Our household only consists of three people – six if you count our animals as members of the family (and honestly, we do). But despite what legs we walk on, this household is very busy. We are both working parents; I own a small boutique in Greeley, and my husband works as a project manager for a large construction company. Our little one is an ever-growing, never-stopping toddler who loves to leave traces of his curiosity wherever he goes, and the other members of our family won’t stop shedding…ever!
So between the eating, cleaning, scheduling, and working, we need to keep a tight ship in order to not lose our minds. If you are a mama, which, I’m pretty sure you are if you’re reading this, I hope these 5 things will help your household too so you can spend more time with your partner and littles.
1. Simple command center
At our household command center, we have a calendar for the whole month, a white board beneath for just what is happening that week, and a place for all the random things we use in the in between. So many times my husband would ask what we had going on, and often he’d forget to look at the calendar. Our little white board helps up keep track of the immediate things without overwhelming us.
The envelope below the white board helps us keep track of all the random pieces of paper that would often get left on the countertop or kitchen table and get lost forever. Now, I know when I’m looking for that season pass to the zoo, the letter from our insurance about the hail damage, or stamps for a thank-you note, it’s all in our little golden envelope, front and center.
I bought all three things at our local Target.
2. Robot vacuum
We just bought this robot vacuum for ourselves this past Black Friday. We have been wanting one for years and finally splurged and I am so very thankful. We have 2 dogs and 1 cat and the amount of hair that accumulates is astronomical. I felt like after I vacuumed, the hair would reappear, but with our new little wonder vac, the hair is hardly noticed.
We run her during the day when we aren’t home, and when do arrive after work the house looks amazing and we can focus on playing rather than cleaning. Game changer, mama friends. And I realize that a robot vacuum may not be in the budget, but Target and Amazon are always having sales, and you no longer need the name brand to get the job done. We purchased ours for under $100.
3. Our Groceries app
This app has helped save my marriage. Only joking, but what’s great about this app is that you can SYNC between devices. There are no more “I forgot to get” conversations because we can both add to the lists and whatever we add shows up on both phones. You can even set up different lists for different shops and/or activities.
We currently have about 10 lists going, so we never forget what we need anymore. The app even works with Alexa and Google Home, so while I’m making a recipe and run out of something, I can just tell our Alexa what to add.
4. The Alexa Show
We never thought we’d hop on the Alexa/Google Home train, but within a matter of two weeks, we went from one Alexa Echo to multiple devices in different rooms, including the Show. The Show syncs with our Ring Doorbell, our baby monitor, our security cameras, our grocery app (above), our robot vacuum, our calendars, our music, and the Show will even play our Hulu and Netflix accounts so I have entertainment while I’m cooking.
One of our favorite features is she acts as an intercom as well; I can communicate with my hubby if I am in the bedroom upstairs and he is in the kitchen downstairs. We are finding more and more things that she does; the other night, I asked her to show me dairy-free recipes and she brought up some amazing-looking things. She is an awesome personal assistant, and our little one loves asking her to play music.
And last but definitely not the least:
5. Storage, storage and more storage
We had no idea that after having ONE child, the amount of things we would acquire would bury us if we’d let it. One child, and we needed to build another room to house “all the things.” Instead of going crazy, we decided to move my office to my shop and make our little one a playroom. The next thing was to get adequate storage. We still use the playroom for our personal stuff as well, but we didn’t want it out where our little one could reach it.
We also recognized that if we let it, all the toys, balls, and stuffed animals would cover the floor and we would forget the color of the carpet. So in came the bins, shelves, and stackable crates. We took a giant trip to Ikea and Target and organized everything so that each ball, each car, each book had its place. Now clean up is a breeze each night before we go to bed, and our little one enjoys putting his toys away. It helps us keep our sanity and we spend more time together playing than worrying about cleaning.
So busy mama, I hope this list helps you out just in case you are needing some more ideas to help keep your household running so you can get back to the things that are more important, like playing with your babies. And if you have something that can help our fam, please let me know!