You know that feeling. It’s that way you feel when you have to cram 48 hours of activity into a 24-hour time period. That’s often the reality of caregiving: You have to juggle multiple commitments to multiple people, then do it all again the next day. Developing a system of time-saving hacks can make your life a lot easier, giving you the time and space you need to take some deep breaths and fill your own cup. Consider these expert tips on ways to save time and your sanity. Remember: Any minute you save on chores is a minute you can spend on refreshing your own energy – like, for example, taking a nap (smile).
More and more online services offer delivery options for every day basics, including toilet paper, paper towels and groceries – even perishables like milk and eggs. Amazon Pantry, for example, delivers shelf-stable staples, while some local grocery stores offer a delivery option allowing you to shop online. In many cases, you don’t even have to think about a list. Simply work from the previous week’s list and add or delete from that as needed. Even if door-to-door service is unavailable in your area, most stores now offer a pick-up option whereby you order in advance and simply pick up your order saving valuable time walking up and down store aisles.
Set Up A System
Cook in batches on Mondays, clean on Tuesday…you know your schedule best, and experts say it’s best to really create as much of a routine as possible, which is helpful both for you and the person you’re caring for. This is also useful because you can easily have others slide into your schedule if you are unavailable. When people know the routine, it’s a lot easier to follow. It can be written out and easily passed along when someone is pinch-hitting.
When it comes to cleaning, outsourcing may be a practical option. There are online apps, like Handy, that make it super-easy to set up a standing cleaning appointment. Outsourcing can also be a way to involve far-flung family members who often don’t know how to help. For example, outsource the weekly order of staples to a family member on Amazon Prime. The items show up every week, and you save time and the effort of lugging bulky items. It’s a win-win situation.
Double-Duty At The Doctor
If you’re accompanying someone to their appointments, have a plan for how to spend the downtime. Instead of leafing through old magazines, us the time to sort through mail or take care of correspondence you’ve been meaning to get out. That way you feel productive while taking care of an important task, all at the same time.
Duplicate And Triplicate Of Everything
From house keys to a medical binder, have plenty of duplicates can save a lot of time. You may consider three binders: One for the home, one for your car and, if the person cared for lives in their own space, one for their house, as well. However, use caution to ensure that one copy doesn’t have sensitive information like social security numbers so that copy can be left with another caregiver or helper. The same goes for house keys. Make several copies so that you don’t have to scramble if plans change. Finally, if you’re spending a significant amount of time at the person’s home, it’s smart to have a few extra changes of close there for yourself – again, thinking ahead to save time.
Clean On The Go
If you’re caregiving across multiple floors or rooms, clutter can quickly become overwhelming. Have one trash bag in each room where you can toss things as you need to. At the end of the day, simply gather and dispose of all the trash bags. The same goes with meals: If you’re strapped for time, switch to paper and plastic to make cleanup a breeze. Time is the only commodity that we cannot recover. Use these hacks to save time and reduce stress. Hopefully, at the end of the day, there will be more time for you to refresh yourself.