16 Genius Hacks Using Everyday Household Items

Diply 2 Apr 2018

As a millennial homeowner — yes, we do exist — on a tight budget, I'm always looking for ways to use what I have on hand to do things around the house. If I don't need to buy something to achieve the results I need, why would I?

These are some of my favorite ways to use everyday items in new ways.

1. Use the spring from an old pen to extend the life of a twisting cable.

Angelica Andersson | Snapguide

Charging cables aren't cheap, but they can begin to twist and break near the connections. The spring from a retractable pen will prevent it from bending too much.

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2. Tape an envelope below small drywall projects to keep clean-up easy.

Reddit | GoHernando

Drywall dust gets everywhere, so this trick will keep it contained. You can even reuse the envelope if you do a lot of these projects.

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3. Use a dryer sheet to tackle tough soap scum.

Practice What You Pinterest | Practice What You Pinterest

It doesn't matter if you choose a fresh sheet or a used one. Run it under some water and then rub it over the scum. The fabric softeners in the sheet will also soften the scum, and it'll come right off.

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4. Use toilet paper rolls to organize spare cables.

Gregory Han | Apartment Therapy

You can leave the rolls plain or add a simple label, but a bit of pretty paper can make them more decorative if the cables aren't going to be stuffed away in a drawer.

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5. Use binder clips to keep cords from falling behind your desk.

Likehacking | Likehacking

I use this trick in my living room where the outlet is behind the couch. I was sick of fishing my charging cables out from back there.

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6. Use shower curtain hangers to organize your accessories.

From The Desk | From The Desk

The rings are perfect for scarves, belts, or ties. If you have the S-shaped ones, you can use them to hang purses.

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7. Use bread tabs to quickly label your cords. 

One Crazy House | One Crazy House

It took me twenty minutes to figure out which plug behind the TV was for my old modem. This simple trick would have saved me so much heartache.

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8. Reuse the clips on retail hangers to keep food bags closed.

Quora | Quora

They're free with the pants you bought and have a far superior grip than a lot of the clips sold specifically for chips bags and the like.

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9. Use an old plastic bottle to make a sponge holder for your sink.

Reddit | Itilvte

As the sponge dries, the water will drip down through the bottle's mouth into the sink, preventing bacteria-friendly pools of sponge water.

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10. Buy eggs on sale and freeze them for later.

Imgur | tastijc

Eggs can be frozen without any change in taste or texture. Crack them into ice cube trays for easy portioning and thaw them at room temperature as needed.

If you think you'll need just yolks or whites, you can also freeze them separately.

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11. Keep lunches cool with DIY ice packs.

My Kitchen Escapades | My Kitchen Escapades

Just soak a clean sponge in water, place it in a zip-top bag, and freeze. It'll do the same job as a store-bought pack but without the price tag.

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12. Use a rubber band to deal with a stripped screw.

WikiHow | WikiHow

Once a screw has been stripped, you've got to find some other way to get the grip you need to twist it. A rubber band between it and your screwdriver will provide that.

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13. Line a reusable grocery bag with bubble wrap for DIY insulation.

Pinterest | Pinterest

This is perfect for trips where you know you'll be buying a bunch of frozen food and don't want it to thaw on the drive home.

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14. Use a hair straightener to smooth wonky shirt collars.

Reddit | Tatertot-pie

You don't need to get out the iron and ironing board just to fix a collar that won't lay flat. A straightening iron will do the job with more precision.

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15. Create a desktop organizer with things you have around the house.

UsefulDIY | UsefulDIY

An old box can be decorated and filled with things like toilet paper rolls, empty bottles, etc. to hold all your favorite art supplies.

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16. Stop your messenger bag's strap from getting twisty with a binder clip.

Reddit | cclementi6

The metal link that holds the strap always seems to want to shift, but a binder clip will prevent it from shifting while remaining discrete.

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