Most of us have a few ‘survival skills’ up our sleeves. Skills that make our days, weeks and years run a bit easier, more smoothly. We all have certain life hacks that help us. Some tips, tricks, coping skills or efficient methods to manage life better. Some of these we don’t even realise we use anymore, because we’ve just always done it like that.
I’ve been thinking about a few things over the past weeks, things that I do, almost automatically sometimes, to make certain acts in my normal day-to-day life easier and more pleasant. If you concentrate on the things you do every day you’ll realise many things you do almost without thinking, but they still help you make life a bit easier. And most of these life hacks have been passed on by moms, dads, family, friends….
Here are 15 of my random life hacks that really help me in my normal day-to-day life.
15 life hacks
- One of the things my mom taught me a long time ago is always have bicarbonate of soda in your cupboard. Why? Because it neutralises ANY smells. Seriously. I put it in the kitchen bin before I put the liner in, I put it at the bottom of the compost bin in the kitchen, I use it to rub into my hands whenever I’ve cut many onions and garlic, to get the smell of cat pee out a carpet and so forth. It is really versatile.
- Baking bread and need to prove the dough, but you don’t have somewhere warm? Put it in your car which is standing outside and should be warm inside.
- Do you have open shelves in your kitchen? Why not use glass bottles to display products you often use? For example rice, lentils, sugar. It is an instant way to spruce up that shelf.
- When sewing buttons on clothing items like jeans or denim shirts – any clothing item that uses a lot of strain – use stronger thread like embroidery thread. This will not break as easy.
- Limescale in your kettle? Boil it every now and then with white vinegar. The smell isn’t great so maybe do it when you’re home alone.
- Speaking about white vinegar. A little bowl with some vinegar in helps against fruit flies and mosquitoes.
- Boiled a few eggs? Let the water cool and use for your plants because of the calcium in it.
- If something in your oven catches fire, do NOT open the door. To feed the flames with oxygen is the worst thing you could do. Turn the oven off and leave the door closed until the fire starts to smother itself and the oxygen inside the oven depletes.
- When someone introduces themselves to you, say their name back to them. You’re more likely to remember it the next time you meet.
- The little bit of tomato ketch-up or mayonnaise or barbeque sauce that is stuck in the bottle before you through it out does seem like a waste. Add a little bit of water (lukewarm) and shake. Use it in any sauce with the next meal.
- Run out of hot chocolate? Nutella or chocolate spread work just as well. Add a tablespoon (of two) in a glass of milk and put in the microwave to warm it up.
- Need to reheat pasta or rice in the microwave? Just sprinkle a bit of water on top and it will taste fresh again.
- Do you have a small room which you struggle to decorate and there is not enough space to store things? Use the wall space, especially above the door, by putting up shelves or hooks. Have a look at a blog I wrote about the clever use of space.
- Glass pots, like the ones you buy jams and sauces in, are ideal for storing bits and pieces in. I use many for beads and string etc. You are also being environmentally friendly by re-using, so important.
- Although we don’t have as many ants in Ireland as when I was living in South Africa, I have noticed an increase in the amount of ants around the house over the last few years. As child we weren’t encouraged to kill them, especially because they are so hardworking. We would use baby powder to deter them or it is also said that ants won’t cross a solid chalk line. Next time you see them walking in a straight line to your front door, draw a line!
I am sure there are many more life hacks you know or that you do without thinking!