Confession: I am trying to be like Dorcas Smucker (of Mrs. Smucker’s 7 Amazing Life Hacks!!) and try my hand at clickbait for once. It’s awfully fun.
(Thank you, Mrs. Smucker.)
I love shortcuts around the house, little tricks for making housekeeping work. My ideas today are simple and efficient. They are less the organize-your-life-and-transform-your-world tips and more the random-and-specific-but-useful-ideas-for-the-next-time-you-do-THAT tips.
“Life hacks,” as they are known, are all about eliminating life’s manifold frustrations in simple and deliciously clever ways. The best involve tricks that are free, efficient and stunningly obvious in retrospect, deploying household items (like the humble toilet roll) for purposes beyond their wildest aspirations.—Michael Koziol
Here we go.
Carry hangers on your wrist.
You know how hangers always tangle up, in between fetching-them-from-the-closets and rehanging-them-in-the-laundry-room? Hang them over your wrist to keep them neatly in a row. This is also an extremely useful tip for thrift store shopping. Maybe you’re not the kind of person who selects eight items to try in the fitting room, in hopes of finding one or two that you like – but I am. And I rarely have a cart. Looping the hangers over my wrist is an amazing way to carry them, leaving both hands free for finding more. You won’t believe how simple it is till you try.
One caveat: I have skinny wrists. Not saying any other part of me is skinny, but my wrists are. Would this work for everyone? Give it a try and let me know!
Clean any sweat-smelling clothes in a vinegar soak.
Sweat is one of my least favorite body fluids, so bear with me as I attempt to discuss it. Sometimes clothes that are otherwise clean still smell unpleasant. Add a cup of vinegar to a tub of water (the bottom of your washing machine works wonderfully – just pause the cycle after some water has collected), then let the clothes soak in it for several hours before washing.
Just don’t grab the bleach jug in the dark instead of the vinegar! True story – not a good idea.
Smooth dairy products before refrigerating to avoid separation.
Yogurt and sour cream tend to separate when chilled, the curd and whey running apart. If you smooth the top of the product before refrigerating, this problem goes away. Think about it – where would the liquid run TO?
Poke holes in the ends of meat packages to aid in removal.
Suction keeps the meat inside. Using a sharp knife to pop an air hole in the end of the package releases the meat to slide out in one piece.
Measure the paper lining for cake pans by marking with your fingernails.
I imagine you line your cake pans too, when you want to invert them to cool or decorate. I like using wax paper. Instead of measuring or drawing the right shape, just lay the paper into the pan, and run your fingernails gently around the inside bottom edge. It’s so fast. And it traces a scratch mark that’s easy to cut around with a pair of scissors.
Speaking of scissors…
Pop balloons without noise.
Do you like hearing balloons pop? It sets my teeth on edge. You can deflate balloons quickly and almost soundlessly by snipping with a scissors just below the balloon tie, where the latex is darkly colored because it’s not stretched. If it’s not stretched, there’s no pressure on it. A hiss of air is all you’ll hear.
(Don’t cut all the way through, or you’ll lose hold of the balloon. All you need is a slit.)
Very useful for eliminating unwanted balloons three days after the party, when toddlers have lost all interest in said balloons but would Object to their Disposal if they Knew. (BANG!)
Remove stray bits of egg shell by using egg shell.
Oops. You cracked an egg into a bowl, but lost a bit of egg shell. Now you’ll have to chase it around in there for the next five minutes trying to get it out. Right? Wrong. The egg shell in your hand is a valuable tool. It cuts right through the slipperiness of the eggs, and will scoop out the missing piece in a jiffy.
Tip numbers two and three were taught to me by other people; the rest were taught to me by Life.
I hope you are thinking WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?! But you are probably yawning because you already know this stuff. Oh well. It took me a while to discover it.
What random shortcuts do you use around your household?