Yes, it's that time again—holiday time, that is. If this immediately fills you with a feeling of dread and stress, let's stop that in its tracks. Grab your warm cup of cocoa or apple cider and sit back in your comfy chair because we're about to share with you our list of holiday hacks that are going to make your life easier in the coming months.
'Tis the Season for Travel Hacks
If you're one of the nearly 100 million Americans traveling during the holidays, you'll definitely need some travel tips to help you stay calm and stress-free. Here's a few of our top hacks that will get you home for Christmas.
Buy airline tickets on Tuesdays after 3 p.m. EST. This is when airlines lower their prices.
Take a photo or scan your important documents before traveling. This way, you can easily print out a copy if needed.
Make an automatic plant waterer out of an old wine bottle. This will not only keep your plants hydrated while you're gone, but will save you from paying the neighbor kid to do it.
Holiday Décor Storage Hacks
Every year you have to drag out the decorations from storage. And every year, doesn't it seem that you can't find that special decoration you're looking for? Or worse—it's broken. There's a lot you can do to store your decorations safely. Here's a few ornament storage hacks that won't cost you a penny.
Save egg cartons to hold your ornaments. This idea is perfect for small, delicate ornaments. After all, eggs delicate, too.
Wrap lights around coat hangers or cardboard tubes. Tangled strands of Christmas lights can quickly take the fun out of decorating. Keep them nice and tidy by wrapping them around sturdy objects.
Store wrapping paper tubes in an old shoe holder. Just cut out the bottoms of a few slots so the tubes can slide through.
Use vitamin containers to store tiny objects. Any small plastic container will do to store ornament hooks, tiny spare Christmas lights, or small decor pieces.
Money-Saving Holiday Hacks
Saving money is difficult during the holidays, isn't it? It's possible if you know what to look for. Here are a few of our favorite ways to save money leading up to the winter holidays.
Get free shipping by shopping online after December 18th. Seem a little late? Many retailers will include free shipping if you purchase after this date. Save even more by having it sent directly to the recipient.
Use Pinterest. It's more than just pinning pretty pictures; it also has a Price Drop Alert, so pin your shopping list to a secret board and Pinterest will alert you when an item goes on sale.
Check out online sales before Black Friday. They usually start a lot earlier and you also get the advantage of missing all the crowds.
DIY Decoration Hacks
Don't have the money for store-bought decorations (or the time to shop for them)? There's so many things you can make yourself that you won't need to break the bank or run to the store during the busy holiday times. Here's a few of our favorites DIYs that will make your home feel festive on the cheap.
Make placeholders out of candy canes. Tie a trio of candy canes together with the hooks on the bottom, and place your name card there.
Make an easy centerpiece with ornaments. Want a pretty centerpiece on the fly? Grab an old serving dish, glass vase, or vintage crate and put some pretty ornaments in it.
String leftover cookies together as a garland. Make a garland out of extra gingerbread cookies. Just poke a hole through each and run ribbon through them.
Miscellaneous Holiday Hacks
Our last group of hacks, that will hopefully make your life easier this holiday season, includes a bunch of miscellaneous tidbits that didn't really fit in anywhere else. But they're still just as useful as those above!
Designate a cardboard box or large plastic bag for trash when opening presents. This will keep cleanup to a minimum.
Use toothpaste to remove tree sap from your hands. Have a Christmas tree in the house? If you do, you're likely going to get sap on your hands. Rub toothpaste over the sticky areas on your hands and arms before using soap.
Wash your potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner in the dishwasher. Scrubbing a dozen potatoes is a thing of the past—if you have a dishwasher, anyhow. Run your potatoes through the rinse cycle to jet clean them before cooking. (No detergent!)
Use a bottle of wine to roll out pie dough. Can't find your rolling pin, but have to roll the pie dough? Use that bottle of wine before company arrives.