It has been some time since I last wrote about handy ways of making life easier. I’m all about sharing good ideas and love reading other people’s ideas for becoming more efficient at work and home. This article is all about simple life hacks that I use all the time and can fully recommend.
1) Fix food stains with washing up liquid
I spilled some salad juice (technical term) over my work shirt the other week and was told to quickly rub it with washing up liquid. It was fairly oily but I did as I was told. Later when I popped it into the washing machine, it came out sparkling clean.
I am not saying this will always work, but it did happen again after a visit to my favourite Italian restaurant. Once again the stain vanished.
2) Fill the washing machine immediately
This one sounds obvious but why leave washing in different places or pile it up or pack it into a basket? You can just save time and energy and pop your dirty clothes straight into the washing machine. As soon as it gets full, switch it on. Job done.
3) Utilise banking app rewards
My banking apps are always offering tempting rewards. One deals with mainstream shops and offers cash back if you use your bank card to buy from them. The only thing you have to remember is to activate the rewards. That way, the next time you use that shop, it will count. A few weeks later you will receive cash back into your account.
Just make sure you take up the offers and use them within the allotted time frame.
4) Never ignore a coupon
I often get little letters from Co-Op or Tesco superstores telling me about my points balances. Often I open these hurriedly and then recycle the paper but recently I have been scooping up the coupons and realised they are actually made to suit my shopping habits (Who knew!?)
How silly was I to ignore these tailored coupons. Since then I have started using the apps and finding electronic versions of coupons. These clever supermarkets know I buy cartons of orange juice, for example. As a reward, they offer me vouchers for 20p off etc. Until recently I’d been missing a trick for soooo long!
5) Watch whole TV series FREE
Recently a show that I wanted to see became available on Paramount Plus but I didn’t have a subscription. I decided to do a seven day trial and watch all six episodes episodes of ‘The Flatshare’ and then cancel the membership before it started to charge.
6) Spread the alarms
When you set those annoying alarms to go off in the morning, spread them out. I tend to have my phone one side of the bed. This goes off first. Then a few minutes later the iPad will chime. Because it is further away I have to get out of actual bed to turn it off.
Whatever type of alarm you have, be it clock or a device, make sure you put them beyond arm’s reach.
7) Read chapters at work
If you are bookish like me, you’ll want to squeeze in as much reading as possible. One of the ways I do this is by using the kindle app on my phone.
At work, once I have eaten my lunch. I read a few pages of a novel. If I get any other time to fill, I open up a chapter and go for it.
8) Make To-Do lists work
I used to mock friends who kept endless to-do lists but lately I have been converted. My to-do lists tend to be on post-it notes stuck to my laptop. Or lists made on the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone. They have changed my life and I rarely forget to do stuff. Now I have fewer conversations involving, “I’m really sorry but I forgot all about it.”
9) Never waste a trip upstairs
At home, when you go upstairs for whatever reason, make it worthwhile. If you are making that trip to the loo, take some ironed clothes with you and put them away. On the way down, collect any rubbish and bring it with you. Tidy up as you go along and no journey will be wasted.
10) Have some battery lamps ready
My mum bought me two little battery powered lamps in summer. They were very cute and had holders so they looked more like lanterns.
She said they were in case I ever had a power cut. I reassured her that we never have them where I live. Not in twenty years at least. Weirdly, a few months later, the electricity went off and they came in really useful.
11) Limit soap dispensers
I had this problem where too much soap would come out of a handwash dispenser. It ended up spilling too much down the bottle and onto the surface.
I discovered that if you wrap a rubber band around the neck it lets less soap out. Instead of squeezing a cupful out each time, it only allows a few drops. Perfect!
12) Always have the bare essentials with you.
Have a routine where you make sure you check your pockets for keys and whatever else you always need.
For me, I always want my keys and wallet, phone and hand santiser with me. I keep the keys in my right pocket and my phone in the left. My coat then houses my sanitiser (since Covid I can never be without it) and my back pocket holds my wallet.
13) Keep things in the same places
I grew up with a step-dad who was forever losing his keys. In fact, he never put anything in the same place more than once, so we were forever on wallet hunts or searching for letters or random items.
When I got home from school and wanted my fave TV show on, I could never find the remote. This drove me crazy! Especially in those days when TV shows were not available on streaming. You had to watch them live or spend ages setting up a VCR to record them.
I soon developed a strategy of my own and it’s simple. All I do is put things in the same place every time. As a result, I can rely on the remote being on the coffee table and my keys hanging in a certain place in the hallway. Phew!
14) Use a spoon to keep bubbly fresh
Put a teaspoon upside down into an open bottle of sparkling wine before placing in the fridge. I thought this was nonsense at first but so far it has worked rather well. I do like a glass of bubbly but never a whole bottle. Allowing it to stay fresh is a MUST!
15) This last one is for lazy gardeners (like me).
One thing I have learned since having my garden redone is that weeds will always claw back any empty soil. My good intentions are not enough to keep these horrible weeds at bay.
One solution I have found is to buy alpine plants such as dianthus and creeping thyme. They seem to get established easily and thrive throughout all of the seasons. Best of all they keep the weeds out of the way and don’t need replacing after flowering.
These may seem like basic things but they are life hacks that I use regularly and am grateful for. Perhaps you have some top tips of your own that you could drop in the comments and share. Also, if you are interested, take a look at How to be more productive on my blog.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. Please follow me if you want more similar articles in future. See you next time…