I’ve had a running list in my phone of tips I found that saved me time or money (or made my life much easier). My hope was to work them into posts so I could share them, but the list was getting longer and I was having trouble fitting a bunch of random helpful tips into posts about detoxing your pits or MTHFR mutations. So I decided they deserved their own mommy hacks post, since all of us moms could use a way to do more in less time or get a little more relaxation (ha ha) into life.
Note: I would love more ideas (and so would all of the moms reading I am sure!), so please add your most life-changing hacks in the comments!
Mommy Hacks That Make Life Easier
These are some random “mommy hacks” that save me time or money, or are just plain convenient (like this Ecocentric Mom Box that gets delivered right to your door!). These little things made life so much better when I discovered them, so I figured they’d be worth sharing…
1. Keep an All-In-One Cleaner in Your Purse
I don’t love using hand sanitizers or antibacterial soaps, but my kids have a way of finding germy messes to touch on a regular basis. I’m definitely not scared of a little dirt, but gym floors and public bathrooms are another ball game.
My kids also have a knack for spilling brightly colored substances on their clothing. From paint to beet juice, few shirts make it to the laundry without at least one stain.
I found one solution to both of these problems. I keep these baby wipes in my purse at all times, even when I don’t have a baby in diapers. They double as hand wipes, stain removers, and I use them to wipe down surfaces at restaurants and in airports.
2. Keep Lettuce in Glass Mason Jars
I wish I’d know this years ago…. it would have saved so. much. lettuce. A friend shared this with me long ago and I’ve been doing it since!
The process is simple. Just wash, dry (or use a salad spinner) and pack into glass quart-size mason jars. Greens stay crisp and fresh in jars for 1-2 weeks instead of 3-4 days this way.
To save time, I’ve also pre-packed my favorite salad recipes into these jars. Put the meat or protein on the bottom of the jar with any sauce or dressing, then add any other chopped veggies or toppings, then put the lettuce or spinach in last. I pre-make these for the week, especially if I’m on the go.
When ready to eat, just shake the jar to mix in the dressing and pour out on to a plate. This may not be just a mommy hack, but one for the whole family!
3. A Shirt That Improves Other Shirts
I am by no means a fashionista… I’m more of a yoga pants chic kind of girl, so I don’t typically write about clothing. But, a recent purchase inspired me to break this (self-imposed) no fashion blogging rule, however. It is called a lace extender and it has allowed me to wear shirts I haven’t worn since a decade ago (and now I feel old!).
It is a camisole that can be worn under shirts to make them longer and dress them up a little. I’m long-waisted and no longer like the midriff or hip bone baring styles I wore in college, but I still love some of the shirts I have (that are now *actual* vintage).
These lace extenders have seriously expanded my wardrobe and they even dress up shirts, cardigans, or sweaters.
4. Dry Shampoo
In a perfect world, I wake up early each morning, workout, shower and do my health routine before my children wake up so I am calmly making breakfast when they come downstairs.
In reality, this only happens about half of the time and the other half, I’m on deadline or they wake up early so I don’t have time to wash my hair before they wake up. On these days, dry shampoo is my best friend.
I used to make my own with this recipe but I now use my own brand of dry shampoo with Wellnesse, my line of clean and natural personal care products.
5. Reuse Old Socks
Our home could be re-named the land of mismatched socks. I don’t know how, but somehow my children manage to lose, ruin or hide socks, but only one of them…
My ever-growing mismatched sock bin was frustrating me, until my daughter figured out how to make kid-sized heat packs out of old socks, (and until we figured out we could mop the floor with them!).
Here is the tutorial for the homemade heating pads (make them smaller for kid-sized hand warmers!).
For floor mopping, I just give each child a spray bottle of diluted Branch Basics cleaner, let them all put on several layers of mismatched socks and “skate” on the floor. They spray a spot and then glide over it to clean it. As socks get dirty, they just peel them off to get to a clean layer.
Result? A fun activity for the kids and a clean floor for me!
6. Get a Diva Cup
So we all know tampons and pads are unhealthy… didn’t know? Here’s why.
If I had to name one thing that has saved me time, money and hassle, it would be my menstrual cup. Yes, it is strange to adjust to. Yes, my hubby still thinks it is weird, but it is the closest thing to not having a period when you’re on your period. Here’s why I love it:
- My period has decreased in length by 1-2 days per month since I started using it (other women report this as well and also report having their cramps vanish).
- I only have to change it every 12-24 hours and in between, it is like not having a period. I can swim, run, exercise, sleep without worrying about changing it.
- It has saved me up to $10 a month on buying natural feminine care products.
Here is the model I have (get this one if you haven’t had kids) and I LOVE it (strange to say about a menstrual product). Seriously, try it… I dare you! TIP: if it is uncomfortable or leaks, try turning it inside out…
7. Foaming Hand Soap
It took me a while to discover this one. It sounds like a little thing, but when you have six kids and the hand soap is always running out, it’s important! Switching out our hand soap dispenser for one that foams makes our soap last so much longer (and cleans hands better since the kids rarely wash their hands long enough to make the soap suds).
To make it easy, I use a non-toxic, natural soap concentrate that I use everywhere else in the house. I just pour a little in, add lots of water, and there it is… soap that lasts for a month (or at least a week!) without a trip to the store.
I’ve also made my own hand soap from castile soap. Here’s the tutorial.
8. Whiten Teeth With Charcoal
You know how a little mascara can change your whole look? If you’ve never whitened your teeth, watch out, it’s addictive because it makes just as much of a difference! I’ve whitened my teeth (like really whitened them) completely naturally with natural coconut charcoal (not the stuff from the grill!) and it has improved my oral health in the process.
It sounds strange (and looks even stranger, because your teeth are black for a while!) but it works. Here’s the how-to. If you really want to kick it up a notch, I’ve also used this LED light system that comes with a mess-free tray for applying the activated charcoal to your teeth. It works even better!
9. Get Actual Sleep
I’ve been at this mommy thing for a few years now, and I’m convinced… beyond diet, supplements, or exercise, sleep is the thing that matters most. I know it sounds like an oxymoron to suggest one actually sleeps as a parent, but there are a couple of hacks that have helped me make the most of the sleep I do get.
Of course, the first tip is to actually go to bed at a reasonable hour! This is tough as moms because nighttime is often our only alone time. The next time you’re trying to convince yourself to put down the Internet and go to bed, try this convincing podcast on the benefits of sleep. It changed how I prioritize it for sure!
Here are some other things that help (even moms) get more sleep:
- a cup of reishi tea before bed
- magnesium oil on my feet (this works for kids too)
- blackout curtains for total darkness
- some Brain.fm music (with sound frequencies that induce sleep – I also like Wholetones)
- a sleep tracker like Oura Ring to keep me accountable (it’s one of the few that works in airplane mode for reduced EMFs)
- staying cool while I sleep
For a full description of my bedtime routine, see this post.
More Mommy Hacks Please!
I know there are about one million other life-changing mommy hacks I didn’t list, so please share the love and tell us below what you’ve found that makes your life as a mom easier, better, and healthier!
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Sheila Kilbane, MD, a board-certified pediatrician, trained in integrative medicine. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
What tips and “mommy hacks” do you have to help save time and money? Share your best ones below!
Discussion (58 Comments)
I LOVE my Diva cup!!! I will never go back to tampons again! So comfortable, you hardly notice it, less expensive, and sooo much better for my body. After only a couple of months, I notice that my cramps are less and my period isn’t so long or heavy. And, since it IS heavy naturally, I’ve also started using cloth pads, saving the Diva cup for heavier days. Oh.my.gosh…so comfortable!! I will never, EVER go back to store-bought tampons and pads. Ladies, if you’ve been on the fence about this, TRY IT! You will not regret it!
Question: do you refrigerate the jars of lettuce/salad? Thanks for the tips.
My daughter (6) loves to pretend she’s skating on the floor, and because of you I have Branch Basics so maybe we’ll give it a shot — great way to use up her incredible energy.
Katie - Wellness Mama
Yes, in the fridge 🙂
Awesome post! I am loving that lacey cami. I had no idea charcoal can clean your teeth, either!
I dont normaly post but I LOVE my diva cup. My cramps all but dissappeared, to answer the question of shorter menstration most people were tampons. Tampons can cause you to not bleed correctly or can stop you from bleeding. I personaly can not use tampons because of this, I clot and the tampons mess up my abbility to bleed correctly. So based off of my personal experience if someone who has been using tampons switches to the cup thier body is probably able to do what it needs to do faster because there is nothing in the way. Also you dont smell if switching from pads to the cup the smell is gone pif gone. Best investment I made last year. While I am posting thanks for all the helpful things you blog about this is my go to place.
Wow! Haven’t tried the charcoal yet or taking cleaner in my purse!
The spare socks work great as bottle covers for my glass water bottles that I take with me when I go out. Then when I accidentally drop my bottle and it breaks, the glass is contained in the sock. This is what I do: I put the bottle into the sock and then at the top I put a rubber band below where the lid is and then fold back over the bottle. Makes it easier to hold onto also.
That is a fantastic idea for the water bottles.
I’ve also learned that canners use the elastic part (top) of socks to wrap the jars so they don’t bang next to one another – whether on shelves or boxed. Also they sometimes use rubber bands – from pics I’ve seen them with 2 bands – one closer to the top & the other closer to the bottom of the jars.
Always great to read about re-using ‘stuff’ – especially socks – which I recently took a sack full to the Salvation Army and through away some with holes. Now I could use the top parts…. Oh well I’m sure I’ll remember next time.
I would bold that part about turning the Diva cup inside out, after a year of a love/hate relationship with that thing I finally flipped it and it is the best thing ever! I too have noticed at least a day, probably closer to two day shorter periods!
I flipped my diva cup inside out and I seriously could not get it out. Super weird, scary feeling. My hubby had to get it out. Super humbling and as much as I liked using mine, I couldn’t get past the feeling of not being able to grab it????
I was wondering about that, what is there to grab hold of if its inside out??
Well, that’s what I get for moving fast! *blushing* Sorry – meant to say, I really liked your post about the “mom I’m bored” jar.
Hope to hear from you!
I read your blog almost daily and really enjoy your thoughts and tips. I’m 67, well past the mama stage, but most of your posts are still relevant at my age. I just started using Branch Basics and that stuff is AMAZING! For anyone not inclined to DIY for whatever reason, check out their website. And no, I’m not on their payroll. 😉
Thank you for the ideas. I never listen about the diva cup until I read your blog. I promise I will try. I love the idea of lettuce and spinach in a jar. One of my favourites products is the coconut oil , has a lots of ways to use it. One is to remove the makeup ;).