Life is hard sometimes. That's why we embrace any hacks that can make daily life just a little bit easier. Here are a few nifty tricks that come in handy from time to time.
1. Reheated Dinner for Two
You've just gotten home from work, and all you want is to sit in front of the tv with your siggy other, a bowl full of leftovers, and the cast from Schitt's Creek. We want that, too, and we want it as fast as we can. Here's how to hack your microwave so you can reheat both your dinners at the same time.
Place one bowl inside, then place a mug beside it and the second bowl on top of it. Now you have space to nuke it all! Burn the minutes while you wait prepping Netflix and tidying up your couch.
2. Crispy Crust
Speaking of dinner, some of us love cold leftover pizza straight out of the fridge. If you're not part of that "some," you likely nuke it in the microwave or else try to recreate the fresh, crisp crust via the oven. Thankfully, you no longer have to suffer the soggy crust straight out of the microwave, nor do you have to waste energy heating up the whole oven (and the kitchen).
The solution: a covered skillet. Reheating your 'za in a covered skillet crisps up the bottom and keeps the topping nice and moist, almost like it was freshly delivered!
3. 2-in-1 Shears
Can't find the long-handled shears? Got some PVC pipe lying around? Slip the pipe over the handles and tape securely so you can tackle that hedge that's threatening to get out of control. Boom. Mic drop.
4. Grounded Gutter Cleaner
And since you've got some PVC pipe lying around from the previous life hack, you don't have to lug out the ladder when it's time to clean the gutters--a relief to those of us with acrophobia (aka fear of heights.) A trip to the building supply store for 3/4" PVC pipe, garden hose coupling, two elbows, and a cap will level up your gutter cleaning game tremendously.
Cut the PVC pipe to a height that allows you to reach the gutter from the ground. Attach the hose coupling at one end. At the other end, attach the two elbows to some of the extra pieces of PVC to create a downward-facing spout. Drill 1/16" holes in the cap for a makeshift nozzle and attach it to the spout. Secure all parts together with some PVC glue. Gutter cleaning was never so much fun.
5. Easy Start/Tear Tape
Sometimes a solution seems so obvious you can't fathom how you never thought of it before. If you've ever lost the end of a roll of tape (who hasn't?), have we got a tip for you. Fold it under at a 90-degree angle and use the edge of the roll to tear it off. This leaves you with a triangular tip for easy gripping, hence no more lost end!
6. Dodge the Drafts
The ceiling register on an AC system can drop a draft into a room during the cold winter months. Until you get the chance to address the situation, use a clear plastic plant saucer to dodge the draft.
With clear removable weather stripping, glue the plastic saucer in place over the register for some temporary relief from the cold. And when the weather is more amenable to your DIY ambitions, take that sucker off and get to work.
7. Dust the Shade
Fabric lampshades are notoriously hard to clean since they attract dust and pet hair like magnets. For this reason, whoever invented the lint roller is a genius. Gentle swipes along the curves of the shade will make a huge difference in your life... or at least give you a sense of accomplishment today.
8. Joist Storage
Got more stuff than you know what to do with? If you're not ready to downsize or hold a garage sale, consider the added storage you could have by installing wire shelving between the joists in your basement or garage.
It's space that would otherwise go unused, so grab your drill and get your hack on! Then when you're ready to reduce your clutter, we've got your back.
9. Fly Got You Down?
We all have that fave pair of pants, jeans, or shorts. You know, the ones that accentuate the assets you want to accentuate and hide the other things you want to hide. Maybe they're not in the greatest condition, but they're for sure not quite ready for the donation pile.
It's just that the fly won't stay up--until now. Attach a key ring to the zipper's pull tab so you can loop it over the button on your pants. Now you won't get caught with your fly down ever again.
10. The Wet Noodle
Pool noodles are more than just fun summer toys. They're versatile life hack tools. For example, if you need to fill a bucket, but your sink isn't large enough to fit it under the faucet--slip one end of the noodle over the faucet and lead the other end into a bucket on the ground.
Slowly turn on the water, so it isn't forced out the faucet end, and voila! You've got a bucket full of water, and you didn't have to break your back by filling and lifting it out of the tub.
11. Brace Your Boots
Who has just one pool noodle? We know you've got at least two. Use the other one to keep your boots from flopping over. Simply trim them to size and insert them into the boots to keep them nice and neat and standing at attention in your closet.
12. Noodle Bumpers
And we couldn't end this list of life hacks without including just one more for pool noodles. They make great bumpers for a variety of situations: overhead in the garage to keep your SUV lift gate from getting dinged, along the side of the garage to keep the car doors from getting dinged, on the rungs of a ladder to keep your shins from getting dinged. And on and on...
It's a rough world out there. Might as well do the little things that make life just that much easier to handle.
Rowena lives and works in paradise, where a year round growing season inspires more projects than she can afford. She currently works as a Programming Librarian at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) where she is proud to serve US Marines and their families. She received her BA in English at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), and her Masters in Library Science at San Jose State (SJSU).
Prior to moving to Hawaii, she wrote catalog descriptions for an antique bookseller specializing in artifacts from the Civil Rights Movement, Japanese internment during World War II, and events that shaped LGBTQ history. Her research/writing career was preceded by 13 years of public service at the King County Library System in Washington.
Rowena got her start in DIY as a builder of cages and enclosures for the pets she regularly brought home during her youth. When not DIY-ing she&rsquo;s paddle boarding, snorkeling, or hanging out at the beach. She has the honor of being a mom, a wife, and a barely mediocre ukulele player.