100 Hacks to Simplify Your Life: For Mom, Kids, Houseplants + More

Mom life is the best life! But, let’s face the fact that some days it can be chaotic, and any tips + tricks to help simplify our days are always welcome with open arms. I’ve rounded up 100 hacks just for you that can make certain areas in your life easier and maybe just a little bit simpler. I’ve broken down everything into categories – for mom, for babies + kids, mealtime, bath time, routine, school + homeschool, clothing + laundry, travel, cleaning, and yes even my favorite houseplant hacks.

family life
Photo credit :: @capturedbykaite

 

Simplifying Life: Mom mom life

  1. Choose a weekly mantra or encouraging phrase & put it on a chalkboard or letterboard in the kitchen – choose something positive you want to focus on throughout the week
  2. Wake before everyone else in your house for a quiet start to your day – If you’re thinking, “No way!”, try it for three days & see if it makes a difference in how your day goes
  3. Ask for help – seems easy, but some of us can have a hard time with this
  4. Swap childcare with friends for date nights, work, etc.
  5. Do something you love every day – our days are busy, but pouring from a full cup is important
  6. When your kids are old enough to carry their own belongings buy them each a small backpack for water bottles, snacks, etc. when going places – this will help YOU from carrying all the things
  7. To save yourself from having to run out for supplies when sickness hits, always keep a basket of cold & flu supplies stashed away – medicine, fluids, a couple of cans of chicken noodle soup, crackers, etc.
  8. Teach your kids {& your husband} “responsibility” early on – responsibility to clean up their things, fill up their water bottle, & help with simple household chores
  9. Keep a zipper pouch in your purse & label it “kids” – keep items like snacks & medicine in it so those items are easy to find & don’t get lost at the bottom of your purse
  10. Create a family calendar to keep everyone at your house organized – some of us like a virtual shared calendar while others like it on paper
  11. Schedule bills on auto-pay – list them on your calendar so you’re aware when they are paid
  12. Add the word “NO” to your vocabulary – remember, saying “no!” is a complete sentence & you don’t have to explain yourself 
  13. Apply dry shampoo at night prior to your “no wash” days to allow it to soak in a little extra

Simplifying Life: KidsKid life

  1. Keep a beauty blender in your beach bag to apply sunscreen on the face
  2. Mini Marshmallows make a great ice pack – fill a little, plastic storage bag, freeze, & you have an ice pack that will mold around the injury
  3. Put a paper cupcake liner at the base of a popsicle for less mess
  4. Use a cookie sheet for a magnetic board for letter magnets when practicing the alphabet, sight words, & spelling
  5. Say goodbye to mixed play-doh colors – make DIY playdoh & make it all one color or leave it white
  6. Use a car seat poncho when traveling in the car in the winter
  7. Make a snack necklace when on the go – cheerios for toddlers, pretzels + cereal for older kids
  8. Egg cartons make great paint holders during art & crafts
  9. Keep a drawer or a basket of socks near the back door or in your mudroom – because how many times do you find yourself ready to leave the house & then someone doesn’t have socks?
  10. Puppy pads work great while potty training – keep some in the car & under the potty chair to catch the mess

Simplifying Life: Mealtime

kitchen life

  1. Meal plan – it can be as simple as you want it to be
  2. Use kitchen scissors to cut ALL THE FOOD for little ones
  3. Snack plates for dinner – use a muffin tin & fill them up with snacks like cheese cubes, cereal, fruit, sliced veggies, crackers, and more
  4. Prepare individual smoothie bags in the freezer with your favorite smoothie ingredients to save time when you make a smoothie for a quick afternoon snack or breakfast
  5. Have all the same color kid’s plates, silverware, & cups so nobody argues about what color they use
  6. Wrap banana stems in plastic wrap to make them last longer
  7. Create a snack drawer in the refrigerator that kids can reach to help themselves for a healthy snack
  8. Organize car snacks v. home snacks in different baskets in the pantry to make sure snacks specifically purchased for on-the-go adventures are available when you need them
  9. Grocery delivery & pick up is the way to go – if you need to hear this, “Your time is valuable, mama!”
  10. If you feel like you are in the kitchen all day, prep all meals in the morning after breakfast or before everyone wakes up if you’re a morning person
  11. When serving ice cream at a party prepare ice cream scoops ahead of time by scooping ice cream on a sheet pan & leaving in the freezer until dessert is served
  12. If you enjoy scrambled eggs in the morning, beat the eggs the evening before & store in a pourable container to save time at the start of your day
  13. Use a waffle iron for quick & delicious hashbrowns
  14. An egg slicer cuts fruits & veggies such as strawberries & mushrooms into even pieces quickly
  15. A clean plastic organizing tray with small sections (like a tackle box) makes a great snack container when traveling
  16. When making a casserole for dinner, double your recipe & freeze one for dinner on a busy night
  17. Teach your kid{s} how to peel their fruit when little – this will save your sanity as well as their future teacher’s sanity
Simplifying Life: Bath Time
bath life
  1. A bath solves most problems – cranky baby! Teething baby! Bored kid! A mama who needs to relax!
  2. When your baby is just old enough to sit up, put them in a laundry basket to assist them in sitting up in the tub safely
  3. Keep a small container of bubbles {outdoor blowing bubbles} in the bathtub
  4. Use bath paint & bath crayons for a rainy day activity
  5. Rotate bath toys – hot wheels cars, dolls, water balloons, bubbles, cups, glow sticks
  6. Have kids brush teeth during their bedtime bath
  7. Put superglue over small holes in bath toys to eliminate the growth of mold inside
  8. Mom can use bathtime to soak her feet
  9. Make a bowl of pudding & let it be “mud” in the tub for playtime before bath time 

Simplifying Life: Routine

  1. Find a daily routine that works well for your family
  2. Add quiet times into your kid’s routine if they’re no longer napping
  3. Use screen time during dinner prep for a break for both the kids & mom
  4. Try an “OK to wake light” for your little kids to help them understand when it’s OK to leave their room in the morning
  5. Pick outfits out for the next day before bed – this works well for kids & adults
  6. Before you go to bed write down tomorrow’s priorities so you know what NEEDS to be done & what can wait
  7. Play your favorite music playlist in the morning to help boost your mood
  8. Pack lunches for the next day following dinner
  9. Create a routine “groove” throughout the week by always scheduling appointments on the same day of the week, work calls on the same day or during the same block of time each day, playdates on the same day, etc.
  10. Pick one day each week to run all your errands – this takes some planning ahead of time but it will add simplicity to your routine

 

Simplifying Life: Schooling
school life
  1. Prep & pack lunches the evening before – if you homeschool or don’t have lunches to pack (i.e. in the summer) prep lunch for easy lunchtime at home
  2. Install a hook on a bedroom wall or closet door. That hook becomes the “outfit of the day” hook and is where each child hangs their chosen outfit for the next day each night before they go to bed.
  3. Purchase a 3 tier rolling cart for art supplies and organization of everyday homeschool supplies
  4. Make a Free Homeschool ID for access to teacher freebies and discounts
  5. Take a look at The Mid-Michigan Moms Guide to Homeschooling for resources, groups, experiences, and more
  6. Create a “homework supply centerpiece” for the kitchen table or the table where your children gather to do homework using a divided lazy susan turntable and filling it with basic school supplies

Simplifying Life: Clothing + Laundry

  1. One load of laundry a day keeps the piles away
  2. Put a dry towel with each load of laundry that goes in the dryer – it’s like a huge dryer ball
  3. Assign 1 color of socks for each child – easy matching
  4. Layer kids bedding during potty training or when they’re sick – mattress pad, sheets, mattress pad, sheets
  5. Wash socks in a mesh garment bag to keep all the socks from going missing
  6. Dawn dish soap works great to pretreat stains
  7. When your kid’s pants get holes in them, cut & wash to make into shorts or capris
  8. Wash sheets with a half-cup of distilled white vinegar to get rid of lingering odors & freshen’ up their color
  9. Ditch the dryer sheets for wool dryer balls
  10. Rub baby shampoo on underarm shirt stains, let sit for an hour, & wash to get rid of odor & discoloration

Simplifying Life: Travel

travel life

  1. Keep a small emergency tote under the backseat of your car – pack bandages, plastic bags, a garbage bag, plastic storage bags, a few extra diapers, wipes, & 1 extra change of clothes for each child
  2. Put a doggy pee pad in the car seat to save yourself from the blow out messes
  3. Use the center counsel of your car as a trash can – line with a plastic bag & boom
  4. Keep a basket of socks near the door
  5. Most kids can sit on top of a wheeling suitcase for a ride through the airport
  6. Keep a few bandages in your wallet
  7. Store boiling water in a Yeti travel mug to warm up bottles easily
  8. Invest in a car seat cover for when you travel on a plane with kids – this will save your car seat when checked in to baggage
  9. Find a baby wrap or backpack you love – this will make traveling anywhere with an infant much easier
  10. For ironing on the go use a flat iron on low heat setting

Simplifying Life: Cleaning

  1. Add “clean up time” to your before bedtime routine so you’re not stuck cleaning up all the toys from the day after everyone is in bed – play the cleanup song and make it a family affair
  2. Run the dishwasher every night or right after dinner so it can be emptied before you go to bed
  3. If you live in a 2-story home put a small basket at the bottom of your stairs – anything that is found downstairs and belongs upstairs goes in the basket and when it has a handful of items in it, take it upstairs and put things back where they belong
  4. Do a “power clean” to your evening routine 1-2x a week – run through the house and tidy up all the spaces. I like to do this Friday so the house is spotless for the start of the weekend.
  5. 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar with a splash of water in a large glass cup in the microwave for 4 minutes will take off all the grime in the microwave – heat, wipe, ta-da!
  6. A few small pieces of orange peel down your garbage disposal will help eliminate bad odor
  7. While potty training put a couple of small pieces of toilet paper at the bottom of the training potty for easy cleanup.

Simplifying Life: Houseplants

  1. Water your houseplants once a week by putting them all in the sink or bathtub – most houseplants like to be watered & then enjoy time to drain
  2. Add “watering day” to your phone calendar with a reminder on the day of – no more dead houseplants
  3. Invite your kid(s) to help care for your houseplants
  4. If you’re looking for a houseplant for beginners, look for a snake plant – it’s easy to care for & needs watering only every 2 weeks
  5. When potting houseplants or transplanting them, put a sponge at the bottom of the pot prior to planting to create a water reservoir
  6. If you purchase or are gifted an orchid water it with 1-2 ice cubes, once a week to maintain a healthy plant
  7. Some plants are just like us Moms & LOVE coffee too – water down any leftover coffee & give to plants like a Jade Plant, Christmas Cacti, & African Violet
  8. Houseplants will large, green leaves like to have their leaves cleaned every so often to get rid of dust
  9. Rub some mayo on a paper towel & rub on the leaves of houseplants to shine their leaves