Lifehacks – Summer 2023 edition

Another summer and I have more energy and there’s more daylight to Get Things Done. Here’s what’s been going on around the house lately.

Pouches storage system

Unexpected.Blessings posted a reel when she was preparing to move from MI to TX and I got those pouches quickly. Half a year later, I still have only used three of the 10 or 12 I bought and gave two to MY to store any of her things. But I’ve got it at the ready for something that qualifies. For example, I thought I might put puzzle pieces but decided it was better in the box. I may change my mind later!

Shoehorn believer

I got Vessi runners (the Everyday Move style, versus the Everyday Classic that I’ve had for years) and basically find putting on shoes troublesome and leaning over – and usually I’ve already put on a cross-body purse – is frought with the risk of spilling things. Enter the shoehorn. I would love a long one I don’t even have to lean over but what I have right now is a gorgeously vintage shoe set of my late grandfather’s and it’s doing the trick.

Black-out blinds (shades)

Finally got black-out blinds – if we didn’t get them for so long why now ….. Kiddo’s were done back in 2015 or so and haven’t looked back, no regrets since. Baby’s sleep so is so bad (she tires so late) and the longer days (and subsequently shorter days) don’t help so NPY finally decided on a black out blinds solution because Temu delivers to Canada and has the best deals. Except they sent someone else’s items and we ended up ordering two panels from Amazon instead for about $5 more each 117″ x 59″ panel. He might make the decision to go ahead with “blinds” and which style (the cheapest, most temporary) but I’m the one who used the measurements to decide how they would hang, how many panels and basically all the work of putting them up.

No black out. Try to sleep to this!
The first and easiest panel is up – only need to trim the length, from the original 117″ x 59″ to 78″ x 59″.
The only choices for this size was black or black with stars, no white or gray. We’d cover it with our blinds anyhow.
Early morning light effectively blocked out by the panel that’s up.
The second panel required cutting the second 117″ x 59″ sheet down in length and width, to 78″ x 48″. It was funny how a middle window pane strip was still letting light through.
From the pieces that remained, there was plenty but I needed a 32″ x 78″ panel and had to put together two pieces because nothing I had was as long as 78″ that was as wide as 32″). The last panel adheres to the thicker window frame as opposed to the windows.

Like a metaphor for life: you had to experience darkness (or stillness) in order to see where the light is still coming through.

Storage room organization

Like with the black-out sheets, NPY says something vague about a need to tidy it up and I put it in motion, getting three-shelf racks on sale from Canadian tire, directing him to pick them up after a day in the office.

I ordered two three-level wire shelves from Canadian Tire and caught a sale (yay) whose dimension are 23.3″ D x 13.3″ W x 30.75″ H. I couldn’t have more than two feet wide for the space between shoe rack and the Billy bookcase on the left side or on the right side or the door wouldn’t open all the way, so the four- and five-shelf racks were not an option. Further, the higher racks would also be deeper and jut more into the middle. I would simply have to use the wall space above, to hang things that are bulky but light.

To create a “fourth level” on one of the shelves, I used two of the clear storage bins with snap lids that I got as a multi-pack from the Costco warehouse.

From an extra-large Command hook on the left wall, I hung up a cooler bag with zipper a bag full of balls (soccer ball, volleyball, basketball).

To be clear, it wasn’t a decluttering exercise although I did move things from the cardboard box they were delivered in to boxes on shelves and reduced some cardboard boxes, but more one of changing from everything being stacked on the floor and unstable to more (most) items off the floor and thus more stable.

Metaphor for life: Sometimes things have to get worse before it gets better. Keep at it.

Storing book sets

Baby loves the photo books that I’ve created only starting her birth year and only this year caught up and did 2019. But the 5″x5″ books and those McDonald’s Happy Meal books are so small they would get swallowed up and lost in the bookshelf. Earlier on, I turned over a cute colourful box that is part of a paper-based stacking toy set and put the McDonald’s books. And I was reluctant to throw away the cute Sanrio branded box from a box of A-Sha noodles and I don’t have to!

For the photo books, there is room to grow while the McDonald’s book box is nearly full. It happens. Some of these solutions are not permanent but finding a home for them that makes sense is what the kids need to understand where things go during clean-up time.

Those clear acrylic boxes

Decanting your food purchases into those clear acrylic cases makes it Instagram worthy and, well, visual. During the flex room clean-up, I picked through the bag of candy procured from Hallowe’en, threw away anything off-brand and too sticky and put the gummies in one box and empty various other small boxes. It’s not all lined up pretty but when I need to grab one processed food item daily for his lunch box, it’s all there and not accessing separate boxes. Some of my mental load is remembering which of the chocolate stuff wheat roll, Bear Paw, Made Good granola bar, Hallowe’en candy and rice crispy square comes next in the rotation!

I got the four-piece iDesign set from Costco because it’s the best deal.

Also, there is certainly enough snacks that I should not buy more just because I see a flyer sale!!

Life jacket storage

Where to store life jackets where we somehow now have three despite only using them a few times a year? Possibly in the flex room on the wall but since it’s used infrequently and since it’s super easy to access above the other things in the storage locker downstairs, the storage locker won.

NPY gets to borrow wet and sweaty life jackets. Baby finally gets Kiddo’s who isn’t technically too heavy but is too tall for the Paw Patrol and I got his from Costco (miss the $5 off sale by a couple of weeks, darn) and mine is from Canadian Tire although I wish now I got a cropped one.

On this day..