If you’ve been on the Internet in the last five years, you have to have heard of life hacks. These handy little hacks are like real-life cheat codes to remedy everyday struggles. Some are clever, some are pure genius and some will make you question how you never thought of them yourself.
Let’s start by hacking your house.
If there’s one place everything should be easy it’s home sweet home. Make sure your nest is an easy, well-organized place to land with these small hacks that make a big difference in eliminating minor annoyances.
Tired of cans and bottles rolling around in the fridge? All you need is one large binder clip. Clipped opening-up around two bars of an old-style refrigerator rack makes the clip a sturdy stopper to keep cylinders of all sorts where they belong.
Conquer Your Cords
Tired of figuring out which cord belongs to what? Organize your power strip jungle by labeling plastic bread clips and placing them on the cords. No more tugging and grunting and wishing painful things on whoever set this mess up.
If you’ve moved your heavy furniture but are now left with visible carpet indentations, just chill. Lay ice cubes on the carpet marks and, slowly but surely, the fibers will stand tall again. Soak up any moisture with a towel and, voila, your carpet is like new.
Parents, your prayers have been answered. Did you know the oil in WD-40 (plus a little elbow grease) will remove crayon from almost any surface? Your walls can finally be free of your little Picasso’s abstract mural.
Beauty is pain, but it doesn’t have to be a pain in the you-know-what. Here are a few ways to make your products and keep them right where you put them (we’re looking at you, smudgy lipstick).
Perfect Your Pout
Going bold with bright red lips? Good for you, girl. Now keep that color off your teeth with one simple trick. After you apply your lipstick, make an O with your mouth around your index finger. All of the excess will come off on your finger and leave you with the perfect pout. To keep it from smudging, gently lay a tissue over your lips and sweep translucent setting powder over top.
Say you’re out of dry shampoo and looking like a dirty grease ball. Don’t panic, because believe it or not, baby powder works just as well. Sprinkle some in your hand to help you distribute it evenly across your scalp (dumping it there will give you a powdery gray spot).
Cotton For Your Curls
Curly girls know their hair can be hard to handle, but if you’re drying your curls with any old towel, it’s time to do yourself a favor. The fibers on towels can break up curls and cause frizz on outer layers by grabbing at your strands. Substitute towels with old cotton T-shirts—they’re smoother, more absorbent and make better towel turbans anyway.
When painting your nails at home, are you painting as much of your hand as your fingernails? Trying to remove stray brushstrokes without messing up your mani is basically an Olympic sport, but if you spread some Vaseline or lip balm around the border of your nail before you begin, errant polish will wipe right off.
Clumpy mascara? If your lash goop is getting a little old, pop the whole container (tightly sealed) into a mug of boiling water. The heat will smooth it out again and ensure it glides on smoothly. You can also break out the baby powder again to get the false lash look. Put powder on a cotton swab and sweep it onto your lashes after one coat of mascara. The second coat will attach to the powder layer, making your lashes appear more voluminous so you don’t have to trifle with gluing individual hairs to your eyes.
Cheat Codes For Clothes
Your wardrobe is a major part of your life—and a major investment. Don’t throw things out because of small tears any longer, and don’t fret if you forgot to iron that nice shirt last night. Here are a few ways to make your clothes work for you.
Run in your tights? Paint the run with clear nail polish to keep it from getting any bigger.
Irons Are Obsolete
If you’re running late for your interview but forgot to iron your shirt, fear not. When you get in the shower, bring your clothes with you and hang them on the shower rod away from the water. After 10 minutes in the steam, they’ll be wrinkle free and ready to wear.
Red wine stain? Soak the shirt in club soda or, coincidentally, white wine. Let shaving cream sit on foundation spots on shirt collars, and any blood on your clothes (we won’t ask any questions) should come out with a few douses of peroxide.
Whether keeping the bugs away from you outdoor picnic or reheating pizza so it’s just as fresh as the first time, everyone’s gotta eat, so make things a little simpler using these tricks of the trade.
Ever find yourself in a race to finish your iced coffee before it gets watered down? Freeze your leftover coffee in an ice tray to use in your cold brew and spare yourself a watery nightmare.
Summer party? Flies and mosquitoes will crash it, but at the very least you can keep them out of everyone’s drinks. Pick up some paper cupcake liners at the store, punch holes in their centers and slide straws through so they’re upside down and covering the beverage opening. Bonus points if they match your party theme.
Safe & Secure
Tired of your cutting board slipping and sliding while you slice? Wet a dish towel and place it under your cutting board. It will grip the bottom side and make sure you’ve got a secure base for cutting and dicing.
Dicing up fruit can be so much easier than we make it. De-stem strawberries by pushing a straw up through the bottom until the top pops off. When it comes to kiwis, slice off both ends and slide a spoon under the skin and around the inside to remove the fuzz.
If you’re one of the few who actually heat up leftover pizza, you know that microwaves do it the worst. However, there is one way to keep it from ruining your beloved slice. Fill a small glass about halfway with water, and place it in the microwave while the pizza reheats to keep the crust from getting all weird and chewy. Microwaves can also help with making lemonade. Send citrus for a 30-second spin to break down their inner fibers and get the most juice possible.
Take That, Taco
Tacos? Delicious and perfect and wonderful. Taco shells? Not so. Their rounded bottoms have spilled their guts and disappointed taco lovers for too long, but now we can end their sadistic spillage. Grab a fork from the silverware drawer and slide the taco shell between the tines. This should keep your taco standing upright, just as it should be.
Pimp Your Ride
Life hacks extend far beyond the home, and by that we mean at least as far as the driveway. Your car is an important part of your life, and there are plenty of simple tricks to make your time together better.
This Isn’t A Garbage Truck
Tired of kicking crumpled receipts and drive-thru napkins around your floorboards? Buy a plastic cereal container. Lined with a small plastic bag, it’s the perfect vehicular trash can. As long as you close the lid, you can continue driving Dukes-of-Hazzard style without a mess.
Cool Down Your Car
Who doesn’t dread getting into their car after it’s been sitting in the sun all day. Instead of suffering while your AC battles the heat, try this: Roll down one window, then walk to the other side of the car. Open and close the door around 10 times to force the hot air to circulate out the open window. This brings down the inside temp by 10 degrees and saves you from sweating. Or, you can just drive with the windows down for the first two or three minutes of your trip to achieve the same result.
Cars get small scratches all too often, but it’s hardly worth an expensive trip to the body shop. Look for a bottle of nail polish in a matching color, paint over the scratch and voila. Just be sure to use some clear coat too to prevent rust.
Those candle-shaped air fresheners never really do the trick, so take advantage of the real thing using that good old Florida heat. Pop a jarred candle into your cup holder. The warmth of the car will cause it to release fragrance, lasting longer and smelling better than those bogus little pine trees.
Whitening & Brightening
If it’s good enough for your pearly whites, it’s just fine for your car’s headlights. Foggy lights can be hazardous so grab some toothpaste and towels and head outside. Spread the paste all over your headlights and scrub with a hand towel. Rinse it off, and voila, you can see the light.
Dry Ice For Dents
For small dings, you can avoid expensive repairs for the cost of some dry ice. Park your car in the sun so the metal warms up. Place a small chunk of dry ice over the dent and the rapid cooling should cause the dent to pop right out. Just don’t allow your skin to come in contact with the ice or the cold metal of the car, so please oh please wear protective gloves.