Even before kids were added to the equation, life was complicated (and expensive) enough. But now, it’s basically impossible to keep up with all the chores, errands, appointments, play dates, and oh my gosh! Everyone expects to be fed multiple times a day! So I’ve found that I’ll try anything to make my life a little easier. Here are some “Mom Hacks” that I’ve found helpful:
Label the knobs on the washer/dryer. So, apparently doing the laundry doesn’t come naturally for everyone. If you are trying to train a significant other or growing child to do laundry correctly (ie: without shrinking your only dress shirt or destroying your favorite leggings), try labeling the knobs on the washer and dryer. In the past, I have done everything from circle the settings most commonly used with a sharpie to put post-it notes next to settings to describe their functions. This could also work on the dishwasher. And probably on other appliances, I haven’t thought of yet.
Keep beauty supplies close at hand. I don’t wear makeup. Like, ever. But I still feel the need to keep myself looking (and feeling) my kind of pretty. However, between the gym and a toddler, time and memory loss often get in the way. That means having travel-sized deodorant tucked into the side pocket of my purse (AKA diaper backpack) comes in handy quite often. I also keep a pair of nice tweezers in that little cubby in the door of my car so I can pluck stray hairs that appear randomly throughout the day while I’m waiting in glorious Atlanta traffic.
Turn a detergent bucket into a car trash can. I don’t know about you, but the floor of my car seems to be constantly littered with empty juice boxes, napkins, and fruit snack packets. I simply took the tub that my dish detergent packs came in and inserted a plastic grocery bag. Voila! A trash can for my car, complete with snapping lid. Now, if I can just remember to empty it occasionally…
Velcro. On everything. We once rented an apartment with a stacking washer/dryer. The stupid washer lid always crashed down on my head while moving clothes to the dryer. Putting a little velcro on the lid of the washer and the front of the dryer stopped that from happening. Thin strips of velcro can hold cables in place along walls and keep decor from falling over. Basically, if something needs to be held in place, but not permanently, velcro might very well be the answer.
Command hooks. Ok, so this might be obvious, but command hooks are amazing! I have hooks on the backs of the coffee pot, toaster oven, and mixer to wrap the cords around when not in use. I also use them to hang oven mitts on the wall so they are easily accessible without taking up precious drawer space. Upside-down hooks placed on the sides of bathroom trashcans are excellent for holding grocery/trash bag handles in place. I have also used larger hooks upside-down on the insides of doors to secure wreaths and door hangings.
My caffeine addiction. Pre-baby, I didn’t like coffee. I know. It’s hard to believe. Even now, my coffee needs to be less coffee and more sugar-and-flavor-to-hide-the-taste-of-coffee. But that gets REALLY costly REALLY quickly. I’ve discovered that hot chocolate mix comes in a multitude of amazing flavors, such as salted caramel, peppermint, and white chocolate hazelnut. I’ve also discovered that when I add it to my coffee, along with a little warmed milk, I no longer need to pay expensive coffee house prices. Or drag a tired toddler with me to get my daily mocha.
WWMD? When in a pinch, look around and think, “What would MacGyver do?” There is almost always something accessible that can help with most day-to-day setbacks. When my daughter’s ponytail holder snapped while we were hiking, I wrapped pine straw around the end of her braid. When half a pack of diapers turned out to have faulty flaps, I kept a roll of tape on the changing table to hold the diapers closed. Clean burp cloths easily double as gym towels. Cloth grocery bags can loop through a dog’s collar to temporarily replace a forgotten leash.
I’m sure there are tons of hacks I haven’t even thought of. Velcro and tweezers might not help fold the laundry or get dinner on the table, but these hacks make my life a little easier. I’m hoping that by sharing them with you, maybe they can help you as well.