Quick Shortcuts for Caregivers
Shortcuts are a way of life for me. I’m always trying to find ways to squeeze more downtime into my life and the only way to do that is to take as many shortcuts or implement as many time-savers as I can. The busy pace of my life isn’t going anywhere so I have to find ways to work around it.
As caregivers, you have a lot on your plate. Finding ways to simplify or adding shortcuts to your routines can save you hours a week. If you’re like me, those saved hours will probably go towards tasks that have been ignored. Hopefully, you can find a way to also squeeze in some self-care since as you know, caregiving is a marathon. You can’t ignore your health and well-being for extended periods of time.
Best Shortcuts and Time Savers for Caregivers
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- Cook In Bulk: This is by far, my favorite shortcut. I prefer to cook two meals a week that can be reheated throughout the week instead of cooking a new meal nightly. If you have family members who don’t like leftovers, consider making a whole roast chicken or beef roast that can be used in different ways (tacos, salad, enchiladas).
- Use Convenience Cleaning Products: I know, sometimes it costs more to use convenience products, but usually, it’s just a few cents and it will save you a lot of time. For example, if you wipe down surfaces regularly with cleaning wipes, you won’t need to do a deep clean as often. You can also save time mopping by using Swiffer wet wipes instead of a mop and bucket. Yes, these items cost more but it will take you just a few minutes to complete a task that normally takes 30 minutes or more.
- Use Convenience Food Products: My family eats a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. We also throw out a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables on busy weeks. If you are constantly throwing away fresh foods, consider spending a bit more on pre-cut produce to ensure you actually eat the food you buy.
- Less Stuff Means Less Stuff To Clean: I confess, this isn’t my strong suit. My sister-in-law has almost no knick knacks and her reason is that she can dust a shelf without stuff on it way faster than she can dust a shelf full of little trinkets. In general, if you have less stuff, you’ll have less stuff to clean. The only exception is with laundry. I have three weeks worth of underwear and socks for every member of my family so that we don’t have to do laundry weekly.
- Sometimes More Is More: As I mention above, we have three weeks worth of socks and underwear so that we aren’t doing laundry all the time. We also have an abundance of towels and sheets to keep the laundry frequency down. Of course, this means that when we do do laundry, it’s a LOT of laundry, but I’d rather do one full day of laundering than have to run a load every few days. The same goes for items that don’t perish. We buy large packages of paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap and laundry detergent. If we can store it, we’ll get it. That way, we’re not constantly running out of items that we don’t purchase at the regular grocery store.
- Be Ruthless: One thing that helps me with time management is the ability to be ruthless about what’s on my to do list, what is in my home or what I won’t give up. If you have too many things to do and not enough time, it’s time to be ruthless about your priorities. Write down all of your to dos and decide what actually really needs to get done and what you can eliminate. Go through your house with a trash bag and start throwing away things that don’t add value to your life or home (you can try my 3 minute challenge if you don’t have a lot of time). Decide on what your “musts” are and make sure you eliminate the “shoulds” so your musts can happen.
When you are managing two households, or two lives, the daily, weekly and monthly to dos can get overwhelming. If you aren’t organized, they can get out of control really quickly. Incorporating shortcuts can help you spend less time on some of the less important – but necessary – to dos so that you can focus on the more important tasks, or build in some down time for yourself.
Do you have any favorite shortcuts that save you time?