There’s a reason why everyone says being a parent is the toughest job you’ll ever love. Because it’s true! But it doesn’t have to be. Lighten the load of your tough job with creative life hacks for moms and dads. You can thank us later.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Get the “Right” Foot Every Time

Ah, sweet children. It’s a wonder their feet aren’t warped from shoes forever being put on the wrong foot. Help your little ones determine left from right with stickers. Cut one in half and place each half inside the soles of your kiddo’s shoes, so that when they’re paired correctly, the sticker looks whole. We love the simplicity of this visual aid.

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photo: Pixabay

Tie It Once

Getting shoes on the right feet is just the first hurdle. Getting kids to tie them quickly is the second. Sure, you could take the Velcro route, but you don’t need to if you replace your kid’s original sneaker laces with elastic ones. Here’s the best part: when you’ve got time to spare, kids can still practice their skills. But when you don’t, they can just slip them on. It’s almost too easy!

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

File It, Baby

Between all the squirming and the fear of accidentally taking off the tip of your kid’s finger, using clippers to cut baby fingernails is pretty much madness. Take the pressure off by using a nail file instead. This hack lets you breathe easy.

Change Into Jammies after Swimming

Summer is still a little while away, but if you’ve got little swimmers in the fam, pool time is all the time. Changing out of swimwear can be difficult, which is why we suggest getting it over with right after your kids get out of the water. Keep an extra set of jammies in their swim bag or in the car so they can change ASAP after pool time is done.

Enjoy a Quiet Meal

Sure, there will be a time where you’re desperate to get your tween to talk to you over a meal, but for now, peace and quiet during the breakfast rush is your goal. Turn on a family-friendly podcast over eggs and cereal to calm the chaos before school. We’ve got a few suggestions that are great for families, so everyone’s ears are happy.

Carabiner Hair Tie Holder

Every parent has experienced that constant search for hair ties. No matter how many packs you buy, eventually they’ll all be gone, and you’ll be back at the drugstore buying more. With this cool hack, you can save yourself headaches and money. All you need is a carabiner—open the clasp to store hair ties, and close it create the ultimate hair tie holder.

Sweep Your Kid's Room for Favors and Gifts

With all of the awesome parties, fairs and fads for kids, yours have probably started to collect a gazillion random things. So, how do you keep your house clean with all of this stuff? We recommend doing a sweep of your little one's rooms when they're at school to get rid of the extra party favors, stray stickers and play dough clumps that are constantly multiplying in every corner of your house.

Frozen Sponge Ice Pack

Packing lunch for your kids is usually part of the morning routine, and one of the most important items you need is an ice pack. Save money by skipping the blue plastic inserts, and use a frozen sponge to keep your youngsters’ lunches nice and frosty, instead. Put a wet sponge in a plastic bag and freeze: this technique will give you the perfect DIY ice pack.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Keep Cupholders Clean

If you’ve ever wondered where lost Minifigs go, we’re pretty sure they’re all hiding inside your kid’s car seat base, refugees from closed cup holders of day’s past. Keep your Minifigs safe, and simplify cleaning car seat cup holders by using cupcake liners. They easily lift out when too many crumbs or leftover Cheerios fill them up, or forgotten toys need rescuing. It’s an easy clean solution.

Always Have Birthday Gifts

Birthday parties for kids are awesome! But, every parent has experienced the panic of being invited to the last minute birthday party or forgetting about a shindig your little ones are attending. We suggest ordering birthday gifts as soon as you RSVP or keeping a stash of gender-neutral gifts handy just in case!

photo: Pixabay

Give Kids a Helping Hand

Your little ones want to get in on the game, but fanning cards can be so tough for little hands. The next time you sit down to family game night and your kids need a cardholder, use a modified egg carton to make one. Use an X-Acto knife to cut a slit in the top of each egg well on an upside down egg carton. The kids can slide in their cards lickety-split, and it’s time to play!

Barbie Organizer

If you're looking for a creative way to organize your kiddos' dolls we've found an awesome hack just for you. Follow this unique tutorial from A Girl and a Glue Gun to create a Barbie organizer that's similar to an over-the-door shoe organizer, but it is customized to fit the height and width of each doll. It does require sewing skills, but you'll have an amazing storage system that's guaranteed to save you serious cleaning headaches. 

photo: Pixabay

Let Them Cut Cake

Your toddler is all about being independent and doing it himself. And you’re totally on board … unless he’s wielding your incredibly sharp knives. Keep little fingers safe and still build their confidence when you let kids use a pizza cutter to cut up quesadillas, grilled cheese, pancakes, whatever foods need to be cut “just right.” What a great way to practice life skills!

Hooks to Secure Your Fridge Door

With a bunch of little tykes running around, safety is every parent's number one concern. One of our favorite life hacks for moms and dads is using a rubber bracelet and a pair of command hooks to secure your fridge door. Put one large command hook on the door and one on the body of the fridge. Then hook the bracelet around those two hooks, and you’ve got an awesome kiddie-proof fridge door that will keep everyone safe. Want other kitchen hacks? Click here

photo: Pixabay

Key Ketchup Placement

When it comes to dressing up your kids' hot dogs, a mess is inevitable. Ketchup squirting out the back end while simultaneously ending up on their face. It’s like a horror show of a different variety. That’s why we love this ingenious hack—put the ketchup under the hot dog, not on top and definitely not on the side. With nowhere to go the ketchup stays put, and you’ve got less mess.

Keep a Donation Bag in Your Closet

Cleaning out the closet is everyone’s spring cleaning nightmare. But, there’s a simple way to make the process a little smoother. One of our favorite life hacks is to keep a donation bag in the closet where you can put all of the items you’re planning to donate. It'll make it a lot easier to organize and separate when you’re ready to refresh your closet.

Chore Baskets

When your kids get a little older, having them help with chores around the house is important. This cool life hack for moms makes it easy for everyone to help out. From Joyful Homemaking, all you really need are plastic shower caddies, zip ties and a printer. The goal is to put all of the cleaning supplies each person needs in their basket and put a little list on the outside of it, so everyone knows which chores they need to complete.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Pick it up Quick

If you cringe when your kid mentions glitter, we’re right there with you. But rather than feeling like you live in a fairy wonderland every time you craft with this seemingly impossible-to-cleanup substance, do what we do. Use a lint roller to get on top of it when craft time is over. We bet you’ll find less of the sparkly residue in your sink, on your floors and in crevices you didn’t even know existed after you use this simple hack.

Keep Birthday Cards on Hand

We talked about gifts, but don’t forget about the cards. Birthday cards are sweet keepsakes for kids, and it’s always nice to include them with gifts. Since they’re so small, it’s easy to keep a selection of gender neutral cards on hand for those last minute invites.

Plastic Bins for Toy Storage

We know every household needs storage. With all of the toys, sports gear and dress-up costumes lying around the house, finding a place to put everything is a daily struggle. One of our favorite parent hacks is using dollar store plastic bins to store toys. These inexpensive containers are a life saver especially when it comes to storing tiny things like LEGO, doll clothes and toy cars. See our other favorite toy storage hacks by clicking here

Binder Clip as a Sponge Stand

One of the most popular places for bacteria to hang out in your kitchen is on your sponge. How does this happen? The biggest culprit is moisture. The sponge collects dirt and grime and stays sopping wet for a long time. One way to avoid the extra moisture all together is by putting a binder clip at the bottom of the sponge and using it as a makeshift stand. This allows the sponge dry out, so it stays free of bacteria.

Cookie Cutter Cabinet Locks

If you're a new parent, and especially if you have toddlers running around, baby-proofing the house is a must. One of the most common items you need to secure is all of your cabinets, but there's no need to invest in expensive cabinet locks. Use this awesome hack from Kara Aycoth: Take cookie cutters and slide them over both handles to create fun and super cute locks.

Keep a Box for Kiddie Art

If you have a creative child, you're always surrounded by kiddie art. But, what happens when there are drawings covering the walls, fridge and tables? We recommend keeping a box on hand to keep all of your favorite pieces.

Wine Rack for Craft Storage

We know you love your wine rack. But, with a few easy steps, you can transform it into a helpful craft corner for the kiddos. Take a few red plastic cups and place them at the same angle as a wine bottle inside the metal rungs. Use the cups to store everything from markers to glitter glue, tape and much more. 

Frozen Balloons

If you're heading to the beach this summer, you're definitely going to want to use this awesome hack from Brit & Co. Instead of putting loose ice in your cooler, try freezing water balloons in there instead. They double as ice packs to keep food and drinks cold, and you can use them for a pretty amazing water balloon fight at the end of the day. 

—Allison Sutcliffe & Natasha Davis

 

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Featured photo: iStock