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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Life Hacks: 42 Hacks to Simplify Life

Hello Darling Otherbeasts! So the topic on my mind as of today are all the nifty "Life Hacks" I've been reading about. What is a Life Hack you say? Read on my dear reader, and become one of the informed! This is the largest compilation of Life Hacks, Tips, and Tricks you will find on the intarwebz as of today. No promises that someone won't one up this and blow me out of the water.

LIFE HACKS: 42 Hacks to Simplify Life

Life Hack 101: Oh, the simplest way to explain what a Life Hack is, is from Wikipedia which says, "The term life hack refers to productivity tricks that computer programmers devise and employ to cut through information overload and organize their data. In more recent times, the same phrase has expanded to any sort of trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever or non-obvious way might be called a life hack."

Here's why I love hacks: they're always (usually) the simplest way to perform a task, find a solution, or just improve over the old ways. It's kind of a throw back to my "laziness vs resourcefulness" blog entry; see, these tips aren't lazy, they're just resourceful. And that's why I love them.

Now then on to the hacks!

1. Always fumbling through your keys and can't tell which is which?

2. Have wooden furniture with scratches, scuffs, and dings?

3. Wrapping paper always wearing you out by wriggling out of it's wrap roll?

4. Going to the beach and worried about scallywag pirates looting your beach bag when you're frolicking in the waves?
(Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow can loot my beach bag anytime he wants to.)


5. Did you roll out of bed as a kid? Do it now? Have kids that do it? (I hear it's genetic and hereditary. I used to do it.)

6. Hate is too strong of a word but I severely dislike those "sealed-shut-hard-plastic-death-cut-your-fingers-packaging" blister packs that items come in, don't you?

7. Can't recycle that shampoo bottle because the recycle code isn't one that your sanitation department facility can process? Go green with it!

8. Blew out your flip-flops after stepping on a pop top?

9. This one could save your life. Have cloudy headlights but don't wanna waste money on that infomercial we've all seen?

10. Hate digging under the sink for all your cleaning products?

11. Running out of room in your closet? (Hack for the "too many clothes situation" immediately following.)

12. Have too many clothes in your closet?
Put clothes in your closet with the hangers reversed once a year. As you pull clothes out reverse the hanger. Every year donate any clothes that you never took out to charity (hangers face original direction.)

13. Can't fit that mopping bucket into your sink and don't want to stoop over the bathroom tub?

14. Got a new key chain that's completely hard to open to fit even your fingernail, let alone keys?

 15. Renovating the house by splashing some new color on the walls but hate drips?

 16. Have hard water deposits clogging your once and former glorious Water Massager 9000X Chrome Shower Head  reducing it to trickle like a kinked garden hose?

17. Misplaced the garden trowel or the dust pan or the chimney scoop or the kid's beach shovels?

 18. Tied that plastic bag too tight and now it's in a tiny little infuriating knot?

 19. Dropped your earring or a small electrical component on the floor and it rolled somewhere?

20. Just brought home a six pack and don't wanna wait for it to cool down? Or left your pack of soda pop in the car and now it's the temperature of coffee?
Chill it out in just 3 minutes by putting them in a container or a pot and cover them in ice. Next add 1 to 2 cups of salt and fill with water. It will be ice ice baby cold in 3 minutes flat.

21. Need more time finishing that Essay Paper or your Thesis or you next big Office Project and it's due today?
Buy yourself some precious time by grabbing a .jpeg, an mp3 file, or some other media file and rename it, "MyEpicEssay.doc" and send it off to your professor/boss. The "document" will look "corrupted" and should buy you a day or two's more time.

22. Lost your phone charger and don't want to spend a prohibitive amount on a necessary accessory?
Not to fret, journey on down to the nearest hotel and tell them you think you left/lost it there. Cell phone chargers are the #1 most left behind items at hotels, so most places have a big bin full of any and all left/lost phone chargers imaginable that people are too lazy to retrieve.

23. Stuck at a crummy hotel/motel and nothing good is on TV to spice things up? Brown Chicken, Brown Cow.
Make sure the remote system is Nokia. Just enter on the remote 2-2-1, the down arrow, and then press and hold down the OK button. Free Hotel Porn. Thank you Nokia for doing something right.

24. Tires looking low but you don't have any quarters?

Just drive over to a Shell station to the air pump, push the button on the side of the machine 3 times in a row. The pump will start without you having to insert any coins. Free Air!

25. Need to cancel your hotel reservations but it's already past the date of the cancellation policy (causing you to lose money by having to pay cancellation fees)?
Call your hotel and check the policy on rescheduling to make sure there's no penalty. Then ask to reschedule your reservations for a future date beyond the cancellation policy. Call them back, speak to a different representative and cancel free of charge!

26. Stuck at an airport and don't want to pay for Wi-Fi?
Most airports often don't redirect images on websites, so just type in any url followed by "?.jpg" and this hack should get you trolling and loling in no time.

27.  Got a new job and need to wake up at 5am instead of 8am? Just wanna reset your sleep schedule because you want more daylight in your day?
Your day/night rhythm (circadian) can be reset by changing your eating schedule. Don't eat anything for the 12 to 16 hour time period before you want to awaken. Once you start eating again - or "breaking your fast" - your body will consider this to be your new waking time.

28. Hate backsplash when going number two? (You know, that little drop of water that springs back up and makes your buttocks pucker at the cold... you know.)
Just drop one or two squares of toilet paper in the landing zone before you do your business and it should suffice as a splash stopper.

29. Want the superpower to see in the dark? Hate waking up in the middle of the night to go potty and then hitting your toe on the dresser on the way back from not being able to see in the dark after the brightness of the lights?
Make like a pirate and keep one eye closed, or hold a hand over one eye when faced with the bright lights until it is dark again. This will assure that your closed eye retained the ability to see in the dark, missing that dresser on your trip back. Why pirates? Oh, because most eye-patch wearing pirates wore it for the same reasons, the ability to see below deck after being exposed to bright sunlight. Yarr!

30. Guys, don't want to miss the target when peeing in the middle of the night?
As you're standing in front of the toilet in the darkness, if the light switch is nearby, quickly toggle it on and then off while staring at toilet, it will leave an after-image of the toilet in your retinas, allowing you to pee in the toilet as opposed to on the floor; remember to keep one eye closed for seeing in the dark after your potty recess.

31. Sinus pressure got you feeling down?
Thrust your tongue against the roof of your mouth and then press between your eyebrows. Alternating these motions will rock the Vomer Bone back and forth and will loosen up congestion, causing your sinuses to drain. Hello breathing.

32. Car too far away to unlock or the remote gate key too far away from the sensor?
Place the key fob underneath your chin pointing upwards towards your skull. Your head acts as a parabolic reflector (dish) that extends the range forward a few feet, allowing the signal to reach the desired object.

33. Some person in line behind you at the supermarket called you something nasty under their breath and you want them to suffer a little? Or is that little machine just acting funny?
Misery loves company and instant karmic retribution can be in your hands by freezing up the credit card machine and causing it to reboot. Do this by holding down all four corner buttons on the machine until it powers down to reboot. Gather your things, smile and say, "have a nice day," and stroll out feeling just a little bit like the Grinch.

34. Hate waiting in an elevator for all the floors previously pressed until your floor is reached?
No matter how many buttons are lit up (thanks little kid that wanted to push all the buttons and screamed in a tantrum until mom or dad caved in just to stop the noise) simply just press your floor and the 'close doors' ([>|<]) button simultaneously until the doors close. Your floor will be the next stop despite that little kid's efforts to annoy everyone.

35. Car lock or house lock iced up and frozen over because it was nasty, wet, and cold outside?
Melt through it by using hand sanitizer, which due to its high alcohol content, will melt through the ice; make sure to get some inside the lock as well as well as some on your key.

36. Batteries not included?
Just find a 9 volt battery laying around; they contain 6 AAAA sized batteries that can be used in electronics that require AAA batteries. Small sized 12 volt batteries contain 8 1.5 volt cell batteries, which can cost up to 5 bucks a pop. Hello broken watch, you're about to get repaired.

37. Have a watch that is no longer ticking because the battery died? Don't want to pay 20 bucks to get it replaced?
Most low-end watches use 1.5 volt button cell batteries. Make sure your watch back looks like the one in the picture (if it has grooves it usually requires a special tool that looks like a claw because it unscrews, although some grooved backs are just false pop offs to make the watch look higher end... like someone is going to check the back of your watch anyway). Take a small pocket knife and locate the sightly raised area, stick the pocket knife gently under that lip and pull upwards. This will cause the back to harmlessly pop off (trust me, I am a jeweler and changed a gazillionty watch batteries using a "watch tool" that was nothing more than a pocket knife with a big-name-brand-watch-company's logo on it). Once the back is popped off, you can pop out the battery using the same pocket knife and install a new one. To get the back of the watch back on just put it in place, set it on the counter and press firmly on the metal bezel (don't press on the glass, just don't) and there ya go. Tick tock, tick tock.

38. It's baking time and your apple peels are going to waste? Or you have finicky kids that don't like the peel?
Simply toss a handful of apple peels into a saucepan and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Not only will your house smell delicious (toss in a cinnamon stick for a deliciously yummy smell) but you'll have just made yourself a healthy and nutritious tea (tisane).

39. Gotta pipe frosting onto a cake or cupcakes in time for the bake sale?
Don't worry about fancy piping bags, just use a freezer bag (or any ziploc-like bag). Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag; if you have the metal or plastic frosting tips stick one of those in first, followed by the frosting, and then pipe away to save the day!

40. Always have a habit of running late? Just paranoid?

Whether it's for work or for a hot date, punctuality can be preserved by making a playlist exactly as long as you have to get ready. Start with relaxing songs that progressively get more energetic. You will be able to tell how you're doing on time by what song you're listening to, and if your music stops, then you're running late. 

41. Hate watching your minutes drag by on gym equipment during your workouts?

This is a great hack for running a mile (or five) on the treadmill at the gym so you never have to constantly look down at the machine for a time readout, which sometimes seem to go backward if we really don't feel like working out that day. If you know it takes you 12 minutes to run a mile, fill your playlist with songs to add up to 12 minutes. make sure they're songs that you feel like moving to and that you enjoy, start it up when you begin running, throw a towel over those nasty little red glowing numbers, and enjoy your musical run. When your songs are over, that mile will have been run, all without having to stare at analog numbers.

42.  Feel a stubborn sneeze creeping up but it just won't happen?

To sneeze faster simply stare up at a bright light and your sneeze will happen more quickly than just waiting on it.

That concludes the list for now. Have a great hackful day!

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade

Myself and Things I've Learned 
Hack a Day


  1. That was awesome. Can't wait to try them.

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