With so much to get done in life, there's definitely a need for a little help in making things go easier, faster or just plain better, isn't there? We've compiled a list of some of our favorite ways to accomplish things easier, faster, or better—or as we like to call them, "DIY life hacks" that have helped us in our households and will now hopefully help you, too!
1. Plastic Bottle Top Stale Stopper
Plastic bottles can be repurposed into many things. Our tip is to use a pair of scissors and cut the top off, leaving just a few inches around the cap. Now you can take any opened bags of nuts, chips, chocolate chips, cereal, etc. and pull the top through the cap. Overlap the plastic through the cap and over the plastic sides of the bottle or just pull enough through to be able to screw the bottle top back on. Either way, the food inside will be safe from becoming stale.
2. Tea Coloring
Have a discolored tablecloth or a pair of curtains that you wish were more of an antique or "tea" color? Tea is actually the answer. Add plain tea bags to hot water and then add the material that you want to darken. Add more tea for a darker color or more water if you want it lighter. To make sure that it sets and allow the cloth to soak awhile in cold water before you use it.
3. Bouncing Batteries
Not sure if a battery is good or not? Try the bounce trick. Drop the battery on a table from about 6 inches. If they bounce around they're pretty much dead, if they just give you one good bounce and topple over, they still have some life left.
4. Toilet Paper Tube Organizing
Hate tossing toilet paper tubes in the trash? Wish you had a project for them instead? Now you do. Label them with a marker and organize a drawer full of cords, pens, or other things in your "junk drawer" that could use a handy cylinder to keep organized.
5. Poptop Clothes Hanger Helper
Using poptops on your clothes hangers is a great way to save space and combine an outfit. Simply pop the top off the can and slide it over your hanger. Next, place another hanger through the second loop of the pop can top and you now have a free way to hang clothes in a chain. This type of hanger can be bought in a store, but why buy them when you can make your own for free?
6. Bucket Trick
If you have a bucket you're trying to fill with water that won't fit in the sink under the faucet, try a dustpan as a helper. Prop the dustpan under the faucet, allowing the water to run down it into the bucket below. note that the dustpan needs a handle that looks and acts like a spout for this to work.
7. Safe Keeping
Have money or other valuables that you don't want just anyone to see lying about your dresser or countertops? Take an old lotion or shampoo bottle with a wide lid, clean it out well and dry it to reuse it as a safe. You could also use an old book that you never read — just cut a square out of the center of multiple pages and place your items inside. Put the book back on the shelf and no one's the wiser.
8. Nail Polish Color Coding
Nail polish is helpful for many things around the house — one helpful use is to color-code your keys. Using bright colors helps jog the memory on which one goes where. Or, paint them in a color that you will associate easily with that particular lock, such as green for the yard shed and red for the red front door.
9. Mark Out Furniture Scratches
Scratched furniture can be such a pain to fix, if you don't have our life hacks, that is. Use a colored pencil or marker in the same color as the wood to color over the scratch. Have leftover dark hair dye? While you're dying your hair and still have the gloves on, use a cotton swab and dab it onto the scratch. (Make sure it's at least somewhat of a match in color and a piece of furniture you won't be too upset with if it doesn't come out perfectly as it's likely a permanent solution, even if it's not such a permanent hair dye.)
10. Bread and Produce Fasteners
Bread clips make great cord identifiers. Label them with a permanent marker and stick them on the cord. For example mouse, laptop power, printer, USB.
11. Shower Head Clean-up
One of my favorite hacks involves cleaning the shower head without having to remove it. Simply take a plastic bag, fill it with some vinegar, and rubber band it around the showerhead, allowing it to sit overnight. If vinegar isn't strong enough and you have a lot of calcium build-up you can also fill the bag with a lime and calcium remover.
12. Sponge Cleaning
Keeping your kitchen clean is very important to everyone's household, and keeping your sponge clean is a large part of it. Toss it in the microwave for two minutes to kill most germs, or run it through your dishwasher when you're starting a new load.
13. Eyeglass Case Organizers
Eyeglass cases are usually given to you every time you get a new pair of glasses, and if you have a lot of people in your house who wear them, you may have a lot of cases lying around empty. Don't toss them. Since they fit great in a purse, consider storing small things that you may want to carry around with you like hair ties, lipstick, or even little snacks. Label what's inside so you don't forget.
14. Microwave Easy Cleaning
Cleaning a microwave is a breeze if you use vinegar. Add the vinegar whole or diluted with water to a coffee cup and microwave for two to three minutes. The steam will loosen up nearly any grime inside and you just use a wet paper towel to wipe it away.
15. Bleach Stain Fix
Ever get a bleach stain on your favorite shirt? Depending on the color, it still may be salvageable. For black, it's quite easy in fact. Use a black sharpie and color in the white spot. You may have to re-do it after washing it, but it's a quick fix if you don't want to toss whatever it is you got bleach on. (For other colors, as long as they're solids, you can try out different markers, but just know that it may not always turn out as unnoticeable of a fix as it will on black material.)
16. Postage Stamp Cover-up
Have an extra postage stamp lying around? A stamp is the perfect size for covering the camera on your computer. Any hacker, even newbies, can turn that little camera on in your computer and watch anything you're doing, so keep the camera covered when it's not in use.