A recent study found that the average mom works about 98 hours per week. (Hey, we believe it!) But with a few simple tweaks, you can get back some extra time for yourself and your family every month.

Here are 14 ways to speed up chores, curb toddler meltdowns, and help you feel a bit breezier this week.


1. Color code toy baskets

Can you imagine a world where you kids picked up their own toys? (It’s possible, promise!) Color-coding baskets makes it easier for little ones to quickly put everything back in its place. Example: blocks go in the blue basket and cars go in the green.

Time saved per month: Up to 3 hours

14 momlife hacks that will save you up to 34 hours per week 0 Motherly

2. Let Gobble handle dinner prep tonight

Skip the grocery shopping and chopping altogether with deliciously prepped and portioned meal ingredients delivered right to your door by Gobble. Each meal comes together in three steps, meaning dinner is on the table in 15 minutes (and no chopping means you can cook even with a toddler on your hip).

Time saved: Up to 7 hours

Click here to get 50% off your first Gobble dinner kit for a limited time this summer.

3. Make it easier for them to get snacks

Protect kids with food allergies by keeping a magnetic sheet of color stickers on the fridge—gluten-free snacks get a purple sticker, peanut-free get a yellow sticker, etc. Plus, with everything clearly marked, they won’t need your help to get a healthy snack.

Time saved per month: Up to 30 minutes

4. Pre-portion snacks ahead of time

Rather than scrambling to get the goldfish crackers in a plastic baggie every morning before the school bus arrives, take five minutes when you get home from the grocery store to separate out snack-sized portions you can grab and go during the morning rush.

Time saved: Up to 1 hour

14 momlife hacks that will save you up to 34 hours per week 1 Motherly

5. Set up recurring online deliveries

Especially in the couple years of your child’s life, there are a few items you can virtually guarantee you’ll need every month. (Think: diapers, wipes, paper towels, etc.) Take advantage of subscription delivery services like Amazon to save yourself a monthly trip.

Time saved: Up to 2 hours

6. Cut back on the laundry time suck

Rather than washing every item of clothing after it’s worn, put the not-really-dirty items back in the drawer for a second wearing. They’re mostly clean anyway, and it can cut your laundry in half every week. (And we won’t tell, promise!)

Time saved: Up to 2 hours

7. Create after school bags

Skip the after school scramble! Every Sunday night, put together separate bags for each school day complete with afternoon snacks and supplies for that day’s activities, like piano lessons or soccer practice.

Time saved per week: Up to 3 hours

8. Create a “signature station”

Hang a clipboard near the front door where your kids can clip permission slips, report cards, and anything else that requires your signature. Every night post-bedtime, spend five minutes tackling the stack—and avoid a morning scramble to sign before the bus arrives.

Time saved per week: Up to 30 minutes

14 momlife hacks that will save you up to 34 hours per week 2 Motherly

9. Prep meals the night before

Wash and chop fruit, set each place setting, and put out vitamins the night before so it’s easier to get breakfast on the table in the morning. Try whipping up some oatmeal + yogurt parfaits in mason jars that each person can grab from the fridge, or bake a pan of egg soufflés in a muffin tin you can keep reheat in the morning.

Time saved per week: Up to 2 hours

10. Streamline dressing your toddler every day

“Dressing your toddler” and “speed” are rarely words used in the same sentence, but this hack can help. Store full outfits (socks and accessories included) in sandwich bags in the drawers. In the morning, simply grab, dress, and go!

Time saved per week: Up to 2 hours

11. Create a car emergency kit

How many times have you been this close to leaving the house when…a diaper blew up? You realized you forgot wipes? Your toddler spilled something on his shirt? Fill a plastic bin with extra clothes, diapers, wipes, first aid items, and bottles of water and keep it in the trunk for emergencies. Pro tip: Set a timer in your phone to update the clothing sizes in six months so you don’t forget.

Time saved per week: Up to 3 hours

12. Become a minimalist

Rather than spending hours per week cleaning up toys and searching closets for clothes, spend a weekend paring down your belongings until it only takes a few minutes to find everything or put it in its place.

Time saved per week: Up to 3 hours

13. Designate time to catch up on email and social media

If you feel like you’re wasting too much time online, block out 30 minutes every day to catch up on your feeds and respond to personal emails. Try right after your kids’ bedtime—if you’re like us, your brain usually needs a few minutes to unwind then anyway.

Time saved per week: Up to 4 hours

14. Prevent shopping meltdowns

There’s nothing like a toddler tantrum to make a quick trip into Target take over an hour. The next time your little one throws a fit over a toy they want, offer to take a picture on your phone to “send to Santa or Grandma” so they have it in mind for the next gift they buy. (Bonus: You’ll already have a running list for the next birthday or Christmas!)

Time saved per week: Up to 1 hour

14 momlife hacks that will save you up to 34 hours per week 3 Motherly

Whether you win back 34 hours or only 3 this week—more time together is always something to celebrate. Nice work, mama!