Your house is a mess. You can’t find your keys, your plants keep dying, and your toothpaste won’t come out of the tube. Starting your morning with these annoyances is enough to drive anyone insane — life’s pesky problems can add up until they feel like something huge.
But simple solutions to these little problems are hidden all around your house (or can be bought from any convenience store for a small price)! Use these 20 organizational and house-keeping tricks to stop all those little problems from building up into one big mess…
1. Keep plants alive: Going on vacation? Fill a giant pot with water and connect it to your plants with strings. This will provide a continuous flow of moisture so you don’t have to ask that neighbor you don’t really like to water anything for you.
2. Organize keys or wires: If you have any Lego sets lying around, put them to use! With the right kind of bricks or even an astronaut, you can tidy up things like keys, cables, and even certain wallets or sunglasses! Besides, playing with Legos is always fun.
3. Avoid Popsicle messes: Popsicles are messy, especially on a hot day if you’re a slow licker. No worries! Just make a little hole in a cupcake liner and slide it over the stick to catch any melting drops. Happy summer!
4. Ward off pets: Are your pets eating your plants — or worse, peeing in the soil? An easy trick to keep them at bay and keep your plants safe is inserting toothpicks into the soil. With a spiky border like this, no way your furry friend will want to mess with your leafy friend anymore.
5. Re-purpose tennis balls: They’re great for many things: playing with your dog, rehabilitating, helping walkers move with ease, and oh yeah, tennis. However, if you’re tired of all those activities, you can give them a little mouth to hang things up easily! The googly eyes are optional, but we highly recommend them.
6. Mark keys: Want to distinguish between your keys to remember which one works your gym locker and which one opens your ex’s house? Grab your favorite colors of nail polish and give each key its own color code.
7. Create a makeshift iron: You have a really important business meeting, date, or family gathering, and your iron is broken (or let’s face it, you simply don’t own one). Luckily, a pan filled with really hot water will do the trick. Please be careful though…
8. Organize pins: If you’re sick and tired of losing your bobby pins everywhere (or finding someone else’s bobby pins everywhere), place a magnetic strip in a beauty drawer to collect them all in one place. Head’s up: if you have any other small metal items in there, you’ll be collecting those, too.
9. Open a stuck jar: You’ve already tried the hot water trick? Popeye is not around? Use some duct tape instead! It’s much easier to pull hard on a string of duct tape than it is to squeeze your hand over the entire lid while trying to twist your arm.
10. Microwave more effectively: Next time you heat up a plate of leftover food in the microwave, make a hole in the middle for it to cook more evenly. This works great for pasta and rice dishes, but maybe less great for burritos or slices of pizza. You be the judge.
11. De-clutter showers: Are you one of those people who buys new shampoo and body washes before you’re even close to finishing the old ones? Do you live with 7 roommates or 4 children? Install a second shower rod and hang baskets from it to make more space for all your shower needs.
12. Fold shirts: Perhaps the worst part of doing laundry is folding everything and putting it all away. If you work in a clothing store, you already know the pain of folding. Luckily, the Japanese have found a way to fold shirts in only a second. See below.
13. Munch microwave-free popcorn: No microwave? Worry not: you can make popcorn in an empty can over a fire. Just make sure the can is well rinsed unless you like beer- or soda-flavored popcorn of course.
14. Charge electronics: Rather than tripping over cables or hanging your phone straight from the chord, you can easily create this charging pouch for small electronics (if you can bear to stop using them for half an hour, that is).
15. Fill a bucket: You know what’s hard? Filling up a giant bucket of water in a shallow sink. You can actually use a duster pan to guide the water carefully into the bucket. Just please, please make sure that dustpan is clean and not, well, dusty.
16. Carry groceries: Carrying 16 double-packed grocery bags is the worst. It’s heavy, it’s bulky, and it hurts your hands. You can buy shoulder straps for this purpose, but you can also re-purpose the strap of an old bag.
17. Prop up a phone: Rather than buying an expensive phone stand, you can use certain types of sunglasses for this purpose instead. However, we recommend using the cheap ones you found on the sidewalk or bought at a gas station, not your $600 Ray-Bans.
18. Maximize toothpaste: Squeezing the toothpaste out of a near-empty tube gets tiring. Use a simple binder clip to keep everything near the opening, so you can brush your teeth in relative peace.
19. Celebrate on a budget: If you celebrate Christmas but don’t really have space for a tree, buying a garland and attaching some lights or other ornaments is a nice substitute. Remember, you can still be festive on a budget! And nobody can knock this over!
20. Peel boiled eggs: Add a little baking soda to the boiling water and the peel should slide right off! It also helps to place it in cold water right after taking it out from the pot. Bonus tip: pierce a tiny hole into the shell with a thumbtack before boiling to relieve pressure and keep the shell from splitting too early.
21. Many of us have Internet routers somewhere in our homes, and almost all of us recognize how ugly these vertical plastic rectangles are. If you make some fake “books,” however, you can hide the router in plain sight!
22. Trying to unscrew a stripped nail can be one of the most headache-inducing processes imaginable. Just use a rubber band; the grip from the rubber should help spin the nail out of place.
23. We all want our homes to smell pleasant, especially if we frequently entertain guests. Attaching a car freshener to a fan is a simple way to help keep a nice scent wafting through the air all day long without having to clean anything.
24. If you own a tiny garage, slamming your car door into the wall is unavoidable. To ensure the door won’t suffer any damage, slice a pool noodle in half and attach it to the wall. The door might hit it, but it’ll be too soft to leave a mark!
25. Most of us who own ceiling fans are totally unaware of the small switch on the side that rotates the fan blades in opposite directions. During the winter months, move the switch up so the blades will spin clockwise, forcing warm air from the ceiling down to the floor.
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26. Trying to find enough storage and shelf space in pantries can be a headache, but if you have some spare desk organizers lying around, they can help tidy your pantry in no time at all. Even you don’t have any, they’re inexpensive to buy and totally worth it!
27. If you’ve ever used a hammer and nails before, then you know how often small nails can go missing. Not only is this annoying, but it’s dangerous. Try attaching a magnet to the bottom of your hammer to attract all the small metal bits and keep them from disappearing.
Dream A Little Bigger
28. Many people have some kind of beverage dispenser in your home, but they probably rarely ever find a good reason to use it. Here’s one! Simply fill it right up with liquid laundry detergent to make laundry day quick and easy!
Your Little Birdie
29. Command hooks are amazing pieces of plastic technology that adhere to almost any surface without leaving a residue upon removal. Use one of these to easily hang wreaths on your doors without leaving any marks.
Timmons Family Lemonade
30. If you like to fill decorative glass jars with pretty stones or wine corks, but you lack enough to fill the entire jar, here’s a solution: place an empty wine bottle inside the jar. It’ll push the corks and other items to the sides so the jars always appear full.
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31. People who own dogs and cats know how much hair can get stuck in the carpet. Not only that, but vacuums sometimes aren’t strong enough to suck it all up. A squeegee is perfect for gathering those hard-to-remove clumps.
32. It’s so frustrating to run out of hangers when you desperately need one after a successful shopping trip. In a pinch, shower curtain hooks are an easy and convenient way to hang anything with a loop, like jeans. They take up less space, too!
33. Space is something we never seem to have enough of in our closets. If you save the pop tops from cans, however, you can hang two items on one hook! Simply slide one hanger over the other. You’re welcome.
The Shabby Creek Cottage
34. Material like silk tends to slip off of clothing hangers easily, and your shirts and skirts end up in a wrinkled pile on the ground. If you squeeze a thin layer of glue on the end of the hanger and let it dry, it will create a grip that will prevent your clothing from sliding off.
The Shabby Creek Cottage
35. Finding a place to keep jewelry can be a hassle. You need a place where it won’t become tangled, but it also needs to be easily accessible. Simply wrap your flashy bracelets and necklaces on top of an empty bottle for easy access and nice decoration.
I Spy DIY
36. Storing household cleaning supplies under the sink is something we all do, but it’s easy to run out of space. Tension rods can be found at any hardware store, and they aren’t expensive. Simply use one of them to create more room!
37. It’s always a good idea to have a spare key, but you don’t want anyone else—like potential burglars—knowing where it is. Try hiding in an empty pill bottle with a pine cone glued to the top. That way, you can slip it between some rocks or hide it in a bush near your door!
Factory Direct Craft
38. It can be difficult to keep bathrooms smelling fresh, especially if they’re used frequently. Soaking a few drops of essential oils into the cardboard of the roll should release a fresh scent every time someone uses the toilet paper!
Loving Oily LIfe
39. To ensure you’ll never run out of soap while washing the dishes, attach an extra long tube to the dispenser and feed it into a giant bottle of soap under the sink. You’ll rarely ever have to change the soap!
40. You never want to have to drill more holes than you need to. (Measure twice, cut once, as they say!) In order to make sure the holes are the correct distance, just cut a piece of tape that’s the same length and stick it on your wall. Now drill a hole at each end!
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