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Balancing children, work, and your household chores can be a tough challenge for parents. After all, if you’ve just returned from a long day at work or spent the day running around and playing with the kids, making your kitchen surfaces sparkle is often the last thing on your mind. Luckily, the internet has plenty of resources when it comes to effective housekeeping tips, from the most efficient stain removal tips to how to wash baby clothes. We’ve put together a list of the five ultimate household hacks for parents to give you some quick and easy ideas on how to be the master of your household – and not the other way around.

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Track your progress

To keep track of everything that needs to be done, don’t be afraid to rely on lists. You can make your own individualised list of household chores that need to get done, or you can look for one on the internet. Print it out, stick it to the freezer, and never again forget that you have to dust off those cream-coloured lampshades once a month in order to impress your mother-in-law when she comes to visit.

Plan ahead

Cooking for a whole family can be tricky, especially when it comes to getting the weekly shop done. In order to save time and money, consider making meal plans for the week ahead. If you’re writing down what you’re going to need for each day’s meals, you are less likely to have to run to the store mid-cooking because you’ve forgotten about that vegetable stock. Make sure your meal-planning template has enough space for breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas, grocery lists, and includes some healthy snacks too.

Get your kids involved

Kids love arts and crafts because they can see the results of what they are doing, and cooking or cleaning can have the exact same effect. Don’t present it to your kids as a chore, but as a fun game that will pay off in the end. If you let your kids carefully chop some vegetables or sort their laundry themselves, this will not only save you the effort, but it’ll also keep them occupied while you’re working on other chores. Plus it’ll teach them how to look after themselves from a young age.

Organise your laundry

If you’ve got kids, you’ll probably be constantly washing clothes – reason enough to make this process as quick and painless as possible. Get different laundry bags for different colours and textures, and label them to make sure everyone gets it right. You can also purchase mesh bags for every family member to place their socks in, saving you trying to recover lost socks or matchmaking unhappy singles.

Let go of your perfectionism

As a parent, you want to get everything right, from raising your kids to cleaning the bathroom sink. But worrying too much about the details can cause unnecessary stress and take away time from more important things, such as spending quality time with your kids and running yourself a much needed bubble bath once in a while. Don’t worry too much about every single stain and messy children’s rooms – make sure you and your kids feel comfortable in your home, keep the kitchen and bathroom clean at all times, and don’t beat yourself up over the little things.

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