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:

Hacks.

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.

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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?

6 Comments

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  1. Cornstarch, vinegar, Oxyclean, and occasionally applesauce.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 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.

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  3. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

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