14 Little Things That Make Life Easier

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Getting through the day is hard enough. Why complicate it further? Here are some simple life hacks to help minimize time spent on irritating tasks, quell frustrations and simplify your life.

1. Brain freeze

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Gobbled your ice cream or gulped your frozen margarita too fast? Brain freeze is excruciating! Get rid of it fast by folding your tongue up against the roof of your mouth. (Then slow down your consumption of the chilly food or drink.)

2. Stubborn jar lid

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Having a tough time cracking open that jar of pickles or spaghetti sauce? This can be a frustrating time waster if you are trying to get dinner on the table. Wrap a rubber band multiple times around the lid to give you a better grip and twist away.

3. Clogged drain

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With a cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda, you can bust through most common drain clogs. Just be sure to wait until the foaming stops to run the water and remove the remaining contents. Try it several times if it’s an especially stubborn blockage, and sluice with boiling water in between. This is usually enough to ward off an expensive visit from a plumber.

4. Leaky trash bags

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You know how icky juices find a way to leak out of the plastic garbage bag and into the bottom of the garbage can? Then it becomes a sticky goo that needs to be washed out. Here’s how to prevent it: Before you put in a plastic bag, place newspaper at the bottom of the garbage bin to catch any juices that may escape the trash bag.

5. Broken flip-flop

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Step, step, snap; a familiar sequence when the thong of your flip-flop becomes detached from the sole.

A plastic bread bag clip attached to the bottom of your shoe can be used to keep it intact until you’re able to grab a new pair. Then you can give the broken one to the dog.

6. Parched, with no bottle opener

Not having a beer opener around doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a few brews. Instead of gazing longingly at your unopened bottles, use one beer to open the other. Here’s a handy video from MonkeySee to show how it’s done.

7. Fresh-squeezed lemonade — minus the muscle strain

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Fresh lemonade is such a wonderful treat, but the work to create it can be off-putting. Squeezing the juices out of a lemon can give your hand a painful workout, but tongs or any kind of press will provide the leverage to make the job much easier.

8. Ink stains

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Got ink on your shirt or skirt? Pens have a bad habit of leaking at the most inconvenient times. Don’t panic. Instead, grab a bottle of rubbing alcohol, dip a Q-tip and dab away. For larger stains, use a wash cloth.

9. Opening that hard plastic packaging

We’ve all experienced the frustration of trying to open a theft-proof plastic package. (Some of us have been injured in the act of trying.) There’s a better way: The next time you purchase an item wrapped in stiff plastic, use a can opener to crack it open. Another thing that works well: tin snips. Here’s a video showing how to safely open plastic packaging.

10. Prevent theft in public areas

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Worried about your keys, cash or other valuables being lifted while at the beach? Tuck them away in an empty lotion or sunblock bottle and roll the money up in a lip balm tube. Thieves are likely to pass up your stuff unless they left their sunblock at home.

11. Chinese food without dirty dishes

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You ordered takeout because it was easier than cooking, so why are you doing dishes? Instead of dumping the Chinese food from the cartons onto plates, unlatch the pieces holding the takeout carton together. In one easy step, you’ll have a plate that can be tossed as soon as you’re done, saving you the cleanup.

12. Finicky credit card

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Are you at the checkout counter, and your card can’t be read? Cover the strip with a plastic bag and try again. This solution addresses most of the problems with finicky cards, and will help at least until a new card arrives. (Eventually all these old-fashioned cards will be replaced with “chipped” credit cards. Click here for more on how to use them.)

13. Stinky shoes

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No need for explanation here. If you find yourself with stinky shoes and none of the obvious products — Odor Eaters, etc. — place unused tea bags in the offending footwear. They will absorb the smell. (But don’t use them to make tea afterward.)

14. Wrinkled clothing

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Ironing clothes, for some of us at least, is time consuming and irritating. But you can get pretty good wrinkle reduction by skipping the pressing if you hang the clothes in the bathroom before you shower. The steam will straighten the garments out.

Do you have any other useful life hacks in your arsenal? Please share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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