I so enjoy the little “mom tips” that I’ve come across in life – those little things that I’ve learned learned from my mom, or a mom friend, that just make life a little nicer. Things that make the “daily-daily” just a little easier, or make me smile a little more, or maybe will be a time saver for me. I’m not referring to the bigger projects like de-cluttering or re-organizing, (although those definitely make me smile)! But just the small things – the “mom tips” that aren’t in the self-help books, they’re just life-experience things that I’ve gotten from a mom with experience under her belt. Well I’ll share with you some of my Mom Tips for the kitchen; I hope they bring a simple breath of fresh air to your regular every day patterns! *smile*
~ Paper plates for pans. I store our cooking pans with a paper plate between them to protect the non-stick surface from the bottom of the pan above it. Regular or heavy-duty paper, or foam plates work equally as well.
~ Safe knife drawer. We’ve had a problem with one toddler in particular staying out of the knife drawer in the kitchen. I don’t have counter top space to keep a knife block up there (and too many knives anyway), and there is a built-in place for knives in our kitchen drawers, so knives really need to be stored there. So my husband purchased some extremely powerful magnets online (from KJ Magnetics) and screwed them to the inside corners of the knife drawer front. Initially we tried a small pair of magnets, but that wasn’t strong enough to keep little toddler buddy out. So Bob changed then to a larger pair of magnets. Now it’s very strongly held closed and kids are safer. I actually can no longer open the knife drawer by the handle, I have to pull down on the front of the drawer front with both hands really hard to get it to open; but it’s worth it – knives put away out of sight & kids are safe. *smile*
~ Preheating serve ware. Before putting the steamed vegetables I’ve cooked in to the serving dish I need to use, I first fill that dish with the hottest tap water I can and let it sit for a couple minutes with the lid on while I do other things. I then empty the water, and when I put the food into the dish, cold ceramic does not suck the heat out of our hot vegetables, but rather heated ceramic keeps the food warm for us until it is served. Nice.
I also only keep about 13 sippy cups total; we don’t need more than that, so I don’t choose to manage more than that. *smile* We currently have 2 babies and 2 toddlers using sippy cups for milk, and each of those children has 2 cups in their own color, making 8 total (plus they do have a water bottle each, also, but those live on the kitchen table all day every day). Each child uses one cup all day long for milk, which is stored in the refrigerator between meals (they sip on water between meals). We run our dishwasher twice a day, once after breakfast and lunch, and once after dinner, so they don’t need more than 2 cups each. Plus I do keep 5 straw-lid cups for older kids to drink pop from when sitting in the family room on pizza night. But this is all we have – not tons of cups to manage. And we still have cups available for kid-company.
~ Rinse dishes until cleaned. We rinse all of our dirty dishes off completely before setting them in to the sink so that there is no food to put our hands in to later when we’re ready to load the dishwasher. There is no smell, no slime, and there is no scrubbing. In my opinion, this is an easy, time-efficient, and more pleasant way to load the dishwasher after cooking or after a meal. Then at the end of the meal who ever is loading can simply pick them up and load them straight in without hassle, a gross mess, and a lot of extra, unnecessary work.
~ Stove light reminder. Whenever we use the oven or the stove we always turn on the light under the hood at the same time. This way we ca always see when the heat/gas is on with the light and not risk leaving them on when they’re not being used and are unattended. And, other people who come in to the kitchen can see that the stove is on and be extra careful.
~ Forgotten item to the next appropriate list. I keep extra copies of our Master Grocery List printed from our computer in my file box on my desk in the kitchen, so that when I need a new list each week I can just grab one. Occasionally I need to pair-down our grocery list of desired items to just the necessities, and when I do this I’ll write down those additional grocery items on either the next week’s list, or more likely the next paycheck-day list, which maybe a couple of lists away in my file.
For example, my husband gets paid every two weeks, but I grocery shop every week. So if I’m shopping on the first Saturday after Friday pay-day, and I need to pair down my grocery list to necessities only then I’ll write those extra desired grocery items not on the next week’s list, which would be the second Saturday of a pay period, but on the list after that which would be pay-check week again. So when I go to get my next week’s grocery list those items won’t be on it as it’s the end of a pay period and not the time to purchase any extra things; but when I get the next grocery list after that, then those desired items are already on the list ready for me and not forgotten.
~ From “Ewww” to “Wow!” My mom told me about the best scrubbing agent ever! *cheer!* It’s called Bar Keeper’s Friend, and only costs about $2.00 for a larger container from Low’s or Home Depot. We let our kitchen sink get really stained so that we could show you what this product can do. I am not kidding you, it is really this good. (And no, this is not a paid product review)
And this product can be used on all sorts of other areas around the house (but please read the container instructions before using in your own home). I use it in the bathroom tub, toilet, sink, counter tops; on aluminum, glass, or brass cooking pots; and on my tea kettle.
~ “Condiments bottle” for dish soap. I purchase dish soap in large quantities at Costco, so I keep that huge container underneath the sink in the kitchen but fill an inexpensive, clear plastic ketchup bottle to have on hand at the sink edge. This keeps the soap handy for use, but without bulking up my small counter top with any large bottles.