Favorite Ways of Simplifying My Life (Day 25)

The other day I wrote about my dislike of doing laundry.  Today, as I finished our weekly laundry, I began thinking of some of the ways my life is a little easier around the house.

My word for today is:


I am learning a bunch of hacks to parenting that I didn’t know, or care to know, before I had children.  Hacks are, to put it simply, a way to make the mothering/parenting job simpler and easier.  I am also not a huge DIY mom – I don’t like to create projects or crafts, and don’t like to make anything outside of food, so I look for easy-to-do, simple hacks.

**Let me also add a little disclaimer: this is not a promotional piece at. all.  This is just a post that might help other moms who may not know of these hacks! **

Only a year ago or so, while baking, I stumbled upon a recommendation (on the side of the box) for a “healthier” version of whatever it was that was being baked.  The mix recommended substituting applesauce for the oil.  I have a friend who bakes from scratch and substitutes much more than I – I quickly sent her a text asking if she had ever used the substitution, and if so, what was the ratio.  For those that don’t know, it’s a 1:1 substitution – if a recipe calls for 1/4 c. vegetable oil (or canola oil, or another type of cooking/baking oil), then use 1/4 c. applesauce.  My friend guaranteed I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, and she is correct!  This particular hack helps ensure I feel confident in the recipes I use for my children.

Perhaps my favorite hacks come from the most despised chore in my house – the laundry hacks.

Alright, so Oxyclean isn’t completely a “hack,” but it is definitely something I can’t live without, especially with small children!  I always forget to take “before and after” picture of stains that end up removed from clothing.  But, I find it extremely important a parent have some sort of stain remover, and I personally find Oxyclean to smell better than bleach.  The small bottle will last about a year, meaning a little bit truly goes a long way.

Since I have a horrible habit of leaving my freshly washed laundry sitting in the washing machine, I have had to learn how to get the added smell out of a couple loads a time or two.  White distilled vinegar is my 100% go-to hack for laundry.  When I have loads that stink, whether it is human-made stink, or “Mom forgot about the laundry” smell, my first task is to dump some vinegar into the load.  Those loads get two washes – once with the vinegar (I don’t measure, I just pour), then chased followed by a wash with the detergent I am using.

For diaper rashes, I go old-school.  I refuse to invest in the creams, since none of them ever worked with my son.  Instead, I use cornstarch.  For my son, it has a history of helping clear up diaper rashes that even medicated ointment wasn’t able to touch.  I recently had someone mention that cornstarch used to be what they used when their kids got rashes as well.  Sprinkle a little cornstarch, and the bumps were as good as gone!

What are some of your favorite, tried-and-true hacks?

7 thoughts on “Favorite Ways of Simplifying My Life (Day 25)

  1. When it comes to baking and using recipes that call for buttermilk my favorite is powdered buttermilk. That way I don’t have part of a quart sitting in my fridge going bad (I hate waste!). I also like to use buttermilk in recipes that call for milk. It makes things like muffins very moist.
    I also use Thieves laundry detergent to avoid that “stayed in the machine too long” smell. It gains me some time and is an chemical free laundry soap.

  2. When I’m using the oven to bake something, I stick some sweet potatoes in there as well. That way we have a side dish ready in the fridge for lunches that just need to be warmed up.

    We buy ripe, ripe, ripe bananas at the grocery store (at a discount, of course!). When we get home we peel, slice, and freeze them. Then they can be popped in the blender for completely guilt-free “ice cream.”

    I use my Norwex Enviro-Cloth to wash windows without needing any cleaning products.

    What else? My kids can’t figure out how to get books lined up on a shelf, so I found some baskets to store books in instead.

    My husband needs to wear dress-clothes to work, but I abhor ironing. I’ve found by drying his clothes in the dryer for 20 minutes and then hanging them to dry, lots of wrinkles are prevented. I definitely set the timer on the stove to make sure I remember to only let them go 20 minutes though!

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