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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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                            Published on November 14, 2018

                            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                            With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                            For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                            In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                            Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                            Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                            It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                            For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                            Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                            Symptoms of Fatigue

                            Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                            • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                            • mental blocks
                            • lack of motivation
                            • headache
                            • dizziness
                            • muscle weakness
                            • slowed reflexes and responses
                            • impaired decision-making and judgement
                            • moodiness, such as irritability
                            • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                            • reduced immune system function
                            • blurry vision
                            • short-term memory problems
                            • poor concentration
                            • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                            Causes of Fatigue

                            The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                            • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                            • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                            • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                            • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                            Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                            Medical Causes of Fatigue

                            If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                            Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                            Anemia

                            Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                            Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                            There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                            This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                            Diabetes

                            Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                            Sleep Apnea

                            Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                            Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                            Thyroid disease

                            An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                            Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                            • Lack of sleep
                            • Too much sleep 
                            • Alcohol and drugs 
                            • Sleep disturbances 
                            • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                            • Poor diet 

                            Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                            • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                            • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                            • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                            • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                            Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                            Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                            • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                            • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                            • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                            How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                            Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                            1. Tell The Truth

                            Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                            To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                            Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                            The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                            One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                            • How you feel
                            • What time of day it is
                            • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                            • How your mind and body reacts

                            This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                            2. Reduce Your Commitments

                            When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                            If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                            When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                            Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                            3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                            If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                            Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                            If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                            Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                            Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                            4. Express More Gratitude

                            Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                            It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                            Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                            5. Focus On Yourself

                            Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                            There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                            But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                            We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                            6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                            Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                            Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                            The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                            Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                            7. Take a Power Nap

                            When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                            Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                            This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                            8. Take More Exercise

                            The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                            Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                            The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                            You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                            9. Get More Quality Sleep

                            To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                            Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                            My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                            10. Improve Your Diet

                            Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                            Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                            On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                            To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                            Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                            Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                            11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                            Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                            When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                            Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                            My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                            12. Get Hydrated

                            Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                            Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                            If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                            The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                            The Bottom Line

                            These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                            If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                            Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                            Reference

                            [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                            [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                            [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                            [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                            [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                            [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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