Often we become so used to our routine and doing the same daily tasks, that we don’t consider how we could do them any differently. But there are plenty of quick tips and tricks out there that could help to simplify your life, while saving you time and money.
We’ve come up with a list of 25 life hacks that will hopefully help you to start thinking creatively about how to solve your everyday challenges in new and creative ways! They can be fun, satisfying, and will hopefully make things that little bit easier!
We’d love to hear which are your favourites, or whether you’ve got any additional suggestions to add to the list. You can email us at [email protected] or leave a comment below.
1. Use a trouser hanger to hold your recipe book
This is by far one of my favourite hacks! So many times have I had a recipe book shut on me when I’ve got hands covered in flour or something else, and can’t open it back up to see the next step. This useful tip will stop you losing your page and your flow when you’re getting creative in the kitchen. Simply hang your hanger from one of your kitchen cupboard handles and clip your book to it for a stress-free, hands free cooking experience.
2. Use toilet paper tubes to make seed starter pots
If you’ve got seeds that you’ve been meaning to plant but nothing to plant them, then consider using toilet paper tubes to make seed starter pots. They’re biodegradable, take just a few minutes to make and will be sturdy enough to allow seeds to start putting down roots, before you upgrade them to a larger pot later on.
This hack is a great way to recycle your toilet roll tubes because the microbes in the soil will break the cardboard down into carbon – which your seedlings will use as plant food!
3. Freeze grapes to chill wine without watering it down
With summer in full swing, you might be looking for ways to keep your white or rose wine chilled for longer. Ice cubes are an obvious choice but will water your wine down. An alternative way to keep your wine cool without watering it down is to freeze grapes and use them as ice cubes – plus you can always eat them afterwards!
Extra tip: Frozen grapes or cherries on their own also make for a great snack to cool you down during the warmer months.
4. Fix scratches on wooden furniture using a walnut
Furniture gets scratched and scuffed over time, and many people assume that they will either have to live with the damage, or sand down and re-varnish the entire piece of furniture. But did you know that you can cover up dings on wooden furniture in a matter of minutes, by rubbing the area with a walnut?
Simply rub the walnut over the scuff or scratch a few times. Then rub the area with a soft cloth to help the wood absorb the oil from the nut. You might be surprised at how well this works!
5. Make a mindfulness jar
These DIY mindfulness jars are quick to make and can offer you a distraction from any negative thoughts. They can make a great addition to your office desk or your bedside table. All you need is a jar, some hot water, and some clear glue, which can all be bought on Amazon quite cheaply. You’ll also need something sparkly! To find out how to make your own eco-friendly glitter out of salt and food colouring, take a look at this YouTube video here. Alternatively, you could try using sand. Simply follow the instructions in the video below and then sit back, relax and enjoy!
6. Keep your cereal boxes firmly closed with this handy tip
Don’t you hate it when you realise that you forgot to close your cereal box properly, or that it popped open soon after you closed it, leaving your cereal all soft and chewy? If this sounds familiar, then try this handy hint that will help to keep your cereal boxes firmly closed. They’ll look much neater too!
7. Use a dustpan to fill up a bucket if it won’t fit in your sink
It can be frustrating when you go to fill up your bucket and realise that it won’t fit in your sink. If you’ve got a dustpan, then by positioning it in your sink in the right way, water will be able to follow across your dustpan, down the handle and down into your bucket. Have a watch of the quick video below to see how it’s done.
8. Can’t make a decision? Flip a coin
Flipping a coin is an effective way of making a decision – not because it can make the decision for you by landing either heads or tails side up, but because you will often decide what you really want while the coin is in the air. Often, it’s in that split second when we feel that a decision is about to be taken out of our hands that our gut instinct kicks in, and we know what we need to do. Why not give it a try? If you find yourself praying that it won’t land on a particular side before it even hits the ground, then you’ll already have your answer.
9. Use beeswax to make your canvas shoes waterproof
Did you know that by rubbing beeswax over any pair of shoes, you can make them waterproof? You’ll need a bar of beeswax or a candle, and a hairdryer. The short clip below will take you through what to do next!
10. Use dental floss to perfectly cut cakes
Cutting a crumbly cake with a knife does the trick, but it often doesn’t produce as clean or even a cut as most of us would like. Then before you know it there’s crumbs everywhere, and one of your guests is asking why they got a smaller slice than Jeff over there.
A simple trick for solving this problem is to cut your cake using unflavoured dental floss. All you need to do is cut a long piece of floss, hold it over the top of the cake at the point you want to make the cut, and make a sawing motion back and forth as you press down into it. The number of cuts you make will depend on how many slices you want to get out of the cake. You can also use this technique to create a layered cake, for example, when making a victoria sponge – or it can be especially helpful if you want to cut a crumbly cake into a top and bottom half.
Before you start cutting, take a look at the video below…
11. Use a spring from a pen to stop your charger cable from becoming damaged
With frequent usage, charger cables can become frayed or damaged. When this happens, they have a greater risk of overheating and starting a fire, or they may just stop working altogether. To prevent this from happening, you can take the metal spring out of a pen and wrap it around your charger cable to give it extra support. This will hopefully help it to last longer. The video below will show you how to do this in a few easy steps.
12. Wrap a wet cloth around your drink and put it in the fridge
We’ve all longed for a cold drink on a summer’s day, but realised soon after that we’d forgotten to put our bottles or cans in the fridge. Next time this happens, try wrapping a wet cloth around your drinks bottle or can before putting it in the fridge. The water will rapidly evaporate and cool, cooling your drink down much faster. You should have a nice cool beer in just 10 minutes.
13. Place a lazy Susan in your fridge or cupboards
A lazy Susan is essentially a turntable which you can place on any counter or shelf, that is designed to help you access your food more easily. If you regularly find yourself with food piled up at the back of the fridge or cupboards, making it difficult to see, then this hack is for you.
You can store all your food on a lazy Susan, which has 360 degree rotation, meaning that nothing will ever get forgotten about at the back of the cupboard or fridge again. Those who get them tend to never go back! There are plenty of lazy Susan options available on Amazon.
14. Use spaghetti to light a candle
If you want to protect your fingers when you’re lighting a candle, then consider using a dry piece of spaghetti because it will give you a longer reach to light your candle. This is a great tip for lighting candles in glass holders because you often have to use matches and lighters at funny angles to reach the wick, meaning that your fingers risk getting toasty!
15. Create extra counter space by placing your chopping board on top of an open drawer
If you’re making a big dinner or a dinner with lots of different components, then sometimes it can be handy to have some extra chopping space. By pulling out your kitchen drawer and putting your chopping board on top, you may be able to create an extra work surface.
16. Use drinks can tabs to create extra space in your wardrobe
If you can’t fit anymore hangers in your wardrobe but you need some extra hanging space, then it’s worth keeping hold of the tabs on drinks cans. This helpful video will show you what to do next…
17. Keep bugs away with peppermint spray
Many people who are scared of bugs tend to spend a lot of time and energy fretting about bugs invading their homes. If you really keen to keep bugs away, then consider mixing 10-15 drops of peppermint oil with a cup of water and putting it in a spray bottle. Then lightly spray window and door frames, or anywhere that bugs are most likely to gain entry to your home. While we might enjoy the pleasant smell of peppermint, the majority of bugs (including spiders) find it offensive and will usually head in a different direction once they smell it.
18. Fry your egg inside an onion ring
To cook the perfect fried egg, try cutting a thick onion ring and cooking your egg inside it. This is one of the most satisfying hacks on the list, because the egg really does come out perfectly round and it tastes delicious!
19. Let your blender clean itself
Cleaning a blender can be a fiddly (and potentially risky) job because it requires you to clean the blade. Next time you use your blender – rather than trying to clean it by hand with a sponge – try filling it with some soapy water and letting it run for 30 seconds. Then just give it a good rinse and allow it to air dry. Repeat if necessary.
20. In a hurry? Charge your phone on airplane mode
If your phone has run out of battery and you need to charge it in a hurry, then try putting in on airplane mode. You won’t be able to receive calls, but your phone will charge much faster as it’s using less energy whilst charging!
21. Put pancake mix into an old squeezy bottle for a no-mess experience
Putting your pancake batter into a bowl or jug before pouring it into a frying pan can make for a messy experience. Instead, why not try putting your batter in an old squeezy bottle instead? You’ll have much more control over the size and shape of your pancake, and it will make less mess. This is also a fantastic way to recycle your own ketchup and mayonnaise bottles yourself.
22. Consider baking your eggs instead of boiling them
Although most of us boil our hard-boiled eggs, it’s also possible to create the perfect hard-boiled egg in the oven. Baking them in the oven can be much easier if you’re making large quantities of eggs. The shells are also less likely to crack and splinter – making for easier washing up!
To bake eggs in the oven, preheat your oven to 175 degrees celsius. Then place eggs in a muffin/cake tray and cook for 20-30 minutes depending on how hard or soft you like the yoke.
23. Use soapy water to detect a slow tyre leak
When a car tyre has a slow puncture, it can often require a whole new tyre. But sometimes doing a home repair on the existing tyre is also possible – if you can first locate the source of the problem.
Being unable to tell where your car tyre is slowly leaking air from, can be frustrating. Sometimes there’s no obvious damage and other times the object that caused the leak in the first place – like a nail or a small shard of glass, is lodged deep in the hole it’s just made.
One of the best ways to find the source of a slow leak is to mix some washing up liquid and water together in a spray bottle and spray the tyre all over. You will usually see bubbles start to form at the point where air is leaking.
24. Put tea bags in smelly shoes
Let’s face it, with warmer weather comes sweatier feet, which can sometimes leave our shoes smelling far less fresh than we would like. If you want to remove odours from your shoes, then try putting a few dry tea bags in each shoe to absorb the smell. There are many different types of tea bag out there, but it helps to choose ones with a more appealing scent. Peppermint or lemon are usually popular choices.
25. Cure a headache with lime
Looking for a natural way to cure headaches? Try cutting a lime in half and rubbing it on your forehead. This one is a bit of an old wives tale, but many say that they have found success with this method.
We’d love to hear from you!
We hope that the life hacks above will save you some time or money – or simply make you smile! If any of these tips or tricks worked particular well for you, or if you have any others of your own that you’d like to share, then leave a comment below or post on the community forum.