The $5 Organizing Hack Every Parent Needs to Know About

published Aug 31, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

My first nephew’s first word was “Grino.” This is not a variation on green; rather, it is an abbreviation of Pellegrino, the sparkling water that my parents always have stocked in their refrigerator. My other nephews (there are three) and my niece all have a penchant for fancy carbonated water. They drink a lot of it — and they can go through a lot of cups in the process.

My parents, very smartly, came up with a solution to this problem: special cups for each of their grandchildren. One has a cup with a lion on it, the other one has the elephant cup… and so on.

This can work if your little one is attached enough to their cup. It’s also possible, they’ll drink from the cup, leave it in the basement, and then want more water (sparkling or still — or maybe juice?) and that special cup is nowhere to be found.

The answer to this particular dilemma is magnets. Yes, magnets.

Take that dedicated cup, use a dab of hot glue or superglue to attach two magnets to the outside of the cup, and you’ve got a vessel that can be stored on the refrigerator door. This is the special place for the special cup. It belongs here when it’s not in use. Tell your kiddos to put their cup on the refrigerator whenever they’re done with it. If it’s not there when they’re thirsty, have them go retrieve it and put it there! It’s their cup! They know what to do with it!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Obviously, magnets can be choking hazards, so use a large-diameter version, and also be extra vigilant with checking that it stays secure.

You’ll save yourself the hassle of a million gazillion dirty cups each day and, honestly, your kids will probably love it, too. How smart is that?

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Note: We recommend giving cups a quick check every once in a while for cleanliness, especially if they’re using them for things other than water. And if they’re not using that cup on the regular, check it for dust — or just turn it upside down to keep the dust from settling.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: The 1-Minute Organizing Hack Every Parent Needs to Know About