Everybody loves a few good life hacks, and because I’ve learned a thing or two since my daughter crossed the threshold from infant to toddler, I figured I’d share the best ones with you.
1. Adopt a dog, with an emphasis on adopt. Not just because it’s a good thing to do, but dogs off the street tend to have stomachs of steel and they’ll need it to clean up after your toddler. My queensland heeler has come to love everything from cold peas to half chewed breakfast sausage and orange juice soaked waffles.
2. If you have to buy toys, buy used. Two words: no packaging.
3. Invest in bins. Big bins, little bins, bins with labels, go all out with chalkboard paint and cutesy lettering if you want to, it doesn’t matter. As long as there’s a bin in every room to toss spare legos, farm animals and the socks that never have matches into, you’re all set.
4. Whip out your magic mom or dad wand and make the peskier of toys (read: dollar store knick knacks and the one thing you always step on in the middle of the night) disappear. After moving to five states in five years, I’m a minimalist at heart. But even so, I’m amazed at how much stuff a little person can bring to a home. Grab three bags and at least twice a year fill each with items to sell, donate or throw away.
5. Use baby gates not just to keep littles out, but to keep messes in. We have a gate at the bottom of the stairs and it’s primary purpose is to stop our daughter from going up since she can’t get down. However, we’ve realized it also means she isn’t dragging toys throughout the entire house.