A MUM-of-four has revealed the hacks she's come up with to make day-to-day life with her little ones more efficient.
Sarah Glanville, 35, from Berkshire, said she came up with several ‘mum hacks’ to make parenting a bit easier due to the fast paced, full on nature of their lives.
The mum, who works in garage administration, has come up with some quick tricks to save her time every day, even on busy school mornings.
She swears by using a family chart to keep on track of everything – but admits ‘organisation is key’ as a mum-of-four.
Sarah, who is mum to Scarlett, eight, Matilda, six and three-year-old twins Oscar and Esme, said the key is to plan ahead and be as organised as possible.
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The family-of-six said the week can sometimes seem chaotic – but also a lot of fun.
Sarah said: “The quick routines and tricks that save me time every day come down to planning.
“The key to saving time is of course being organised and planning ahead. I do as much as I can before to save time on the day.
“You shouldn’t underestimate what a child can do from a young age and we allow them to do things themselves that are practical and safe.
“We have a very similar routine every day, so everyone knows their jobs and can just get on and do them. A house with four children is a little bit of chaos but also a whole lot of fun!”
As her children have got older, they've been able to help Sarah with more tasks.
For example, she gets Scarlett, 8 and Matilda, 6 to help their younger siblings.
Sarah, who shares her life as a mum with her 5,500 Instagram followers, uses a number of hacks to save her hours in her chaotic day.
She had four kids in four years and loves sharing an insight into their family adventures, days out, play ideas as well as general day-to-day life online.
Sarah said: “There’s a few basic things I do every day that make things run smoothly. I always lay out breakfast on the table so it's accessible for all.
“Then they just need to choose cereal and get themselves a glass of water or milk and they can be eating while I’m getting myself ready or sorting something else.
“I also always make packed lunches the night before and put them in the fridge ready to be collected by each child when we are ready to leave.”
Sarah also revealed she puts toothpaste on each of her children’s toothbrushes in the morning – this quick hack takes less than a few minutes to do but it has a clever trick.
It means she can tell who has actually brushed their teeth when looking in the bathroom in the morning
Another easy hack that Sarah swears by is laying out clothes for each child each evening, for the following day.
She said: “The big girls have their uniform hung on linked hangers so they can simply get dressed when washed and ready.
“The twins help choose clothes the night before, this also allows me to steer them to any items I wish for pre school or day out for example.
SARAH’S QUICK TIPS FOR PARENTS WITH FOUR KIDS OR MORE
- Lay out kids clothes on floor in order or on hanger the day before
- Have a chart to follow
- Do everything for all kids at the same time – I line up their toothbrushes and use the one in the bath, one out method to get them all clean!
- Be organised – pack bags, have separate bags for each class/activity and make everything easy for them to grab and go – it only takes a few minutes to prep
“Their clothes are then laid out on the space on the floor in their bedroom in the shape of a person so they can simply pick up items and get dressed.
“They have been getting themselves dressed since the age of around two-years-old!”
The mum-of-four also takes note of the saying ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ – she does a lot of things in advance as this always saves her time on a busy morning.
She also likes to have clothing and items for activities organised too – so she has bags just for gymnastics kit and swimming ready to go.
Once everything has been washed and dried, it takes two minutes to put them into their designated bags so they’re ready for next time – to grab and go!
Sarah said: “One of my biggest tips for a family or big family is alway do a load of washing a day (if you have a full load of course we don’t want to waste water and power).
“This is one thing I actually find easier as a bigger family as there is always enough of each colour washing to do a load by colour.
“I also often dress the children in coordinating or matching – as this actually makes the washing easier!
“When it comes to leaving the house, I always try to leave earlier than planned to allow for delays.”
She also gives every kid a job, something to do or something to carry to the car. She lines up everything by the door that needs to go with them – to make this super simple and time effective.
Plus, she swears by using lists – the savvy mum uses them for shopping, items for days out, jobs to be done and their daily routine.
She even gives her older two children set times to complete tasks in – which they are able to follow using their kids' watches to set timers – she says this is a quick and easy method to get things done quickly, without them getting distracted.
Sarah added: “By keeping organised and everything having a place, the kids learn and will put things back in the right place.
“Of course they are all young and we’re still working on this as no family can be perfect. Life is stressful at times but the fun and joy is so much more.
“Some things are easier with several children, while some things are harder but there is no right or wrong way to do anything – just your way!
“I find the washing easy as I always have enough of the same colour to do it daily; clothes can easily be shared if neutral and passed down which saves money too.
“It’s lovely that the older siblings can teach the little ones and help them too. We also use charts from Busbybusybooks which we tick off when a task is finished and they get a star at the bottom for completing. They love it!”
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