Whether you’re single or married, have kids or don’t, you probably wish your weekdays weren’t so frantic. If that’s you, you’ve got to check out these practical tips to make your week run smoothly.
I remember way back when J and I were first married and the only beings we were responsible for were ourselves. I enjoyed playing that game of alarm clock chicken most of us perfect during our college years: how late can I sleep, and how frantically can I dash around getting ready, and still make it to work on time?
Seven years and two kids later, we still play that game occasionally, but mostly we’ve learned some tips and tricks to avoid that early morning dash. There was some trial and error, and we totally forget or are too lazy to do some of these things sometimes. When we do, though, our entire week is less frantic and more relaxed.
Tips to Make Your Week Run Smoothly
Run the Dishwasher on Sunday
I have to give credit for this idea to J. He first suggested we do this, way back at the beginning of the school year, and it’s been a pretty big deal. We run the dishwasher on Sunday afternoons, regardless of how full it is (unless it’s somehow practically empty). We unload it Sunday evening, and we get to start the week with a clean sink and a dishwasher that’s ready to be loaded with dishes.
Mondays are usually not great, so it makes worlds of difference to get to come home after work on Monday and not have that one chore looming.
Lay Out Your Clothes
I skip this too often. My tired Sunday night brain reasons that it’ll be fine if I just think about what I’m going to wear the next day. But it’s always faster when I actually set my clothes out, and the kids’ clothes, too. I typically lay out all the children’s outfits for the whole week, and I do mine a night or two at a time. To really take the stress out of the process, though, it’s best to choose outfits for the whole week.
Plan Your Meals
I’m a huge fan of meal planning; I typically plan ours a month at a time. If you do something similar, then you’ve already got this one covered. If you’re more of an I’ll-just-wing-it cook, I recommend at least making a game plan for one week at a time. Look at the activities you have going on each evening, take stock of the ingredients in your refrigerator and pantry, and write down what you plan to fix each night of the week.
If meal planning isn’t something you’re currently doing, you’ll be amazed by how big a difference a little forethought will make.
Have a Discussion with Your Spouse
Just a quick powwow do discuss what the family has planned for the week, to make sure you’re both on the same page. Who is taking this kid to soccer practice, who is taking that kid to an appointment. I schedule the kids’ appointments, and I write them on our dry-erase calendar that J doesn’t often look at. It’s so easy for me to make appointments, write them down, and plan out in my head how it’ll play out: which of us will go to the appointment, who will get the other child, etc.
A brief five-minute talk with your spouse to discuss the goings-on of the coming week gets everyone geared to tackle what’s ahead.
Pack Your Lunches
If you, or your children, take packed lunches during the week, you’ll save yourself so much time and energy by packing them on Sunday evenings. Not only will you not have to hassle with the task each weeknight, but you’ll only have to get your kitchen dirty once, too. If you plan to use leftovers from weeknight meals, you’ll obviously have to wait, but prepare as much as you can ahead of time.
One of my favorite lunches to take to school is mason jar salads; it takes very little extra work to prepare five instead of one, and then I’m set for the week.
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What are your best tips for making your week run smoothly?
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