Saturday, January 29, 2011

Life Hacks

To steal a phrase from the Simple Mom, I've learned a lot of "life hacks" by reading blogs. Things that are so smart because they save time, headaches, and sometimes money. For example...

1. The Nester at The Nesting Place talks about some Simple Solutions to Everyday Issues. Brilliant.

2. My clever friend, Mary, has developed a few Survival Techniques for living with 2 little boys. Smart and practical!

Here are a few things I've implemented that make my life easier. These are by no means original ideas, but they are just ways of containing things that are working for us right now (or that we plan to do in the future):


1. Special Toy Box. I have a bin of "quiet toys" and "car toys" that I keep in the closet in our living room. They are separate from the other toys because they are only played with on special, doctor's office, car trips. The quiet toys don't make noise (obviously) but are great for places where little ones have keep quiet and busy. The car toys can be any type of toy that is not insanely annoying to parents, but that is easy to play with in the car. I can go to this bin anytime I need to rotate out Ethan's church and/or car trip toys.


2. Car Toy/Snack Box. I picked up this cute little box at The Container Store on sale and filled it up with some "car toys." It stays in between the two carseats and allows Ethan to get toys and put them back whenever he wants to. It is a sanity-saver on the road for me! I also put water and a snack in there most times so he can reach that on his own too. I think you can buy special toy/snack organizers with special compartments, but this one works great for us right now.

3. Color-Coded Hangers. I learned this one from my mom, and although I don't implement it just yet...I definitely will in the future. Growing up, each member of my family had a different color hanger. This way, clothes that were hung up in the laundry room could easily be shuttled to the right closet based on color. My assigned color...purple, of course! I think this will be especially handy for my two boys since their clothes will probably start to look alike the older they get. And at some point, they will be assigned the task of putting their own clothes away, so this makes it really easy for them to go grab all their clothes on their colored hangers.

4. Color-Coded Laundry Baskets. Or labeled laundry baskets. This one is pretty much the same idea as above but with baskets for the folded clothes or socks and such. I might use labeled baskets because they will have to be on display in my laundry room and I want them to look nice.


5. Shoe Bin. For the longest time I have kept Ethan's shoes in a designated place in our kitchen. Ideally, I would have a lovely mud room with lockers for each member of our family with places to put their shoes, coats, backpacks, etc. But I do not have a mud room or a large enough laundry room to accomodate such storage. So, the next best thing for me was to put a bin in the bottom cabinet of our buffet for Ethan's shoes. This works in several ways. First, we never have to hunt down shoes when we need to leave the house. When he takes them off, they go in the basket immediately. Secondly, the bin is near where I keep my purse/diaper bag so all things necessesary for going out are pretty much together. And finally, the bin accessible to Ethan so he can get his shoes and put them up by himself.

It seems that several of my "hacks" involve a box, bin, or basket...a place to put something. I guess the moral of the story is to get some thoughtful storage and it will make your life easier. Or something like that.

1 comment:

Mary said...

we have a laundry basket for each person in the family. So as I fold, I seperate clothes. Then each person picks up their own basket and puts clothes away.