• Vidhya S

25 random life hacks that can help you one day

Video games have cheat codes to help you get through the difficult bits. Wouldn’t it be awesome if life had some cheat codes too?

Well, I’ve got some good news for you! Life does indeed have its own set of cheat codes known as life hacks, i.e. unique solutions to the annoying problems that life throws at us! I’ve compiled 25 random life hacks that I’ve learned over the years. I hope they help you out!

Kitchen

1. Opening tight jar lids

There are two things you could try here: (a) dip the lid in hot water for a while, or (b) tap the bottom of the jar.

The logic behind (a) is that heat causes the metal lid to expand, thus making it easier for you to open. For (b), I’m sure there’s some scientific explanation as to why it works relating to pressure or whatnot, but it’s been years since I touched a physics textbook, so I’m just going to call it magic.

2. Keep sauce packets from fast food take-out


You know those small sauce packets you get when you order take-out? Don’t throw them away! Keep them in a small container in the fridge and use them when needed. Whenever I order take-out, I request for extra and stock up on them. This saves me the trouble of having to buy bottled sauces. If I’m making a burger or sandwich and I need some sauce for it, I just whip out a few of these small sauce packets and I’m good to go!

3. Sift your icing sugar

When making frosting for cakes or cupcakes, sift your icing sugar first to prevent your frosting from being grainy.

4. Check the reviews before trying out any recipe online


This seems like an obvious one, but it took me some time to realise how important this is. Looking at the reviews helps you to weed out any not-so-great recipes. Plus, people tend to share the little adjustments they made to improve the dish or overcome certain problems in the reviews.

5. Switch from fresh to cordial

If you’re having guests over on a hot day, cold juice would be a nice, refreshing beverage to serve. But if you’re hosting a relatively large group, you’ll be running through your fresh juice cartons quite quickly! Instead, you could get a big bottle of cordial and make use of that. Plus, this allows you to control the sweetness. You can add more cordial for young children who prefer sweet drinks and less cordial for the older guests who are health-conscious.

6. Steam vegetables in the microwave

Sometimes, vegetables such as beans and potatoes can take ages to cook. So, my mum taught me this trick to steam the vegetables for a while in the microwave beforehand to cut down on cooking time. Basically, I cut the vegetables, throw them into a microwaveable container with a few spoons of water, and steam them for a minute or two.

Travel

7. Tie a ribbon to your suitcase

This is a tip I learned from my parents. To me, suitcases all seem alike on the airport conveyor belt, so attaching a bright coloured ribbon to the suitcase helps me to identify my bags easily.

8. Pack a change of clothes in your hand luggage

Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst should always be our mantra while travelling. Pack a change of clothes and keep all your important documents in your hand luggage just in case your check-in luggage goes missing.

9. Download a movie on Netflix ahead of time


You never know how the Wi-Fi situation will be like at the airport, so plan ahead! There’s nothing worse than having to kill hours at the airport with no Wi-Fi or any other entertainment.

10. Keep your passport in the hotel safe

I’m a very paranoid person. The idea of losing my passport in a foreign country scares me senseless! So, I don’t quite dare carry my passport around in case my bag gets stolen or I carelessly leave it behind somewhere. Instead, I keep it in the hotel safe and only carry a copy along with me wherever I go.

Reminders

11. Set a reminder on your phone for free trials

Certain apps like Skillshare or Canva offer free trials for us to try out. Oftentimes, we need to put in payment details to activate the free trial. So, at the end of the trial period, if you don’t cancel your subscription, your card gets charged for the new month. To be safe, as soon as you sign up for any free trial which requires your payment details, set a reminder on your phone to cancel the subscription in one month’s time if you don’t use the app much.

12. Put invites on the fridge

To avoid forgetting important events, display the invites on your fridge! Alternatively, you can set a reminder on your phone as well.

13. Set recurring reminders for important tasks

Your phone calendar probably has the option to set a reminder that recurs every month or every few months. Use this feature to set reminders to pay your credit card bills promptly before the payment due date every month or to service your car every six months.

Personal Care

14. Have a lint roller in your glove compartment

This comes in handy if you get lint, fur, or dust on your clothes! Just use the lint roller to get them all off before leaving your car.

15. Keep a sanitary pad in your most used bags

This is an absolute lifesaver! Keep one in every bag you use frequently and replace them every month or so.

16. Apply hairspray with a toothbrush to tame any baby hairs


I have tons of baby hair and when I tie my hair up into a ponytail, things can get very messy! One trick that has worked wonders for me is spraying some hairspray on a toothbrush and running it over my hair. This helps to tame my baby hairs and gives me a neater look.

Money

17. Automatic money transfers

Standing instructions to pay your rental or to invest your money (for e.g. through robo-advisors) helps you to organise your finances on auto-pilot. This way you don’t forget anything important.

18. Stash some money in your phone case

In the event that you’ve forgotten your wallet, at least you’ll have some cash on you!

19. Ask restaurants if they offer any promotions

Sometimes, restaurants have credit card promotions that give you a discount on your meal when you pay with a certain card. Double-check with the restaurant staff before paying in cash.

Shopping

20. Stash reusable bags in the trunk of your car

A lot of places charge for plastic bags nowadays. Keep some reusable bags in your car so you can use them when you go grocery shopping. Alternatively, you can stash one of those foldable bags in your backpack or handbag.

21. Buy non-perishables in bulk when on promotion

Although it’s usually a good idea to stick to your shopping list to cut down on unnecessary purchases, when certain non-perishables such as toiletries are on sale, you could stock up on them to save some money!

Cleaning

22. Spin mops

Mopping is my most hated chore to do, but spin mops have been a huge game-changer for me! They have made wringing out mops so much easier and hassle-free! I certainly don’t dread mopping as much as I used to now!

23. Use coasters on your coffee table

Using coasters for your drinks can prevent ring marks on your coffee table. Plus, cute coasters that add a pop of colour to your space can be part of your home décor.

Digital Devices

24. File digital copies of documents

Printing and filing documents can lead to paper wastage and takes up a lot of space. Instead, consider filing digital copies on your computer and backing them up online every so often. You could also take pictures of your bills, store them digitally, and shred the physical copies to avoid any clutter.

25. Set to turn on night mode automatically

Most smartphones come with a blue light filter or night mode. Set your device to turn on the night mode automatically after sundown. This could help you sleep better at night.

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So, that’s 25 random life hacks that I hope helps you one day! Do share some of your own ‘cheat codes’ or life hacks in the comments below!

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