21+ Lifehacks For Real Life

Have you ever looked at a lifehack and thought that while it was pretty clever, there was no way anyone would ever need to use it in real life?

I mean, a lot of those can be fun to read about, but what is it actually accomplishing besides being clever or funny?

So for this list I tried to find hacks that were actually useful in some way.

Keep your paint brush wet between coats with a zip-top bag.

Reddit | limp-brizkit

The most annoying part of painting something that requires multiple coats is making sure the brush doesn't dry. Usually the wait between coats isn't long enough to merit washing it every time, but just leaving it to sit will ruin the brush.

I've always used a plastic grocery bag, but as those get phased out, I really like this alternative. Make a hole in the bottom just big enough for the handle and then seal the bag up between coats.

Run out of kleenex? Reuse the box to hide a roll of toilet paper.

Reddit | bostonstartups

On a good day, I refer to my father as "frugal." On a bad day, I just call him cheap. One of his pet peeves was the idea of spending money on facial tissue when we had perfectly good toilet paper around.

I was always so embarrassed when friend asked for kleenex and I had to point to the roll next to the TV.

This hack at least hides the roll, and it makes it easier to tear off sheets.

Keep those tacos upright.

Reddit | Ness644

While I know the microwave is never going to make decent tacos, laziness still wins out a lot of the time. Sometimes you just want the cheese to be melty right away, you know?

But tacos like to fall over, so next time use a couple of empty bowls or glasses to hold them upright.

This idea does also works if you're warming them in the oven. Just make sure you use something oven-safe as a prop.

Get a better grip when driving a manual transmission.

Reddit | LoxodontaRichard

(Let's just all agree that it will be impossible to describe this hack without getting a case of the giggles, okay? Good.)

An early morning winter commute can be pretty chilly, and that means driving in gloves.

Often, that also means less grip and if you drive stick, then it's even worse. A baby sock is perfect for covering the knob of your gear shift, providing more grip when driving with gloves on.

(Actually, that didn't go as badly as I feared. Yay!)

Protect your car doors in a narrow garage.

Reddit | RIPJ4WZ

Even if your garage isn't that narrow, some car models just have doors that swing out really far. Or maybe you have to park close to the wall because your garage has become storage space, like they tend to.

Don't worry. You don't need to buy some fancy bumper system or stock up on touch-up paint. Just find yourself a pool noodle.

Cut the noodle in half lengthwise and secure it to the garage wall at the spot your door always impacts.

Help cuts on joints heal by splinting them.

Reddit | permantonio

For most minor cuts a band-aid will do the job well enough, but if that cut is on a knuckle or other joint, any movement could cause it to open up again. Not only does that hurt, but it'll also slow down healing.

Help it along by finding something to use as a makeshift splint. Anything thin and flat will work and you just need a rubber band to hold it on.

Just make sure it's not too tight or your finger will go numb.

Make a funnel in a pinch.

Reddit | williamd83

You may be wondering what kind of person doesn't own a funnel, but I'm telling you that mine seem incapable of staying put. They're never around when I need them.

Also, while you may have a funnel in the kitchen, you shouldn't use that same one for tasks like filling cleaner bottles. (Please tell me you already knew that, right?)

So for those odd times when there isn't one handy, cut the top off a plastic bottle. The spout makes a perfect funnel.

Fill a bucket even if your sink is small.

Reddit | voy_conlag_mental

If you have a bathtub, you can always fill your buckets there, but what if all you have is a tiny bathroom with a shower stall? Maybe if the shower head is on a hose you could make that work, but not if you have to hold the bucket up in the air.

Instead, wedge your dustpan under the faucet with the handle sticking out over the edge of the sink. It will send the water out to the bucket on the floor.

Wireless earbud cases fit in that tiny jeans pocket.

Reddit | themondasiandalek

Back when jeans were first invented, the shallow little pocket on the front left side was meant to hold a watch. You know, a pocket watch.

Eventually, wrist watches became the norm and nowadays even those are fading in popularity. So what can you use that little pocket for now?

Earbuds. It turns out that the carrying case for Airpods perfectly fits in that pocket, as do the cases for many other brands.

Give your big headphones a home.

Reddit | dumbogaming123

While wireless earbuds may be the most convenient portable option, sometimes you want a pair of the high quality over-the-ear ones for serious work or gaming.

Of course, all that quality means a much bigger package and those things are going to need a home when you're not using them.

It turns out that the answer is a banana hanger. It's made to balance oddly shaped fruit and has a large hook, so it's perfect for hanging up those big headphones too.

Use rubbing alcohol to clean windshield frost.

The Krazy Coupon Lady

No one likes sweeping snow off the car or scraping frost from the windows but it's a fact of life if you live in a cold climate. So any way to speed up the process is a good hack to know.

For thin layers of frost, you can use a spritzer bottle full of rubbing alcohol. Spray it over the frost and watch it melt away. You want the highest percentage rubbing alcohol you can find, since if it's half water, it'll just frost more.

Secure your bike's quick release.

Reddit | Mantequilla_Stotch

Quick release sounds super handy when you want to perform maintenance on your bike, but it's also handy for potential thieves. Even if your bike is locked, they could still make off with the seat.

So if you're regularly leaving your bike in sketchy neighborhoods for work or whatever, secure your quick release with a hose clamp.

Sure, you'll need a screwdriver to remove it when you're working on the bike, but it's better than losing your seat, right?

Regrow green onions to save money.

Reddit | ReturnDelMack

Green onions aren't just a great way to add a bit of freshness to lots of meals, but they're also a super frugal way to do so.

As long as the white bulb end and roots are intact, you can place them in a cup of water and new greens will grow. As long as you freshen the water regularly, you can repeat the process over and over.

A single bunch can last a whole season this way.

Use the loop on your extension cord to keep that USB plugged in.

Reddit | SublimeOverall

How many times have you picked up your device just to discover that it didn't charge like you expected? Often, that's due to the USB plug coming out of the power adapter.

If your extension cord has one of those loops on the end, thread the cable through it before plugging in the USB. It won't 100% guarantee that it won't come loose, but the extra friction will make the problem much less likely.

Use a laundry basket to keep kids' things together in team sports.

Reddit | retiredfireman

It's hard enough to keep track of one child's stuff, let alone an entire team's worth. Whether you're a coach or a parent, head to the dollar store and pick up a couple of small laundry baskets.

Each kid gets their own basket for all of their stuff, whether it's a change of clothes, their other shoes, or just a backpack with snacks. Everything will be kept together and it's easy to just carry back and forth from the car.

Know how to check the age of your eggs.

Reddit | ThatDude697

Depending on the use, sometimes you want a fresh egg and sometimes an older egg is better.

Sure, there's a Best Before date on the carton, but it doesn't tell you when those eggs were laid and not all of us keep our eggs in the carton they came in.

Luckily, there's an easy way to check. Fill a glass with water and if the egg sinks flat to the bottom, it's fresh. Old eggs will float.

Watch your own movies on a flight with no entertainment system.

Reddit | gusto1337

I get that it costs money for airlines to install entertainment systems, but it certainly makes for a boring flight.

If you have a coat with a hood, you can use it to your advantage by draping it over the back of the seat in front of you and nestling your device in the hood. That way you can watch a video.

Make sure you're considerate of the person in front of you.

Easily carry shopping bags with a carabiner.

Reddit | dollartaco

It's always annoying to make multiple trips to and from the car when unloading groceries and it's a million times more annoying if you have to carry each load up multiple flights of stairs to your apartment.

I speak from experience. Ugh.

So whether you're in a three storey walk-up or just don't want to work hard, keep a carabiner in your car. Then you can string all the bags onto it and carry them at once.

Get serious with your insulation.

Reddit | williamd83

In high school I tried to maximize my pay check by working the overnight shift at McDonald's on weekends. It was less busy, I got free food, and an extra dollar per hour. But it also meant sleeping during the day.

I learned to appreciate all the shift workers out there, as well as the difference blackout curtains make. This hack takes that a step further by using insulation pads cut to perfectly fit the windows. Not only will it be dark, but it'll keep out noise too.

Get the perfect bite every time.

Reddit | CVBrownie

Am I the only person that doesn't actually like buttercream frosting that much? It's just a big pile of sweet.

And yet, I also appreciate the look of a beautifully decorated cupcake. How could you not?

Usually, eating a cupcake means a mouthful of overly sweet frosting and a last bite of dry cake. Instead, remove the liner and twist the cake in half. Plop the bottom on top to make a frosting sandwich.

Just don't try this if there is a sticky filling.

Make reusable bubble bars even easier with a mesh bag.

Reddit | MuddyBoggyMonster

Reusable bubble bars are a great product, but like any bar of soap, they have their drawbacks. Laid on the edge of the tub, they never quite dry properly and if you have chronic hand pain, the crumbling needed to make them work can hurt.

Instead, get a small mesh bag and put all or part of a bar in it. Hang it under the faucet when filling the bath to get the bubble action going. Then you can just hang up the bag for it to dry fully.

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