DIY Repair & Maintenance

Why Didn’t I Think of That? 18 Clever Tricks to Simplify Your Life

We get it. Life can be hard. The to-do list never ends, no task is without complication, and of course, there is never enough money. But fortunately, some of the best things in life are free, and some of the most satisfying solutions to life’s pesky problems are right under your nose. This is why we’ve gathered together this selection of great tricks and easy life hacks that will make you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

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Unzip with Ease

If your zipper is stuck, try adding a dab of liquid soap onto the zipper pull. Slowly move the mechanism back and forth until the interlocking teeth fall into the correct places. Then, simply rinse the zipper with water to remove the soap.

Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know Dish Soap Can Do

Nonslip Glue Trick

Tired of of slipping and sliding? Hot glue is a quick way to add some traction grips to your favorite pair of cozy slippers. Similarly, try adding a few rings of hot glue to the underside of a rug to prevent it from sliding around.

Related: 11 Surprising Alternative Uses for Elmer’s Glue

Catch-All Solution via bertus52x11

Sawdust from a drill can get everywhere when you’re drilling into a wall, ceiling, or other surface. Contain the chaos by poking your drill bit through the bottom of a small paper cup, then drilling as normal. The sawdust will fall inside the cup instead of dropping to the floor.

Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know Sawdust Can Do

Pump Yourself Up

If you’re transporting a pump-top bottle in your luggage, wrap a rubber band around the skinny part of the sliding pump several times to keep the lever from dispensing. You can also prevent flip-top or screw-cap bottles from leaking by placing a plastic bag over the cap and securing it in place with a rubber band.

Related: 11 Seriously Surprising Uses for a Ziplock Bag

Foil Painting

When you’re painting walls or ceilings, line the roller tray with a sheet of tinfoil
for easy cleanup afterwards. Foil can also be wrapped around doorknobs and other hardware to prevent drips.

Related: 10 Unusual Tricks for Your Easiest-Ever Paint Job

Chop Stop

Stop a slippery cutting board from sliding across the counter by wrapping a large rubber band around each end. This will give the board some traction and help prevent accidents.

Related: 10 Things Always to Keep Near Your Kitchen Sink

Picture Perfect

It can be tricky to hang pictures that require two brackets or hooks, but you can hang one perfectly by attaching a strip of masking or painter’s tape to the back of the frame so that it covers the notches from which the picture is meant to hang. Poke holes in the tape over those notches, then remove the piece of tape from the frame and stick it to the wall. Use a level to ensure that it’s straight before nailing through the holes in the tape.

Related: 10 Inventive Ways to Display Family Photos

Oils Against Odor

Counteract the stench of smelly trash by keeping a cotton ball or paper towel soaked in essential oils at the bottom of the can beneath the disposable liner. Replace that cotton ball with a new one every few weeks, and your trash can will always smell fresh as a daisy.

Related: 11 Super Simple Ways to Make Your House Smell Fresh

Tame Cord Chaos

With so many electronics in our lives today, cords can quickly become a disorganized mess. You can restore order by using colorful washi tape to color-code and label what’s what. This tape can also be used for quick, helpful labels on jars, bins, or cubbies throughout your home.

Related: 10 Ways to Organize Your Home with Color

Pop of Genius

YouTube via HackCollege

Double your closet space with soda pop-tops. Simply slide the hook of a hanger through one hole of the pop-top, then loop another hanger through the second hole. Repeat the trick on the lower hanger to store even more in a small space.

Related: The Most Organized Closets We’ve Ever Seen

Upright and Uptight

Tired of your tall boots flopping over in storage? Keep your boots in shape by inserting wrapping paper tubes, egg cartons, or empty wine bottles to keep everything upright and tidy.

Related: Organize Closets with 11 Things You Already Own

Smile Away Scratches

Toothpaste can buff away minor surface scratches on a variety of materials, ranging from phone screens to car paint. Apply a dab of toothpaste and gently rub it in using a circular motion before wiping it away with a damp cloth.

Related: 9 Home Repair Remedies to Borrow from Your Medicine Cabinet

The Keys to Happiness

Stop fumbling to find the right key every time you try to unlock the front door. Just paint the tops of your keys with nail polish, and you’ll be able to tell them apart quickly without the added bulk of rubber key-toppers.

Related: 8 Organizers for the Little Stuff You Always Lose

Work It Out

Low on countertop space? Give yourself some more room to work by rolling out one of the kitchen drawers and placing a cutting board on top to create an as-needed work area. 

Related: 11 Cheap Cures for a Cluttered Kitchen

File It Away

Making space in the pantry is a delicate balancing act involving boxes, jars, and cans of many different sizes and shapes. For neat and tidy organization, use magazine files to store your cans or jars. You won’t have to stack them awkwardly on top of each other, and you can label the file so you know what you have. 

Related: 11 “Zero Dollar” Ways to Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets

10-Second Tidy

Is all the house clutter making you feel overwhelmed? When you’re not sure where to start, just grab an empty laundry basket and go around the house tossing in the items that are out of place or need to be organized. If you still have the energy, go back around and put things where they belong. Need a break? Tuck the basket away and forget about the stuff for a bit until you’re ready to tackle it.

Related: The Best Organizers to Buy for Under $5, $15, and $25

Countertop Hack

Are you constantly knocking things over into the bathroom sink as you’re getting ready in the morning? Here’s an easy way to get more counter space that doesn’t involve a total bathroom renovation: Keep a cutting board nearby, and place it across the sink when you need a spot to put your stuff. When you’re all done, just store it under the sink!

Related: 18 Totally Brilliant Bathroom Storage Hacks

Burn Coffee Grounds

Save yourself from pesky mosquitoes and harsh bug spray with this easy hack. All you have to do is a burn a bowl filled with coffee grounds for an all-natural bug repellent.

Related: 9 Best Buys for a Bug-Free Home

Why Didn't I Buy That?

Not everything can be simplified with an easy hack, but that’s okay. In those instances there are great and affordable products to help. For speedier cleaning, consider some of these fun products. Or if it’s in the kitchen where you could uses some extra assistance, check out these appliances.