our favorite mom hacks

Last week on instagram I asked all of you to weigh in on your top mom hacks, you know...those little things you do on a day to day basis (maybe without even realizing it) that make life with little ones way easier?! I had so much fun reading all of them and of course had to share my favorites plus a few more we love around our home. I created a list below by category; I hope you find a few to add to your own bag of tricks! And of course, feel free to share more in a comment below.

+ Use an ikea rolling cart (here) to organize things you access daily -- set one up in the nursery with wipes, diapers, creams, other toiletries, etc or place bedside if cosleeping or have your newborn in a bassinet beside you; we have this one in Penelope's room that is actually filled with toys, puzzles & blankets that the girls use all the time and this one is in our laundry room filled with all our laundry essentials as well as extra boxes of snack & sandwich bags, garbage bags, dish soap, hand soap, etc. When I run out of something I can just run to the laundry room to grab it instead of making an extra trip to the store! Plus they can be rolled room to room, so convenient!

+ We use a lot of bins and baskets around our house; Olivia's bookshelf is full of matching bins for different types of books and we can easily grab one small bin to bring outside to read or for snuggles in our bed in the morning. Almost all the girls' toys are in bins and baskets (kitchen toys & play food in a picnic basket, all our wooden blocks in a basket, wooden animals in another basket, etc) and it makes clean up for Olivia so easy plus prevents toys from being strewn all over my house, since I can fill a basket and hide it under our coffee table or in the corner of the room where it can still be easily accessed for playtime

+ I roll up crib sheets and swaddle blankets and place them in a decorative basket in the nursery; it saves time when I need them plus makes for pretty and functional decor

+ Use a 3M hook on the back of your high chair to hang bibs

in the car + travel
+ Create a bin for your car with everything you might possibly need; some mamas call this a "possibles bin"...you can find heavy duty black bins that are actually made for the car at Target. In ours I keep extra diapers, wipes, a change of clothes for both girls, pajamas for both girls, first aid kit, toys, books, box of kleenex, bottles of water, non-perishable snacks, small blanket, ziplock bags of different sizes, etc. If I'm running a quick errand and don't feel like lugging my diaper bag or something is missing from it, I have everything I need in my car

+ Pack for trips with ziplock bags: in each bag, fill with every item for an outfit (down to the bow & underwear!) so getting ready on vacation is a breeze

+ Always pack extra ziplock bags for traveling to put dirty clothes in, swimsuits, etc.

+ Use a cereal dispenser tupperware with a plastic grocery bag as a liner for an on-the-road trash bin

+ Put your wrap or sling on before getting in the car while you're still at home, then when you reach your destination you can slip your baby right in instead of having to put your wrap on in a parking lot or in the car

around the home
+ Layer your little one's bedding: waterproof mattress pad, crib sheet, waterproof mattress pad, crib sheet, etc. / I do this and love that I can just take the top layer off on laundry days without having to lift the mattress out of the crib, rush to get it washed and back on before nap time (you can also do this with a bassinet and it comes in especially handy for newborns)

+ Make cleaning up a race: for those with older kids, when it's time to clean up set a timer for 2-3 minutes and see who can clean up the fastest; Olivia loves when I do this, she thinks its a game and it makes a chore seem much more fun

+ We often do bathtime in the morning, since most nights we stay in the backyard or playing at the park until the sun goes down; this makes our bedtime routine quicker with just having to wash faces, brush teeth & get in pajamas before we read books; the girls love baths and doing them in the morning is a great way to get their day started, plus I'm not in a rush thinking about how quickly I need to get them to bed

+ Sometimes ice packs can be a little too cold for babies or young children; make your own by freezing large marshmallows -- soft and not too cold but just enough to reduce swelling 

in the kitchen
+ Meal & snack prep: on days that I do all my grocery shopping, I spend some time prepping food (especially fruits and veggies) so they're ready to go for the week and can easily be accessed when needed; ideas include slicing bell peppers or cucumbers, peeling & chopping carrots, celery or other favorite veggies, slicing strawberries, cutting pineapple, etc. I put each food in a glass container in the fridge and then for breakfasts & lunches, save a lot of time by not having to prep anything

+ Repurpose tools for new uses; we love egg salad and Olivia loves using the egg slicer on the hard boiled eggs; did you ever think of using it on strawberries, bananas, kiwi or mushrooms?! Save time and some effort when slicing fruits & small veggies

+ We make a lot of smoothies for breakfast (especially being that we don't have a kitchen until our reno is over) and instead of throwing out the leftover smoothie, you can fill popsicle molds for a healthier afternoon snack or breakfast on the go; both girls love them and they're great for summertime!

+ Use a foil muffin tin liner underneath a popsicle to prevent dripping onto your little ones' hands (just poke the popsicle stick through it rightside up to catch the drips)

+ Sneak spinach, kale and other veggies into your child's smoothie in the morning

+ Not only is a dishwasher great for dishes, but it's an excellent way to clean and disinfect sponges, toothbrushes, baby toys, pacifiers, bottle parts & more

+ For s'mores, we put graham crackers, marshmallows and hershey bars each into their own large mason jar; it keeps everything fresh, looks cute sitting on your kitchen counter and you don't have to deal with opening wrappers and having extra trash when you're sitting around the fire

+ Use zipper mesh bags for laundry: perfect for washing socks & tights so they're easy to find and don't get lost in the dryer!

+ One mom shared that to save time folding towels and washcloths, find a cute basket (do you see a pattern here?!) they can sit in; I do something similar in that we have a drawer in our vanity for all our washcloths and towels at Olivia's level; she loves folding washcloths and it's a great way for her to practice folding laundry on a small scale. I throw them in the drawer fresh out of the dryer (without folding) and then when she has a few free minutes (usually before nap time), I find her sitting in there folding them, she gets so excited when she has folded a whole stack and then places them back in the drawer nice and neat.

+ Instead of using traditional dryer sheets (which are usually filled with yucky stuff that can irritate a child's sensitive skin), I use wool dryer balls (our favorite here) and put lavender essential oil on them before tumbling clothing dry; one set of 3 lasts 1000 loads plus everything comes out smelling amazing and I'm convinced it keeps the girls calm on our wildest days!

Do you have any mom hacks I forgot?! Be sure to share them below! 
Hope your week is off to a great start!! 

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