Creative Genius: “Handy Ma’am” Janell Inez

Creative Genius: The Handy Ma'am Janell Inez

Janell Inez finds ingenious solutions to her kids’ messiest problems.

We all have that friend: She can produce a solution to the worst of household predicaments at the drop of a hat, making everyone around her stop and say, “How did she do that?” Lucky for us, in the second season of her ulive series “Handy Ma’am,” Janell Inez is giving her viewers the tools they need to be that friend.

What can people expect in season 2?

They will discover new ways of approaching the same thing they’re always doing. Our worlds aren’t always perfect, especially being a busy mom — sometimes you’re running a little late, sometimes you’re out of what you thought you had.

Creative Genius: The Handy Ma'am Janell Inez

Kids can get chewing gum in the weirdest places. In this episode, Janell teaches you how to get gum out of anything!

Where do you get your ideas?

With 3 kids, you don’t really have the luxury of “I need a few hours to think about this.” You have to think quick on your feet! That’s the great thing about the internet.

I don’t profess to do all these things myself, but there’s a lot of blogging out there and a lot of people posting things. Sometimes those things don’t work or directions are totally different from experiencing it visually. So I take a little of this, a little of that, and make some new magic. I’m like the seal of approval; I’m going to test it out, and you can see it work.

Is there a go-to trick you’ve discovered since starting the show?

The salmon in the dishwasher is my all-time favorite because I’m a mom that’s on the go. I’m doing my own things. My 3 kids are doing their own things, and it’s huge for us to sit down as a family and have dinner. It’s like the only time we can breathe and say “I love you” without anything else going on. So after running all these errands, I get to come home and cook dinner in the dishwasher in the time it takes my kids to shower. Then, all you have to do is plate it and reheat it. That is the absolute best.

How was the response to that one?

Sometimes people get grossed out by things. I’m cooking in places that you would never think to cook. Let’s just be real, there’s different levels of moms out there — there’s single moms, financially challenged moms.  There are clever ways that we can take care of our family and multitask not just what we do but how we use things in our homes depending on our lifestyles – You can use your dishwasher and, as you see in the second season, you can also use your coffeepot.

“Handy Ma’am” is very much about you being a mom on-the-go. Give us a couple of your favorite tricks. 

My favorites usually involve the kids.  Like using WD-40 to get crayon off the wall. It’s like I can color with the kids on the walls now!

I don’t like clutter, and I know that’s kind of impossible having three kids. Our kitchen is in the front of our house, and I don’t want people to see a chalkboard and magnets when they walk in. So we painted the inside of our pantry door with chalkboard paint, and it’s also magnetized. So now I can write my little list, put down who’s gonna do the kitchen tonight, we can put the kids’ magnets, their pictures — you know all that stuff that’s in the space but hidden.

Creative Genius: The Handy Ma'am Janell Inez

Janell is a master at getting the kids involved. This is her daughter, Journey, helping get gum out of Barbie’s hair.

Any tips for parents who want to get their kids more involved around the house?

Make it fun! The sillier you are with your kids, the more they’re going to want to hang out with you — up until a certain age, of course. We have to teach them to organize. As messy as some kids are, they want to be able to find their stuff. If we create a happy space for them and they take part in it, they’re more apt to follow that rule.

What’s your favorite episode in season 2? 

I don’t want to give away the surprise, but I’m going to blow your mind with how to peel things. Your peeling experience will be changed forever! Some of the things I find are genius, and people need to know that they exist.

The Creative Genius series on Made + Remade features fabulous DIYers and makers who inspire us. Meet more Creative Geniuses and help us share the spirit of DIY!

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About Hannah B. Slaughter 

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I’m a graphic designer for HGTV and DIY who loves taking something old, making it new and then adding sparkle. Weekend activities include thrifting with my handsome husband, writing for ...

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