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50 Life Hacks to Simplify Your World

50 Life Hacks to Simplify Your World

Time is one commodity that you can’t buy, beg, or bargain to add additional minutes to your day. So, it makes sense to find every possible way to ensure you don’t waste it doing the mundane. Here are 50 life hacks to help your day be just a bit easier.

Storage Hacks

1. Use wine boxes to store flip flops or sandals and clean up your closet.

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    2. Place shower caps around your shoes to keep dirty soles away from your clothes.

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      3. Reuse old cereal boxes as car trash receptacles.

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        4. Magazine racks make great file organizers!

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          5. Nail a tennis ball to the wall with a sideways slit to hold anything (keys, pens, papers). You can even create a cute face for decor.

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            6. Cut the tops off soda bottles and use them to reseal bags. String the bag through the top and screw on the lid.

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              7. Use an old CD spindle for a bagel tote.

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                8. Glue magnets on cute tea tins and stick on the fridge or filing cabinet for extra storage space for pens and other loose items.

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                  9. Use hanger or laundry clips to reseal chip bags.

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                    Safety Hacks

                    10. Hang a tennis ball from your garage roof so you know when to brake.

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                      11. Ladies, wrap money in sanitary napkin packaging. No one will steal it from your purse!

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                        12. In the unfortunate event that you need to give CPR, compress the chest to the beat of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. The tempo is the correct compression timing.

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                          13. To wake up without caffeine, hold your breath as long as possible then breath out slowly. It increases your heart rate.

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                            Home Hacks

                            14. Glue magnets on the corners of a blanket to stretch it over the dryer and make an ironing board.

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                              15. Fold a shirt in 2 seconds! Laundry will be so much faster!

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                                16. Tie extension cords together to keep them from unplugging.

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                                  17. Convert your child’s crib to a cute kid’s desk when they are ready to graduate to a bigger bed.

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                                    18. Help little kids hold cards in a card game by flipping over a styrofoam egg carton and cutting slits in the bottom to hold the cards.

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                                      19. Wrinkly shirt? Throw it in the dryer for a few minutes with some ice cubes for a quick steam press.

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                                        20. Put glow sticks in water bottles for outdoor nighttime bowling fun.

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                                          Fix-it Hacks

                                          21. Use dry ice to remove car dents.

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                                            22. Gently shave your sweaters with a razor to remove excess fuzz.

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                                              23. Place newspapers in shoes to absorb moisture and odor.

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                                                24. Clean out marketing emails from your inbox by using the filter “unsubscribe.”

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                                                  25. Does your fly come down at embarrassing times? Put a key ring through the zipper tab, zip up your pants, then loop the ring over your button.

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                                                    26. Use a staple remover to save your nails and fingers when organizing your keys on the ring.

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                                                      27. Use nail polish matching your car’s paint to cover up scratches.

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                                                        28. Cat sitting on the computer? Leave a game board box next on your desk. Cats will prefer the box and the cat hair stays out of your keyboard! Win!

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                                                          29. Need change? Put cash in a vending machine and hit the coin return button without ordering.

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                                                            30. Placing an envelope in the fridge for an hour will unseal it.

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                                                              31. If you chew gum while you study a subject, then chew the same flavor when you take the test, it can help you remember.

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                                                                32. Get gum off your shoe by spraying it with WD-40.

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                                                                  33. Suspect someone is giving you a wrong number? Read it back to them incorrectly. If they don’t correct you, then you know they don’t really want to hear from you.

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                                                                    34. Put dry tea bags in smelly shoes or gym bags. They absorb the bad smell.

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                                                                      35. Combine a squeeze ketchup bottle with a pointed tip over the top of a shop vac to vacuum dust out of your keyboard, phone, microphone, or any other electronic device.

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                                                                        36. Make your password a goal so you are constantly reminded of it every time you log in.

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                                                                          37. Put a binder clip on the end of the rolled toothpaste tube to get every last bit!

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                                                                            38. When camping, use joke candles (the kind that can’t be blown out) to light the fire. You will have no problem with the wind blowing out your flame!

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                                                                              39. Need to shrink a pimple? Put Listerine on it. The alcohol causes it to fade.

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                                                                                40. Storing batteries in the freezer can increase the life span.

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                                                                                  41. Want to take your phone to the beach? Put it in a sandwich bag. You can still use the touch screen and your phone stays safe.

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                                                                                    Moving Hacks

                                                                                    42. When moving, place your glasses in your socks for protection.

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                                                                                      43. Stack foam plates in between your glass plates when moving to avoid breakage.

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                                                                                        44. Cover open bottles with plastic wrap, seal with lid, then tie excess wrap around top to avoid spillage in your suitcase.

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                                                                                          45. Take pictures of wiring when moving so you can refer to it for quick set up at your new place.

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                                                                                            Culinary Hacks

                                                                                            46. Add frozen fruit instead of ice to your tea. It won’t dilute the tea and it adds a nice flavor.

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                                                                                              47. Make a floating cooler with four pool noodles. Cut noodles to the size of the cooler, then string them on a rope and tie them around it. Add ice and drinks and enjoy!

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                                                                                                48. Preserve fresh herbs by freezing them in ice cube trays with either water or oil to throw into soups or stir fry later.

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                                                                                                  49. Want to make a drink ice-cold fast? Wrap in a wet paper towel and put in the freezer for 15 minutes.

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                                                                                                    50. Take leftover used coffee and pour in ice cube trays. You can use it to cool down iced coffee later without diluting it.

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                                                                                                      Sarah Hansen

                                                                                                      A corporate-sales professional turned entrepreneur

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                                                                                                      Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                                                                                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                                                                                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                                                                                      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                                                                                      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                                                                                      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                                                                                      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                                                                                      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                                                                                      Boundaries are limits

                                                                                                      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                                                                                      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                                                                                                      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                                                                                      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                                                                                      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                                                                                      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                                                                                      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                                                                                      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                                                                                      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                                                                                      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                                                                                      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                                                                                                      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                                                                                      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                                                                                      • When do you feel disrespected?
                                                                                                      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                                                                                      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                                                                                      • When do you want to be alone?
                                                                                                      • How much space do you need?

                                                                                                      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                                                                                      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                                                                                      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                                                                                      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                                                                                      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                                                                                      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                                                                                      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                                                                                      Sample language:

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                                                                                                      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                                                                                      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                                                                                      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                                                                                      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                                                                                      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                                                                                      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                                                                                      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                                                                                      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                                                                                      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                                                                                      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                                                                                      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                                                                                      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                                                                                      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                                                                                      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                                                                                      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                                                                                                      Final Thoughts

                                                                                                      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                                                                                      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                                                                                      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                                                                                      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                                                                                      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                                                                                      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                                                                                      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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