Being an adult isn’t easy. We have so much responsibility and so little time to get everything done. Hopefully, these household and kitchen tips and tricks will help save you some time so that you can enjoy a bit more ‘me-time.’
Key to success
Perhaps you are one of those people who carry around hundreds of keys? Maybe you don’t even know what half of them do, but you can’t bring yourself to toss them in the trash? On the other hand, maybe there are lots of people in your house, and they’re always getting their keys confused? Whatever your reason, sometimes it can be hard to keep up with whose is whose and what unlocks what thing.
Look no further. All you need is some colorful nail polish and a bit of time to get yourself organized. By painting the top of your keys different colors, you can quickly recognize which one you need without having to fumble through hundreds of options every time you want to head indoors.
Iced coffee dreams
Most iced coffee lovers will know the struggle of gulping your beverage down so you aren’t left with a watery mess. Although they are an excellent alternative for hot days, iced coffees can also turn into many people’s worst nightmare. Surely there must be a way to fix the issue?
Thankfully, there is. Instead of breaking out the dull regular ice, freeze yourself a tray full of coffee ice cubes. Yup, cubes made from coffee itself. Then when it melts, you will get the same great flavor you started with before it started melting. Why did we never think of this before? It’s time to amaze your friends with your barista abilities.
Want to amaze your friends with all your drink making skills? Or maybe you want to throw an epic summer cookout, and need everything to look perfect? Tap water will freeze cloudy cubes that can look unappetizing in a glass. To fix the problem?
Simply boil the water before filling up your ice cube trays, and you will be left with restaurant-worthy ice for your guests. Instagram better watch out, there is a new star on the scene to make the foodie crew jealous.
Summer is the perfect time for heading outside and enjoying the sunshine. Plus, what could be better than taking in the warm weather with a drink or two with some friends? One of the biggest issues with drinking outdoors is the number of bugs that want to take a dip in our glasses.
To combat the problem, all you need to do is take a straw, pierce it through a cupcake case, and place it over the top of your glass. Now you can enjoy your drink without any unwanted visitors.
Baking a cake is a relaxing hobby for many. However, even if you manage to make it through the preparation stage, how will you decorate your finished masterpiece? Cutting it in half may be one of the hardest parts of finishing your bake, but we have the trick for you.
Unflavored (and unused) dental floss is a great alternative to the expensive cake slicers and will leave you with a perfectly straight and even cut. Plus, you can also use this trick when cutting cheese. When does the brilliance end?
Hands up if you have ever bought groceries and forgotten they were there? So it’s not just us. Sometimes, it can be hard to see if the product is still fresh.
Rather than instantly assuming your eggs have gone bad, there is a simple trick to check. All you need is a glass of water and your eggs. If they are still fresh, they will sink. If not, they will float to the top. Simple – and you’ll keep the family safe from food poisoning!
Leftover pizza. Is there a better meal the morning after? We thought not. However, heating it up in the microwave can often leave it dried out and hard. Instead of suffering through mediocre leftovers, just add in a glass of water to the microwave next time you need to heat it up.
The steam will help create the perfect oven for your morning surprise. As long as the container is microwave safe, of course. You may have thought Hawaiian pizza was touchy – what about crunchy glass flavor? Only ever do this trick with a microwaveable container!
Wooden chopping boards look fancy, but they can be a pain to get clean. Plus, if you are chopping any raw meat or produce on the board, you may worry that some of the germs have stuck around?
Instead of worrying, we have a household trick you won’t be able to live without to keep them looking and smelling fresh. Cut a lemon in half and rub the boards with salt and the lemon to keep things clean and hygienic.
We love a bit of recycling. Who doesn’t feel good knowing they are saving the planet? Pancakes are a staple breakfast or a delicious treat for someone looking for a hit of something sweet.
Rather than struggling to make them all equal, all you need is an empty plastic bottle with a squeezy lid, such as a sports drink or mustard bottle. Pour the batter in, and you have the perfect stop/go bottle to help you flip away. Just don’t forget to wash the bottle out first!
Shoe holders can be great for keeping all those pesky shoes in order, but did you know they have even more uses than meets the eye? These storage solutions can also be the answer to your cleaning cupboard nightmares.
All you need to do is find one the right size for the back of the door, attach the organizer, and pop in your bits. This will keep them neatly organized, out of the reach of children, and leave your storage clutter free.
Save your charger
Phone chargers – the life source for many of us. How did we ever cope without a cell in our hands? When it dies, it’s almost like a part of us has gone away, too. The worst part of it all is grabbing your charger only to find the wire has snapped and frayed.
This can’t be happening! Many retractable pens and pencils come fitted with tiny springs. Next time one of them breaks, rather than throw it in the trash, save the spring to give your charger some extra strength.
No more boiling mess
The pan is boiling away; you turn away for a second, and all of a sudden your pot of water has boiled over. Great. Now as well as doing the dishes, your hob and surrounding floor all need to be cleaned and dried. Takeout anyone?
Before you rush off to the phone, remember this handy spoon trick. By placing a wooden spoon over the pan, your water will never be able to boil high enough to go anywhere. This leaves enough time to get on with the rest of the meal without the worry of runaway water.
If you’re looking to decorate your home but don’t want to mess with paint cans, then we may have the trick for you. All you need is an elastic band long enough to stretch all the way around the can.
After taking the lid off, wrap the band lengthways around the paint to give you something to wipe your brush on. Rather than having all the mess around the cover – which will eventually dry the lid stuck – you can simply throw the band away.
Search for lost items
Earrings, rings, nicknacks, and other small items are so easy to lose around the home. Plus, it can be devastating to think your precious thing is gone forever.
Instead of giving up hope or spending hours on your hands and knees looking for your lost treasure, you can break out the vacuum and a stocking. The vacuum will offer up the power to suck out any missing items while the stocking will stop it from getting lost forever. Neat.
Squeegee to the rescue
Pets are excellent additions to many family homes. However, they can also take up plenty of time. Not only do they need looking after, but their hair can also wreak havoc when it comes to cleaning up.
No matter how hard we try, we just never seem to be able to get all the lost strands. Now we don’t need to worry. Instead, lightly spraying the carpet or couch with water and using a squeegee to go over the hair will get rid of all those unwanted hairs.
No longer do electric toothbrushes have to limit their powers to keeping our teeth clean. Now, these wondrous inventions can help keep the entire bathroom looking spotless!
Tiles can quickly clog up with mess, especially when an entire family is using the bathroom to get ready each day. All you need is an old electric toothbrush, and you have yourself the perfect scrubber for the job without your arms feeling as though they will fall off.
Perhaps you want to take your bathroom tile cleaning one step further? We have the trick for you. DIY is a keen hobby that many of us take up, but did you know you could soon combine your passion with keeping your house ship shape?
If you have a drill lying around, simply attach a brush to the end and watch your tiles come up cleaner than ever before. Did you know they were always white underneath all that grime? No, neither did we.
Sticky note wonders
Sticky notes are great for those little reminders or the passive-aggressive messages at the office. Whatever floats your boat. However, when you aren’t trying to make enemies, sticky notes can have another fantastic purpose.
Sticking them to the wall underneath where you are drilling will help catch all the dust. No longer will have you to vacuum the entire house after hanging a picture frame. No more mess means plenty more time to sit back and enjoy your hard work.
Candles are great, but they can be a pain if you need to light them from far away, or the wick has burned down to the bottom of the jar.
As much as we love the ambiance they bring, we do want to walk away with all of our hair intact. Instead of risking your life, spaghetti makes the perfect long match. All you have to do is light the end of a dried piece of uncooked spaghetti and voila! No longer will you be in danger.
Bread tag labels
What do you do if a piece of technology goes wrong? Turn it off and on again of course. We are all tech gurus at heart. Although we may want to show off our knowledge, scrambling around on the floor looking for the plug can be a pain.
Instead, all you need to do is save some of those plastic bread tabs to label all the plugs. No longer will things randomly turn off around the room meaning you’ll save time and hassle.
Cleaning the gutter
No one wants to get up high on a ladder just to try and clean the leaves out during fall. Instead of risking your life on a ladder, try this super clever hack instead. All you need to do is attach some PVC pipe to your lawn blower.
Now, position the pipe in the gutter and hit the on switch. It’ll clear out your gutters in no time – plus all your neighbors will be so jealous of your genius.
Keeping cables tidy
Sure, you could buy a whole host of expensive and flashy cable tidies to keep all your cords together… Or, you could use this clever life hack with binder clips.
If your cables keep falling behind your desk every time you move your technology from room to room, try attaching some binder clips to the top. Once they’re firmly in place, simply thread your table through the metal. So simple, yet so effective!
Does anyone actually use those flimsy plastic clips on hangers to hang their pants? We didn’t think so. Instead of using them to hang up your clothes, why not use them to keep your chips fresh?
A much better idea if you ask us. Slide the clips off to make your very own food clips. These clips are super handy if you’re the kind of person who can’t eat an entire bag of chips in one sitting. We’d have no use for them ourselves.
That’s the tea(bag)
Smelly shoes? Smelly workout clothes? Smelly gym bag? Smelly bedroom? Whatever you’ve got that’s smelly, it’s time to invest in some tea bags for them. Simply pop a tea bag into the offending item, then wait for it to soak up all the smells.
Seriously, it actually works. You might need more than one for a bedroom, though… No longer do you have to be the person who is too ashamed to take their shoes off at someone’s house.
There’s nothing worse than scratching up your lovely wood furniture. Eugh. However, you don’t have to throw it in the scrap heap just yet. In fact, all you need are some walnuts. Rub one of these nuts on your wood furniture, and it will cover up the scratches.
Your furniture will look as good as new! Plus, you’ll have some snacks to eat after all your hard work. That’s the definition of a win-win situation if you ask us.
The slice is right
Everybody loves fruit and vegetable – they’re delicious, they’re healthy, and they’re easy to cook. However, one problem with fruit and veg is that they can be difficult to cut evenly at times. After all, how many of us have dutifully sliced a tomato, only to realize that instead of a uniform collection…
We’ve 7 slices thin enough to see through, and 3 slices thick enough to use as a doorstop? Well, by using an egg slicer on fruit and veg, you never need fear the specter of uneven slices again
Fries on the prize
We can all agree that fries are great – but we can also agree that curly fries are the apex of fried potato forms. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to make them in the comfort of your own home – which is a tragedy.
Luckily, the ability to make perfect curly fries has been in front of our eyes for years – thanks to the nifty little invention that is the spiralizer. Normally reserved for vegetables that you want stringy – such as zucchini – it can also be used to create flawlessly curled fries.
Piece of cake
There might not be a single person on the planet who doesn’t like at least one kind of cake – and if there is, we don’t wanna meet ‘em. The problem is, baking cakes can take a lot of time and effort. However, the advent of cakes in cups has made it easier for us all to satisfy our cravings with ease and style.
Just stick cake ingredients into a mug, mix and microwave them, and you can have your own dessert delight in minutes.
Spooner or later
Ginger is a fantastic little vegetable – providing a kick of spice and flavor to savory and sweet dishes for years up to now, and hopefully for years to come. However, the odd shape that ginger possesses can make peeling it a little trickier than you might find appealing.
Luckily for us all, there’s a very easy way to peel this most wonderful of roots. If you take a spoon, it’ll be much easier to peel the root according to its various contours – making for perfectly peeled ginger with ease.
It’s muffin much
Cooking and baking are immensely satisfying activities – but they sure do require a lot of maintenance, don’t they? One of the most frustrating things about cooking is keeping your ingredients in some kind of order – especially as your kitchen inevitably gets messier the further into cooking you go.
However, putting your ingredients in a muffin tray compartment when you’ve measured them out is a convenient way to keep everything in its proper place – and cook without mess or getting frustrated about where things are.
Peeling potatoes isn’t a particularly complex task, but it can be pretty time consuming and dull – especially if you’ve got a lot to peel. It’s a good thing then that human ingenuity has worked away at this matter and presented an answer to make peeling potatoes a piece of cake.
Cut your potatoes along their middle, and boil them for about 10 minutes. After you’ve put them in some cold water to cool down, you’ll be able to pull their peels right off. Voila!
The straw(berry) that broke the camel’s back
Strawberries are one of the real MVPs of the fruit world – making a delicious snack on their lonesome, or providing some excellent flavor to a sweet dish. What’s up with those stems though? Strawberries would be basically perfect…
If it weren’t for that weird little green thing at the top that you were constantly having to remove when cooking or eating them. Luckily, perfection is close at hand. Just use a straw to punch a hole through a strawberry, and take the stem with it. Now they’re perfect.
Knife to meet you
The ice-cream sandwich is one of humanity’s noblest inventions – a truly extraordinary melding of perhaps the two greatest foods in existence. It’s super hard to cut ice-cream though, which is never fun.
However, if you heat up a knife and cut through the packaging, you’ll end up with a perfectly-shaped filling for your ice-cream. The tub will keep the ice-cream together, and the knife will cut through it like – well, like a hot knife through ice-cream.
Cheese and thank you
Cheese is a marvel. It’s delicious, it’s nutritious (at least that’s what we tell ourselves), and it’s easy to prepare. However, once you’ve opened a cheese packet it’s impossible to have it cover the cheese properly again.
You’re cursed to inevitably throw out a chunk of weird, dried cheese the next time you go for some. However, if you cut through the packaging with the cheese, you can use the cut section to perfectly cover the rest of the block – and need never look at that weird dry cheese again.
Forget what you herb
Once you see that your herbs have started to go off, you feel like you should just throw them out – after all it’s a losing battle to use them before they lose all their zing. However, the next time you notice this, chop up your herbs and freeze them with some oil in an ice-cube tray.
Not only will their flavor be preserved, but you’ll have a ready-made seasoning cube that can be used to add a kick of herb to whatever you cook.
Keeping your vegetables fresh can seem like an impossible task – sticking them in the salad crisper only delays the inevitable, winning you a few more days in the fight against vegetable entropy. Celery and broccoli are particular victims here, often looking halfway to rotten within a day of purchase.
However, wrapping these vegetables in foil is an excellent way to keep them fresher, longer. The foil helps them retain their moisture, extending their shelf-life considerably.
Stem the tide
While we’re on freshness, let’s talk about stems. Stems are a real problem for vegetables and fruit, as it’s one of the main ways that decomposition sets in. A lot of fruits – e.g. bananas – produce a gas called ethylene that helps them ripen, and the stem is one of the main production sites for this on a fruit.
As such, covering up the stem of a banana, for instance, traps a lot of the ethylene gas in the stem, and stop an abundance of the gas from overripening it.
Shell on wheels
One of the worst things about cracking eggs is the propensity of eggshell fragments to escape and end up with the egg contents. You look down after cracking an egg, only to see a tiny shell demon – one that mocks you as you try in vain to scoop it out.
However, an easy way to remove these shell fragments is to actually use the eggshell itself. The thin, jagged edge of the shell is able to move through slippery egg white with ease – making scooping out shell pieces a breeze.
One of the trickiest things about cooking is draining fat from something. Fat tastes delicious and we all rightly love it, but sometimes we want to drain the excess – at which point the stubborn nature of oil comes into play, and makes things very difficult.
Things can be made very easy, however, with a few ice-cubes and a paper towel. If you trail the ice – wrapped in the paper towel – through your stew or stock, it’ll make the fat solidify a little, and make it much easier to scoop out.
Separating the whites of an egg from the yolk is famously difficult – as you try to separate one slippery, unpredictable substance from another. Thankfully, though, this process can be made much more efficient – and all you need is a plastic drinks bottle.
If you squeeze the bottle while placing it over the yolk, then when you let go it’ll whoosh the yolk up into the bottle, free of the white. Then, all you need to do is deposit the yolk in a different bowl and you’ve done it!
No more tears
Onions are delicious, but cutting them is such a raw deal – you get through two slices and before you know it you’re weeping like you just finished watching a video of a dog and a cat becoming friends.
This is because onions release a gas that irritates your tear glands, and the way to stop this happening is to start chewing a hunk of bread. No this isn’t an excuse to start snacking – chewing forces you to breathe through your mouth, which disperses the gas and saves you the tears.
Keep a lid on things
Cutting tiny vegetables or fruit can be difficult. They roll around a lot, which can make cutting a tricky and uneven process. However, there is a simple and easy way to get around this problem, and all you need is two plastic lids.
If you take the lid from, for instance, a plastic tub and press a collection of tiny fruit or vegetable between that and another plastic lid, they’ll keep them stable enough to be cut through with ease.
Microwaves are one of the most helpful inventions of the last century – but they sure do get dirty, don’t they? We’d all rather ignore the creeping crusts on our microwaves and hope for the best – but luckily there’s a way to clean your microwave easily…
So you can take your head out of the sand. Place a wet sponge in the microwave and turn it on – the heated moisture of the sponge will loosen the gunk on your microwave, so you can clean it in just a few sweeps.
Brown sugar is a staple of baking – a delicious, delicious staple. However, if you’ve had sugar a while you might open the cupboard one day to find it’s all fused into one big sweet lump. This can be easily remedied, using nothing more than a microwave and a paper towel.
Place a bowl of your clumped sugar in the microwave with a damp paper towel over the bowl, and let ‘er rip. The moisture in the towel, coupled with the heat, will work to separate the sugar grains again.
We’ve covered what to do to stop your fruit and veg from becoming too ripe – but what if they’re not ripe enough. Well, in this case our enemy ethylene becomes a very good friend to us. All you need to do is put your fruit – e.g. apples, avocados, kiwis – in a paper bag.
Then the ethylene will be kept around the fruit, letting it do its work and start ripening them up. As such, you’ll have perfectly ripe fruit within a day!
Disclaimer: Some photos may be stock images used for illustration purposes only. The people or places in these photos are not to be associated with the article.