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20 Amazing Life Hacks for Busy Parents

Obviously, we all love our kids. They are beautiful, lovable gifts and the sun rises and sets with them and all that. However, they are also serious, all-consuming, time-suckers! If you catch me in the morning, you'll find a mom full of grand plans and maybe even a sprinkle of energy, but by 3 pm you'll most likely find a blob, sort of resembling me, being smothered on the couch, still trying to finish her morning coffee. It's amazing how much such small people can suck all of that motivation right out of you. This is why these hacks are so important. They save us time, energy and sanity, all things that are pretty hard to come by these days. Read on for twenty of my favorites, perfect for parents of young children.

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Photo Credit: Infarrantly Creative

1. This genius way to organize measuring tools. I waste so much time looking for the right spoon when I'm cooking/baking, and I'm always needing to google measurement conversions, so this speaks to my soul. I love that it's all tucked on the inside door of a cabinet. It seems like a pretty straight forward DIY project that even I wouldn't screw up!

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2. This cheap and easy travel bed. Take three pillow cases, sew them together and then stuff them with pillows. Somehow over the years we have amassed a large collection of pillows and their cases so I'm definitely making one or two of these to use for sleepovers. If you can't sew like me, you can use Liquid Stitch found here.

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Photo credit: Quilt Keepsake

3. This adorable heirloom quilt! OMG, I'm completely not talented enough to do this, but I had to share the idea. Sew your child's outgrown baby clothes into a quilt and then save it to give to them when they have their own children. If you love this idea as much as I do, but you flunked Home Ec. too, here's a link to a quilt company who can make it for you.

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Photo credit: Infarrantly Creative

4. This clever board game hack. Frame board games and hang them on the wall as playroom decorations. Put command hooks on the back of the frames and attach sandwich bags with all the game pieces and spinners. I LOVE this idea because we are always losing game pieces. Pick up cheap frames at Dollar Tree or shop the frame sales at Michaels.

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Photo credit: Mom Hacks 4 Everyday

5. This idea for keeping track of those mischievous baby socks. Speaking of losing things, it's been three years since I've had a baby, but I still have a collection of tiny socks missing their other half! You don't gave to be like me. You can keep them together by putting them inside a mesh laundry bag whenever you wash them. This also works great for legos or other little toys you find yourself needing to put through the wash.

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Photo credit: Alana C. Valentine

6. This way to make sure your child takes all of their medicine. Let's be honest, with everything going on in our lives right now, how often have you forgotten if you gave your kid their antibiotics for their latest ear infection? Or even worse, miscommunicated with your spouse and ended up double dosing your kid? It happens, but with this easy hack you can keep track of whether or not they've had their medicine and also how many days they need to continue to take it.

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Photo credit: Princess and the P Baby

7. This idea that makes snack time a breeze. I would say about 50% of the conversations I have with my kids center around them telling me they want a snack and then asking me to recount every single thing we have to eat. How much easier would be if they could just ask, Can I have a snack? and then after I said yes, go to the pantry and choose something from one of the pre-approved snack baskets. Purchase cheap baskets like the ones pictured above at Dollar Tree.

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Photo credit: The Not So Perfect Mom

8. This way to make meal and snack time feel like play time. Toddlers love eating food out of ice cube trays or muffin tins. I'm not sure why, but I think it's probably the novelty and variety that appeals to them, It's a great way to get them to try new, colorful fruits and vegetables.

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Photo credit: Melissa Sabra

9. This idea for keeping bibs handy. I don't know why I never thought of this, because we always have some of those command hooks around our house. Great idea to avoid lost bibs!

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10. This genius trick for ridding your home of the herpes of the craft world! Glitter is seriously not welcome in my home. If you're a kinder, sparklier mom than I, this seems like such a smart and easy way to pick up the glitter pieces that manage to adhere to every surface of your house. Good luck to you!

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Photo credit: One Crazy House

11. This easier way to keep little hands clean. Use empty shampoo or soap bottles as faucet extenders. I've spent eight years lifting my kids up to help them reach the sink. Believe me, your back will thank you for this hack!

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Photo Credit: The Realistic Mama

12. This idea for keeping snacks healthier on the road. Have you ever found yourself starving, but stuck in the car with no food? When I find myself in that situation, I usually blink and somehow find a frappuccino or Chick-Fil-A nugget in my hand. How did that happen? Stop hunger from getting the best of your good intentions and keep a basket full of healthy snacks in your car for you and the kids.

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Photo credit: Lemon Lime Adventures

13. This creative car cleaning idea, perfect for road trips. Wrap a piece of duct tape, sticky side out, around your hand, and use it to pick up crumbs and other dirt in the car. If your kids are old enough to help, wrap it around their shoes instead. They can have fun getting their wiggles out while helping clean up.

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Photo credit: A Life From Scratch

14. This kit that helps you stay prepared for life's emergencies. I love this clear kit from Courtney at A Life From Scratch. Check out the link above for the what and why of everything she put into it.

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Photo credit: Central Coast Teaching Tots

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Photo credit: We Love Being Moms

15 & 16. These two awesome uses for hot glue. Use it to stop kids' shoes from skidding and slipping. Use it to stop up holes in bath toys to prevent mold growth. However you use it, hot glue for the win!

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Photo credit: Parkingpalmagnet.com

17. This idea for keeping kids safe in the parking lot. When you are in the parking lot loading groceries, or getting a baby out of the car, sometimes your older child may have a desire to wander. I would usually just yell at my kids to, "Touch the van!!", but it would be great to give them a specific spot to hold onto. You can use a large car sticker, or buy the stickers pictured above here.

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Photo credit: The Paper Mama

18. These safety tips for parents with kids who like to wander off. In the photo above, Chelsey from The Paper Mama, used a marker and New Skin liquid bandage to create a waterproof tattoo on her child. You can use the tattoo to provide easy contact info if your child gets lost in a crowd or to communicate a food allergy on children who aren't old enough to tell people themselves. When you get home, simply add another layer of New Skin, and the tattoo just wipes right off.

Next, before you head out for a day at the beach, amusement park, or any other crowded place, take a family photo. You'll not only have a nice photo, but if anyone gets lost, you can share what they look like that day, what they were wearing, etc. So easy, but so smart!

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19. This awesome hack for helping toddlers put on their shoes.This is one of my favorites because it is cheap and easy, but it really helps kids figure out their left from their right. This will save you so much time!

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20. This sleep tip that promises to help you fall asleep fast. If you're someone who feels exhausted all day, but has worries keeping them up at night, this 4-7-8 sleep technique from Dr. Andrew Weil is for you. Practice the breathing exercise below twice a day, and within a few weeks you should notice a difference in the time it takes you to go to sleep.

  • Exhale completely.
  • Inhale for a count of 4.
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7.
  • Exhale for a count of 8. Repeat for 4 cycles.

Hopefully these hacks can save you time, and perhaps even your sanity! If you can't get enough parenting hacks, check out Alonzo Lerone's collection of hilarious hacks from veteran parents who seem to have it all figured out! You're welcome.

♥ Erin

Parenting Hack: Wine. So much truth.