Mommy Hacks – Tips for Improved Efficiency

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Motherhood » Mommy Hacks – Tips for Improved Efficiency

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!

Sources
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

58 responses to “Mommy Hacks – Tips for Improved Efficiency”

  1. deborah Avatar

    Please could we have a podcast on periods devices ?( !), i mean mainly the cups. So much info needed for so many questions, esp period length , what’s the deal with the chemicals in conventional tampons/ pads that increase your flow so you buy more products. Real ? Wow. Never heard that before but worth digging. Thank you !?

  2. Sarah Avatar

    Those are great hacks! I am always looking for ways to save , especially with 6 kiddos. The sock warmers are also great gifts during the Holidays with some fabric markers some extra snips of socks they make cute snowmen, one of my boys made his into Mike from monster Inc.

    A hack I use is following your capsule wardrobe idea and then I do not fold the kids laundry. We got cube shelves and cloth bins. I wrote on flash cards what was to go in each bin with a picture of the item (i.e. shorts with a picture) and attached with clear packaging tape. Kids help sort thier clothes and put them away . The older ones do thier own laundry and can fold how they like .

    Also keeping a diaper bag in the van helps alot

  3. Stephanie Avatar
    Stephanie

    This blog is really helpful. Starting from the first hack to the last. This blog should be read by mother’s out there.

  4. Alana Avatar

    I have a couple of comments about menstrual cups after trying the keeper in college and reading up a bit. One fact that they sort of bury on the site that you’ll have a hard time using it if you’re a virgin (which I was at the time…getting it in was no problem but trying to get it out was excruciating and was the end of my using it).

    The second and perhaps more important is that there is some debate that menstrual cups may cause or contribute to endometriosis. As far as I know this hasn’t been proven, but since I do have a history of endo, I’m sticking with cloth pads.

  5. Paulina Avatar

    Instead of wipes to clean my kiddo’s hands, tables at restaurants, and spills on clothes, I use Norwex cloths. You only buy them once and moisten them with water, so they are much cheaper than buying disposable wipes.

  6. Rhiannon Avatar

    Great ideas. 🙂 I can’t do menstrual cups – I’ve used them for years, and always felt uncomfortable – somehow unnatural and wrong. So I’ve switched back to my reusable pads, and as I don’t like wearing underwear (shock horror, hehehe!) either, my new pads (which I’m going to make myself with organic flannel and old shirts, etc.) will be belted, to avoid underwear. 🙂

  7. Bethany Avatar

    One way we save time and sanity is that each person has their own type of sock. We still have dressy socks for special occasions but each members’ every day socks are all exactly the same. This way when sorting laundry, I only have to sort socks by person, not color or size. They always have a match and if one gets worn out or lost, we keep it because once it happens again, they can make a pair out of the two left.

  8. Meghan Avatar

    Thanks for all the good advice, Katie. I just came up with a hack I thought you might appreciate: I now use castor oil to take off my eye makeup (on the days I wear it). It works great and hard to say, but I think it could be helping my eyelashes grow. I also rub some castor oil into my eyebrows for good measure (since fuller brows are in these days). Two birds, one stone- got the idea from your post on castor oil.

  9. Clair Avatar

    I’ve also loved the DivaCup for years. However, quick note on that: if your cup is leaking or uncomfortable, there is probably an actual issue.
    1) Leaking? It either needs to be emptied, or else it has not sealed properly.
    2) Uncomfortable? Since the DivaCup sizes are made to accommodate most women, discomfort is probably a sign of the cup being inserted incorrectly. Try a few different methods (see instructions), get up and move around (helps for the cup to expand and seal)…
    …but DON’T turn it inside out. It is a product intended for use in a certain way, and fiddling with that by inverting it is unnecessary and most likely not nearly as effective.

  10. Meagan Avatar

    I’ve been using a menstrual cup for years and I highly suggest cutting off the tail! It is way better. I used to pretty much only use the cup but now I am pretty attached to my PIMP cloth pads. They are seriously the best brand and my homemade pads are modeled after them.

  11. Tiffany Avatar

    I love this list,thank you! I do a couple of these things already like reusing the foam soap despenser. These other tips are really helpful as well,having 3 kids, im always looking for ways to save money and using products which are not harmful to our health.

  12. Jody Avatar

    I went to the Lennon and Lace site and I’m excited about the styles there. I like your ideas behind the lace cami extenders, but I’m browsing through the whole site now. Do you shop at L&L often and how do you find the quality and service? Thanks for sharing your tips.

    I like to save Kombucha drink bottles and reuse for water bottles. Or reuse them for bottling your own.

  13. Ali Avatar

    Hey
    I love your website I use it regularly. I’m a nanny in the UK for two family’s of four and I’m always trying to get stains out and keep hands a clean as possible I saw the post about branch basics. As Im in the UK is there a home made or store version that sells here.
    thank you

    A

  14. Linda Guiberson Avatar
    Linda Guiberson

    FYI – I was at Lennon & Lace’s FB page and they replied to my message right away about sizing for someone that normally wears a medium but has a broad back. Thought I’d share:

    “i would suggest a medium in our Sweet Laceys and a large in our Sweet Lace Extenders.”

  15. Linda Guiberson Avatar
    Linda Guiberson

    I really like the lace cami and would like to order one. Can you comment on the sizing? Do they fit true to size or run smaller? Thank you!

  16. April Avatar

    If your diva cup feels too big or like it’s falling out, you can get a smaller size from Meluna. Plus the have colors.

  17. Luvina Avatar

    Has anyone had a problem with the suction from the diva cup being so strong that it’s hard to break the seal? Is it possible that it can cause uterine prolapse?

    1. Natalie Avatar

      I used to worry about it causing problems when I had an IUD (that it would suck it out or move it) and my obgyn said it was no worries. I use a diaphragm now which also has suction and those have been around for a long time. But I have often wondered the same thing. The suction can be intense. That said the uterus is sooooo strong….

      1. Elizabeth Avatar
        Elizabeth

        you used the Diva Cup with an IUD?? That’s the only thing that has stopped me from trying it. It says on the website not to use if you have and IUD, so I haven’t.

        1. April Peacock Avatar
          April Peacock

          I used a Diva cup with an IUD years ago and I don’t think the suction it strong enough to affect the IUD.

          I also personally removed my own IUD later and it took a good hold on that thing to get it out.

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