rustle up a slice of toast.

AGapInTheMarket Thu 26-Nov-15 03:55:03

I make a giant pickle salad every weekend. It keeps brilliantly. (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/11/pickled-cabbage-salad/) It takes a while and makes a big mess chopping it all but it means me and DH can have super easy and healthy lunches and dinners - a big serve of salad and some cheese or ham or leftovers for lunch and just a chop or something. It's surprisingly versatile and I can get dinner on the table in 5 minutes! Put a squirt of mayo on it and it's basically coleslaw. Or roll it in a tortilla. Or in rice paper rolls with noodles and some dipping sauces. Had it with chicken sate and peanut sauce the other night and it was yum, the acidity really cuts through rich sauces etc. Have been having fun adding raw beetroot and turning everything purple! Because i'm having such healthy lunches I have heaps more energy! And DH hasn't bought lunch for months so that saves money, he's also lost a tonne of weight without trying.

winchester1 Thu 26-Nov-15 05:02:31

Get kids to help and also to go and play alone even 5 min here and there helps and it gets longer as they get use to it.
When ever both parents are home one deals with both kids and the other does some jobs. So one tends to tidy, wash up, sort the next days clothes while the other puts the kids to bed. We do a mix of batch cooking and easy meals (pasta, fresh toms, onions and mince), jacket pots, sausage and salad etc.
During the day when the baby naps the sahp (we 're half time each) does outside jobs (bring in wood, clear snow etc) while the toddler plays in the garden.
We don't bath the kids every night, we seem to have considerably less washing than most (not sure why), and the dogs are working dogs so.don't need nightly walks which all helps too.

HeadDreamer Thu 26-Nov-15 05:06:33

Isn't how getting everything done depends on what you actually plan to do? I get everything done with working full time and two young children. My secret is lower standards grin

SouthYarraYobbo Thu 26-Nov-15 05:22:09

I'm shock at how hard some of you have to work to get it all done.

I have 2 dc, washing is done every 2 days regardless of load size, folded and put away on non washing day. Batch cook every 2 or 3 weeks. Simple meals during the week (last night was salmon with boiled rice, soya beans and long beans). Lunches made when preparing dinner.

For me it's a routine so l don't need to think about it, l just do it.

And a small house so less cleaning smile

HalfStar Thu 26-Nov-15 09:56:25

I'm the same as ASAS really. While the children are so small (and DH and I are working) I have decided to accept that a certain amount of chaos will exist. I'm good on laundry and feeding everyone healthy meals. Bad at the rest of the housekeeping.

The thing is, I don't think that fathers ever have this conversation with each other about how to get it all done. Maybe a bit more these days, but not much. So I try to remember that. I could in theory 'get everything done' but I would be a horrible bitch to live with because I'd be so full of domestic resentfulness. There are other pursuits that I would like to direct some of my energies towards and I think the pressure to have everything done and sparkling can sometimes end up being a bit of a trap.

It's really up to how you personally feel about it all I think and what would keep you sanest smile

HeadDreamer Thu 26-Nov-15 10:27:47

The thing is, I don't think that fathers ever have this conversation with each other about how to get it all done. Maybe a bit more these days, but not much.

I don't wonder how I can get it all done either. Hence my comment on setting realistic goals. There's no need to be a domestic martyr. IMHO, a lot of domestic chores are just created to fill the hours. You can stop doing them and maybe no one will even notice.

HalfStar Thu 26-Nov-15 10:31:11

IMHO, a lot of domestic chores are just created to fill the hours. You can stop doing them and maybe no one will even notice.

I couldn't agree more!

TheOriginalMerylStrop Thu 26-Nov-15 10:32:11

It will never all be done
Once you accept that it is all a lot better

Arfarfanarf Thu 26-Nov-15 10:45:45

You've got little ones, it's difficult to get much done when you're entertaining tinies grin It's so much easier once they start school. There's 5 hours a day to get everything done without kids underfoot, that's 25 hours a week. That's if you don't do anything after the kids get home or at weekends. I work from home but pt and very flexibly so give it its time like the other chores.

If it helps you to visualise it, in order to see how it all fits together, then make a list of everything you do, alongside it put the time it takes you to do it, then allocate it a slot. how long does it take to wash a kitchen floor for example? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? how long to vacuum a house? 20 minutes? half an hour if you're moving stuff?

for example, all my ironing gets done on a sunday.

When I cook, I cook enough to put several portions in the freezer.

for me, it's about being realistic about time, having a core routine and but being flexible within that routine because shit happens. (eg I quite often get a call from the school to come calm/collect my youngest because he's melting down. So often it's a case of bugger the dusting, it's not vital grin )

teenmumandsowhat Thu 26-Nov-15 10:57:16

I have two toddlers. And the biggest thing I've had to learn, is to lower my expectations on how tidy the house should be. How much washing I get done etc... Lot less stress that way! smile

HeadDreamer Thu 26-Nov-15 11:07:00

for example, all my ironing gets done on a sunday.

There, one chore deleted off the to do list. Only iron if you actually enjoy doing it. I don't even iron my DD's uniform. They survived.

Maryz Thu 26-Nov-15 11:10:44

You don't. You just have to get the essentials done - and ironing, dusting and cleaning windows aren't essentials.

I used to say that if at the end of the day the children were fed and I had no more dirty washing than I had at the beginning of the day, that day was a success grin

ffffffedup Thu 26-Nov-15 11:29:43

You don't! Daily I try to do a wash (although it could take a week to be put away again) run the hoover round downstairs (upstairs maybe once a week ). I don't bath the kids every day sometimes it's just a quick flannel hands and face. I try to get tomorrow clothes ready the night before that seems to save loads of messing in the morning. Batch cook and freeze as much as you can. If at night everyone has gone to bed washed and with full bellys then that's a successful day anything on top of that is a bonus. Don't be too hard on yourself and definitely use the TV as babysitter to get a quick job done

cornishglos Thu 26-Nov-15 14:18:46

I do stuff with the children. I have a toddler and a newborn. Newborn sleeps a lot. I wash up while toddler eats breakfast (I eat mine, then wash up, toddler takes about an hour!)
Then toddler and I do the laundry together. He 'helps' or potters. Toys in every room. He is quite good at playing by himself too.
He watches while I cook. He watches me shower, or potters. He helps bake.
I find it hard to do 'admin', emails, cards, bills etc while I've got the two to myself, but I can do that when he naps or in the evening.
I also do a to-do list, but someone once gave me a great tip. Put it in 3 columns - 'today', 'soon', and 'at some point'. It seems so much more manageable.

CheerfulYank Thu 26-Nov-15 19:59:26

I do bathe the children every day and I find it actually makes less work! They clean up before dinner and then the two littlest go straight in the bath with toys and I clean up the bathroom, so laundry etc. (Laundry is room is in the bathroom.) Then they get out and have PJs and stories and maybe DVD time. Keeps them from messing up the house again.

CheerfulYank Thu 26-Nov-15 20:00:55

Go straight into the bath after dinner, I mean!

Steamedcharsiubun Thu 26-Nov-15 20:00:54

Lower your standards

misstiggywinkle21 Thu 26-Nov-15 20:11:52

HeadDreamer and HalfStar - enjoy.....
mobile.twitter.com/manwhohasitall?lang=en

mrsmugoo Thu 26-Nov-15 20:29:24

I just do what I can, when I can. I blast some chores before DS is up in the morning and again in the evening. We have a cleaner and also my DS does his fair share.

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