Sure, the world is beset by large-scale problems like the threat of nuclear war, global warming, widespread famine, and I dunno, the continuous dumbing down of our culture by so-called influencers on Twinstagramsnap or whatever the kids are into these days. (Just kidding about that last part – sort of).
But hey, daily life isn’t exactly fuss-free either. Pots boiling over, forgetting to put your beer or soda bottles in the fridge overnight, or accidentally pounding your fingers while trying to nail something down are but some of the pesky little annoyances that most of us have to contend with.
Thankfully, unlike world hunger or nuclear war, there is something us ordinary people can do about the aforementioned everyday hindrances. They’re called life hacks, and not only are they quite easy and cheap, but they also get the job done. So, the next time you find yourself in a bind, here are a handful you can try:
1.) To make a toasted sandwich, put two slices of bread into one toaster slot. This makes the outer layers warm and toasty while keeping their interiors soft and chewy.
2.) Forgot to put your beer or soda in the fridge? Moisten a paper towel, wrap it around the bottle, then stick the whole lot in the freezer for fifteen minutes for some instant chilling.
3.) Play the 5-2-1 game whenever you and your friends or significant other can’t decide where to eat. This is how it goes: you give five restaurants, they pick two from there, and then you make a selection from the narrowed-down options.
4.) Add one teaspoon of baking soda to the water when you’re making hard-boiled eggs. This makes the shells come off much easier.
5.) If you drink a lot of iced coffee, use coffee ice cubes instead of regular ones so that your drink doesn’t get watered down. To make them, brew a strong pot of coffee, let cool to room temperature, pour into an ice cube tray, and then freeze overnight. Use as needed.
Household Chores and Repairs
1.) Put a few old newspaper sheets at the bottom of your trash can. These will absorb waste liquids like excess oil or fruit/veggie fluids, and make clean-up a breeze.
2.) Dropped your earring on the floor? Fit an old stocking over one end of your vacuum cleaner, and then do a quick sweep. The suction from the vacuum can draw in small items (e.g., earrings), while the stocking prevents them from getting sucked in. (You may just find other heretofore lost treasures in the process apart from your earrings, as a bonus).
3.) Clean a blender more efficiently by filling it halfway through with water, and then squirting some dish soap in. Cover the pitcher, and then blitz the mixture vigorously for a couple of minutes. Afterwards, all you need to do is rinse it out and let it dry.
4.) Save your fingers by holding a sturdy clothespin to hold a nail in place the next time you need to hammer something into the floor or wall.
5.) Organize your box of tangled cords with empty toilet paper tubes. Roll up each cord and then place it inside a tube, and then line up the filled tubes in a box. You can even label each tube to indicate the purpose of the cords contained within.
1.) Is your printer out of black ink? You can temporarilychange the font color to #010101, which is 99% grey. This will allow you to print your document/s in a pinch.
2.) Need a unique password that you won’t forget? Try using the serial number on the back of your watch or smartphone. Should you lose either of them, their respective manuals or warranty papers should still contain their serial numbers.
3.) Save your resume or CV in pdf form rather than in .doc form so that the original formatting is retained when you send it out to potential employers or clients.
4.) Follow the 2-minute rule to fight procrastination (and to do your future self a favor): if it only takes 2 minutes to do it, don’t put it off. This includes making your bed, putting the laundry away, and replying to an important email.
5.) Got crumbs and other fluff stuck in the crevices of your keyboard? Take a used sticky note and run its tacky edges between the keys for a quick clean-up job.
1.) Tie a brightly-colored ribbon or piece of fabric to your suitcase’s handle. This helps you spot it from a mile away on the conveyor belt, especially if your luggage is the same color and make as most people’s.
2.) Put your hotel’s complimentary scented soaps to good use by slipping them into your bags of dirty laundry so that they don’t stink up the rest of your belongings.
3.) Hide your emergency money in an empty sunscreen bottle or lip balm tube to keep it safe from pickpockets or thieves. Be sure to clean and dry the containers first!
4.) Place your charger cords and cables in an old sunglasses case or pencil case when traveling for easy access.
5.) Whenever you visit a new location, upload a new soundtrack on your phone, preferably one you haven’t heard before. In the future, you’ll be vividly reminded of each trip whenever you listen to the songs on their respective soundtracks, making the experience even more memorable and easier to relive.
1.) Prop your phone up on your folded-up sunglasses or spectacles whenever you want a hands-free viewing experience.
2.) Make use of the five-second rule when walking your dog on a hot day. Place your palm on the pavement and try to hold it there for five seconds. If you can’t, that means it’s too hot to walk your dog.
3.) Hit the “s” key to skip the intro when you’re watching Netflix on a computer.
4.) Take a photo of people’s business cards before you stow them away so you still have their contact details even if you lose the card.
5.) Apply different colors of nail polish to your keys to quickly differentiate what they’re for at a glance.
They say that the simplest solutions to most problems are often the best ones, and a quick scan of the life hacks listed above seems to confirm just that. And okay, they might not necessarily help cure epidemics or solve world hunger, but they can certainly bring you closer to your best life, and who’s to say that such a goal is less profound or meaningful, eh?