5 Sanity-Saving Hacks for Seattle Parents

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Family life is busy, and with the start of the school year on the horizon, it’s even busier. Between after school activities, trying to get a dinner on the table, and carving out time for family fun, there’s barely a minute to spare. If you’re feeling pressed for time, these Seattle-area companies can simplify your hectic routine and maybe even give you back a few minutes of much-needed family time. From dinner hacks to an easy way to sell your stuff, pepper your life with these Seattle parent hacks when you need a minute.

This article is sponsored by InnovAsian Cuisine, a world-class provider of pre-packaged, frozen Asian component meals, appetizers and sides. From the freezer aisle to your kitchen table, your kiddos can enjoy a delicious meal in less than 20 minutes. Made with quality white meat chicken and flavorful chef-crafted sauces, InnovAsian Cuisine offers restaurant-quality meals that will delight the whole family. Click here for inspiration for your next dinner.

a woman holds two stacked cardboard boxes to sell

courtesy Sella

When unused stuff is piling up…

It’s amazing how much gear kids require. From their first bucket carseat through their last pair of soccer cleats, there’s a constant flow of outgrown and no-longer-used stuff cycling through our homes. Who has the time to sort through the piles and pass them along, donate them or try to sell them online? That’s what inspired one Pacific Northwest dad to create Sella. An online service that pairs busy families with expert sellers so you can “turn your clutter into cash.” The process is pretty simple. Gather up all that unused Kindle, the baby carrier your kiddo has outgrown, or the baby monitor you don’t need anymore, because baby (finally!) sleeps through the night. Then ship it all out to Sella. They take it from there, snapping pics, listing it on different sites, and writing the listing. All that’s left is for you to approve the listing and wait for it to sell. What will you do with all that free time and space?

Insider Tip: Sella has plans to launch locally in Seattle so parents can drop-off items in person soon, but for now mail-in is how to get things done.

Find out more: hellosella.com

kids reading books on the couch upside down together


When your bookshelf needs a boost…

How lucky are we that Seattle is home to so many amazing indie bookstores? Some love to leave new books in Free Little Libraries around town. Some host storytimes and author meet and greets for kids. Others help parents keep their kid’s bookshelf fresh with a monthly subscription box. We’re big fans of Phinney Books’ Phinney By Post Kids program that delivers a new picture book to your doorstep monthly or every other month. What could be easier? The books are aimed at kids ages birth through five, and are hand-selected by the discerning staff at Phinney Books. While they have a lot things they take into consideration when selecting the books, the one that matters most to parents is that your kids will want to read it over and over and over again.

Insider Tip: If you’re short on time, but aren’t quite sold on a new book a month, call your local bookstore to get recommendations. Trust us, they know their stuff and have spot-on picks for every kid.

Find out more: phinneybooks.com

Related: 7 Great Indie Bookstores for Pint-Sized Bookworms

When your kiddo needs something new to do…

If you’ve got a toddler you know how quickly they move from one toy to the next. They’re a physical embodiment of the “ohh! squirrel!” phenomenon. And while we know how much you’d love to spend all day playing dress-up, reading stories, or heading out on the next pretend Paw Patrol rescue with them, there’s only so much time in a day to play. Enter Sensa Play Rentals, a parent-owned, Seattle company that makes gorgeous sensory play kits for kids, delivers them to your door, and even picks them up one week later. It’s what every kid wants (and every parent needs).

Find out more: facebook.com/SensaPlayRentals

Related: 11 Totally Useful Delivery Services Seattle Parents Need

When you need to get dinner on the table….

This Tukwila-based company has been helping Seattle families get dinner on the table since 1998. For those nights when sports, or theater, or working late leave you pressed for time, you can grab an Innovasian frozen protein, choose a family-friendly recipe, and have dinner ready in around 30 minutes. Inventive dinner ideas, like Asian Chicken & Waffles or Simple and Easy Spam Musubi are kid crowd-pleasers that fill them up just in time to shuttle them out the door (or maybe off to bed?) again.

Insider Tip: Follow them on Instagram for creative ways to use Innovasian’s entrees, sides, and apps.

Find out more: eatinnovasian.com

When you missed your trip to the Farmer’s Market…

Although you had high hopes for your pandemic garden, it’s a little overgrown at this point. And strolling the Farmer’s Market just isn’t in the cards this week. Let local Seattle farmers help get fresh produce from their fields to your fridge when you sign up for a fall or winter CSA share. In fact, it’s the right time to sign up for the next share with local farms like Skylight Farms, Local Color Farm & Fibre, Jubilee and Full Circle. (Hint: These are just a few of the local area farms growing fresh veggies right now). Then it’s as easy as picking them up on your way home from work (or after your last playdate) to have your fridge stocked for the week ahead.

Related: Unbox Farm-Fresh Produce, Flowers (& More) with These Seattle CSAs

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