As I attempt to navigate motherhood and avoid making any more purchases than neccesary, I’ve become a hacker. I hack furniture, clothing, technology, you name it – to get a bit more use out of what I already have. These little tricks have served me well so far.
1. CHANGING TABLE: One of our bathrooms has an extra long countertop. It’s sort of odd to look at but I suppose it was designed that way so there could be more drawer and cabinet storage around the sink. I’ve turned this long countertop into a diaper changing area. I lay a towel or mat down and stock the drawers below with diapers and wipes.
2. WIPES: I cut up 2 of Jeff’s old, rarely worn plain cotton t-shirts into squares and use these as wipes for when Sam has a pee diaper. I save the store bought wipes for when there are number twos to deal with. This has saved me tons on wipes, avoided waste and since Sam wears cloth diapers I wash the dirty wipes and diapers together. I’ve made my own spray solution but have defaulted to just wetting the dry wipe under the sink faucet and using just water. No diaper rashes yet!
3. DIAPER BAG POUCH: When we got our crib sheets they came in a little cloth pouch. I’ve used this pouch to store an extra outfit in and pack it in the diaper bag. I could have easily done without the pouch and tossed the spare outfit in but I like to try to keep the diaper bag somewhat orderly.
4. FOOD STORAGE: In my post about upcycles I mentioned reusing glass baby food jars for food storage and as tea light candle holders on our patio. I also have a reusable snack bag that I have used for teething crackers, bibs and spoons. I love AtMat Splat Mat’s little zippered, washable, moisture resistant snack bag. Instead of having to continually buy and toss out a lot of plastic bags, I have one that will last for years and multiple uses.
5. SOUND MACHINE APP: At the recommendation of some parent friends, we read Happiest Baby on the Block. Those tricks for imitating the womb to calm a newborn (rock, swaddle, sound) work so well! Instead of buying a sound machine we downloaded the Sound Sleeper app. We used it so much we upgraded from the free version and it’s been worth every penny of that $3.99. We love being able to use it in Sam’s room, stroller, car seat and baby carrier.
6. KID’S ROOM DECOR: Sam just moved into his own room when he turned 1 year old. I’ve turned my abundance of yarn and love of pom poms into a colorful wall hanging above his crib. I’ve not given up on my weaving. It’ll be done eventually.
Sam has gotten some cute toys from family and friends so the plan is to hang his ukulele, a few post cards and flash cards on the wall. They’ll be easily accessible to play with, easy to change up and not require any extra spending. Who knows when I’ll actually get around to putting them on the walls.
7. SWIM DIAPER: For Sam’s first Christmas we got him a reusable swim diaper. If it’s damp, dirty or a friend comes over and needs to borrow one we use a cloth diaper cover as a swim diaper. It works great!
8. TOY STORAGE: I cleared out the bottom drawer of our used-to-be TV stand and use that for storing toys in the living room. It’s a good size for storing a variety of books and toys but I love that it’s easily accessible for Sam to be able to get out and put away all his favorite things.
9. FOOD PREP: Sometimes I bite Sam’s food instead of chopping it to avoid more dirty dishes. He doesn’t seem to mind. When I do use a utensil for cutting up his food into bite-sized pieces, I go for the pizza cutter.
Now we have a toddler with growing needs so I’m sure I’ll be hacking away more and more. If you’ve got any good ones to share that save you time, money or sanity please feel free to share!