Love ’em or hate ’em, lifehacks are here to stay. Personally, I love them. Even when they aren’t directly useful to me, I just enjoy seeing people use everyday things in clever new ways.
None of these hacks are going to change the world, but if one of them solves someone’s problem and makes a day suck a little less, I think they’re worth it.
1. If you find yourself lacking a cupholder, a shoe can work in a pinch.
You’ll need to avoid major bumps while you drive, or else wedge the shoe between the seats to keep it from tipping. This also works if the to-go cup is too big for your regular cupholders.
2. Adjustable headrests can hold your phone on a road trip.
That way, you can lean back and watch a video instead of bending your neck to look down.
Just don’t go adjusting the driver’s seat without their permission first. That’s terrible road trip etiquette.
3. If you need to hang up the coats of a large crowd, a stool can be used to expand your hooks.
Just add some dollar store plastic hangers and you won’t need to worry about a nest of wet coats being built on your bed.
4. Can’t find your lint roller? Some masking tape wrapped backward around you fingers can help.
The low-tack of masking tape mimics a lint roller in that it’s just sticky enough to pick up dust and fur without damaging the fabric it’s stuck to.
5. If you lose the fly button on your pants, a paperclip can preserve your decency for a few hours.
Just thread it through one of the holes from the lost button and then again through the actual button hole.
6. Tie fabric around the neck of a spray bottle when travelling to prevent accidents.
The fabric cushion will prevent the trigger from being pulled by the random jostling of your bag. An old t-shirt or rag works perfectly. It’ll help get you where you’re going without going insane.
7. Want to feed the birds but not the local rodents? Use a Slinky.
By stringing it over the feeder’s post, chipmunks and other critters won’t be able to make the climb and your local birds won’t go hungry.
8. Stop tripping on laces that are too long by tucking the loops under the criss-crossed laces.
This works especially great for cyclists, since it’ll prevent the laces from getting tangled in the pedals or chain.
9. Properly sweeten an iced tea or coffee by making a quick simple syrup.
Sugar will fall to the bottom of a cold drink, so instead, add it to the cup first with just enough hot water to dissolve it all. Then pour your cold drink on top and swirl.
10. Restore your vacuum’s suction with a wire hanger.
Straighten the hanger into a rough hook and use it to pull the dust bunnies and hair from the suction holes and hoses. And don’t forget to clean the filters. It’ll work like new!
11. Use an over-the-door shoe organizer to keep your cables in check.
Don’t do what I do and just toss them in a random box in the basement and forget what’s down there. I only end up buying more cables I already have and then adding those to the same box. It’s a vicious cycle.
12. Always pull the right notebook from your bag by writing the subject on the edge of the pages.
That way you don’t have to take them all out just to find the one you need.
13. Fold your plastic bags to take up minimal storage space.
Sure, we’re trying to transition away from disposable plastic shopping bags, but there’s no denying that we’ve got a ton lying around. From lining trash bins to picking up after your dog, they’re easy to reuse, but they can make a mess.
If you don’t want to invest in a bag gadget, try this handy folding trick shared by KristinM5 on Instructables.
Once you’ve mastered it, you can add this step to unpacking your groceries. It’s a few seconds that’ll save you a lot of space.
14. Make a DIY scrubbing board to get your makeup brushes clean.
This was shared by PrinzoyaC on Instructables and I love how frugal it is. Use any plastic tray and add bumps and squiggles with hot glue. This will give you a surface rough enough to get makeup out of all the bristles without ruining your brushes.
15. Use old newspapers as weed barriers in garden beds.
You could buy fabric weed barriers, but why spend that money when your attempts to go paperless are thwarted by the weekly fliers that seem immune to a “No Junk Mail” sign?
Newsprint laid down between the soil and mulch layers will fend off weeds and is biodegradable.
16. Use a lemon and some salt to clean your cutting board.
No need for special cleaners, and using soap on a wooden cutting board isn’t great anyway. Instead, coat the board in lemon juice, sprinkle with salt, and then use the lemon half to scrub the salt into the board. Rinse and dry right away.
17. Spot clean your shower with a dish soap wand.
A popular bathroom cleaning tip is to wipe down your shower after every use so that soap scum can’t build up, but who wants to keep a spray bottle and sponge in the shower?
Instead, use a scrubbing wand meant for dishes. Add some mild cleaner or vinegar to the handle and you can fight the scum in one step.
18. A nail brush is the perfect tool for getting a faucet clean.
If your faucet is spraying in weird directions or is otherwise clogged, you may not need to get out the tools or call a plumber. The firm bristles of a nail brush will get any clogs out easily.
This also works for shower heads.
19. Line your paint tray with parchment paper for easy cleaning.
Some people use cling wrap, but I find that it also wants to cling to your roller. Instead, parchment paper is my choice. It won’t cling to your roller and can be held in place with clips. Just fold up and toss when you’re done.
20. Use a pool noodle to prop up your canopy and prevent puddles from forming on top.
It’ll change the angle just enough to make sure the water runs off.
That’s what I call using your noodle! (I’ll see myself out.)
21. A bottle of water can act as a camp lantern by shining a light up through the bottom.
This will also work with a flashlight, though you’d need to find a way to attach it to the bottle.
22. Don’t forget your charging cable in the hotel room by attaching your keys to it.
It’s always best practice to check all the outlets when you’re on your way to check out, but that’s assuming that you’re not distracted by everything else going on.
23. I fall in love with this trick every single time I come across it.
One question, though: What should I say to explain why I’m wearing my coat over my pajamas? Because you better believe that’s all I wear at home.