Clever Hacks That Took Me By Surprise

When I'm checking out lifehacks, my reaction comes in two stages:

Part one: Wow, that's cool! I'll definitely use that! Part two: That's really simple, and I'm really dumb for not utilizing it sooner.

Really though, it's best not to beat ourselves up for not thinking of this stuff earlier. Instead, we can use it to make our lives a little bit easier, and maybe feel a little bit smarter in the process.

Pool noodles are so handy.

Reddit | Souljuuh-The-Gamer

Awnings, tents, and canopies all have a way of allowing rainwater to pool in low-lying areas, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes and dumping water on the ground. Reddit's Souljuuh-The-Gamer demonstrates how strategically-placed pool noodles can deflect water away from areas that would otherwise allow it to accumulate.

Because either way, your dog's gonna destroy some carpet.

Reddit | jvhero

For anyone with the kind of doggo that loves to bound into the house and immediately ruin everything with muddy paws, this hack from Redditor jvhero is awesome. A piece of discarded carpet placed just outside your door gives your dog a place to get the mud off, saving your actual good carpets and furniture inside.

Tame Tupperware once and for all.

Reddit | thecatunderthebed

When you wash lightweight Tupperware containers in the dishwasher, they usually get loose and fill up with piping-hot water when the load is done. Weighing them down with a metal dish rack, as demonstrated by Redditor thecatunderthebed will keep them in place, and comes with the added bonus of a squeaky-clean dish rack.

No more icy shifters.

Reddit | LoxodontaRichard

If you drive a manual car in a cold climate, you're probably familiar with the sensation of keeping your hand on the freezing-cold stick shift. Redditor LoxodontaRichard shows us that just putting a sock — ideally a small one — over the knob will make things a little warmer for your frigid fingers.

Like it was made for it.

Reddit | GowBeyow

Those little pizza box plastic thingies are perfect for re-use as tables for your action figures. If you're not a kid, there are still some cool uses for them, however. Redditor GowBeyow sawed off most of one of the table's legs to create a handy phone stand.

Let your fingertips be your guide.

Reddit | spacewolf46

There are tons of different bit types for screws, and sometimes it's hard to tell what kind of screwdriver you need when you're rooting around in a dark or out of the way place. Reddit's spacewolf46 shows us how pressing against the head of the screw creates an indentation on your skin that'll help guide you.

Get every last bit out of the tube.

Reddit | mcvrk

Those little dollar store clippy things are good for keeping small packages sealed tightly, but they also work well for anything that comes in a tube. Reddit's mcvrk used one to extract putty from this tube, but this hack would work just as well for tubes of toothpaste.

Need to de-label? Just add ice.

Reddit | brokenchemicalbonds

Pill bottles are handy for storage, but you probably don't want the label reminding you of the last time you were sick. This solution from Redditor brokenchemicalbonds breaks the sticky chemical bonds of the labels by freezing them. After some time in the deep freeze, the labels will get brittle and peel off easily.

Cut the laptop heat.

Reddit | Miriamus

Lying in bed with a laptop on your tummy is the ultimate Netflix-and-slack move. But when your computer starts to get hot, it can get uncomfortable. This trick from Reddit's Miriamus uses a cutting board to insulate your body from your laptop's heat, letting you enjoy your Netflix binge in comfort.

Sturdy coasters on the cheap.

Reddit | hitthegunwales

For those who like heavy coasters, don't spend money on the fancy ones. Instead, pick out some appropriately-sized tiles that fit your decor. This pic from Redditor hitthegunwales shows just how inexpensive and attractive these tiles can be. Attach some stick-on furniture gliders underneath, and you've got some nice coasters.

Always use an extra skewer.

Reddit | Cerberus1349

Skewers are great for grilling meat and veggies, but they have a couple of design flaws: it can be hard to heat things evenly when they're always flipping around, and it's easy for stuff to fall off. Redditor Cerberus1349 shows how adding an extra skewer to each kebab pretty much negates all of those shortcomings.

Roofing nails are basically universal screwdrivers.

Reddit | permantonio

Here's one for the handy folks of the world: roofing nails, with their sturdy construction and flat tops, can be used as a screwdriver. As Redditor permantonio demonstrates, they can serve double duty, working for Phillips head as well as slot head screws.

Your toothbrush needs a home.

Reddit | k17060

Toothbrushes need a place with lots of air circulation to help the bristles dry. If you're short on counter or shelf space, try this simple trick from Redditor k17060. It utilizes the smallest size of command hooks to give your hard-working toothbrush a place to rest.

Tiny type no more.


Every so often, I'll encounter some text that's too small to comfortably read. Rather than admitting that I'm getting old, I get mad and don't try to read it at all. Instead, I should utilize this Imgur solution. It involves simply snapping a pic of the tiny text, then zooming in on the pic. Simple!

When you've got a lot to write, and not much space.

Reddit | mji888

If you're running out of notepaper and need to make every sheet count, or if your prof only allows you one index card as a cheat sheet, this suggestion from Reddit's mji888 is sure to come in handy. By using different-colored ink, you can write on top of other words while keeping things legible.

Quilt people, you need this.

Reddit | toystory2wasaverage

Quilts are awesome. After all, who doesn't love a super-luxurious, thick blanket? But they have a way of coming loose from their covers. A Reddit user with a potentially controversial name, toystory2wasaverage wraps hair elastics around the buttons of the quilt cover to keep everything snug and in place.

Useful (if they haven't banned plastic straws where you are).

Reddit | qasqaldag

Everyone who wears glasses will experience a mishap at some point that necessitates some on-the-fly MacGyvering to fix things. True, this hack from Redditor qasqaldag doesn't look slick, but it'll certainly do the job until you can find a more permanent fix.

This is next-level bandaging.

Reddit | permantonio

When you get a cut along a joint, it's often slow to heal because flexing that joint opens the cut back up again. Redditor permantonio shows us how a small piece of rigid material, attached with an elastic band, creates a simple splint that'll immobilize your finger and help it heal.

Get on a roll quickly.

Reddit | swan11jf

When it comes to tape that doesn't come in its own holster, it's just about impossible to figure out where the end is. Redditor swan11jf uses a little piece of paper to guide the way, but you could also use a paperclip or simply fold the tape over.

Because ice cream cones need a gutter.

Reddit | writerlover182

No one should be forced to choose between enjoying a delicious ice cream cone and getting their hands all sticky from the melted runoff. Fortunately, Reddit's writerlover182 came up with a solution that's kinda genious: just poke a big enough hole in a plastic drink lid, turn it upside-down, and put it on the cone above your hand.

A lazy fix is still a fix.

Reddit | Frost_Inferno

In an ideal world, we'd all immediately get our frayed clothes professionally mended. But this isn't an ideal world. To keep the fray from getting worse, Redditor Frost_Inferno ingeniously utilized super glue on the affected area. It's a quick job, but it works.

Don't be flummoxed by funnels.

Reddit | williamd83

When you need a funnel in a pinch, don't use your hands or try to free-pour. Instead, grab a 500-milliliter water bottle and cut it in half. When inverted, it forms a perfectly serviceable funnel. This tip comes from Reddit's williamd83.

Air flow for a smooth pour.

Reddit | Tron_Lives

To prevent liquids from sloshing and stuttering out when pouring, Redditor Tron_Lives decided to make an air hole in the seal to ensure a smoother flow. This is especially useful with things you really don't want to spill but don't often come with an air hole in the bottle, like antifreeze.

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