One of the driving forces at PlanHero is making time for what matters. Life is crazy enough, so anything we can incorporate (or delete) from our lives to streamline things is always welcomed.
I was thinking of this the other day when I was home for seven hours, waiting for the delivery of some chairs I ordered online. As these things go, the chairs didn’t arrive, and I was told the delivery would be rescheduled. Again. For the third time. My favorite part was the way the company informed me of the delays, which was by email and a chirpy message that read, Congratulations! Your order has been successfully rescheduled! Um…way to spin it, I suppose. So I have another eight hour delivery window ahead of me where I can only hope I will see the chairs I purchased back in the first week of June.
This, of course, got me thinking about time and efficiency, and one of my favorite things to read about: life hacks and pro-tips for making just about anything easier. I thought I would share some of my favorites with you and I invite you all to share yours. Bonus points if you can send some of these my way by Thursday, since I will be stuck at home waiting for my chairs.
- Don’t put it down. Put it away.
- Store your plastic cling wrap in the freezer. It won’t stick to itself as much when you use it.
- Can’t sleep? Try blinking your eyes rapidly for a minute.
- When microwaving food, form it in the shape of a ring (hollow out the middle if possible) to heat up quicker.
- If you’re at a large park or event with your kids, take a picture of them just as you walk out the door. Hopefully you’ll never need this, but if they get lost, you’ll have a photo of them that shows exactly how they look that day.
- Writer’s block? Tell yourself to write only one sentence and see where it goes. Don’t overthink it. Just write the one sentence.
- Pre-tangle your headphones. Grab both ends with one hand, your finger in the middle, pull tight and twist nine times, then let them naturally curl up. Make sure you don’t run anything through the loop when you slide them into your pocket. When you take them out, they may look tangled, but should unravel perfectly.
- Printer out of black ink and you need to print something out, stat? Change the color of the font to #010101, which is 99% gray.
- Fun way to make mental math easier and quicker? Remember that X% of Y is equal to Y% of X (ex: 7% of 50 = 50% of 7 = 3.5)
- Give younger kids a popsicle without fear of a drippy mess: insert the bottom of the popsicle stick through a cupcake liner to catch the melted bits.
- Need to remove permanent marker from something? For clothes, use hand sanitizer. For walls, toothpaste or hairspray. For wood, rubbing alcohol. For carpet, white vinegar. For furniture, dab with milk. Accidentally used on a white board? Write over it with a dry erase maker and erase or try a pencil eraser.
- Losing air in your tire but can’t find the hole? Take some dish soap and water and cover the tire. Bubbles will develop wherever there is a leak.
- Down to just a tiny bit of Nutella in your jar? Fill it with ice cream!
- Haven’t cleaned your microwave in way too long? Fill a bowl with water and microwave it for 2-3 minutes. The steam will loosen any dried food for easier cleaning.
- Want to safely clean your blender? Fill with soap and hot water, give it a pulse or two, rinse and you’re done!
- Coca Cola can unclog a toilet (eep!)
- Put a dry tea bag in smelly shoes and gym bags to absorb odors.
- Headed to the beach? Clean out an empty bottle of sunscreen (the lotion kind, not the spray) and use it to store your phone, keys, and a credit card.
- Want to microwave two bowls at the same time but don’t have room? Place one bowl on the glass tray, and the other one on top of a microwave-safe mug right next to it.
- Rub a walnut over wood furniture to hide scratch marks.
- Lose something small, like an earring? Pop a stocking over the head of your vacuum hose to find those tiny, missing items without vacuuming them up.
Okay, PlanHero Nation, what are your favorite hacks to simplify your life?