I’m a fan of hacks, but the really simple ones, not some of those you see on 5-minute crafts (some are so daft). These are hacks I’ve been using myself or plan on using in the future. So, here are some hacks that make life easier.
Baking soda—the OG of hacks
I also know it as bicarbonate of soda. If you have some kind of household problem, there is a 90% chance that baking soda is going to help with it. Stain you can’t get out? Baking soda. Stinky shoes? Baking soda. Blocked drain? Baking soda (plus vinegar).
Anyway, here are a few others.
Conditioner as shaving cream
I can’t remember the last time I bought or used shaving cream, because I usually use the razor on my bare skin. Don’t do that, it’s so bad for you. I think this is a great hack, and I have used it before. It leaves your skin soft.1
Avoid dull razors
First, don’t use your razors on your bare skin (bad Michelle). Second, you’ll want to rust away from your razors, so it’s best to store them in a dry place—aka, not the bathroom. Also, you can store them in a container with olive oil that covers the blades. It will keep the rust away.1
DIY cooking spray
Honestly, I’ve never used cooking spray that much, just because my mom never used it. I just used oil and then spread it around with a paper towel, which honestly can get messy. So, what you can do is to get a spray bottle and pour your oil in there (won’t work for coconut oil though). Then it’s basically cooking spray—voila!1
Vinegar as a cleaning agent
If you don’t like using harsh chemicals to clean your home, consider using white vinegar. You can use it to clean stainless steel appliances (just dry it properly to prevent spots), countertops, and even the microwave. To use vinegar for cleaning, dilute it with two parts water for one part vinegar.1
Cinnamon for ants
If you’re struggling with an ant problem, cinnamon is there for the rescue. Apparently, ants don’t like cinnamon and won’t cross it. I wish I knew this in South Africa where we always had ants.1
Prevent peanut butter that separates
Just store your peanut butter jars upside down and it will (mostly) prevent the peanut butter from separating.2
I am Wonder Woman. As in, I wonder where I left my glasses. I wonder where I left my keys. And now I’m wondering where I left my will to live.
Anyway, to ensure that you remember where you put something, say it out loud, like “I’ve put my glasses on the bedside table.”2
If you’re struggling to decide on something, like between two things, flip a coin to decide. As the coin is in the air, you will wish for the outcome you really want.2,3
Easier said than done, though. Life is messy.
Another memory hack
If you don’t want to forget to take something with you when you go somewhere or leave the house. Put your house or car keys on it, or even your cell phone—basically anything that you always have with you.2
Shine some light on it
If there’s a power outage at night (I’m looking at you South Africa), you can use a water bottle as a light diffuser. You can place it next to a mirror to light up the room more.4,5
Kitchen inspiration for organising
Ice cube trays work super well for organising small things, like jewellery or small office supplies like paper clips. It will fit in most drawers and it makes it super easy to get hold of your stuff.6
I wish I could put up magnetic strips in our bathroom and kitchen (but I can’t because of the lease contract). Anyway, if you are allowed to put up magnetic strips in your house, it’s amazing. You can use it to keep your bobby pins in order, or just keep them, because those things always go missing somehow. I’d really love to put up ones in the kitchen to keep the knives in order. I realise that makes me sound like a serial killer, but I’m not. I’m just a wannabe neat freak.6
If you’re short on time, washing pegs, and hate ironing, hang your T-shirts and shirts on hangers and let them dry like that. If you’re afraid the shirt will fly off, just fasten it to the hanger with a peg. This hack has saved me a ton of time and frustration because your shirts come off the clothing line with much fewer wrinkles.
This one seems obvious, but I’ve never thought of doing it. If your phone is running out of juice, turn off the Wi-Fi (or just go full airplane mode) and your phone will charge much quicker.3,5
Reseal? No problem!
A quick way to reseal a bag of chips (pasta, spices, flour, etc.) is to use a clothing peg. I fold the bag so that no moisture can come in and lock it in place with a clothing peg. Easy peasy.5
If you want to spot your suitcase easily at the airport pickup mat, just tie a bright-coloured ribbon somewhere on the suitcase—probably the handle. I’ve tried it, I spotted the bright orange from a mile away.5
More cupboard space
Actually, this hack also works when you have to pack your suitcase for travelling. If you want to save space in your cupboard or suitcase, just roll up your clothes.5
If you struggle to focus on the task at hand, try putting on noise-cancelling headphones and putting on some concentration music. I do it, and it really works like a charm.5
If you want to save money, try paying for things in cash. This is great because you get a better sense of how much money you’re spending. Also, you can’t just order stuff online, and that, in turn, may discourage you from buying stuff because going to the shops can be a schlep.5
Are there any life hacks that you use regularly? I’d love to read about them in the comments.
I used these sources: