Life hacks are quick, relatively easy, and fun things that make your life easier. However, simply looking at a photo with a small “Use a dust pan to…” doesn’t make your life much easier! Below are some detailed descriptions of several different life hacks and how to use them.
Becoming a Life Hacker
Take some time at the end of the day to think about what you did. Think about what points in your day were really inefficient, and what parts you did very efficiently. Think about how you could do that better, and try it out to see if it helps.
Maybe you spend too much time in the shower. You could avoid that by choosing a song to play while in the shower, and when that song is over, you have to get out.
Use Life Hacks on wikiHow. Search wikiHow for how to do these Life Hacks to get an even more detailed version. Many life hacks are on wikiHow.
Search YouTube for “Simple Life Hacks” to find even more life hacks than the ones listed here. You can see people actually building and doing Life Hacks.
Kitchen Life Hacks
Balance a wooden spoon over the top of a boiling pot to stop the bubbles from foaming over. It works because bubbles and foam created from boiling water are filled with steam. If the bubble touches something that has a temperature below 100°C, the steam will condense (change back into a liquid) and break the surface of the bubble.
Use a pants hanger as an inexpensive cookbook holder. Everyone’s beenthere: they’re trying to cook the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner, but have to keep running across the room to look at the cook book and end up burning the food. To avoid that, simply clip the book into the pants hanger, and hang it from any open cupboard handle.
Cover a beverage with wet paper towels and place it in the freezer. Wring the paper towels out slightly, so the water does not drip all over your freezer. Leave the drinks there for fifteen minutes, and by then, it will be ice-cold. Good if you are using a bottle, or have no ice in the freezer.
Put pancake batter in an old ketchup bottle. With the batter stored safely, you not only provide a mess-free counter, but can use it later without having to go through all the trouble of covering a bowl, then cleaning the drips from the counter and range. Use a funnel to get the pancake batter into the small opening. Bonus life hack: make the funnel from a bottle!
Use muffin tins to serve condiments at a BBQ. These small muffin bakerswill keep condiments separated from each other, so no
gross mustard-relish-mayonaise messes will occur. It also makes for an easy cleanup.
Use a straw to quickly and fully remove stems from strawberries. Not onlyis this method quicker and more efficient, it keeps all the extra strawberry you usually cut off intact. Start from the bottom, and push up until the stem pops out.
When making lemonade, use tongs to squeeze the lemon fully. Place half a lemon in between the two sides. Pull down on the sides usually meant for picking up meat. This will get almost all the juice out of a lemon. Clean fully afterwards.
Use dental floss to cut slices of soft things, such as cake, cheese, rolls, and fondant. The flexible string is thin enough to cut. Hold it tightly with two hands, and pull it through. This uses the same principle as using a wire to cut clay.
Use the top of a water bottle to keep bread from going stale. Cut the top off any water bottle, or juice bottle. Next, pull the top of the bag through the top of the water bottle. Fold the bag over the top of the bottle, then screw on the lid to make an air tight seal.
When dieting, use a smaller plate to eat less. It helps your mind to think there’s more food, and limits what you can pile on.
Make noodles in a coffee maker. The water will boil, softening the noodles and allowing you to cook them. Cook them the normal time you would in a pan. Do not cook sauce in the coffee maker, however. This also works for hot dogs.
Use plastic lids as coasters. Don’t have a coaster on hand? A plain lid can do wonders! Just place your drink on top and you’ve got a neat coaster. Make sure to clean before using.
Warm up leftover pizza in a cooking pan. This helps the pizza crust not become soft and dry.
When pouring milk in cereal, place your spoon upside down in the bowl. This will prevent the milk splashing all over the table and turning into a mess.
To remove the yolk from the egg, use a water bottle. Crack the egg, and squeeze the bottle slightly. Place the opening over the yolk, and the yolk will suddenly be sucked in.
Bed and Bath LifeHacks
Screw a magazine holder onto the back of a cabinet door to store the hair dryer. This is the perfect size, and will stay on. As an alternative, use Command Strips, or other sticky hooks that hold well.
Use coat hooks instead of towel rods to hang shared towels. These take up much less space, and actually hold large towels much better. It also helps them to dry faster.
Apply magnetic strips behind cabinet doors to hold tweezers, bobby pins,and other magnetic objects, like cosmetic brushes. Use sticky magnetic so as to not damage your walls. Make sure all your clips are magnetic before attempting this.
Place your reader in a ziplock bag so you can read without worrying. Before you try this in the bath tub, put a piece of paper inside the bag, then completely submerge it. If the paper is wet, then the bag is not completely water proof, and should not be used. Ziplock bags work the best.
Avoid elbow grease, and fit a scrub brush to a drill and use your favorite cleaner. This will scrub everything very well, and as Scrubbing Bubbles say, “We work hard so you don’t have to!”
Hang your lamp, if you have a tiny bedroom. This will save the space of having a bedside table, and will give off much more light. To make a DIY one: Buy some craft wire
Twist it using pliers
Attach Christmas lights to it
Make a low-profile hanging hamper. Instead of buying an ugly beige one, use colorful fabric and sew one using an embroidery hoop. Find a sack/sew a sack, then wrap the top around the embroidery hoop and sew.
When painting a room, pour in a tablespoon of vanilla extract to the paint. Stir it around and start painting. In the end, the room won’t smell like that terrible paint odor, but instead smell like pure vanilla.
Fashion Life Hacks
Waterproof your Toms (or any shoes). Take beeswax (the lubricating type), and rub it over your shoes. Make sure you cover every part on the outside, and regularly touch up if the beeswax is coming off. Use a blow dryer or any type of heat to melt the surface of the wax, therefore making it invisible.
Use a hair straightener as a collar iron. This method is much more easy and effective than taking out the full iron, waiting for it to heat, then putting everything away. Borrow your girlfriend’s/sister’s/wife’s straightener, or simply buy a cheap one from CVS or other pharmacy.
Try white wine to get out red wine stains. Gently blot with a cloth soaked in white wine to remove the stains. Test first on a piece of scrap fabric, in case it stains your clothes more.
Use Windex to restore patent leather shoes. Windex can be used to safely restore the sheen to patent shoes. Spray the affected area, then wipe gently until the stain/mark comes off.
Pair socks before washing and safety pin them together in the wash to avoid having to re-pair them. This will help avoid the single sock search around the house. Use a safety pin, or other device that is water safe and will stay on when tossed around.
Organizing and Cleaning Life Hacks
Use a clean dust pan to fill a container that doesn’t fit in the sink.Place the bucket or other large container on the floor directly in front of the sink. Place the larger end inside the sink, so that water can easily flow onto it. Place the handle sticking out of the sink, so that the water will fall into the bucket.
Use nail polish to paint your keys different colors to tell them apart. Instead of going to the locksmith’s and asking them to make colored copies of the keys, why not make brighter, more colorful, personalized, and free ones at home? Nail polish works better than other types of paint. Gel nail polish works the best, but any type will do.
Use a scarf/shoe hanger to organize your cleaning supplies, and keep them out of hungry little hands. The bottles fit perfectly, and if you get a mesh or clear pocketed one, you can even see the labels easily. Best of all, it takes up no floorspace whatsoever.
Use toothpaste to clear hazy headlights on car. Start by
putting a little toothpaste on a rag, and rubbing in circular motions, until done. With toothpaste, you may get 2-4 months out of it, unless you apply a wax, or something like Opti-coat, clear coat, or another sealant to your headlights to block the UV rays and keep them from getting hazy again. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive, so it naturally works well to polish things, and fill small scratches. Just don’t use any kind of toothpaste with cooling crystals or anything like that, as they will scratch the surface badly. Regular whitening toothpaste works fine.
Remove Sharpie. Use different removers for each type of object: For fabric: Use hand sanitizer.
For skin: Use rubbing alcohol
For walls: Use hairspray or toothpaste
For wood: Use rubbing alcohol
For carpet: Use white vinegar
For dry erase boards: Cover with white board marker.
For furniture: Use milk
For ceramic or glass: Use 1 part toothpaste, and 1 part baking soda.
Use a tennis ball to make an easy key holder. Cut a slit in a tennis ball. Add eyes, then attach a hooky velcro to the wall to attach the tennis ball. You can also use this as a towel holder, or a pen holder, or a letter holder.
At the end of your toothpaste, place a binder clip to get every bit. This can be useful when you are trying to squeeze every little bit of toothpaste by hand and can prevent waste going down the drain.
Soak crusty paint brushes in vinegar for half an hour. The chemicals cause the bristles to release and soften.
Make a dust pan from a milk gallon. Cut out the top of the handle, to the bottom of it. This can be useful if you lost your dust pan or need an (almost) free one.
Parenting Life Hacks
When the kids get too big for a crib, change it into a desk. Take out the mattress. Next, take one side out, and keep it for another kid/throw it out. Measure the size of the mattress, then find a chalkboard that fits. Add any hooks for supplies you want.
Keep kids from locking themselves in the bathroom. Tie a rubber band over the latch. Make an eight shape, then hook it over each knob.
To keep little feet from getting hurt on trampoline springs, cover them with pool noodles. Cut each pool noodle into quarters, then cut down one side of the noodle. It doesn’t have to be straight, but it helps if it does.This method also adds some bling to the trampoline!
Put a basket in the bathtub when your child is bathing so that the toys won’t flow away. This also provides a backrest your child can lean against, and sides to hold onto. Use one with holes on the smaller side so the smaller toys don’t float away.
Cover a play table in oilcloth to create a water-resistant outdoor picnic table. Buy a roll of oil cloth or plastic, and duct tape it to the table. You could also simply cover it with duct tape.
Make a fort or a makeshift changing room out of a sheet and a hola hoop. Fold the sheet in half, and loop it over the top. Tie it to a tree to keep it standing up.
Stick a dropper through an already cut pacifier to give medicine to babies. The baby will want to suck on it, and will not realize it is medicine. Make sure to completely clean the pacifier before giving it back to the baby.
Make a baby hammock using a sheet. Turn the sheet diagonally, then tie the ends over the table. Tie the other ends over the baby to help avoid falling babies.
Make a bracelet with your phone number on it for a child. Whenever you got in public with your child, have them wear they’re bracelet. If they ever get lost they can use the number on themselves to call for help.
Place a pool noodle under the sheets of a bed for kids who fall down. Place each pool noodle at the edge of the bed. Cover and tighten their bed with a sheet. Whenever you child is close to falling down they won’t, because of the protection of the pool noodle(s).
Use an inflatable pool as a play pen. Cover it with a blanket, and fill it with toys and pillows. The best type to buy is one with an inflatable bottom as to provide a soft space even when the baby walks.
School Life Hacks
If you have a school that blocks websites such as Youtube, going into Chrome’s “Incognito” mode will let you bypass that. Avoid using it too often, as then your secret will be out, and you will not be able to use it again.
To ace a test, review the hardest material before going to bed. Going to sleep right away consolidates the memory. Avoid cramming, but study hard!
Chewing the same flavor of gum you did while studying will help youremember the topic. When you clearly remember something (such as watermelon gum), you also remember what you were studying at the time.
Make double written notes. When you have a limit to one note card, fill up the entire index card with red ink. Then write over it with blue ink. Wear red/blue 3-D glasses and depending on what you want to read, close the corresponding eye. This is completely following the rules.
Use a dollar bill as ruler. Left your ruler at home but have a dollar bill on hand? Use that to measure instead. A dollar bill is about six inches long. Use with caution, and only use for approximate measurements.
Electronic Life Hacks
Use a spring from an old pen to keep your chargers straight. Avoid paying that extra $40 just to get a new charger by wrapping an old spring directly under the charger head to avoid wires popping out.
Use binder clips to fix a broken keyboard stand. Bend the clip to the two shiny extensions are facing opposite, then stick the black head into the square hole in the back. This should keep your keyboard titled slightly downwards.
Use binder clips to organize your cords. Clip them to the side of the table (or computer, book, etc.) Most of the commercially available cords have heads that are larger than the tops of the clips, so this should work with most, if not all of your cords. Say goodbye to the jumbled mess of tangled cords!
Use toilet rolls to organize cords in a box. For smaller cords, you can simply stick them inside a roll all tied up, and they’ll stay there. Larger cords can use them as “loop holders”. This is a great way to organize extension cords, chargers, headphone cords, or any other cords you may have.
Put your phone in a cup to boost the alarm sound. Tired of sleeping past your alarm? This will make the sound much louder. It’s the same principle as using a cup for a speaker. Put the phone so the speaker is face down.
Use an old cassette tape case as a stand for your iPhone or other smartphone. Fold the lid backwards, and place the case upside down. Bigger smartphones, such as the iPhone 6/6+, Galaxy Note 4 and the Nexus 6 may not fit.
Shopping Life Hacks
Get a refund on Amazon. If you buy something, and the price went downwithin 30 days, they will refund the amount it went down. Email them by going to customer service.
When shopping without kids, trace their feet before you go out. Cut out these traces. If they fit in the shoe, then your child’s feet will too.
If buying from Apple, add something to your cart, but don’t buy it yet. Leave it there for 7-10 days. By then, they will give you a 15-20% discount.
When shopping online for plane tickets, clear your cache. Airline companies will see what you’re searching and raise prices. You can save $50.
Carry all your bags up the stairs in one trip using a “Mommy Hook”. Many people are physically capable of carrying all of the bags, except the plastic digs into their hands. With the hook, it provides a soft surface to hold onto.
Instead of buying expensive canvases for your kids to paint on, use a clean pizza box. Many companies are willing to give an extra pizza box. The ones that are colored white (like from Domino’s) work the best, but any colored one does well.
Miscellaneous Life Hacks
If you’re out camping, and can’t find any kindling, use Doritos. Whenyou’re in the middle of nowhere, and have limited supplies, Doritos make great kindling. Cheetos, Fritos, and the others like that also burn well. The reason they burn is because it’s basically pure hydrocarbons (which burn) soaked in fat (which burns). Maybe another life hack would be to stop eating them?
To stop kids from dripping on their popsicle, use a cupcake holder. This quick and easy method only requires one holder. The ones with tinfoil on the edges work best, but any type will do.
Tie extension cords to keep them from unplugging. Tie them in a knot first, then plug in the ends. This should keep one end from pulling out.
Keep your valuables safe at the beach by hiding them inside a sunscreen bottle. Use all the sunscreen, then clean out the bottle by rinsing it, putting it in the dishwasher, or soaking it to get rid of all the oils. Make sure to use an inconspicuous bottle so you don’t attract attention.
If a bee ever lands on you, blow on it instead of slapping or shooing it. That way, the bee will not feel as threatened to sting. When being blown, bees will most likely think the wind is moving.
Put your phone under gatorade (or any liquid of similar properties). Unlock your smartphone’s screen, or use a flashlight app if desired. Place the phone beneath the Gatorade bottle. Your surrounding environment should immediately become much brighter, thanks to the bottle’s light-distributing qualities. The Gatorade bottle will send your phone’s light beams out in a wider range, helping to illuminate a larger-than-expected sized area around itself. You can use a full bottle of Gatorade and create colored lights.
If you forgot your spoon, use a tinfoil on fashioned out of the lid. Roll the tinfoil into a line, then unravel the end, making it into a spoon shape.
Before starting any project, gather all needed materials.
These life hacks are by no means the only life hacks out there. Do not be limited by the ones listed here. Make up your own!