LIVING: 7 Life Hacks To Make Easy Things Easier

I'm a little hesitant to over-qualify the following things as "hacks," but I know no better word for these tiny tricks I do to fix large problems. That's essentially what all of these things are: small, simple, everyday things I do and use that make large everyday nuisances disappear and just make life a little easier. 

I'm also almost certain you have your own list of "life hacks" (my mom could write an entire book  filled with these!), so if you feel so inclined, please share your small fixes to big problems with me and the rest of the readers so we can all improve the quality of our days, maximize our time, minimize our efforts, and basically just take care of all the annoying bumps in the road. 

Here's my theory: life has lots of actual potholes to avoid and mountains to overcome. I'm cool with that, but if I can smooth out the minor bumps and flatten the hills along the way, Imma do that so I've got the energy to deal with the real problems when they arise.


So, per my theory, here are:

EIGHT WAYS I'VE HACKED LIFE

to make the easy things easier and the hard things less hard.


1. soap pump

I'm a sucker for a good body wash. Like, go in to TJ Maxx (Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and various other blackholes of shopping) for 1 thing and walk out with new body wash type of sucker. 

As a body wash connoisseur, I know that most good, fun washes come in pretty bottles jam-packed with artful advertising that is essentially my attraction to them in the first place. The bottles are almost always the kind with the lid you have to break a fingernail to open, and they also get stored in a way such that when the soap runs low, you've got to tump them on the lids to gather all the remaining liquid to squeeze out.

ALAS, I have figured out a way to avoid this body-wash-woe: a pump bottle.

IMG_7106.JPG

After one of my favorite body washes (which originally came in this pump container) ran out, I was doomed to use another favorite, second only to the others because it was not a pump bottle AND the lid was so oddly shaped that it couldn't rest upside down. 

I finally had a productive & reasonable shower thought, which was to pour my squirt-bottle soap into the pump bottle. 

I ain't neva looked back, y'all. Changed my body-washin' life. 

2. straws for everything

If you've been reading & following for a while, this is not your first exposure to my seemingly odd straw-preaching. If it seems odd to you, you're probably not a straw-user. I feel sorry for you.

If it doesn't seem odd: YOU GET IT. I use straws for just about every liquid I drink. (Exceptions: hot coffee, wine, or my grandmotherly ginger ales) They make me drink more water, and also save me from spilling on myself when I'm in the car. The struggle of trying to drink out of a bottle on these NOLA streets is THE REALEST y'all.

IMG_7102.JPG

So I have a 1-Liter water bottle with a carefully scouted out straw-lid that I carry everywhere because #hydration. Next, I have this fancy gold tumblr that I use for iced coffee, smoothies, crystal light, etc., also with a straw. And finally, I even bought a straw for my 1/2 gallon jug because, like I said, NOLA streets render bottle-drinking in the car impossible.

Real talk though: I'm pro-straw because it truly does increase your daily liquid intake, which I am very much for. 

3. bedside light switch

This is hardly worth explaining. We've all done that phone-flashlight walk to bed (or to the bathroom in the middle of the night) because light switches are appropriately placed by the doors, ya know?

The 2 things I'm most looking forward to when I emerge as royalty all Princess-Diaries-style and get a personal butler are: getting my coffee delivered to me in bed AND having someone to turn off the fan when I wake up so I don't have to stick any skin out from under the covers until the temp is just right . (I think the life hack to these things is marriage, right?)

But, because my princess-ship hasn't been discovered yet and because the light switch is still inconveniently far from the bed, I've had to make-do like the peasant I am, and so I've put a light above my bed with the switch in my bed. Voila. 

How, you ask? It's actually quite a cute chandelier-esque fixture if I do say so myself, and the cord hangs right around my bed post with the switch easily accessible from the comfort of my bed. It seems silly now that I'm writing about it, but it's totally convenient so whatever.

 (I realize that jumble of cords is likely a fire-hazard)

(I realize that jumble of cords is likely a fire-hazard)

4. keyring carabiner

IMG_7104.JPG

Is there anything more frustrating that slipping a key on and off a key ring? (Most definitely, but it's pretty high up on the "why-is-this-taking-me-so-long" list, right?)

I don't know about you, but the amount of times I need my car key separate from my house key or my house key separate from the other lump of things on my key ring is actually comical. From wanting to start the heat in my car 5 minutes before it's time to go but still needing to lock the door, going for a run but needing some sort of key to get either back in my house or back in my car,  to dropping my car off at the shop and still needing the rest of my keys while my car key stays at the mechanic... ain't nobody got time for that nail-splitting keychain ring pull-apart nonsense.

Hooking a carabiner onto my keys has saved me so much time and so many broken nails. I just unclip whatever key I need and leave the rest behind. 

5. computer stickies

If you're a Mac user and you don't use the sticky notes application, you are missing out on one of the simplest most convenient features of these computers, in my humble, list-loving opinion. 

IMG_7100.jpg

I have at least 6 sticky notes for various things from to-do lists (the "Today" kind and the "In This Life" kind) to a list of every idea and project that comes to mind. I've got a list that houses all the quotes I want to remember, all the work-related notes, numbers and addresses I have, and even one just for fun French phrases!

I love the sticky notes application because I can keep up with my sh*t 10x easier and access all those naggy things you just don't wanna forget instantly when I'm on my computer. 

Pro tip: Make the note a "Floating" window to keep it visible 100% of the time, even when you click out of the app.

6. rubbermaid drawers as bathroom organizers 

Sistas, even if you don't have limited bathroom space (which I very much do), I urge you to consider your organization tactics for all those tubes and brushes and pencils and pastes in your bathroom. 

IMG_7107.JPG

Putting rubbermaid drawers in my bathroom not only hid a ton of crap and cleared up the cluttered look I had going on, but it actually made staying organized easier, because it's way easier to throw something in a drawer than it is to shove it back in a jar or one of those clear cosmetic organizer trays. 

I have a set of drawers for hair things, a set for my make-up, and a set for stuff I don't even know how to classify. Seriously, it has helped so much, and an added bonus is the flat top from the drawers gives you another surface to put more unnecessary beauty products on!

7. wireless mouse

IMG_7099.JPG

For those of us working primarily from a laptop, the constraints of a trackpad mouse are eventually too much to handle. Certain programs I work in have right-click and left-click shortcuts, and maybe I'm just old-skewl, but a real, trackball mouse is just so much more natural and easy to maneuver for me. 

It's a simple, cheap work-hack that has changed my computer work ethic immensely. There are tons of bluetooth options, but the one I have is a USB connected device that I actually like better than the bluetooth ones because you don't have to worry about laggy connection :)


That's all the "hacks" I have for now! I'm curious what YOUR "life hacks" are and want to see if you use any of mine! 

Leave a comment if you're an online reader, or hit "Reply" to this email and share some ideas with me!