KMom’s Favorite Things!
One thing I really enjoy about homemaking is the challenge of making things both beautiful and functional. Though it doesn’t always happen, it makes me feel totally accomplished when my home runs like a well-oiled machine. To be honest, it makes me feel a little like Mary Poppins in the nursery clean-up scene.
Now that Spring has sprung, this is a great time to do a little extra cleaning and organizing on the home front. Hopefully some of these things that have worked for me will help you as well. Here are 10 things in my house that make my life a little easier, in the most delightful way!
1. Counter Tray – We are super blessed in this house to have ample counter space. However, we do not have a pantry, so this idea is a definite space saver/organizer for us. I have a lovely basket tray (I got it at a thrift store for $2) that holds all our kitchen stuff that we use every single day: honey, olive oil, salt, pepper, tea, Tony’s, and more. I couldn’t even tell you how much time this little tray saves me. When I’m cooking I don’t have to scamper around to find what I’m looking for – it’s all right there already!
2. Picker-upper – My husband? A genius who listens. I had been half-joking for years that I needed a “trash picker-upper” to clean clutter, toys, etc. off the floor without killing my back. So, this Christmas, I joyfully unwrapped this handy little tool. Yeah, yeah, so what if it’s also used by cleaning folks at the zoo and criminals picking up trash off the side of the road? It’s got an amazing grip, and especially when I’m pregnant, helps me get my floors tidy in no time.
3. Chew Beads – These things are amazing. I think as Moms we’ve all had that moment, if we haven’t stopped wearing jewelry altogether, of pure horror when we hear the gentle sound of tiny beads being unfurled all over the floor. Chew beads are the solution. My youngest loved chewing on these when she was teething, and they make a great toy in a pinch. Not to mention, they’re really cute on! One of the best things? A breakaway clasp. No strangulation here, folks. This also makes a great gift for that 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time “new” mom.
4. Clorox wipes – I typically try to use natural cleaning products when I do a big house cleaning (especially in food areas), but having a little container of Clorox wipes under each bathroom sink has been a lifesaver for me.
They’re great for when guests come over unexpectedly and I can quickly wipe down the whole bathroom. They’re also great in an emergency situation that requires immediate attention, like when a kid poops on the toilet (yes, on, not in). It can be a time-saver when the kids are playing happily in the tub, and I can give the bathroom sinks/floors a wipe down. I get a four pack of wipes from Sam’s for, I think, around $11.
5. Basket by the stairs – This is a fairly new thing I have implemented in our house, and so far it is working out great! I keep a basket by the bottom of the stairs so that when I see a piece of clothing, toy, etc. that belongs upstairs, I put it in the basket and bring it all up at once at the end of the night. Everything ends up back where it belongs, and I don’t make several trips bringing clutter up and down all day.
My oldest daughter is also getting really good at taking advantage of the basket, especially if there is a book that she wants to read at bedtime. She knows to put it in the basket when she thinks about it during the day.
6. Arts/Crafts Organizer – We do a LOT of arts and crafts in our house. Originally I had an “art bin” that had paper, paint, drawing utensils, and other art gear in it, but I found it to be a huge headache when I just wanted to get one thing out of the bin. It was hard to find what I needed.
This problem became obsolete when my mom brought me an old shoe organizer that my sister didn’t need anymore. We organized everything you could possibly need for a craft (dry erase markers, scissors, glue, paint, play-dough) and hung it on the door inside our downstairs closet. I always know exactly where everything is, so I spend less time shuffling around for supplies and more time doing fun crafts!
7. Shoe Cabinet – This one is pretty self explanatory. Whether it’s a cabinet, basket, or bin, having a designated shoe place is key for reducing trip hazards and keeping my sanity in check. Kids don’t have to look a million different places when we’re getting ready to go; I say “go get your shoes!”, they put them on, line up by the door, and BAM! we’re out of there.
8. Deck gate – Last summer we put a gate on our back deck, which is right off the kitchen. It makes our deck like a giant play pen, and my kids love roaming out there to play while I’m cooking dinner. I don’t have to worry about my littlest falling down the stairs, and it’s easy to remove when we don’t need it anymore.
9. Weekly Meal Planner – This thing is so much more than that. It’s a whole weekly calendar. I got this in a basket I won at an auction last year, and now that I’ve used it I seriously don’t know what I’d do without it. It has a magnet on the back, so it stays up on my fridge all week. On Sundays I fill it out, plan out meals for the week, write activities we have going on, jot down notes, and then when that week is done you just rip off that sheet and start again. I think having a meal organizer has probably saved us a ton of money as well! You can get it here.
10. Drop baskets – I have a basket on a table by both main doors to my house to easily drop in phones, keys, sunglasses, and my husband’s wallet. I never have to think about where my keys are when I’m leaving; they are always in one of these two places.
Are there certain things that you want to let other Moms know about that have saved you time and sanity? Let us know in the comments section below!