Tag Archives: time-saving

5 Back-to-School Hacks to Save You Time & Stress

August 18, 2016



It’s that time of the year again. Kids are heading back to school, and we’re here with some back-to-school hacks to help make the transition and the school year easier.

bus-1319360_1280We parents dream of stress-free mornings where kids get ready with ease, eat a nutritious breakfast, and are ready to head out the door with everything they need in their backpacks and with time to spare.

Ha!  The reality for most parents is that they are scrambling every morning to get kids dressed, fed, and out the door on time with everything they’re supposed to have.

Kids are shouting about lost socks or underwear, homework gets forgotten, lunches are a disaster, and everyone leaves the house feeling frazzled and irritable. It doesn’t have to be the case.

In this post, we will share with you 5 incredibly simple back-to-school hacks you can implement to help you and your kids get organized and feel more peaceful and prepared each morning. These tips will ease your morning, prepare your kids have a better experience at school, and leave you feeling super.

1. Set Clothes Aside The Night or Weekend Before.
Many parents lose precious minutes every day because their kids don’t know what to wear and/or they’re searching for lost items.

This tip ensures that you won’t have to deal with these issues each morning.

The night before lay out EVERYTHING your child will need for school the next day – from undies to hair ties.

If you want to amp this up to the next level, get 5 gallon-sized plastic baggies and label each one with a day of the week. On Sunday, set aside and bag outfits for every weekday. All your child has to do is grab that day’s baggie in the morning and everything she needs will be in there.

2. Organize the School Folder & Backpack
Have you ever been half-way out the door or half-way already to school and had your child discover that they had forgotten their homework, to bring their uniform for that after-school sport, or to have you sign that field trip permission slip? There is a simple way to avoid this problem. Organize for your child or have your child organize his/her backpack and review your child’s school folder the night before school. Sign what needs to be signed, and make sure everything is in the pack – from homework to any items needed for the next day’s extra-curricular activities. Preparing the night before will save you from scrambling last minute in the morning.

3. Freeze Sandwiches.
The morning lunch prep can be stressful and very time-consuming.   One easy way to save time is to prepare the sandwiches the night or weekend before and freeze them to keep them fresh.

The trick is to remember what can and can’t be frozen and make sure the bread doesn’t get soggy. Bread, meats, cheese, and condiments are great frozen. Items that CAN’T be frozen are: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery, apples, grapes, and raw onion.

To keep your bread from getting soggy you need to make sure nothing watery can be absorbed into it. One of the simplest way to do this is to put a layer of something high in fat (like butter or peanut butter) over the insides of the bread.

girl-holding-up-a-plastic-bag-in-her-left-hand-that-contained-a-number-of-apple-slices-362x5444. Pre-Slice Apples & Other Fruit
Another quick lunch time-saver is to pre-slice and bag up fruit to easily grab and put into lunch. If you pre-slice an apple and want to keep it from turning brown, you can place it in a tub with some lemon juice or lemonade and water.

5. Use Checklists.
A big stressor and time-suck is having to remember everyone’s morning tasks and making sure everyone is doing what they need to. Creating checklists beforehand can help you easily avoid having to do that.

Our tip is to create a morning checklist for every family member. As long as they’re able to read, you can save time by not having to tell them what to do. All they have to do is look at their checklist and follow it.

My daughter’s checklist includes everything from brushing her teeth to making her bed to making sure she has everything in her backpack.

Use the Checklist Parent app to organize all your checklists, shopping lists and to-do lists in one place.

Let us know in the comments if you found these helpful and/or what your favorite time-saving hacks are?

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the co-owner and Chief Creative Officer of Checklist Parent.  She has made it her mission to empower parents to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, yogi, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Parent Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

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4 Time-Saving Hacks for Busy Moms

March 29, 2016


4 Time-Saving Hacks for Busy Moms

Regardless if you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom… I’m going to say that staying on top of all the things you need to do is one of the biggest balancing acts of our lives! I went to college and law school and that was way easier than being a mom!

Sometimes I think there should be a parade for us moms because we are pretty amazing human beings. Oh well. I digress. Today I want to discuss what it takes to stay active and stay organized. These are pretty unconventional ideas, but they work!

Put Your Kids in Their Clothes Before Bed

Put clothes on babyThis is an idea from my sister-in-law.  This may sound weird but it can save you so much time. After you take your kid out of their evening bath, put on their clothes that they’re going to be wearing tomorrow. This way, when they wake up, all you need to do is brush their hair a little bit or brush their teeth and you’re off! Talk about hassle free. The idea is to train your kids and yourself to be ready and active right when the day starts!

She says you can do the same for you! Don’t wear your work clothes in bed, but you can wear your workout clothes. This way when you wake up you can quickly go for a run or just workout before you get the day started.

I said this is my sister-in-law’s idea.  This doesn’t work for me because like my husband my youngest is not a morning person.  (It not applicable to my two other kids because the oldest is in college and the next one graduated from high school and is pursuing acting and music.)  If my 7-year old were more like my niece and nephew this would be great.  She never pops out of bed ready to go though.  In the morning she drags herself to the bath and sits semi-comatose for about 20 minutes before she starts to wake up, soaps herself up and gets dressed.  By the time she’s dressed 30-40 minutes later she’s awake and ready to be off.

What we do is gather her clothes and have what she’s going to wear laid out the night before.  This saves time in the morning from having to pick clothes and helps us save time in the morning.  I also like to gather my workout clothes and lay them out before bed.  Whilst we do sleep in pajamas, having those clothes ready to go in the morning definitely is a time- and stress-saver.

Create a Hassle Free Lunch!


Photo by Kathleen Franklin on Flickr.  CC 2.0

Once or twice a week it is best to bring a child or two in the kitchen and help you prep your family’s weekly lunch meals. All you need to do is cook some food and store it in Tupperware containers (one for each family member). This allows your hands to be free for the rest of the week! It also gives you more time to workout or get to other pesky errands you had planned in your day.

We also prep lunches the night before.  That way, in the morning you need only grab and go.

Write a Nightly To-Do List

You never ever want to go to bed blind. This means that right before you go to bed you should take an index card, a small piece of paper, or your smart phone and note down a few things that you want / need to accomplish for the next day. This way you know exactly what needs to be done when you wake up. It helps lessen confusion and puts you on track.

Photo by David D on Flickr. CC 2.0

Assign Weekly Chores

It’s really cool to assign your family weekly / daily chore assignments. For example, in my house, my husband is assigned to put all the laundry in the washer every Tuesday night. And, I’ve assigned myself to put it into the dryer every Wednesday morning. And, we have it assigned that ever Wednesday night we fold the clothes together.

We’re now doing this with cooking, cleaning, and even gardening. The kids have their chores too.  This way everyone is accountable to making sure that the family life is going well for anyone: a family who works together stays together.

I understand that these tips could be a little unconventional. But we live in the 21st century and it’s time that every single person in the family should hold some sort of responsibility to make sure that Moms are given the proper support to stay active and organized! The family unit is even stronger when the mother is happy and rested. 😀

What are your tips for finding time and staying balanced?  Please share in the comments below

 Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and career choices.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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