It’s time to cast aside your cynicism. It turns out that the best things in life ARE free – or darned close — at least when it comes to little touches that make life a little easier and your house a little homier. Doubt it? Try these 10 home hacks and you will believe:
1. Banish odors
Photo (cc) by mhiguera
Forget the fancy and costly sprays and plug-ins. In a small pan, mix water, vanilla extract and cinnamon, then simmer the concoction on low heat. Your home will smell fresh in no time.
2. Dry clothes faster
Photo (cc) by Steven Lilley
Don’t have a lot of time to wait for those jeans or that shirt to dry? Toss a dry bath towel in when you put wet clothes in the dryer. You’ll cut drying time way down (and cut energy costs, too!).
3. Freshen a smelly room
Photo (cc) by Jeremy Tarling
Easy enough: Just place two to four dryer sheets in a spray bottle, fill the bottle with water, and then add 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. Voila! Your own effective, low-cost freshener is ready for you to spray.
4. Keep your pants up
Photo (cc) by Stella Dauer
A zipper that won’t stay up doesn’t have to be a constant irritant. Slide a run-of-the-mill key ring through the hole in the zipper’s tab. Then hook the ring to the pant button above the zipper. Instant fix!
5. Solve the toilet brush dilemma
Photo (cc) by julio.garciah
Rather than returning a dripping toilet brush to its holder, tuck it between the toilet bowl and lid (dripping brush inside the bowl, of course). After a few minutes it’ll be dry enough to store.
6. Stop static
Photo (cc) by Michael Pereckas
Fashion two tin foil balls and toss them in the dryer with your clothes. They will keep your clothing static free.
7. Get at corner dirt
Photo (cc) by Augie Schwer
Don’t spend a fortune on extra vacuum attachments. Tape a cardboard tube – the kind that is in the center of wrapping paper – to your vacuum hose to get into tight spaces. Bend and flatten the tube to suit your needs.
8. Triumph over stuck trash bags
Photo (cc) by Dave Ware
You know how, when you try to pull your full garbage bag out of the plastic container, it does not want to come out, because there’s a vacuum? Drill a few small holes in the lower part of your garbage pail and you can remove bags without struggle.
9. Keep trash bags in place
Photo (cc) by Liz West
Here’s a way to address another irritation related to garbage bags: Take a few pieces of inexpensive sticky-tape picture hooks and use them to attach garbage bags to the lip of the trash cans to keep them from slipping down.
10. Organize your clothes for easy reach
Photo (cc) by Emily May
Do you spend time digging through clothes in your dresser, or even frustrated by a well-organized pile? Try this: Stack your clothes in the dresser vertically (not in horizontal piles as the picture here shows) to find your favorites easier. Bonus – you’ll save space, too.
What’s your favorite home upkeep hack? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.