7 time-saving hacks for life in the Netherlands

Maximise each minute 💪

Powered byFactor

Life in the Netherlands can be hectic and fast-paced — and navigating the daily hustle can be time-consuming. So, how can you make the most of your day and reclaim some of those precious moments? 

These 7 time-saving hacks for life in the Netherlands can help!

To bring you the freshest possible tips, we’ve teamed up with Factor. Their chef-prepared, ready-to-eat meals are a game changer when it comes to saving time in the kitchen, all while nourishing your body and working towards your health goals! ⚡️

This post might have affiliate links that help us write the articles you love, at no extra cost to you. Read our statement.

1. Use public transport apps 📲 

Although the Dutch public transport system is known for its efficiency, it can sometimes (and by that I mean often) be a mess. 

Workers go on strike; trains get geannulleerd (cancelled); buses are vertraagd (delayed) — you know the drill. 

The result? You find yourself standing on the platform, waiting for a ride that may never come, and wasting your valuable time. 

The solution? Handy-dandy Dutch public transport apps. 🪄

Save yourself a lot of waiting around by using the most up to date public transport apps. Image: Unsplash

Unlike trains, buses, and trams, apps like 9292 or NS Travel Planner are very reliable. They give real-time updates on your bus, train, or tram, with information on delays, cancellations, and alternative routes. They also often pick up issues that aren’t flagged by Google Maps.

This allows you to plan your journey more efficiently, avoid unnecessary delays, and stop wasting time by waiting.

2. Order nutritious ready-made meals 🥗 

I’ll make a confession here: I don’t like cooking.

It’s time-consuming, I’m not great at it, and the washing up takes me ages. So, what do I do? I eat bread — for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s simple, but it’s not good for me. 👀

One of my 2024 resolutions is to nourish my body properly. Still, I don’t always find time to come up with elaborate recipes, run to Albert Heijn, and cook myself proper nutritious meals. 

But there’s a solution for people like me: healthy ready-made meal services. 

With Factor, I can save time on cooking while also enjoying a healthy meal. 😎 Image: Depositphotos

Meal boxes from companies like Factor allow you to save time on meal prep and maintain a healthy diet by having pre-prepared, high-quality meals delivered to your doorstep. 

With Factor, each meal is carefully crafted by professionals, with all the most important nutrients you need to fuel your body. Starting at just €8.49 per meal, the weekly-changing menu offers variety and deliciousness — delivered from the kitchen straight to your doorstep. Get your first box now

3. Swap out Netflix for Spotify 🎧

This point may come as a surprise, but don’t underestimate its efficiency! 

Did you know that you can save a heck of a lot of time by switching from binge-watching series to binge-listening to podcasts?

Your favourite podcast can make that dreaded run a lot more fun. Image: Depositphotos

Yup, swapping out Netflix for Spotify can save time in your day-to-day life by allowing you to enjoy entertainment while accomplishing small tasks, turning downtime into a productive and enjoyable experience. 

By combining productivity with enjoyment, you can “slaa twee vliegen in een klap” (kill two flies with one clap), as the Dutch like to say — and increase your overall productivity. Win-win!

4. Embrace Dutch cycling culture 🚲 

Embracing the magic of your fiets (bike) is another great time-saving hack for your life in the Netherlands. 

By immersing yourself in Dutch cycling culture, you’re not only integrating into society but also saving time, staying active, and getting some fresh air! 

Cycling from door to door, from your flat to work, for example, eliminates the need for transfers, helps avoid getting stuck in traffic, and scraps time wasted walking to and from public transport stops. 

Even the Prime Minister does it — and he’s a busy man! Image: Depositphotos

For example: on days when I feel lazy (or it’s pouring down rain), I take the bus to our cosy DutchReview office here in Leiden. Between walking to the bus stop, being stuck at red lights, and walking from the stop to the office, this can take around 20 minutes.

On days when I cycle, however, I can easily slash in half. *Checks Apple Watch*: when I bike, it takes me exactly 10 minutes and 9 seconds. 

That’s 10 minutes saved — twice daily — and valuable time I can use to snooze a little longer in the morning. 😉 

5. Hire a cleaning service 🧹 

Have you ever heard the saying “cluttered house, cluttered mind”? Well, research shows it’s very true. 

Neuroscientists have found that disorganisation in the home majorly affects our brains and can even cause a rise in our levels of cortisol, our stress hormone. 

A messy flat can impact us when we work from home, for instance, but it also affects our overall mental well-being. 

And yes, they’ll get all those spots you tend to forget about. 😉 Image: Depositphotos

So, why not clean up your home (and mind) by hiring a cleaning service? 

Getting help from a cleaning service can eliminate stress, free up valuable leisure time and, of course, ensure a consistently tidy living space. 

It’s a practical solution for those who prefer a clean home but have a busy schedule.

6. Negotiate your work conditions 🧑‍💻 

Find that you’re wasting time and energy on your daily commute to the office? Talk to your boss!

It seems scary, we know, but working from home or flexible hours can eliminate commute time and allow you to structure your day to maximise productivity ( — and we’re sure your boss will be happy about that 😉). 

Thanks to the power of video calls, it’s possible to work from home and save time. Image: Freepik

Even if working from home is not the norm in your company, you have the right to make a request to work remotely on certain days with your employer. 

Your request must be made in writing two months ahead of time, and can only be rejected for valid business-related reasons.

7. Automate regular purchases 🧻  

In our modern day and age, we should use technology to our advantage! How? By letting it do our shopping. 

Think about your home: what are some things you always need and run out of? For me, it’s toilet paper, my favourite cereal, and dish soap. For you, it may be cat food, eggs, and toothpaste. 

Never worry about your essentials again! Image: Depositphotos

Either way, the point is that you can save a lot of time by setting up subscriptions for certain things to make sure you’re always stocked. 

This way, you save time at the supermarket while eliminating the worry about essential household items.

To automate your regular purchases, find out:

  • What you can automate and where (e.g. Amazon, your pet food supplier, etc.), and
  • How frequently you need different items restocked

On Amazon, for example, you can use the “Subscribe & Save” feature on eligible products. Select your preferred quantity, frequency, and add you’re all set! 

Whether it’s optimising your commute, outsourcing chores, or embracing the local culture, these time-saving hacks will help you reclaim precious time and simplify your daily routines. Will you try them?⌚️

Do you have any more tips for saving time in the Netherlands? Share them in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Say 'hoi' to Lyna, our Senior Writer at DutchReview! Fueled by a love for writing, social media, and all things Dutch, she joined the DR family in 2022. Since making the Netherlands her home in 2018, she has collected a BA in English Literature & Society (Hons.) and an RMA in Arts, Literature and Media (Hons.). Even though she grew up just a few hours away from the Netherlands, Lyna remains captivated by the guttural language, quirky culture, and questionable foods that make the Netherlands so wonderfully Dutch.

Liked it? Try these on for size:

What do you think?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The latest Dutch news.
In your inbox.