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random list of life hacks

Hi friends! Hope you’re having an amazing morning so far. I feel like we need to talk about Game of Thrones but to be totally honest, I’ve only seen like 5 episodes. (Don’t throw anything at me. I just never really got into it.) Each time I’ve watched it with the Pilot, he’s given me thorough synopses on the plot lines and characters. It’s enough to the point where I have an idea of what’s going on. But the last episode!!! WOWWWW. So crazy!! Also, don’t watch this if you haven’t seen it yet (spoilers), but I loved this clip from a bar so, so much. Watch for the drinks thrown in the air! 

So for today, let’s talk about life hacks! Before I get into this post, I want to be very clear that I’m not writing this post from the vantage point of a life expert. I literally put my laundry in the oven sometimes and look for my sunglasses while I’m wearing them. Bu,t I’ve found a handful of rare gems that have made my life easier, so I thought it would be fun to share some life hacks with each other this fine morning.

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(The queen of life hacks, Marie Kondo. Image source is here)

Here are some of the things that first popped into my head when I came up with the idea for this post: 

Work + productivity:

– Leave the dishes in the sink. I love having a clean house, not only because it feels good and makes it way less stressful if you have impromptu guests or family over for dinner, but also because I feel more calm when my surroundings are in order. After I would drop off the girls at school, I’d easily spend 45 minutes cleaning up, and then I’d maybe catch a quick workout or get a few emails done and it was already time to pick up P. Those 3 hours go by QUICKLY. I finally realized that when the girls are in school, I need to focus on the things I can only do when they’re not home. This is work. I can do chores or cook and they’ll play happily together, but the second I take out my computer, everyone is suddenly injured or urgently needs me. So, I started leaving the dishes in the sink and doing basic cleanup stuff after I pick up P from school. 

 Beauty: 

– I take off my dip nails the night before my appointment. I’ve posted about this on Instagram, but this dramatically decreases time at the salon. I can’t sit still for that long and it feels like such a time suck! I use a rough file to file the heck out of the top coat (so it no longer looks shiny), then soak 1/2 a cotton round in pure acetone, place it on top of my nail, and wrap in foil. I let it sick there for 20-30 minutes (it just glides off after that!), and do one hand at a time so I have free use of my other hand. Even though one hand is soaking, I’m at home instead of at the salon and can still move around freely and do other things. Now my appointments take 45 minutes max, and my favorite nail tech always thanks me for taking them off in advance. She says it makes her job way easier, so wins all around.  

Laundry:

– You know those super bright clothes that look dingy after you wash them a few times? The color just isn’t as bright and they don’t look nearly as fresh as they did when you bought them. For these types of clothes, I do a vinegar soak before washing and they look bright and new!! You just full a bucket with cold water, add about 1/2 – 1 cup plain vinegar and soak for 15-20 minutes. Next, throw into the washer on a cold cycle, and air dry. 

Pizza night:

– When we come home with to-go boxes from pizza night, instead of letting the pizza die a slow death in the fridge, I immediately put it in the freezer. It comes in handy a few weeks later when we might be low on groceries and the girls are looking for a snack. 

I put the call out on Instagram to hear some of your life hacks, and here are some of the amazing responses I received:

Meal prep + cooking:

– Bulk meal prep for the entire week

– Buy pre-chopped onions and pre-chopped produce as much as possible

– Using my kitchen mixer to shred chicken

– Labeling all of the food that goes into the fridge! I’ve converted so many people

– I pack lunches while I clean up dinner and lay out clothes while putting the kids to bed (<— I do this one, too)

– Use Alexa for my grocery list. Have the app on your phone so you can’t lose your list!

– Freezing leftover rice/beans and other grains in muffin tins! Pop them out and store in a Ziploc in the freezer

– Setting the coffee pot the night before. Always appreciated in the morning

Beauty:

– Use beard dye to tint my eyebrows.. seriously life-changing and so cheap!

– Brushing my teeth in the shower

Productivity:

– I set alarms on my phone for things like medications, changing the litter, and drinking H2O

– Set a timer and do a quick power clean

Kids:

– Breakfast in the van on the way to school. No nagging for them to hurry up or we’ll be late. (* I used to do this until a child spilled an entire cup filled of waffles and syrup down the center console of my car. Never again lol.)

– Totally put my kids in their “tomorrow clothes” when they come out of the bath at night

– Keep a paint brush in your beach bag. Use it to brush the sand off your chairs, toys, and feet. 

Laundry/clothes:

– Throw away all of your socks and buy all the same socks in the same color. (THIS IS GENIUS)

– Folding little kids’ laundry… wrap up piles in clean bath towel. Way easier to transport!

 

So friends, please share something that makes your life easier in the comments section below! I can’t wait to read about your favorite life hacks.

Have a wonderful day.

xo

Gina

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22 Comments

  1. Amanda on April 30, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Similar to the sock idea, I only buy white towels and sheets. No need to sort for laundry, they can be bleached, and I don’t have to worry about matching pillowcases.

    Also, don’t throw your socks away. Either use them as dusting mitts, or if they’re in good shape, see if a homeless shelter will take them. Socks are always a high-need item.

    • Kelley on April 30, 2019 at 11:01 am

      Old socks are also great for polishing shoes and cleaning/conditioning leather purses

  2. Emily on April 30, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Never heard the vinegar soak for clothes. Excited to try it! That will be great especially for my daughter’s clothes. I swear they are never as bright or cute after the first time she wears them.

    Some of my life hacks…I put a label on my beauty products with a use by date. I can never remember when exactly I got something, so I put a label on it and if I don’t use it up by that date I know it’s time to toss it and get a new one. I also do that with soups and chicken stock that is usually only good up to 10 days after opening it. I just label it with the day I have to throw it away.

  3. Bobbi on April 30, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I keep all the lunch items in a bin in a pantry and pull it all out together ..ziplocks, napkins, peanut butter, nuts, crackers, etc. I also have a basket for all my dry smoothie ingredients.

  4. Mary on April 30, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Love this list! I do laundry on the weekends then dump it all in my 3 year-old daughter’s room in a basket. Then each night when she is getting ready for bed and dilly-dallying around her room, instead of being annoyed and rushing her, I sort and fold the laundry. Usually it only takes 1-2 nights to get everything done for the week.

  5. Liz on April 30, 2019 at 10:08 am

    I hardboil a ton of eggs every sunday or monday morning while I’m getting ready. They are a portable and protein packed snack, and cheap to make! I also time my laundry with my gym workouts. Wash takes 28 minutes, so that is my cardio, and then i switch it over and switch to strength training for another 30-45 minutes. Also, buying loaves of bread on sale, slicing them, and then freezing the slices wrapped individually. I live alone and don’t eat a ton of bread, and was finding they were going bad before I could use like, a third of the loaf. And i ALWAYS pack my gym bag/lunch bag/whatever bag I need the night before so I am not running around like a crazy person in the morning

  6. Aaron on April 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Love the muffin tins for rice/beans!

    Another beach “hack” from a longtime Florida resident. Keep a little bottle of baby powder in your beach bag. Sandy body? Rub baby powder on it and be amazed.

    • Blair on April 30, 2019 at 11:37 am

      We always carry a giant bottle of baby powder to the beach, feet and bums get powdered before shoes and undies are put on 🙂

      The laundry into the kids room is genius. I dump it on our bed SO no one can go to sleep until its folded and put away. Takes one night and often the husband is forced to help if he wants to sleep faster 🙂

  7. Michelle on April 30, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    I have my kids (tweens) put together outfits for the school week & hang them in their closet. Makes getting them dressed in the morning so much faster!

  8. Nicol on April 30, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    I have a 2 year old nd a 2 month old, and I spend the first 10 min of my kids’ nap time getting everything ready for their baths and bedtime (set out pjs, diapers, etc) that night. My husband travels weekly for work, and the hours from 5-7 pm are the hairiest, so doing this sets me up for (moderate) success.

  9. Tracy on April 30, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Instead of throwing away old socks, tie several of them together, either in a ball or in a line and give them to the dog as a chew toy.

  10. Amber on April 30, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    The beard dye for your eyebrows is an absolutely brilliant hack. I mean, who would have thought of that? This is coming from a gal that fills in her eyebrows on the daily. 🙂 As well as the sock trick, I lose my socks all the time. ha!

  11. Nicole Kump on April 30, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    I love GoT so much and am going to get my hubby to watch the series since he still hasn’t seen it. I guess this past episode wasn’t full of plot twists or crazy storylines so you could watch it without having watched a lot of the series. You should watch it all though ..so great! My lifehack was investing in washable laundry bags that keep my stinky gym clothes away from other stuff in my bag. Easy, environmentally friendlier than plastic bags, and just throw them in the wash too!

  12. Amy on April 30, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    One of my coworkers mentioned that she separates her laundry by what needs to hang dry and what can go in the dryer and OMG it changed my laundry day forever!

  13. Juliana on April 30, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Life hack: just say “John Snow should have died” when people talk about GoT and they’ll assume you know what you’re talking about (I never got into it either).

  14. Kathy on April 30, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Using a robotic vacuum, it forces me to pick up all the little stuff on the floor as well and the floors get cleaned too! Also, once a month I’ll buy rotisserie chicken and shred it up. Then I use the meat for several meals throughout the week (fried cauli-rice, enchiladas, chicken pot pie, tacos or fajitas, buffalo chicken wraps, etc…)

    • Fitnessista on May 2, 2019 at 11:37 pm

      yes! i’m obsessed with my robotic vacuum 🙂

  15. Casey on May 1, 2019 at 5:54 am

    We do many of the things you mentioned here, but I already learned some new ones!! A few random hacks:

    Food/Kitchen:
    (1) I make bulk grains and rice in my instant pot and freeze them in little containers–it’s cheaper and super easy!
    (2) The night before we travel, I make a big family meal and throw leftovers in the freezer so we can pull it out to eat as soon as we get home–it helps me ease into post-vacay life AND gets us back on track right away rather than having to wait for a big grocery haul

    On going green:
    (1) I try to avoid using disposable plastics but when I do, wash, dry, and reuse all of our ziploc bags
    (2) I bought some cheap towels in 3 colors–one is for wiping your hands in the kitchen, another for wiping down the countertops, and the last is for spills–I’m trying to move away from reaching from paper towels all the time!
    (3) We started using the wool dryer balls from Trader Joes in our laundry instead of dryer sheets!
    (4) I’ve phased out our old products and started buying all recycled or compostable items–from trash bags to napkins to paper plates for parties

    On kids:
    (1) I change my kid into his pajamas, change his diaper, and brush his teeth before we leave an event/party if it’s a later night so he can fall asleep in the car and we can just move him into his crib–same for traveling!
    (2) I keep a bag of toys and a bag of snacks in my “kids bag” at all times–super organized and helps prevent meltdowns!
    (3) We started packing only a few diapers and wipes on our long trips, and will pre-order Amazon supplies to our destination (timed so it’ll get there the day after we arrive) so we can avoid packing it all!

  16. Heather on May 1, 2019 at 9:07 am

    For kids’ laundry: I don’t fold it! I sort their things into a basket and it’s their job to put it away. They don’t have to fold anything except fancy things that need to hang or would get badly wrinkled (and we’re pretty casual so that’s the exception), but they sort them out and put them in their labeled drawers. I found that when I folded things, the drawers ended up a mess anyway, and my time was essentially wasted. So now, I just don’t fold them and everyone is happier!

  17. Laura on May 1, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    When we get back from any sort of outing I always make sure everything is out of the car and make sure whatever bags I packed are unpacked/restocked/put away. This helps tremendously with finding things and having them ready to go when we leave the house again. One thing that I learned from James Clear (Atomic Habits), was if something only takes 2 minutes, just do it, and don’t put it off until later.

    I also spend minimum of 10 minutes before bed, tidying. I put things on the stairs to go up, hang up coats, wipe down counters, sort mail, anything to tidy up and make the next morning go more smoothly.

    Last one, I keep an empty diaper box in my kids’ closets so anything that they put on that is too small, goes right into the box, and not back into the drawer or closet.

  18. Jennifer on May 2, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    I tried to send my life hack via instagram but they were too long. Plus they are just general hacks, not technically time saving hacks.

    1) Cut your avocado into quarters! If you avocado is properly ripe, cutting it in half, then in half again makes taking the pit out a breeze (aka with your hand not a knife) It is also easier to peel off the skin if you want chunks of avocado (aka the rare occasion you aren’t making guac)

    2) Just make extra EVERYTHING! There are so many recipes that I have that call for 1 cup rice, and I think how can I cook rice and get just one cup? So I happily make extra rice, beans, grains, veggies, etc than i want for dinner and then try to measure a cup and freeze it. So then it is there. Also then I have easy to grab stuff in the fridge to give kids. Tey might not like it first day, but will give it a shot a day or two later. Or maybe those veggies taste better in a quiche, salad, or taco?

    3) On the same vain as leftovers, use curry leftovers or any leftovers into burritos. Once you master the burrito wrap, you can get creative with leftovers. Thanksgiving leftovers? Worked. Curry and rice, yup. Chinese food? Yeah! Granted I have had some fails, but I am fairly certain this is why there are so many viral mac and cheese mashups.

    4) Not a tip, but I love all the hacks that involve kids. I have found baking the weekly “baked goods” for my husband’s lunches is much easier if I know it is something my son loves. When he gets older I will recruit him to help prep veggies. He makes veggie burgers. Getting kids involved is important. Pretty soon I am going to stop hanging all my son’s clothes, maybe I will try and make him fold his clothes? Probably not. He isn’t potty trained yet. But I can dream right?

    • Fitnessista on May 2, 2019 at 11:36 pm

      sooooo many awesome tips!! THANK YOU! i’m all about maximizing leftovers potential

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