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15 Cheap and Easy Car Hacks You Don’t Want to Miss

15 Cheap and Easy Car Hacks You Don’t Want to Miss

There are a lot of car problems that can be solved with a little elbow grease and some ingenuity. Some places charge hundreds of dollars to fix relatively simple problems and people pay out way too much money to fix simple little problems. Here are some car hacks you can use to save yourself some money and make your car experience more enjoyable.

1. Use toothpaste to clean those headlights

car hacks

    This one is really easy but requires a little arm strength. Use some toothpaste and rub it all over the plastic cover over your headlights. Let it sit for a bit then rinse with clean water and dry. This will remove the foggy glaze that covers them. If you want to keep them that way, try using some furniture polish or car wax to keep them clean.

    2. Use a shoe for a cup holder

    car hacks

      Pretty much all cars come with cup holders but not all cup holders are good. Sometimes you need something a little more secure to hold that 32oz drink than a flimsy piece of plastic or a cup holder that isn’t deep enough to hold it properly. The answer is a shoe! Use a tennis show to put your drink in. since the opening is adjustable it fits nearly every cup. It’s also deeper than many cup holders and the shoe itself is bottom-heavy to help prevent spills. This is also a great trick when you’re in the great outdoors and need a cup holder.

      3. Use a staple remover to add keys to the key ring

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      car hacks

        Getting keys onto a king ring can be a real pain in the rear end. If you don’t have nails it can be even worse. New key rings are also really stiff from not being used and some are just huge and cumbersome. Don’t break a nail or hurt yourself anymore! Use a staple remover to open the key ring to put keys on!

        4. Use your seat warmer to keep food warm

        car hack

          Not all cars come with seat warmers but the ones that do can be used for a really useful function. When you pick up food, turn on your seat warmer and put the food on the seat. It won’t keep food piping hot but it’ll definitely help slow the process of cooling so your food stays warmer longer.

          5. Use nail polish to fix paint chips and scrapes

          car hacks

            Getting your car dinged sucks and it can also be an unreasonably expensive repair for how little damage is actually being fixed. If you don’t want to fork out the dough but still want it at least sort of fixed then you can always try some nail polish. Just head to the local drug store and find the color that matches your car as closely as possible. Then just paint it on. Up close it won’t look all that amazing but it’ll definitely make your car look better from afar.

            6. Use a plastic cereal container as a trash can

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            car hack

              Those little trash receptacles on the driver and passenger side doors are a joke. You can never fit anything of substance in there and cleaning them out is a pain. Fix both problems at one by picking up a plastic cereal container. If you get one with a big enough hole you can stuff anything in there and you can even put a trash can liner in there so you can empty it out easier. They only cost a couple of bucks and can make your car look less like a dumpster.

              7. Use tinted plastic sheets for shade anywhere

              car hacks

                A fun little trick that pilots use is to attach plastic sheets to their windshields to avoid glare from the sun. By using that same trick with some plastic sheets like these, you can achieve much the same effect. The sheets stick on your window using static from the windshield so there is no messy stickers or anything to clean up. When you need relief from sunlight to your face and the visor isn’t doing it’s job, you can always try this instead.

                8. Mesh bungie net can add extra storage

                car hack

                  Where do you toss your coat when you get into the car? There really isn’t a designated coat storage thing in a car anywhere so why not make one yourself? If you pick up a mesh bungie net you can attach them to the ceiling handles on your car. You can then use this space to stash practically anything from clothing accessories to children’s coloring books. That stuff doesn’t need to be on the floor of your car anyway and the nets are surprisingly cheap.

                  9. Park facing east

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                  car hacks

                    This one can be a little tricky but it’s so awesome when you do it. When you park your car, make sure you park facing east. Since the sun rises in the east, it will be radiating its warm goodness all over the windshield of your car long before you need to get in it to go to work. This can dramatically decrease the defrosting time and it may even help you avoid getting back out to scrape it off manually.

                    10. Use a plunger to fix dents

                    This oldie is still a goodie. If you don’t feel like paying a mechanic to do essentially this exact same thing you can do it yourself. Do note that this won’t work for heavy damage and only for smaller dents. It’s also worth mentioning that this also works with other things like washers and dryers. It’s really easy to do because all you’re doing is taking a plunger to your car door!

                    11. Use hand sanitizer to de-ice key holes

                    car hack

                      The title pretty much says it all. The alcohol in hand sanitizer will melt ice very well and getting a bottle lets you spray it directly into the keyhole for the lock. Many people carry this stuff around anyway and really you should too. It doesn’t just clean your hands in a jiff but it also de-ices keyholes. Two birds, one stone.

                      12. Boost the range of your remote alarm by holding it against your chin

                      car hacks

                        Yes, this really works. The science behind it is actually quite simple. Your head is filled with fluids and fluids make for a good conductor. So when you put your key fob against your skull you turn your head into an antenna that can extend the range of your alarm. It won’t be very far and you won’t get more than 20ft of range out of it but it does actually work.

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                        13. Rub out scuffs with toothpaste

                        Not only can tooth paste rub out the fog of your headlights but it can also remove scuffs from your car. It’s simple to do. Just rub the tooth paste where the scuffs are and wipe clean. Your car should be monumentally less scuffed or if the scuff wasn’t bad, possibly gone altogether!

                        14. Use a laundry basket to organize your things

                        car hacks

                          The trunk of your car is probably a mess. I know mine is. If you pick up a laundry basket you have a place to put all of your stuff so it does’t go flying everywhere. You can pick up one of these at the dollar store for a couple of bucks and you don’t have to worry about stuff being loose and rolling around your trunk!

                          15. Create a backseat organizer with a shoe organizer

                          car hacks

                            Our last one is a well known car hack but it’s still amazingly effective. If you pick up a shoe organizer and some shoe ties, you can fasten the shoe organizer to the back of your front seats. You can then put stuff like maps, coloring supplies for the kids, and even stuff like gloves.

                            Wrap up

                            There are a lot of fun things you can do to make your car more enjoyable. With these little car hacks you can save time, money, and make your car cleaner. It’ll even help keep you safer with those brighter headlights!

                            Featured photo credit: Deviant Art via th01.deviantart.net

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                            Joseph Hindy

                            A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                            Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                            The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                            The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                            At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                            Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                            One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                            When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                            So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                            Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                            This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                            Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                            When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                            Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                            One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                            Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                            An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                            When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                            Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                            Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                            We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                            By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                            Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                            While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                            I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                            You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                            Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                            When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                            Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                            Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                            Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                            One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                            Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                            Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                            This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                            While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                            Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                            Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                            This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                            For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                            Con #4: Unique Distractions

                            Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                            For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                            To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                            Final Thoughts

                            Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                            We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                            More About Working From Home

                            Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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