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I Tried 5+ Hacks That Will Save Any Parent's Sanity

People always say that becoming a parent completely changes your life. What they don't tell you is that nine months into being a parent you'll start thinking things like, "You know, this Wiggles album is pretty good."

Yes, being a parent is mentally and physically challenging, but thankfully these handy hacks will give you a bit of help. Best of all, these tips and tricks are cheap and easy. I hope you find these as helpful as I did!

1. DIY magnet board

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One of the most important things you can do as a parent is introducing your children to letters and reading right from the start.

The easiest way to do this is by reading often to your children, but for busy babies and toddlers, they need a more tactile experience to stay interested

This is a popular hack circulating the internet that encourages letter recognition. I've always wanted to try it. All you need is a metal baking sheet and some alphabet magnets.

I picked up both of these at the dollar store for a few bucks.

Simply wash your cookie sheet and add alphabet letters.

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Children can practice spelling words, and you can even play word games.

For babies and toddlers, spell out some words for them. Point to each letter and say it out loud, then read the completed word.

For older children, try spelling a word with letters missing and have your child fill in the blanks. Or, scramble a word and see if they can put it in the right order.

There are a ton of possibilities with this hack!

The best part is, it's baby-proof.

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The magnets will stay on the sheet even if someone decides to flip it upside down.

This is also a great activity to keep in the car for long drives since the pieces will stay together.

Besides promoting literacy, this is a great way to get your kids to unplug and reduce their screen time.

We’re all tempted to give them the iPad in the car so that they’ll stay calm and entertained, but you'd be surprised at how excited kids can get by activities like this.

2. Diaper bag command center

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Like most parents, I struggle to get out the door in the morning. It doesn't matter how much I've prepped the night before.

Between packing my own lunch, getting everyone ready, and loading up the car, it seems like I always forget at least one thing.

If you need a little extra reminder in the mornings too, breathe a sigh of relief.

This hack will make those hectic mornings a bit easier with a DIY dry-erase checklist.

Pick up a picture frame from the dollar store.

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Open up the frame and take out any matting that came with it. Next you'll want to make your checklist. I made the one for my son's day care backpack using a simple design program online.

Include items that you need to pack every day, or any other reminders. Print off your checklist and place it in the frame.  

Next, you can also add a decorative piece of scrapbook paper, like I did, if you want to get fancy.

Replace the backing to your frame and hang it up.

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Once your frame is in place, stick a Command Hook underneath. This will give you a spot to put your backpack or diaper bag so you're never searching for it.

Your command center is complete! Now you have a handy spot to hang your bag and the list of everything you need to pack is visible and nearby.

Being organized has never been so easy. This next step will really blow your mind, though.

Grab a dry-erase marker.

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Besides looking a little more polished, the reason we used a frame for this hack is that the glass will act as a DIY dry-erase board.

Yup, that's right. Moms and dads everywhere love a good dry-erase board. Why? Because they are so useful.

Simply check off the items as you put them in your bag. You can also add a spot to write any other notes or reminders for the day. Make one of these for each of your kids.

Your mornings just got easier. You're welcome.

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Doesn't this look organized? Ideally, you'll want to hang this up near your door, or whatever is most convenient, so that everything is ready to grab and go in the morning.

As your children grow older, this can be a useful hack to help them learn about organization.

Have them pack their own bags the night before and check off the list. It's one of those seemingly obvious lessons that is actually really important to teach at a young age.

3. Sneaky diaper bag storage

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I can't be the only one who wishes that their diaper bag had unlimited space. There never seems to be enough room to hold everything!

With this clever hack, you can maximize the storage in your diaper bag. It's also a great way to organize all your supplies in the event of a diaper blow-out (which happens at least once to every parent).

You'll need a wipes container, a few hair elastics, and a refill pack of wipes to get started.

Secure the wipes refill to the lid of the container with a hair elastic.

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This hack only works with the travel-sized wipes refills. The reason for this is because you want to have some room left in the container to store other items.

A full-size wipes refill will take up all the space, and will be difficult to secure to the lid.

Attach another hair elastic at the other end of the lid and your wipes should be secure.

You'll notice that the container doesn't completely close now because of the elastics but that's okay. The wipes won't dry out since the top flap still locks.

With the refill attached to the lid, you can use the rest of the space underneath for storage.

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Store extra diapers, cream, or even a change of clothes. There's actually a lot of space in one of these containers. It's kind of like a one-stop shop for changes when you're on the go.

The container will also protect all your diapers and supplies from any unexpected spills.

When it's time to do a change, this container is really easy to grab and get any diaper jobs done.

4. Use office supplies to organize your change table

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I always buy diapers and wipes in bulk. It's cheaper to do it that way, but it also means that I have to find storage for all those diapers and wipes.

Most of our supplies sit in the closet, but it can tricky to refill them when you're in the middle of a change. I needed something to hold a few spares and keep them organized, too.

With this hack, you can keep a few extras handy at your changing station, just using some office supplies.

Fold a few of those cardboard desk organizers together.

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They're usually for keeping files organized, but they work for change tables, too. I picked these up at the dollar store (of course).

They are the perfect size for the shelves underneath my changing table, which is why they caught my eye. They also come in fun patterns so you can match them to your nursery decor.

Once they're folded together, pop in extra diapers, wipes, and lotion. I was able to fit about 20 diapers in one organizer, three wipe refills in another, and a few bottles of lotion in the third.

I'm pretty sure I have enough supplies to change a bus-load of kids.

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Not that I would want to, I'm just saying, that's a lot of diapers and wipes. But look at how organized they are!

The other great thing about these organizers is that they are really compact. There was still a lot of space left on the shelf to hold other items.

You could even put some of these on your child's dresser to hold a few odds and ends. Extra pacifiers, socks, hats... the options are endless!

5. Plan your outfits for the week.

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Here's another way to make your mornings a little less...hectic.

Chances are that your little one has been gifted enough clothes to last them until they are in college. With so many clothes, you'd think getting their outfits together in the morning would be a breeze. Sadly, that is not the case.

With this hack, plan your little one's outfits for the week with these DIY hangers.

It'll save you from scrambling to find something weather-appropriate when you're functioning on three hours of sleep (like me!)

Attach your tags to your hangers.

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I got these pre-cut cardstock shapes from the, you guessed it, dollar store.

I folded them in half and cut a slit for the hanger's hook to attach them. It kind of looks like a little collar for each hanger.

I've seen other bloggers use large gift tags and attached them to the hanger with a bit of ribbon. You can be as creative as you like.

For myself, I needed to get this done before my son woke up from his nap, so this was the fastest solution.

Write the days of the week on each hanger.

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It really doesn't have to be complicated, although I have seen some that are more Pinterest-worthy. Do what works best for you!

If you prefer, you can print out some labels in pretty fonts or dress up the tags with vinyl stickers.

If you're making these for an older child, they can even get in on the action and help you decorate them.

It's a good way to include them and get them enthusiastic about organization, which, let's be honest, is a tough sell.

Bam! They're ready for a week's worth of clothes.

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You'll notice that I didn't do the weekend and that's because during the week is when we're really pressed for time.

Feel free to make one for each day of the week, though!

Now, all that's left to do is put your outfits on them and hang them up. I find it's best to do this when I'm folding laundry.

Keep the hangers handy and add your outfits as you put things away.

Now to do the same thing to my closet.

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Yeah, my one-year-old has a more organized closet than I do.

I'm lucky if I get to fold my laundry within three days of taking it out of the dryer. Parents, I'm sure you understand the struggle.

I can say that after using this hack for a few weeks, our mornings run a lot smoother.

Instead of scrambling around, I just open up the closet and pull out the outfit for that day. Easy-peasy.

6. Non-toxic watercolor paint

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Of course, we all want our kids to express themselves, but there's also a good chance that those art supplies will be eaten. Why? Because kids eat everything (except the food we cook for them, apparently).

For this hack, I was inspired by a viral video that showed how the color from Skittles will run when you put them in warm water.

I thought a similar principle could be applied to make a DIY edible watercolor paint.

Separate your Skittles by color in their own dish.

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If you eat a few along the way, that's okay.

Sorting the Skittles is also a great sensory activity for children as they practice naming their colors.

You can also do a little bit of numeracy practice by counting how many of each color comes in a package, or having your child predict how many Skittles are in a bag.

I just used these small, ceramic bowls to hold the skittles. If you want something more kid-friendly, small plastic bowls will work, too.

Add a few teaspoons of warm water to each dish.

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You really don't need much, so be sure to add the water slowly. I added a bit too much water to one of my colors and it still worked, but the color wasn't as vibrant as the others.

Wait about two minutes for the color to come off the Skittles. Once the Skittles are white, that's a good indicator to remove them.

Now, I tossed my white skittles into the trash. I'm not sure how good they taste once they lose their color, but if anyone has a use for wet Skittles, send me a message.

Remove the white skittles with a spoon.

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You'll be left with your "watercolors" in each cup.

Just dip your paintbrush in and start painting. I used a slightly damp brush and simply wiped it off between colors.

I found that a brush that has a bit of stiffness and width to it worked well. I wouldn't recommend those small paintbrushes that come with dollar store paint sets for these.

You need a fair amount of the "paint" on the brush for it to show up on the page, which is why a thicker paintbrush is ideal.

Taste the rainbow, paint the rainbow.

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The paints turned out really well! They have a good pigment and were easy to spread on paper.

I would recommend buying watercolor paper, but using regular paper, like I did, will work okay. Just be sure to use smaller amounts since you don't want to soak the page.

The yellow and green paints are quite faint when they dry, but all the other paints dried true to their original color.

There you have it — edible watercolors your kids could eat!

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