Are you experiencing an electricity outage, or maybe you just want some extra light when going outside at night? Instead of just using your phone’s screen to light the way, place your phone underneath a bottle filled with water (via Life Hack).
The water will amplify the light and cause it to be much brighter than just the phone screen on its own. For extra fun colors, use food coloring in the water or use a diluted beverage such as Kool-Aid or Gatorade. You won’t be able to walk around carrying this DIY lantern, but if you set it down on a hard, flat surface, you’ll have several feet of light.
If someone gives you a business card that you want to hold onto, take a picture of it (via Life Hack). That way, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you will be able to find it when you need it. Is your phone getting cluttered with photos? Make a separate file for pictures of business cards (via Vista Print) so that they are all in one place.
If you have a habit of forgetting things, start taking pictures to help you remember. When you park your car, take a photo of the signpost saying what aisle you are parked in. This life hack can really come in handy when parking at significant events with hundreds (if not thousands) of cars in the parking lot.
Many people enjoy eating pancakes, but making them can quickly turn into a fiasco. Making the batter is not necessarily tricky, but spooning it out onto the hot griddle can quickly cause enough burned bits to accumulate that the smoke detector ends up going off. Next time, try using an old ketchup bottle. Fill it with pancake batter (via Life Hack) and squirt out just the right amount: no burned bits, no smoke detector.
For extra fun, try using cookie cutters. Place metal cookie cutters (not plastic) on the hot griddle and squirt the pancake batter right into it. If you are feeling extra creative, use multiple ketchup bottles and add different colors of food coloring to them. You’ll feel like a kid again.
Do you have a lot of cleaning supplies that you have trouble keeping up with? Maybe storing them under the sink isn’t working out for you, especially if they are falling over and spilling. Try using an old hanging shoe rack! Use each pocket for a different bottle (via Life Hack).
They won’t fall over and make a mess (or cause noxious fumes to escape). Another great use for a hanging shoe rack is to store your different toiletries in an organized way. Use one pocket for your shampoo, another for soap, another for rubbing alcohol, another for cotton balls. Hang the rack over your bathroom door for easy access. Before you know it, your entire bathroom will be perfectly organized.
If you have many keys to keep up with, you have probably at some point run into the problem of getting them mixed up. Also, getting stuck outside while trying to dig out the key to unlock the door, especially in frigid weather, can be a serious drag. Here’s a simple hack: use different nail polish colors to paint the keys a different color (via Life Hack).
Furthermore, do you ever have trouble keeping up with your keys, phone, and other essentials when you are at the beach? Take an old lotion bottle, clean it out thoroughly, and dry it (via Life Hack). Then use it as a holder for these small items that you do not want to get buried in the sand.
Do you want chilled wine but neglected to put the bottle (or box, no judgment here) in the refrigerator in time? No worries, use frozen grapes in the glass instead of ice cubes (via Life Hack). The grapes will perfectly chill the wine without diluting it and also add a nice extra flavor. If you are a wine lover, you may want to keep grapes in the freezer because, you know, just in case.
And if you need to get a bottle of soda cold quickly, no need to put it in the freezer and risk it exploding. Instead, wrap it in a wet paper towel and stick it in the refrigerator. Your drink will be ice-cold in just 15 minutes instead of two hours.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle is all over this life hack. Everyone uses toilet paper (at least, hopefully, everyone does), but there is no reason to throw away the cardboard rolls. If you have many charging cables to keep up with, make rows of toilet paper rolls, standing upright, inside of a shoebox (via Life Hack).
Use each of the rolls as a compartment for storing one charging cable. Another great way to reuse a toilet paper roll is to make it a DIY speaker for your phone. Cut out a hole large enough to fit your phone snugly and then turn on some music. The roll will cause the sound to amplify naturally.
When was the last time you couldn’t find your favorite book, game, or some other favorite object, and you couldn’t remember whom you loaned it out to? Next time you loan something out to a friend, take a picture of the person holding the object you are lending (via Life Hack).
If you loan things out regularly, make a file in your phone’s photos to store those pictures so that you can find them easily. Furthermore, on that note, whenever you borrow something from another person, take a picture of it not to forget that you have it and what it looks like.
Do you wish you could save money by making iced coffee at home instead of paying enough money for a small meal at a coffee shop? The evening before, brew a pot of coffee and wait for it to cool off. Then pour it into an ice cube tray, and put the tray into the freezer (via Life Hack).
The following day, you’ll have coffee cubes! Use the coffee cubes and your favorite creamer as the base for a perfect cup of iced coffee. Put it into your favorite travel mug before heading off to work, and you will save money. Not only that but also the time needed to stop at the coffee shop.
Do you ever find that you need an ice pack, you are stuck using a bag of last year’s freezer-burned peas? You can repurpose an old kitchen sponge by turning it into an ice pack. Soak it in water to fully saturated, then seal it in a zip-tight bag and put it in the freezer (via Life Hack). Next time you need an ice pack, it will be waiting for you. A similar hack can help keep you from putting money on your credit card unnecessarily.
If your credit card’s information is stored in your phone or computer, change the settings so that it is no longer there. Then put your credit card(s) into a zip-tight bag, add some water, and put them in the freezer. Next time you want to buy something, you will have to wait for the cards to thaw out, giving your brain enough time to process if you really need the item or if it’s just an impulse purchase.
Do you get frustrated when reheating leftovers in the microwave? One food area gets so hot that it is scalding, and the rest of it remains cold. To make reheating leftovers easier, arrange the food on the dish to make a hole in the middle (via Life Hack).
This way, the microwave will warm the food more evenly. A similar hack can help you reheat pizza without the crusts becoming tough and chewy. Set the pizza on a plate, like usual. However, put a glass of water (in a microwavable cup) next to it inside the microwave. The water will help rehydrate the crust without ruining the texture.
Who doesn’t like a warm, toasted sandwich? Nevertheless, all too often, the toaster – doing exactly what it is supposed to do – makes both sides of the bread crispy, so the sandwich becomes hard and brittle rather than soft and hearty. To solve this problem, use thinly sliced bread and put both slices into the same toaster slot (via Life Hack).
One side of each piece will get toasted, and the other side will remain nice and soft. Another excellent food hack is to open up your refrigerator and freezer before you go to the grocery store and take a picture of the contents. If you can’t remember whether or not you have something, you can look at the picture and know right away.