Sunday Prep for a Stress-Free Week: 5 Tips to Maximize Time

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Sunday
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In my younger years, before getting married and having a kid, Sunday was known as Sunday Funday. A day of relaxing by the pool, maybe seeing a concert or even watching football and day drinking. Now, Sunday has a slightly different tone, one focusing on setting up the week for less stress and chaos and, ultimately, success.

In our current stage of life, the time from getting home at the end of the day to bedtime is short. Our family comprises two full-time working parents: myself, who works outside the home five days a week; my husband, who has a hybrid schedule; a three-and-a-half-year-old who goes to preschool full-time; and three large dogs. From about 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, we try to maximize the time we can spend with our daughter.

I realized the best way for our family to maximize our weekday time together is to set up our week for success on Sunday. Full transparency, it is a team effort between my husband and I, we both work to tackle our goals because we know they are important to having a low stress week. The five main areas we focus on are:

  • Meal Planning and Grocery Pick-up
  • Food Prep
  • Bags Packed
  • Laundry
  • Decluttering

Meal Planning and Grocery Pick-up

I try to start by looking through what ingredients we have on hand and what days we will need meals. I will take this full old school and use a paper calendar to make a list. Once I have narrowed down what will be made, I start my online grocery shopping. Luckily, we live close to so many choices: Aldi, Meijer, Kroger, Target, Fresh Market, and more. Many stores offer free pick-up for a certain amount, and third-party apps such as Instacart+ are worth it, in my opinion. Having everything in one app, link loyalty cards, and cashback options are a plus. I am certainly no stranger to having more than one pick-up order at a time to make sure I can get everything I need or want all at once.

Food Prep

Between my husband and I, this is the area I focus on the most: prepping our meals for the week. When I meal plan, I tend to go for meals that can either be prepped ahead and put in the crockpot in the morning or quickly be put on a sheet pan and into the oven. But most commonly, I pick meals that I can fully prepare and portion out for quick re-heating during the week. One of my favorites is a variation on these mini meatloaves, utilizing ground turkey instead of beef and stuffing it with fresh mozzarella cheese. I try to prepare at least three different meals so that lunch and dinner are never the same in one day. This allows us to grab a meal already portioned and prepared and put it in our lunch box in the morning, and at the end of the day, when it is time for dinner, we just need to reheat. There is no need to worry about cleaning a bunch of pots and pans after dinner, and we will have more time together as a family before dinner. This one is my favorite “hacks” to making my week better. If you are new to meal prepping, check out these great tips.

Bags Packed

Friday comes and all the bags come home, the contents all get shuffled around. The worst offender, me, and my purse. I take things out, and they move from the backpack to my belt bag to a going-out bag and everywhere in between. Taking five minutes to inventory where everything is and make sure it is back in its place saves me from driving around town without my wallet for a day. Including making sure my daughter’s preschool bag is all packed after washing.

Laundry

This one tends to be my husband’s main priority and focus area: making sure all our laundry is complete and put away, helping to ensure we start the week off clean and fresh. I know this always shocks people when I tell them my husband does the laundry, but in fact, he treats stains, sorts by color groups, hangs the delicates to dry, and puts most of it away. Having all the laundry done and put away and baskets empty to start the week fresh is a great feeling.

Decluttering

Over the week and weekend, somehow, we accumulate so much random stuff on our dining room table and kitchen counters. This clutter can be the biggest mental roadblock for me and a trigger for anxiety. Taking five minutes to put everything back in its place somehow takes my stress level from a five down to a one.

Obviously, we do not accomplish everything every Sunday, but if we can accomplish a few, it can make a huge difference in our week. Planning and preparing for our week together helps make sure we are on the same page on what still needs to be done or where we are going into the week.

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