Thursday, July 27, 2017

4 Obvious Hacks Every Parent Can Use!

Every parent has their moments of trying to solve space issues concerning the kiddos. Whether it be bunk beds or downsizing the amount of stuff they have, we're constantly in a battle with trying to keep things organized and put together. I know for myself Pinterest has been a gigantic help with keeping things put together, but sometimes I come up with a few solutions that are relatively simple. They are more like "ah ha" moments rather than "hey look I made up a new organizing tip". Some of them you may already know, while others may be new but obvious. I for one wish I would've thought about these simple hacks a lot sooner, so without further ado here are 4 tips every parent can use!

First up, hats.

My little guy has started his own mini hat collection and while it's not as extensive as it might be at some point, I've mildly struggled with how to store his hats. I initially had them in his dresser drawer, but quickly found that it was a hassle trying to keep their shape after they've been stored in a small area (his dresser is tiny).

I have seen a few other - more expensive - solutions to storing hats, but seeing as how we are on a budget, I didn't think any of those were viable options. So I decided to use good ol' push pins. Simply put a few push pins in a line with enough space for the hats to hang and now your little one has a mini display and wall art. This has definitely helped my son keep his hats in good condition and remember to wear one when we go out for walks, making this obvious hack an awesome solution to this problem.

Next up, clothes that don't fit.

Kids grow. It's a normal thing and sometimes it drives us insane. Clothes aren't exactly cheap these days and it can be hard to find form fitting outerwear for kids during their growth spurts. Currently my Padawan is in between sizes, making the struggle difficult this summer with shorts and pants.

Recently he tried on a pair of pants that fit his waist (he's on the slender side due to genetics), but were a bit short in length, making them ankle high. I didn't really want his to wear pants that looked ill fitting, but it upset me that they fit his waist so well while being unwearable. That is, until I decided to simply "trim" the pants into shorts. I left enough room in case I decided to hem them, but not too much to wear it was awkward. Just enough to make these old army pants into stylish cut off shorts, perfect for a growing boy on hot days!

Now let's talk about books.

We as parents always strive to get our kids to read more. We buy loads of books in hopes to motivate them into extending their imaginations vocabularies through literacy, but more often than not it doesn't work out like we'd hoped. Perhaps they read a book or two, but soon enough their back to the video games and television. It's hard to get kids to read, but something that I've noticed has helped my son is making them highly visible.

Every morning my son wakes up and the first thing at the end of his bed is a tv stand filled with books. His video game characters sit on the upper shelf, but all along the bottom open shelf is books. Books, books, and books. Every kind he likes, things he can easily understand, and loads of diversity.

We used to have all the books in the living room, but I realized they were being dismissed for the other treasures that lurked in his toy box, because they were in sight. In sight, in mind. So I changed things up. The toys are still ever present and played with, but with the books put into a line of sight that is almost immediate upon waking up and can be grabbed with ease, he's taken his own initiative to read. At night is story time, but during the day he will take a moment to pick a book and read on his bed. Giving my Padawan the opportunity to choose his own reading material and when to do it, has given him the independence to learn what reading material he truly enjoys, allowing him to further enjoy reading. Ultimately all these positives keep him interested in reading, pushing his interest further without me having to push him. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.

Lastly, laundry.

I used to put my little guys clothes in my hamper and never think twice about it again. I also used to have to tell my Padawan to pick up his dirty clothes off the floor constantly. It was a mild pet peeve of mine, but you can only be so irked by your 6 year old. After some time wondering how to snap him out of his bad habit before he left me with piles of clothes to climb over, I realized it pertained to the same concept previously mentioned: out of sight out of mind.

I've talked a little about this hack in a past DIY post (see HERE), but I thought it would be wise to go into a little more detail.

In an effort to solve this growing problem, I placed a laundry bag into my son's room where he could easily put his own dirty clothes. To help bring the excitement, I also allowed him to help sew his own laundry bag. This way he felt like his creation was being to good use and he himself could constantly use it. He's the type of person who really likes to make his own useful items, so this was a game changer for him.

A dramatic improvement has occurred and now he puts his dirty clothes in his own hamper. Hopefully he will continue to pick up after himself, but as for now his room has been clean as can be.

Like I said, these are all obvious hacks, but sometimes they can slip our mind. After all, we're busy with being parents. We can't be expected to remember EVERYTHING!

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