There are things you do around the house every day that you probably don’t think too much about. From squeezing your toothpaste tube to doing your weekly load of laundry, try these hacks that make the most of familiar household items.
Phone charger: Charging your phone overnight is a common mistake that can lead to overcharging, ultimately draining the battery over time. Instead, plug your phone in during the day, and unplug it when it reaches full charge.
Bobby pins: Whether you use bobby pins to style your hair or to keep it off your face, you’ll find that they stay in place better with the wavy side facing down.
Sleeping: Do you often wake up with neck or back pain? Try sleeping on your back, which could alleviate these pains and provide a more restful slumber. Also, your choice of pillow(s) matter! Memory foam pillows are more supportive of your head, which helps keep your spine aligned throughout the night. Use a bolster pillow—which stretches the lower back as you sleep—under your knees if you still need added support.
Moisturizer: When you apply day creams or nightly moisturizers, be a little gentler and pat them into your skin instead of harshly rubbing.
Shaving: For the cleanest shave possible, shave after showering when your skin is damp and your pores have opened up. To prevent razor bumps, you should shave in the direction your hair grows. Also, make sure you keep the razor in a dry place, not your shower! This keeps bacteria away from your razor.
Toothpaste: You always get to that point where there’s more toothpaste to be squeezed out of the tube, but sheer force alone won’t do the trick. Using a bobby pin to fold the tube over as you go will help you get the last bit of toothpaste out.
Nail polish: Instead of waving your hands around to dry your wet nails, try sticking your fingers in ice water.
Nut butters: If you have natural almond butter or peanut butter in your pantry or cabinet, make sure you’re storing the container upside down so you won’t have to vigorously stir every time you go to use it.
Plastic lids: Have you ever noticed the different ridges in plastic lids (like the ones you get at the movie theater)? That’s because those lids double as a coaster! The bottom of the cup fits snugly into the top of the lid.
Bananas: If you don’t already peel your banana from the bottom, now would be a great time to start. While it may seem easier to peel from the stem, it can actually prove to be more frustrating. Pinch the bottom to allow for an easier peeling process. (This is how monkeys peel!)
Potatoes: If you typically use a peeler, or if you don’t own one and are looking for a hack to get the skin off potatoes, boil water, quickly dunk the potatoes in the water until slightly soft, and then place the potatoes in cold water. The skin will peel away easier.
Cherry tomatoes: Cutting these tiny tomatoes one by one will take a lot longer than if you simply put the tomatoes between two lids (or plates) like a sandwich and slice through many at once.
Liquid detergent: Many people make the mistake of adding too much laundry detergent to their load, which could actually cause your clothes to get less clean, as excess suds don't rinse as easily. Check the label to determine the right amount of detergent to use, and make sure you're using a detergent that's formulated for your washing machine.
Red wine stains: Do not try to scrub the stain out or apply heat via blow dryer (common methods of attempting to get out this pesky stain). Instead, use cold water to flush the stain, then gently dab away any excess wine. Apply baking soda or salt to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water. Launder as usual.