25 Life Hacks That Make Life a Little Simpler

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Staff Writer

Life is increasingly complicated, so it’s no wonder that people are looking for shortcuts, ‘easy buttons’ they can hit to simplify their lives and just make it a little easier to get through the day. If that describes you, then consider these 25 life hacks as a free gift that keeps on giving.


1. Luggage Hack
It’s maddening when you get off a long flight, and have to find your bag amidst the sea of bags that all look exactly like yours. It may not seem like a big deal when you’re not traveling, but when you just want to grab your bag and leave, it’s monumental. So ease your life at the airport baggage terminal, and tie a pink, yellow or fuschia bow to your luggage handle, and you’ll always be able to pick out your bag.

2. Door Closing Hack
Don’t you hate it when you just want to step out and grab your paper, but your door always closes behind you? It’s especially galling if your door locks and you’re the only one home, right? Well, just loop a rubber band around the door handle and latch, which prevents the door from locking even it closes. Another of life’s little irritations, solved.

3. Long Lasting Air Freshener
If you’ve run out of a spray freshener, and your house or apartment is musty, you don’t have to panic. Just grab a dryer sheet and tape it over the vents of your AC. Within a few minutes, that fresh-from-the-dryer smell will permeate your residence. But if you bought scent-free dryer sheets, you’re on your own.

4. Cheap Smartphone Stand
Who really wants to shell out money for yet another smartphone accessory, right? But if you’re one of those people who uses your phone as your TV, it’s annoying when you have to keep holding the phone. Forget all that, and just use a pair of sunglasses as your stand. And you can buy popcorn and candy bars with the money you’ll save.

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5. Dirty Clothes That Smell Good
When you travel on a business trip, it’s difficult to wash your clothes. But it’s also difficult to keep those clothes from stinking up your luggage. So take a bar of nice-smelling soap and place it inside your dirty clothes. It will make them smell great, and no one will know that most of your bag is stuffed with clothes that need a good washing.

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6. Testing Batteries
Sometimes you have no idea if your batteries are good or not. An easy way to test battery power is to drop them on a table and see how they react. If the battery bounces once and topples, then it’s probably got a lot of juice. If the battery bounces several times, it’s an indication that it doesn’t have much power left. Makes it easy to test out all those double-A batteries lying around your house.

7. Make Your Sink Bigger
It’s frustrating when you need to fill a bucket in a sink that’s too small. But don’t give up and head to the bathtub. Find a dustpan, wash it off and place it under the tap of the too-small sink. You now have a spout that will fill up your too-big bucket in a short period of time.

8. Cookbook Hanger
Cookbooks are great, but bending your neck to read the ingredients is annoying. Solve this issue by using a hanger with pant clips. Just attach the book to the clips and loop the hanger around one of your cupboards. You can now read the cookbook at eye level, and prevent that crook in your neck.


9. Perfect Pancake Syrup Container
Pancake syrup is great, but the manufacturers don’t understand that you don’t want the syrup gushing out. So if your favorite syrup doesn’t have a slow-pour version, just pour your syrup into a washed-out ketchup bottle. You can now control the syrup distribution to your specifications. Just make sure you thoroughly wash the ketchup bottle, as ketchup and syrup definitely aren’t a match.

10. Beach-Friendly Key Holder
When you head to the beach, you need to keep your keys somewhere safe, but board shorts usually don’t have pockets. Create a holder for your keys and other things like your smartphone by washing out a suntan lotion bottle and cutting the top portion off. Slot your phone, keys and cash into the bottle. Just make sure you remember to tell your friends that there’s no lotion in the bottle.

11. Easy Condiment Containers
When you throw a barbecue, a nice way to present condiments is to use a muffin tray. Just pour mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce into the muffin tins, and provide spoons. You can also place pickles and relish into these tins as well. And of course, mayo is a must-have, so throw that into the muffin tin for a full-service condiment stand for your guests.

12. Garment Box Hack
When you’re moving, all your hanged clothes are a real hassle to transport. You can spend a lot of money buying garment boxes, or you can use this quick shortcut. Take a ten-gallon garbage bag, and fit it under about 20 hanged clothes. Lift the bag all the way to the top and then use the ties to loop around your hangers. Depending on the size of the bags, you can get as many as 20 hanged clothes per garbage bag.

13. Keeping a Paint Can Clean
Painting isn’t a barrel of laughs, especially when the paint gets all over the can. Avoid this by tying a rubber band lengthwise around the can and wiping your brush off on the rubber band. This prevents paint from spilling out over the edges. It also helps you identify what brand of paint you bought, which is a problem when the can is coated with excess paint.

14. Easy Egg Whites
If you’re on a health kick, you may only want to cook eggs without the yolk. But what a hassle it is to crack that egg and try to separate the yolk without losing most of the white. Use an empty water bottle and place it over the yolk. The yolk will suction into the bottle, and you can easily throw it away.

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15. Low Budget Sprinklers
It’s Summer, your grass is dying, and you can’t afford sprinklers. Slot your water hose into an empty soda bottle and punch four or five holes into the bottle. Turn on the water full-blast and you’ll get a sprinkler effect. You’ll still have to move the hose to cover more area, but it’s better than nothing.

16. Computer Cable Storage
Computer cables are a snake-like mess that clutter your workspace. Solve this by using black snap-paper clips. Hook the paper clips to the edge of your work table and slot the cables into the silver part of the paper clip. Now you’ll always know where your cables are, and they’ll last longer too.

17. Computer and Printer Cord Storage
Just like cables, computer and printer cords that you aren’t using can mess up your drawer. Take empty paper towel tubes and place the cords inside. The tubes are modular and can easily fit into a box, and they keep your cords tight and compact. And because they have holes at both ends, you can quickly see which cord you need.


18. Duct Tape Jar Opener
You know how some jar tops just can’t be opened? You tap the top with silverware to loosen it, but it still won’t budge. Instead of smashing the jar in frustration, apply duct tape to the lid, and pull it back. The powerful sticking action of the duct tape forms a strong bond that opens the lid without too much trouble.


19. Gift Wrap Holder
When holidays are over, you may have tons of leftover wrapping paper. The problem is that the gift wrap always unrolls and makes a mess. Cut open empty toilet paper rolls and slot the gift wrap inside. It will keep the wrapping paper coiled and fresh for the next time you need to wrap gifts.

20. Perfect Way To Cut Cake
Cutting pieces of cake, especially birthday cake, is an art form. No matter how sharp your knife, you never seem to cut the perfect slice. Next time, use unscented dental floss to create wonderful slices of cake. Floss also works well to slice through rolls of cheese.

21. Easy Does It Funnel
If you’re home, adding motor oil or another fluid to your car, you need a funnel. But if you don’t have a funnel handy, just pour the oil onto a screwdriver placed above the opening. The oil will flow perfectly into the oil gasket, brake fluid container or transmission fluid opening. Make sure you use rubbing alcohol to clean the screwdriver.

22. Cupcake Sandwich
Let’s face it, the best part of a cupcake is the frosting. But if you want the frosting to be in the middle, here’s how to create a perfect cupcake sandwich. Tear off the top of the cupcake, flip it over and mash it to the bottom half. Then take your time and enjoy every delicious bite of your chocolate on chocolate sandwich.

23. Business Card Hack
If you receive a lot of business cards, it’s difficult not to lose them. You can resolve this problem by taking a photo of every business card you receive. Then just transfer them to a free cloud storage site such as Dropbox, and you won’t need to clutter up your memory with the pictures.

24. Easy Way To Add Keys To Your Key Holder
Most people hate adding keys to a key holder. It’s painful and frustrating to open up the key rings, and just when you have it, it snaps closed and you have to start again. Use a staple remover to ease this problem. The teeth of the staple remover pry the key holder rings apart, and allow you to slide on a new key.

25. Trash Bag Removal
When you put a garbage bag into a container and it gets full, it creates a powerful suction. That means that sometimes you have to struggle mightily to pull that full bag out of the container. In the future, drill holes into the sides of the trash can, which releases air pressure, solving the dreaded ‘garbage bag is fighting me’ dilemma.