Human ingenuity never ceases to amaze us. Our ability to adapt and repurpose everyday items provides an endless stream of ways to make our lives easier.
The phrase that describes these clever innovations is life hack. Wikipedia defines the term this way: “Life hacking refers to any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life.” In other words, a life hack is anything that solves an everyday problem in “an inspired, ingenious manner.”
Ever have a problem finding the end of a roll of tape? For us, it usually takes three times as long to get the end unstuck than it does to put the tape where it needs to go. But now when we do, we take a paperclip (you know that little box holds more than you’ll likely ever use) and stick it to the edge of the tape. That makes the end easier to find the next time. That’s a life hack.
Below we’ve compiled a list of our favorite home-related hacks — plus some links to places around the web where you can find hundreds, if not thousands, more.
Things Get Clean in the Sink, But What Cleans the Sink?
Here’s a gem the folks at SERVPRO offer on their Facebook page to help you make sure your kitchen sink — a receptacle for some pretty nasty stuff — stays clean and fresh.
- Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain.
- Wash it down with ½ cup of vinegar and a spritz of lemon.
- Let that set for a few minutes while it fizzles.
- Rinse with hot water.
How the Heck Do You Clean a Mattress?
This smart spring cleaning hack comes from Calli, whose, blog “Make It Do,” offers a bit of advice on keeping mattresses smelling fresh.
Remove all the bedding, including bed skirts and mattress covers… and put it all into the wash.
Next lift the mattress and box springs off the bed and thoroughly vacuum and dust. (Feel free to wipe down the wall and floorboards behind the bed.)
Lay the mattress back into place and prepare Calli’s special concoction. You could just use straight baking soda, but Calli pours about one cup of baking soda into a mason jar and adds four drops of lavender essential oil. Put on the lid and shake up the jar.
Using a kitchen strainer sprinkle the baking soda mixture all over the mattress and let it sit. Let it sit for an hour or more, usually the time it takes to finish washing all the bedding and press the bed skirt.
Using the hose end of your vacuum and an upholstery attachment, thoroughly vacuum the mattress. Say goodbye to dust mites and other nasty things. The baking soda helps draw up any moisture and deep dirtiness. It deodorizes and leaves the mattress smelling fresh and clean.
Short and Sweet
Many, if not most, life hacks are quick and simple tricks to make life just a bit easier. Here are some of our favorites, courtesy of Twisted Sifter.
- Place a rubber band around a paint can to wipe off the brush. This will help keep the paint on the inside of the can.
- Use your smartphone to take photos of your friends with items you lend them. That way you’ll remember who has them.
- Fold your clothes and stack them vertically in drawers. You’ll be able to see them better.
- A frozen, wet sponge makes a great ice pack that won’t drip as it melts.
- Use unscented dental floss to cut cakes, cheese and other soft foods.
- Use a clothespin to hold a nail when hammering.
Simple And Smart
- Use a laundry basket to carry several bags of groceries.
- Driving on a strange highway and don’t know which side of the road the exit is on? Look at the little rectangular exit sign on top of the larger highway sign. It will be on the same side of the road as the exit.
- Ever rent a car and, as you’re pulling into the gas station, you realize you don’t know which side of the car the tank door is on? The dashboard gas gauge likely has a little triangular arrow that points to the side from which the tank should be filled.
We know what you’re thinking. Life is good now. These life hacks will make things so much better. Again, you’re welcome. But there will come a time when maybe you’re not quite as happy as you are this very moment. Here’s one last life hack to make life a little better: Forcing yourself to smile when you’re feeling down will make you happier.
There are plenty more life hacks, especially where keeping your home organized, uncluttered and clean are concerned. We’ve only scratched the surface. Below are some links to even more life hacks:
- 1000 Life Hacks - daily life hacks to help you get through life slightly easier than the rest.
- The 50 Best Life Hacks of All Time - from ComplexArt+Design, the latest art news and design trends.
- 37 Essential Life Hacks Every Human Should Know - from BuzzFeed, a social media company.
- Best Life Hacks - from Huffington Post, an American online news and blog website.
For tips on clearing the clutter from your home — life hacked and otherwise — visit the Bin There Dump blog. And if you’re ready to tackle your next big project, find the Bin There Dump That franchise operator nearest you on our website.