I think all moms would agree that being a parent is a lot of work. Rewarding work – but still tough! Some days it feels like my to-do list is about a mile long and I’ll never get everything done. So I’m always looking for ways to make my life just a little bit easier.

Lucky for us, the internet is full of great (and, let’s be honest, some not-so-great) tips and tricks that can help moms make life smoother, cleaner, and healthier. I’ve found so many wonderful ways to help make small, everyday jobs just a little easier. But as we all know, some of the things that seem too good to be true are just that. So I’ve compiled a list of the best tricks I’ve found that I actually use every single day. So take it from me – these work!

Learn to love your Crockpot

One of the things I find hardest about my day-to-day responsibilities is figuring out what we’re all going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes, at the end of the day, I am out of ideas and out of energy to cook something healthy and tasty. So my Crockpot and I are best friends. I use it at least once a week, if not more. It’s just so much easier to throw the ingredients in the Crockpot in the morning and then coming home to dinner that’s ready to go! It saves me time and the headache of staring at the fridge at 4 p.m., realizing I have no idea what we’re going to have for dinner! Below are links to two of my favorite super easy Crockpot recipes that have minimal ingredients but are super tasty!

Essential oils really do work

I was very skeptical about essential oils. People claim they can cure everything from allergies to sunburn to upset stomachs. But I decided it couldn’t hurt to try them out. I started with a blend to help with my seasonal allergies (lavender, lemon, and peppermint). While I won’t say that it completely cured my allergies, it really does help. Since then, I’ve used them for my kids’ upset stomachs, to help ease the discomfort my husband sometimes gets from joint pain, and to just make my house smell great!

 Organize those baby clothes

I had a hard time getting rid of my kids’ baby clothes – they were so cute and tiny! And since kids grow so much every year, I’m still organizing their clothes that don’t fit, even though they’re 7 and 10 now! But we can’t keep them around forever. You will want to make it easy to find everything you need, in case you have younger kids who will eventually need to use those hand-me-downs or if you want to sell or donate them.

I was lucky to receive this tip from a friend when I was pregnant with my first baby and it saved me so much time and headache. Each time my kids grow out of a size of clothing, I pull them all out of the closet and drawers at the same time and put them in a labeled plastic bin. Then they’re easy to find and all in one place!

 Help them breathe easy

It’s miserable when your kids are sick – for you and for them! It’s the worst when they’re sick an unable to get a good night’s rest, particularly if they’re up all night coughing. The one sure-fire trick I’ve found that helps a cough at night is to put Vick’s VapoRub on their feet and then immediately put on socks. I don’t know why or how it works, and it doesn’t get rid of the cough, but it definitely helps them breathe easier so they can rest!

 Cleaning hacks that work

Keeping your house clean can feel like an uphill battle – you get one space clean and then someone comes right behind you to make a mess! But there are a few things I’ve learned over the years that help me get through cleaning faster:

  • Use a cleaning concentrate. I buy this one, and one big bottle lasts me almost a year. I just fill up spray bottle and use it for cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Keep anti-bacterial wipes on hand. I don’t like to use them all the time, but when I know we’re having company or we’re having one of those weeks where I just know I’m not going to get to do a complete deep clean, they are great for a quick pass over counters and bathrooms.
  • Dryer sheets are a great tool – yes, dryer sheets! Used or new sheets can be used to get water spots off fixtures and they’re a great way to dust baseboards! Plus they leave everything smelling great.
  • Lint rollers are a great way to clean. I use them to get crumbs and dog hair off of our couch and to dust lampshades and blinds.

What is your favorite way to make parenting easier?