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A Curious Case of Multiple Hat Disorder

Ten Ways I Have Made Life Easier

Ten Ways I Have Made Life Easier

In no particular order here are my mom hacks!! Below is a list of things I have learned along the way as a mom of 3 kiddos. These simple things that I do that have huge impacts on our day to day life. I hope you find them as useful as I do. I didn’t plan all of them to start with the letter S but they do and there you have it. I guess you could call it my 10 S’s!

#1 Stand on the White Line

I have a mini van with the automatic sliding doors and the clicker remote and all the fancy gadgets but there is nothing that helps with unloading and loading quite like my ‘stand on the white line rule’. When we are loading and unloading kiddos in and out of the van, the first words you will hear me say are stand on the white line. This rule was invented because of my middle kiddo, Lyds. She is such a wanderer. Keeping still is not part of her personality. But this simple boundary with her makes it possible for me to pull the baby out and go around to the other side of the van and grab her hand and not have to search for her or even worry about her strolling about the parking lot in harms way. I can find her right where I need her to be, shoes on the wrong feet and all, standing on the white line.

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#2 Snack Drawer

I used to have a basket of granola bars on top of the counter….taking up my valuable countertop space. And then, of course there was the same question I heard a million times a day…mommy, can I have a granola bar? (X 100!!) After some furniture rearranging, the dining room hutch made it into the kitchen and after some cabinet rearranging, I discovered there was an empty drawer in the hutch. I went to my pantry and grabbed every individually wrapped snack I could find. Granola bars, peanut butter crackers, fruit snacks, apple sauce cups, fruit cups, etc and I began dumping them in. I loved that the space it freed up in the pantry and the variety that I had for them to choose. from This was something I never could reproduce in a basket on top of my counter. Every day at 3 o’clock the girls know that they can get a snack. It has cut down on the whiny can I have a granola bar question drastically. And with the hutch being right by the back door as we head out, I tell the girls to grab a snack for the car ride. To them it’s like searching through a treasure chest. All 3 of my kiddos are low on the weight percentile. I do not feel bad about the extra calories, in fact…I’m encouraged by it! Seriously, this has been transformational to our daily routine.

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#3 Sippy Cups Where They Can Reach Them

Sippy Cups, sippy cup pieces, thermos’, lids to water bottles, silly straws…you name it. If it is plastic and holds liquid, in it goes. I have a drawer on my kitchen island that holds all of it. It is deep and long and is close to the dishwasher. The kiddos know to just dump it in there when they empty the dishwasher and the coolest part is my kiddos have another piece of gained responsibility…whether its time to set the table for dinner or they are thirsty and want a drink…no more scooching dining room chairs over to the cabinets and climbing up on tip toes to reach a cup.

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#4 Shipshape Room is a Must Before Watching TV

Duh! Why in the world did I not think of this before now? We just started enforcing this. My kiddos screen time is so limited to begin with that anything that keeps them from it gets taken care of quickly. We have only been doing this for a month or so but their room has never looked better.

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#5 Sunday Nachos

It’s almost been a year since I made this decision. Every Sunday lunch at our house is nachos. It’s like a freebie or a get out of jail free card for me. It is the most simple meal I have ever fixed. It takes 6 minutes start to finish and sometimes even quicker.

First, turn the oven onto 400

Then, brown 1 pound of ground beef and add taco seasoning.

While the meat is browning, grab a big cookie sheet and line it with foil.

Then line it with chips, and on top of that sprinkle cheese all over it.

By the time I do all of that, the meat is ready.

I divide the meat into 2 portions. One is for that Sunday’s nachos and one for the freezer for next week’s portion.

Sprinkle the meat on top and throw it in the oven.

By the time you grab the salsa and sour cream and pour drinks for your family it is ready. I just throw dollops of both all over the pan.

Our girls added a twist to the meal and declared that we cannot use plates, we all must eat it directly from the pan. That works for me!! Literally no dishes to wash except the skillet and the sour cream spoon and the salsa spoon.

If it is someones birthday or some other special occasion we add guacamole. It makes it just a tad fancier. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have that one easy meal a week to look forward to each week! You can’t even order a meal at a restaurant that quickly! It is quick and cheap and a family tradition. It is something that brings normalcy to our family’s efver changing schedule.

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#6 Shampoo Pump

My mother in law bought the girls a big bottle of shampoo at SAMs club. I never buy that large of a quantity so it was the first time I have ever had shampoo with a pump dispenser. I quickly realized how much easier it was for the girls to get their shampoo during bath or shower time. No more fuss with being able to hold the bottle at the right angle and have little fingers trying to squeeze out the right portion! No more bottles of shampoo left floating in the dirty bath water with the lid open, spilling out and taking water in. Such a game changer. My mission next was to get a conditioner with the same sort of pump. I didn’t care what brand or the cost, I needed that pump!! I think the one I found was only $4. Now my kiddos can do it all on their own, start to finish! Less waste. Supper efficient. And a big time saver.

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#7 Silverware Drawer

So I read an article once…well who am I kidding, I read the title of an article once…it had something to do with lowering the bar of your parenting so your kids could have a better childhood. Let me say this, I am not a fan of lowering the bar…we have too much mediocrity in our culture right now. Keep your bar high…where it matters. I shared the concept with a friend and she said in her house she called it raising the joy! So here is my mom hack that has raised joy in our household and shaves 5 minutes off of each day. I have given Lydia (4) the freedom to take the silverware out of the dishwasher and throw it in whichever little divider of the silverware drawer that her heart desires. Who cares if your forks and spoons are all mixed up! It’s the kiddos who set the table anyways. Why drag the task out to 10 minutes when it can be done in 2 minutes or even better…when it’s my turn, its like 30 seconds! There is something so freeing to just scooping them up and dropping them in and then shutting the drawer and walking away. I just gained extra time with my kiddos and we didn’t have any fights or meltdowns! Win Win win! (Disclaimer, my husband says even though I say it takes 5 minutes off our time, it adds 5 minutes to his day when he is searching for a fork. Silly man!)

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#8 Sound Machine

We made it through 7 years of parenting without any need for a sound machine. My 2 girls can sleep through anything, anywhere and anytime. Mr. Malachi is a different story. We had such a hard time of getting him to sleep through the night. Now it didn’t bother me too bad because he is my last kiddo and I cherish the extra snuggle time but was taxing on my husband who wakes at every noise or peep. The best solution for us was a sound machine. We turn it onto the white noise setting and its like magic, he sleeps through the night. We take it to hotel rooms and grandparent’s houses and it does wonders. Only caution, you must remember to bring it home with you. My mother in law had to mail it back once. (oops, sorry). We have a couple of theories as to why this does the trick for him. Maybe it is because he was in NICU and had all the alarms and constant noise 24/7? Who knows? I’m just thankful for a solution.

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#9 Sharpie Marker in the Silverware Drawer

I keep a sharpie marker and a dry erase marker in my silverware drawer. It has been so handy. Ever try to read the small print on a container of baby food? I have and I only do it once, once I can decipher the coded small print, I write it with a sharpie across the side so I can read it quickly. A peeve of mine is 10 red solo cups strewn about the house. My solution, write the person’s name and the day of the week on the cup. Ideally we would only ever have 4 out a time. It saves money. It reduces waste and makes my house look less like a college frat party. The dry erase marker is for leftover containers. I hate waste. But I also hate opening a Rubbermaid container and not remembering exactly when it was put in the kitchen. We have a 7 day rule….if leftovers have been in the fridge for 7 days, it’s not gonna get eaten. So we toss it. I have found if I label the containers with the date, we have less waste because we become more purposeful or strategic with how or when we eat it. Keeping those markers in the same spot all the time has been a game changer. Efficiency does my soul good.

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#10 Secret hiding spot

I have s secret hiding spot. Yes, I’m going there and yes, I’m telling you a deep secret. Have you ever opened a dirty diaper after it has been sealed up and tossed in a pail. Nope? Me either. Ever have a debit card expire and you cut it up into tiny pieces and cringe when you toss it because ou aren’t sure if anyone might ever find it? Ever make a Christmas shopping list you don’t want your 7 year old to read? Ever take a tooth out from under your kiddos pillow with her sweet note she wrote to the tooth fairy and you don’t want her to find it in the kitchen trash can? Yep, you guessed it. It’s my secret hiding spot! All you have to do is change a diaper and before you seal it up and toss it you simply add your contents to it!

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Hope some of these hacks help you, or at least made you smile. Blessings on your day! Enjoy being a mom! It is going by so fast. I’d love to hear your hacks! Leave them in the comment section!

5 Comments

  1. Love these! Thanks for sharing!

    • Fun! Glad you enjoyed it. I’m working on my next 10. It only took 7 years for the first 10. 🙂

  2. So helpful! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m CRACKING up at the dirty diaper hiding spot. Also, I think you might be a genius. Great ideas!!

    • I’m CRACKING up that you are cracking up at that. I ALMOST didn’t share that one because I felt it might be too transparent! But now the whole world knows!! Glad you enjoyed it!

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