8 things every parent does

You know how much we love posting about life hacks. They’re awesome (and usually forgotten within 30 seconds). We found a post about life hacks…for slacker moms. They’re pretty legit.

-by Amanda Elder, as seen on Scary Mommy

Make your child’s “pajamas” work for the following day.

I put my toddler to sleep in sweatpants and a T-shirt, and guess what he wears to story time the next day? The only thing I change is a diaper. T-shirt style rompers also work well.

Make good use of leftovers. 

Cook extra of whatever you’re cooking and then say to your family, “I hope you like these meatballs because we’re having them again tomorrow.”

Practice the art of 10-minute clean ups.

Set the kitchen timer, and have everyone straighten up until it goes off. You get the benefit of a tidy home without hating your family in the process.  Yay, team work!

Place bins strategically. 

It took me 28 years to realize the bulk of organization has to do with copious amounts of baskets and containers. Put one by the front door to catch shoes, and on the kitchen counter to collect the keys, mail, business cards, and other random items.

Amanda Elder

Amanda Elder

Get your partner a crap box.

My friend shared this genius idea with me. She hated seeing his stuff lying around, so she found a box and used it to create a special home for all the belongings he sprinkled around. Gone was the random golf tee under the coffee table and all the paperwork he left here and there. Whenever he wanted to find something, he knew just where to look. (Note from Ashley: We have a “crap basket” at our house for the kid’s stuff. It lives at the top of the stairs. It prevents a ton of kid clutter and trips up and down the stairs. The basket was $1 at Target.)

Reuse clothes that aren’t dirty. 

You know those items that don’t deserve to be washed yet, but shouldn’t be mixed back in with the clean clothes either? Put a special hook for them in your closet and wear it again. (This is brilliant: I end up washing everything after one wear, which gets a little ridiculous, not to mention rough on clothes.)

Create a daily priority list. 

Before I go to bed, I write down three (and only three) things that I want to accomplish the following day. Usually, it’s some type of house hold chore, an errand, and a personal goal. Today my list says to clean toilets, shop for health insurance, and write this post. Remember, don’t be an overachiever!

Keep a tube of mascara in your purse.

Red traffic lights are very well known to serve as an excellent opportunity for its application. (Note from Ashley: I keep tweezers and dental floss in my purse for red lights (and trains in Claremore).)

Keep snacks in the center console of your car.

You know that bag of pretzels you opened in the grocery store to keep your hellions quiet in the cart? Don’t even bother bringing them into the house. Keep them in the car, and throw a couple plastic bowls in there too. (I’ve heard the best way to handle children’s emotions is to distract them with food…)

Give your child a roll of painter’s tape.

Tell her she can put it all over the walls, and you will find yourself with like 40 minutes of quiet time. Taking the tape off won’t be a problem at all. (Except destroying her creation might be.)

Keep hangers in the laundry room.

In fact, buy a shower rod and squeeze it in between two walls. It gives you a place to hang shirts as soon as you take them from the dyer. Even if you only open the dryer to look for one particular sock, instead of going through the clothes recklessly, get them out of your way in a wrinkle-free manner.

Turn vacuuming into a game.

One of my friends tells her kids that any toys on the floor will get eaten by the vacuum. Entice them to help by saying once all toys are picked up, the vacuum will chase them around. My kids love this game, and it prevents them from making another mess while I’m cleaning the current one.

Don’t stress about cleaning your car out.

Leave all that stuff! The extra clothes and random toys will totally come in handy. Extra diapers, too.

Live with less. 

Biggie said, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.” I say, “Mo’ stuff, mo’ mess.” Bag up and donate regularly.

The secret to efficiency is working smarter, not harder. Do what works!

Read more slacker mom hacks by Amanda HERE