20 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
How many times a day you encounter a minor problem that seems unsolvable? Then you bust your head thinking about how to improve upon the problem and make your life a bit easier?
There are various solutions to the problems you encounter during your daily life in your house and apartment, solutions that are so witty and amazing that you cannot think of by yourself.
This phenomenon is called life hacks and will definitely make your life a lot easier. Life hacks are neither difficult nor do they require any special items, they all consist of basic household items.
These life hacks solutions range from petty and small things such as preventing your door from being closed to bigger problems like finding your bag in an airport or at a bus stop.
In this article, you will learn more about life hacks and a bit of the history of the life hacks phenomenon and how it came to be, and the reason for its popularity.
In addition, you will learn more about a certain man, who is believed to be an important figure in the life hack community.
The article will focus more on the various life hacks you can use to overcome some minor or major problems you find around your household, using the items that every house should have. Enjoy!
WHAT EXACTLY IS A LIFE HACK?
A life hack is defined as any trick that presents itself as a productive shortcut which increases efficiency and productivity in any field of life.
A life hack can be any action that is described as “thinking outside the box”, such as tapping a jar on the bottom in order to loosen up the lid for easier opening.
Life hacks are not exclusively tied to house problems, as there are life hacks that can help you in various facets of life, such as camping, beauty products, or tools, possibilities are many.
As for the origins of the word “life hack”, it is believed that it is called that due to programmers wanting to accelerate their productivity in other fields of life other than programming.
“Hacking” is also linked with something being given for free, as hackers use their skills to get access to any piece of information in order to put a spotlight on it.
All in all, the term “life hack” means that a certain obstacle is overcome in order to simplify something, and then it is shared with others in a certain way.
The term is believed to be coined by Danny O’Brien, a technology journalist who used the term to talk about the shortcuts IT developers use to finish certain work-related tasks.
This happened in 2004, at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in California, or San Diego to be exact.
There are also a comical “reverse life hacks” that are meant as a funny alternative to life hacks, which have a goal of using multiple complicated steps in order to worsen or not solve the problem at all.
In conclusion, life hack was a new and interesting thing that has been fully embraced by modern culture and fully extracted from its technological roots and implemented into everyday fields of life.
In the next parts of the article, you will read about some interesting life hacks that might prove to be useful to you.
The effort will be made to include life hacks for as many aspects of life as possible so that you can find a particular one from a field that is interesting to you. Enjoy these life hacks and have fun!
1. Having a Trouble Finding Your Luggage at an Airport?
There have been a lot of cases of luggage getting lost during a flight. Even though there is not a valid explanation from the airline, there are a few ways to avoid losing your bag of precious things.
The most popular life hack is to tie something that will stand out to your baggage. It can be a big, brightly-colored piece of fabric or one of those big lanyards.
It is important to you to see the “marker” on your luggage, so make sure that it is something that you will notice right away, on a place that is clearly visible, even from afar.
If you have ever been in such a situation and still do not know how to act, here is an article on what actions you need to take if you find yourself in exact situations.
If you are interested, here is a video on a couple of more ways in which you can avoid losing luggage during certain trips.
2. The Shoe Problem
We all have a shoe problem. Whether the problem is with smell or with the shoes being too tight, there are solutions that will make you happy.
If you spend the whole day in your shoes, your feet tend to get sweaty and the stink will stay in your shoes, after taking them off.
The trick to eliminating the smell that has found home on your shoes is to put a couple of dry tea bags in each shoe and let them sit there overnight.
The explanation here is that the odor is the consequence of bacteria inhabiting the moisture in your shoes, while tea bags are known to absorb moisture, as they do during tea brewing.
That is why the tea bags will do the job, as they would absorb all the moisture and neutralize the habitat which satisfies the bacteria. Just remember to throw the tea bags afterward.
Another problem many people have is the tightness of their shoes. If you want to avoid wearing thick socks with your new shoes or buying a shoe stretcher to stretch them, there is a trick.
Use a wet newspaper to fill your shoes. The wet paper will dry out and expand, thus naturally stretch the shoes out for you.
Be wary to avoid overfilling your shoes, as it may stretch them out too much, making them slightly more uncomfortable for wearing than before.
3. Finding a Lost Earring
Everybody has been in that one situation where they are standing in their apartment and suddenly their earring or an earbud falls out of their hand and disappears to the naked eye.
There is an easy way to find a lost small item and it only includes a vacuum cleaner and a thin sock or a stocking, ideally.
Simply place the selected thin fabric over the sucking hole and sweep the area where you suspect your item fell.
Check from time to time to see whether you found the item, as it will be caught over the fabric covering the hole.
This is the best possible way to find smaller items or items that can be sucked by a vacuum cleaner. Bigger and heavier items will need to be searched for the old-fashioned way.
4. Lighting a Candle Whose Wick is Short
Scented candles are a great way to relax at home. In addition to relaxing you, they also provide some health benefits, among many other things.
The problem arises when the candle is stored in a glass container with an open-top, but the wick of the candle is too low for a conventional lighter.
The problem remains especially adamant if you do not own that type of long mechanical lighters for candles.
Do not fret, as the simple spaghetti strand will help you. Do not burn your fingers with a piece of paper or a short lighter, nor do not extract the candle from the glass container.
Simply have in mind that lighting a spaghetti strand will do the trick, as they are easily lit on fire and are long enough to reach the specified wick.
5. Do You Need a Capo for a Guitar?
For all you guitar players out there, you probably want that new shining capo for your guitar, but cannot afford a good one.
There is a cheap way to get by until you save your money for that brand new piece of guitar equipment.
Simply grab a sturdy pen or pencil and two rubber bands. Place the pen over the strings vertically and place the two rubber bands on the top and bottom of the pen, going behind the guitar neck.
There you have it, you have a makeshift capo and can practice playing with it until you make money to buy a real one.
6. Do You Need to Start a Fire Outside?
You have definitely been in this situation: you are somewhere camping or outside setting up a barbecue, ready to cook up something to eat for your friends.
However, you forgot the kindling wood back at the house and other wood is too wet or unsuitable for starting a campfire. Here is a couple of tricks you can use.
If you brought some chips for a snack, you are all set to go! You can use chips that are deeply fried for starting a fire if they are fried using oil.
Of course, you will have to use the whole bag to sustain a good fire, so this method is excellent if you have used up all your kindling and need some extra minutes to grab a few more.
Another good fire sustainer is a marker ink. If you, by any chance, have a magic marker in your bag, you can cut the bottom part out and pour the ink into the fire.
The ink of any magic marker is usually full of alcohol which is flammable, which you can use to boost your fire’s longevity, or simply power it up a bit.
Now, you wonder what to do if you forgot your lighter or a flint? This might prove challenging, but there are a few actions you can take, though really difficult.
The first one is to fill a translucent bag with water. You can use the bag like a magnifying glass and light your kindling wood using sun rays.
You must ask yourself “but wait, what if it is cloudy outside?”. Well, another way to light your kindling is using steel wool and a 9-volt battery.
Steel wool is a conductor of electricity, and you can use electricity from a 9-volt battery to construct a makeshift flint.
The steel wool will make sparks and easily light your kindling after a few times, so be sure to bring steel wool and a couple of batteries, just in case.
7. You Want to Clean Your Showerhead?
It might sound silly, but most people have a lot of trouble cleaning their showerheads. There is a lot of hard water build-up stuck on showerheads.
However, how to clean it when that is the place where water comes out of? It is done amazingly easily, actually.
Grab a plastic bag and fill it with white vinegar. Then put the showerhead inside the plastic bag and use a rubber band to tie the bag to the handle, in order to secure it.
Let it rest overnight and remove the bag from the showerhead in the morning. The showerhead will be as if you have just bought it from a shop, brand new and shiny!
8. Phone Speakers are Not Loud Enough
If you find yourself in a situation where you want to play some music on your phone, but they are not loud enough to satisfy the people in the room, there is a solution to that problem.
You can easily achieve louder speakers by putting your phone in a glass or any shape with an open hole.
You achieve that by putting the speakers to face the hole and the sound will travel to the bottom and back, being amplified through the glass.
The reason why this works is due to sound being omnidirectional and you control the sound better by putting the source of the sound in a smaller enclosure, thus directing and focusing it better.
There are a few other ways to amplify your phone speakers, it does not necessarily have to be a glass.
9. You Are Out of Scented Candles and You Are in Need of One
There are some people that simply cannot go by without lighting a scented candle. As previously mentioned in the text, they are beneficial, so it is completely understandable why some people need them.
However, if you are in dire need of one, you can simply use a fruit. That is right, a simple orange will do you justice.
Cut it in half, use the stem as a wick, light it and relax. It is pretty easy to do, check the video at the bottom of this entry to learn how to do it.
10. Wooden Spoon Trick for Boiling Water
We all hate it when we wait for the water to boil. It often happens that we completely forget about that pasta we put into the pot and now we have water boiling all over the place.
There is a simple trick that you can utilize to avoid boiling pasta or any other kind of water pouring out of the pot all over the kitchen.
Put a wooden spoon over the pot. As simple as that. To explain why this works in layman’s terms, the wooden spoon destabilizes the rising bubbles when they contact each other.
If you want to learn why this happens, when does this trick work and when does not work, and other alternatives to it here is an interesting article with sufficient information about it.
11. Foggy Mirror After a Shower
Do you hate when your mirror fogs up after taking a shower? There is a simple trick that can help you prevent that.
You can use car wax to prevent fogging of your mirror. You just need to put a small amount of car wax to the mirror and finally buff it with a dry cloth.
It is a simple trick that will definitely be useful unless you like waiting for the mirror to de-fog or to quickly clean it with your hand and leave traces of your hand on it.
12. Washing Machine Eats Your Socks?
Washing machines are known for eating your socks. There have been many cases where people only find only one piece of a pair of socks.
Oftentimes, that one missing piece is stuck somewhere in the inner tube of the washing machine, but you will be too lazy to go and look for it.
You can avoid this by simply using any kind of a pin to link them together. This pin will keep them together and you can easily extract them together from the washing machine.
If you are afraid of linking a pair of socks together with a pointy thing, there is a solution for you, as well, and that solution is using pillow linen.
You can use bed linen as a container for your socks. Put your socks inside of pillow linen and you are set.
Bed linen is thin enough to let the water through it and wash the socks, along with the pillow linen, and it will keep your socks inside it, so you will not lose any of your socks.
13. A Door You Need to Be Opened is Constantly Closing
Imagine a scenario where you have just bought a set of new furniture. You need to carry it into your apartment, however, you have the kind of door that self-closes.
There is a neat trick to keep the door from latching, and that trick is by using two rubber bands and put them over the handle and the door latch.
Now you can easily just push the door with your foot or back, and carry the furniture or any other items, without the constant need to put the item down, open the door, then pick it up again.
14. Mushy Bottom of Your Trash Bin
Your trash bin is home to various items you no longer need. Have you ever thrown a couple of juice boxes and realized a little of the liquid poured over to the bottom of the bin?
It does not need to be juice boxes, some food items usually have juices that gather at the bottom of the bin and are a nuisance to clean out.
Even if you put a trash bag in your bin, it can still be a hefty job to watch out for dripping. The solution is very simple: use old newspapers.
Grab some old newspaper and put it at the bottom of the bin. The dry paper will absorb all kinds of juices and prevent them from reaching the bottom of the bin.
15. Checking if Batteries Have Juice in Them
Look around your room. How many things are you able to find that works on battery power? Let us do a quick check, you probably have a couple of remotes, a wall clock, and a few other items.
That means that you have a lot of backup batteries lying around the room. However, do you know whether they are empty or full?
There is a simple test for that. Grab your battery, hold it by its top part, vertically, and drop it down from around 6 to 7 inches. The number of bounces the battery makes will tell you its charge status.
If it makes a small bounce before falling over, it means that they are good and charged. If they make more than that one bounce, that means they are either dead or have a couple of days in them.
16. A Quick Lantern
Do you have a plastic bottle near you somewhere? There is a nice trick if you want to illuminate your room a little.
Grab the bottle and place your phone underneath it. Before that, be sure to turn on your phone lamp and direct it to the bottom of the plastic bottle.
The light will be dispersed throughout the room through the bottle. Ideal for chill get-togethers and smaller social gatherings.
if you need a step by step instruction, check it here. There is also another method that is achieved by using a glass cup, which is included in the link above.
17. Does Your Phone Charger Cable Gets Bent Too Much?
There are numerous reasons why phone charger cables get bent and break easily. Some cables are simply low quality, while some people are just plain unlucky.
However, there is a simple way to avoid this and protect your cable. Use a spring from a pen and reinforce the cable near the charging jack.
The spring will act as a force absorber and will help your cable last longer.
18. Quick Ice-Cold Drink
If you are in a hurry and need to quickly cool down a drink, there is an amazingly fast solution for you. You just need paper towels.
All you need to do is wrap a wet paper towel over a bottle and put it into a fridge. It will take about 20 minutes for the beverage to be icy cold.
Have in mind though that the effect will be better the warmer the drink is. A slightly cold beverage will take a bit more time, but it is still worth the hassle, if you are short on time, of course.
Another interesting life hack with cooling down drinks is by putting frozen grapes in a beverage, however, this only works with wine.
You can put frozen grapes in wine glasses to cool the wine down in order to avoid watering the wine down with cold water.
19. Removing the Stem from Strawberries
You are probably annoyed as much as any other person with the strawberry stems. You cannot enjoy them thoroughly with those stems in the middle.
Simple, use a plastic straw to extract the stem by pushing the straw from the bottom, through the body and up to the top, to completely remove the stem.
20. Organizing Wires and Cables
There are a couple of ways of organizing wires and cables. If you have unused cables, use a hair clip to hold them together.
If you often replace your keyboard or mouse, you can use a bread clip to label the cables. It will save so much time and you will know what is what.
These two ways are the most interesting ones and considered life hacks. If you wish to learn more about other ways you can organize your cables under your desks, read this article.
Now that some life hacks that might be of interest for you have been covered, let us shift our focus to another product of the life hacks phenomenon, albeit far less helpful.
REVERSE LIFE HACKS
The reverse life hacks are a funny compliment to life hacks, having the goal of providing a silly solution to a problem that cannot be classified in reality as a problem, at all.
They are mostly used for a quick chuckle if anything. There is no exact information on the origin of life hacks or the person who popularized them.
However, it is safe to say that it occurred naturally as a witty response to life hacks. Let us go through a couple of them, just so you can understand the gist of it.
A couple of examples would be “You can use plastic bottle caps as classy fruit holders for your table” and “Use your hot laptop power adapter to heat up a sandwich”.
As previously mentioned, they are meant to be a funny alternative and a kind of a parody to the life hacks.
There is not a lot of websites or other sources of information on the reverse life hacks, if you wish to read a few more a have a laugh, here is a website that has a couple more than mentioned in the text.
However, there is a person that can be seen as the man who set the initial standard which would later evolve into the life hack phenomenon. This person’s name is Rube Goldberg.
RUBE GOLDBERG AND HIS MACHINES
Rube Goldberg was a well-known 20th-century cartoonist who was mostly known for his depictions of complicated gadgets and machinery performing simple and everyday tasks.
Rube Goldberg’s popularity rose in the early 1900s, when he drew cartoons for the New York Evening Mail, depicting his, now dubbed, “Rube Goldberg Machines”.
He has left a long-lasting legacy, especially in the world of cartoonists and other artists. In addition to having his own postage stamps, the Cartoonist of the Year award bears his own name, in his honor.
There also are a lot of competitions worldwide on making the most absurd Rube Goldberg machine, both official and unofficial, online competitions.
Any overly- complicated machine, in both fiction and reality, that is depicted ultimately executing a menial task has since been known as a “Rube Goldberg Machine“.
There is a possibility that the idea evolved over time, gradually lessening the complexity of the execution and increasing the usefulness of the goal, and became what we all know today as life hacks.
Rube Goldberg is a fascinating person in our history, and if you wish to learn more about similar machines, head to this article right here.
In conclusion, life hacks have become a significant part of our society, in multiple ways. Sometimes they are funny and interesting, most of the time they are extremely useful.
Each and every one of us has been in an abundance of situations where we worked hard instead of smart, and these life hacks helped us in doing more of the latter.
Even though some of them are meant to mess with us, like with the case of the “reverse life hacks”, they still provide us with the boost of creativity needed to come up with ones of our own, more helpful ones.
So no matter how small or huge your problem is, there is a high possibility that there is a life hack, a little key to that lock that will help you unlock the door instead of kicking the door down.
Have in mind though, that there is a secondary advantage to these life hacks, and it is the ability to make you think outside the box and teach you to observe something from alternative angles.
All in all, life hacks are interesting and useful and, if we take into account their long history and popularity, they are here to stay and help us for a longer time than we had originally anticipated.
I’ll be happy when: I buy my dream car; I buy a home in a certain address; I have a million dollars …