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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 March 30, 2020

                            Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                            Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                            Feeling tired all the time?

                            Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                            I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                            Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                            If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                            In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                            What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                            If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                            Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                            • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                            • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                            • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                            • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                            • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                            • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                            • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                            Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                            Unfortunately, yes!

                            Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                            Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                            Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                            Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                            Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                            Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                            1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                            2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                            3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                            The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                            It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                            Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                            Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                            If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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                            Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                            Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                            But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                            Symptoms of fatigue include:

                            • Difficulty concentrating
                            • Low stamina
                            • Difficulty sleeping
                            • Anxiety
                            • Low motivation

                            These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                            Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                            How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                            The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                            Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                            So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                            The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                            Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                            Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                            If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                            And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                            It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                            4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                            Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                            1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                            2. Exercising regularly
                            3. Using stressbusters
                            4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                            So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                            After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                            In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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                            I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                            Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                            • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                            • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                            • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                            • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                            The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                            And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                            But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                            L — Living Healthy

                            Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                            So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                            In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                            As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                            Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                            1. Unplug

                            Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                            So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                            2. Unwind

                            Do something to relax.

                            Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                            3. Get Comfortable

                            Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                            Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                            Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                            Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                            If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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                            Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                            This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                            E — Exercise

                            Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                            That’s what happened in my case.

                            But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                            As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                            My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                            That made sense to me.

                            So, I decided to swim.

                            I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                            Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                            Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                            So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                            If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                            A — Attitude

                            Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                            When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                            Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                            Breathing.

                            But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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                            Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                            1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                            2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                            3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                            4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                            5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                            6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                            This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                            When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                            Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                            N — Nutrition

                            Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                            If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                            Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                            For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                            Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                            Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                            1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                            2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                            3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                            4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                            5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                            6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                            7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                            8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                            9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                            Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                            That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                            Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                            The Bottom Line

                            If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                            If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                            If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                            • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                            • Regular Exercise You Love
                            • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                            • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                            Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                            More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                            Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                            Reference

                            [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                            [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                            [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                            [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                            [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                            [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                            [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                            [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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