When the going gets tough—i.e., the baby is teething, the toddler is having her millionth tantrum, the babysitter seems to have skipped town, and it feels like every day is a rainy day—the tough get hacking.
At least that’s what I do. In an effort to feel like I’m chipping away at life’s little problems, I seek out solutions. Sure, maybe I’m wasting my time making sure that I have a cleaner broom, but at least it’s something I can control! That’s what life hacks and genius problem-solving products are all about, I think: they save time sometimes, they save money other times. But mostly they save sanity.
With that in mind, here are a few hacks and a few products that are helping me out in little, but oh-so-big, ways.
1. The Ever-Present Fridge Pen
I attached a little pen, via Velcro, to the fridge so I ALWAYS have my pen on hand for making lists. Sure, I could have bought a special clip or magnetized pen, but this (admittedly crude!!) DIY version makes me feel the tiniest bit clever every time I don’t have to fumble for a pen to quickly write something on my grocery list—before I forget! And besides, I can change it up for a new hue whenever I want.
2. No More Plastic Container Madness
A few weeks ago, I got rid of the crazy jumble of mismatched plastic containers in the drawer—and instead I bought two sets of these fabulous color-coded nesting storage containers by the brilliant designers at Joseph Joseph. Seriously, this little change has made such a difference by bringing the feeling of sanity into my otherwise cluttered kitchen. They all nest inside one another, the lids are color coded to the bottoms, and the lids also snap to one another so they stay cozy and don’t fall all over the place. Ahh, when you aren’t attacked by falling storage containers every time you open a cabinet, it truly is a tiny victory.
3. Childproofing Foam to the Rescue
My daughter got a remote controlled Corvette for her fifth birthday. She loves it, of course, but I don’t love the dents in the walls/baseboards that have cropped up ever since she started playing with it. Enter ye olde foam bumpers. I grabbed an extra chunk, trimmed it, and stuck it onto the front “bumper” of the car. Now the thuds are less thunderous and way less damaging!
4. A Better Phone Case
I never will fumble for my subway card again thanks to this perfect little iPhone case from Speck with a slot for my Metro card. Unlike some of the clunkier wallets out there, this doesn’t add a lot of bulk, but it also keeps my card secure.
5. A Self-Grooming Broom
With two cats, two kids, and a whole lot of dust and hair floating around our home, sometimes I feel like my broom is just moving all that stuff around. And when I look at the broom, I can tell why: it’s got so much stuff stuck in it. I’ve tried cleaning it, I’ve tried manually de-fuzzing it. But then I found this: the Broom Groomer Pro from the site Quirky. It’s got little plastic fingers on it so that with every sweep you can also keep the broom clean.
6. Clear the Cosmetics Counter Clutter
Look, it’s not solving world hunger or creating world peace, but I adore having all my little brushes, lipsticks, and tweezers in this perfect little tricked-out Zen Cosmetics Organizer, also from Quirky. (I LOVE that site!)
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