It’s Week 2 of the Organize Your Life series with Annie from All Things Big & Small! Last week’s meal planning tips post was such a fun one, and today we’re both talking about our favorite parenting hacks. Even if you aren’t a parent, a few of these definitely apply!
When you’re all finished here, don’t forget to check out Annie’s post with her favorite tips!
1. Repack that diaper bag | This was a habit I started shortly after my first child was born. The last thing you want to worry about before running out the door is if you have enough diapers in that bag! I try to sort through and restock my bag as soon as I walk in the door at the end of the day. This absolutely applies to non-kid bags too! Clear out receipts, take out the water bottle and restock for the next day.
2. You NEED an emergency diaper bag kit in the car | Once I slimmed down to a normal handbag instead of the diaper bag, I created a little emergency diaper bag for the car. I kept a pack of diapers and wipes, a blanket, and a spare change of clothes for my daughter. It just helped with the bulk in my own bag. Now that we have #2 arriving in a few months, I REALLY need to get that refreshed with stuff for a newborn too.
3. Prep snacks and easy lunch items in advance | Last week I mentioned incorporating a meal prep session into your week to get yourself set for the week. Include easy-to-grab items that work for snack or lunch time! One of the easiest things for us is slicing up bell peppers and cucumbers ahead of time, and they work well with hummus for a quick snack or part of a yummy lunch! I also keep a basket in my cupboard with just kid snacks (goldfish, apple sauce pouches) ready to fill that diaper bag. Go the extra step and pre-package little snack storage bags with snacks.
4. Rotate those toys! | We only recently started rotating toys in the playroom, but what a GAME CHANGER! I don’t swap out a ton. I just have one large bin that I keep in a closet where I swap in and out those toys that don’t get as much play time as others. I leave versatile toys like blocks, play kitchen stuff, and art supplies out at all times, BUT things with batteries (hate those toys!) or play houses and sets get rotated. I do something similar with books – I have a basket on the floor in the playroom where I place seasonal books and toys. With Spring coming, it’s about time to put in books on gardening, Easter and baby animals!
5. Keep small baskets of toys stashed around the house | On the subject of toys, one way to keep the clean up task simple was to have small baskets of toys around the house. That way there is always a supply of things to play with in the kitchen or family room. And then when you’re doing your last tidy for the day, you can quickly dump stuff in those baskets to either be done OR pick up the basket and cart it to a toy room.
6. Start a gift closet for all those kids birthdays | I started doing this last year, and it’s SO convenient! How many toys and books has your child received that is a duplicate or very similar to something they’ve already owned? I stash those in a re-gifting closet! I also keep my eyes out for gender-neutral puzzles, crafts and books when they’re on sale to keep in my gifting closet. We have so many friends with kiddos around the same age, so it makes it simple to have a stash of ready-to-go gifts!
7. The Dollar Tree is your friend | If you haven’t gone into the Dollar Tree looking for kid stuff, do it now! There are a TON of great craft supplies, small toys, and even baby items crammed in that store. Not to mention bins and baskets for organizing. PLUS you can quickly outfit your gift closet with some wrapping paper and birthday cards for cheap. This video from Do It on a Dime (such a great YouTube channel!) showcases some favorites!
8. Cleaning – let them help! | I started using Elizabeth to help me with house cleaning jobs from the tender age of about 9 months! Once she could crawl around easily, she helped me with picking up toys, dusting the floor or baseboards (not the best at it, but she’s already down there!), and laundry. We make it a game and lots of fun! I found a fun idea for creating a little cleaning bucket and I just filled it with a few things to give her something that was all her own! Now that she’s a toddler, she has her own little jobs that she can do all by herself. She sets the table, puts a new trash bag in the trash can and puts it away, and can be counted on to help clean up. Dusting is also her thing! Throw in a tutu and a crown and she’s ready to go!
Any other amazing tips that have changed your life?? I’d LOVE to hear them! And don’t forget to swing over to Annie’s blog for her own set of amazing parenting organizing hacks.
We have two more weeks full of organizing ideas! I am SUPER excited for next week! Come back next Tuesday for a list of all the organizing containers you had already but JUST threw away! It’s going to be a good one!