23 Holiday Hacks Every Mom Needs to Know
'Tis the season for holiday prep — and clean up — and with it, plenty of organizational chaos. We've rounded up 23 little life hacks designed to make every mom's holiday season just a little less stressful. From DIY gifts that the kids can help out with to the easiest way to feed (and fill up) a crowd, this is one you'll want to bookmark and come back to all season long.
— Additional reporting by Lisa Horten
Organize Holiday Wrapping Paper and Save Space
If rolls of paper come flying out of your closet every time you open the door, you'll appreciate this easy trick. Grab an empty hanging bag — it doesn't even have to be clear — stick the rolls in it and hang the bag in the back of your closet. Problem solved!
DIY the Cutest Gift Packaging
Borrow a handful of your kids' plastic animal figurines, and use them to make these chic mason jar canisters inspired by Etsy — perfect for gifting small trinkets and treats.
No Tape? No Problem.
Scour your office or junk drawer for other solutions, like mailing seals.
Upcycle a Menorah
Turn your old toilet paper rolls into a flame-free menorah for the kids to celebrate the Hanukkah holiday with.
Keep Holiday Lights Tangle Free
Rather than dump your lights into a box until next year, grab a piece of cardboard and wrap the lights around them. You'll be amazed how easily this keeps things organized!
In a pinch to jazz up a gift but short on supplies? Follow Homemaking Hacks's simple instructions to create a mod bow out of duct tape.
Put Sweaters on Your Pillows
The perfect solution for an old sweater that was otherwise headed to the trash or giveaway bin? These relatively easy sweater slipcovers.
Keep Garland Knot-Free
An empty water bottle is the perfect place to store your beaded garland. Simply lower the garland into the bottle and watch it "pour" out knot-free when you're ready to decorate next year!
Keep Ribbon Rolls Tangle-Free
Ever wonder how stores keep their ribbon tangle free? They keep it on a bar. A simple hanger will do the trick for the rest of us! Place your rolls on a hanger and watch your desk and drawer space clear up instantly!
Have a Snowball Fight — Even If You Live in Florida
Skip the chill of real snow, and instead whip up a batch of this supereasy cornstarch and veggie oil substitute for some indoor (or outdoor) snow-day fun.
Score Bonus Points With This Easy Thematic Gift Wrap
Start with plain white or brown kraft paper for this fun series of kid-focused themed gift wrap ideas from Lines Across.
Light Up With DIY Dixie Cup Garland
Never thought that Dixie cups could look this chic? Us either! But all it takes is a string of Christmas lights and a drugstore box of paper cups to make this festive, all-occasion garland.
Keep Little Feet Warm (and Slip-Proof)
Call off your search for special nonslip slippers for your little ones, and instead upgrade the pairs they currently own with Prudent Baby's easy hot-glue-gun solution.
Make Sure Your Big Bows Keep Their Shape
When storing your wreaths and other bow-festooned decor, Martha Stewart recommends using cardboard tubes (from paper towel or toilet paper rolls) wrapped in paper towels to maintain the bow's shape.
Keep Your Beautiful Mess to a Minimum
We love the idea of confining craft time to a foil-lined cookie sheet or tray for minimal cleanup. So smart!
The Safest Way to Clean Up Party Mishaps
Every good party has a casualty of some sort, and if yours happens to come in the form of a broken glass, employ this safe method for cleaning up the wreckage.
Maximize Your Luggage Space For Holiday Travel
Make the most of your suitcase's space by rolling clothes instead of folding and stacking them.
Store Your Tree the Easy Way
Not thrilled about the idea of having to take apart your tree to store it for next year? Never fear, a simple roll of plastic wrap will do the job for you. Just roll the entire (fake) tree in plastic — ornaments, lights, and all — and you're good to go until next year!
Feed a Crowd With Crockpot Soup
The easiest (and most economical) way to feed a crowd? With a big pot — or better yet, crockpot — full of hearty soup. This butternut squash soup is a festive seasonal classic.
Cook Your Turkey in a Crockpot
Really, try it! Since you won't be checking on the turkey every 20 minutes, you'll actually be able to enjoy time with your family.
Organize Your Gift Wrap Station
Cut toilet paper rolls through the middle, and wrap them around your tubes of wrapping paper to keep things in place and prevent them from unrolling.
Store Ornaments in Egg Crates
Skip a trip to Target or The Container Store for those fancy ornament storage bins, and instead rely on empty egg crates to ensure their safekeeping at the end of the season.
Make Paint-Chip Ornaments
Transform paint chips from your last home improvement project into DIY ornaments (or gift tags).