There's nothing like a simple hack to make life easier and help you free up a portion of your budget, especially when all you need are things you already own. And the internet is full of ideas and home repair hacks that supposedly do just that, which is great. That is when they actually work because many of the "hacks" floating around out there either don't work or simply aren't very practical. So, we've sifted through some of the more unique and practical DIY hacks to be found and collected the best ones just for you.
An Easy Tool To Organize Wires And Chords
If there's one thing we can't stand to see lying around the house or out of place, it's chords. Thank goodness for wireless earphones. However, things like HDMI and power chords probably aren't going anywhere anytime soon. So, try this simple hack to keep all of those chords off the counters and tables when not in use. All you need is a couple of used toilet paper rolls and a box.
Simply fill the box with the rolls and there you go. You have an organized place to store all of your chords when they're not in use or you're waiting for the day when your current charger goes out.
Put All Of That Dryer Lint to Good Use
Everyone knows how dangerous it can be to leave lint in your dryer for too long without cleaning it out. If you don't, then go and clean out your dryer immediately. That's because dryer lint is highly flammable and the heat in your dryer can cause it to spark and set everything around it on fire. However, you don't have to simply throw away all that lint you get from your dryer.
You can actually use it as a pretty reliable and lightweight fire starter. The same properties that make it so dangerous also mean that it's a great fire starter to bring with you on camping trips.
Never Have To Deal With Messy Paint Cans Again
If you've ever painted something, then you know how messy paint cans get. Not only is it unsightly, but if you're the risk-taking type, then the paint can run down the can and get all over your floor as well. Luckily, there's a simple everyday item you probably have lying around your home somewhere that can immediately solve this issue. And that item is a simple rubber band placed around the can.
This gives you something other than the side of the paint can to wipe your brush on. So, instead of the excess paint running down the side of the can, it simply drops back into the bucket.
Keep Your Cutting Boards From Slipping
Even if you don't necessarily think of yourself as a talented home cook, odds are you have a cutting board in your kitchen. And whether that board is wood or plastic, it can sometimes be tricky to make sure it doesn't slide around while you're cutting up particularly wet items like tomatoes. To avoid any mishaps or unwanted sliding, try wrapping a rubber band around your board the next time you need to cut something.
It'll keep your cutting board from sliding around no matter how messy your countertops are getting. And the best part is it means you have a stable, safe cutting surface to work with.
Leave Notes On Your Washer Or Dryer
Parents are going to love this hack. Since a lot of washers and dryers out there feature an enamel finish, you can use a dry-erase marker to leave notes or reminders for anyone who has trouble remembering to separate their clothes. Actually, you could use this hack to write just about anything that you want. You can draw a calendar to keep track of laundry or just write a little fun quote to make washing clothes a bit more bearable.
However, this one comes with a caveat. Obviously, if your washer and dryer don't have enamel finishes then proceed with care. A glass top should still work but you might want to consider switching up your marker color.
Dust Your Blinds Using Socks
This one might not come as much of a surprise to some who've probably been doing this for years, (we know we have), but you can use socks to easily dust off blinds. Sure, a damp cloth works too, but sliding your hand into a sock is just so much easier than trying to use a cloth and having to press hard against soft blinds. The blinds usually either crinkle or aren't cleaned well enough when you use a cloth.
Just be sure to wash the socks after you're done or better yet, use a pair that you no longer wear to dust off your blinds. It beats just throwing them away.
Wax Your Wooden Drawers
Ever wonder how a lot of antique shops get those old wooden drawers to slide so smoothly? Yep, they simply use a candle to lubricate the bottoms of the drawers. No sanding is required, (usually). This hack is particularly useful if you were considering buying older, wooden furniture but were worried the drawers would eventually get "sticky". You can also use a candle to lubricate other parts of a drawer where it comes in contact with the dresser, such as the top or sides.
This should ensure that your wooden drawers slide easily. If they don't, then the drawer might just need a good sanding after years of use. But hey, even that's an easy fix.
Use Walnuts To Get Rid Of Scratches
This hack might seem counterintuitive but it really does work. You can actually use walnuts to get rid of mild scratches on your wooden furniture. That's because the oils stored in walnuts are the same that a lot of wood polishers use to do the same thing. Just take a walnut and rub the scratch with it. Afterward, rub the oil into the scratch using your fingers and it should be gone.
And no, walnuts won't scratch up your furniture further, since they're actually quite soft in comparison to wood. Just be sure to scrub the wood hard enough so that enough oil is released.
Easily Clean Your Shoes With This Bathroom Staple
Tennis shoes are great, but they tend to get pretty dirty pretty quickly, especially if they're white. You could throw them in the washer, but that can sometimes damage the shoe or even other clothes that were thrown in there with them. Instead, try using a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your shoes. It doesn't take much scrubbing and it's much better for your shoe than throwing them in the washer.
Just make sure that whatever toothpaste you use is non-colored. Some colored toothpaste might actually stain white tennis shoes and nobody wants that. If your shoes are dark in color then it might be fine.
Sharpen Knives Without A Sharpening Stone
Most people have been in the kitchen and suddenly realized that their kitchen knife was a bit on the dull side. However, not everyone has a sharpening stone lying around and even if you do, it can take a second to fully sharpen a knife. Luckily, you can use ceramic cups to quickly sharpen knives and scissors that have gone dull. Just make sure to use the bottom ring where there is no glazed finish.
The ceramic should quickly sharpen edges in a pinch. However, it's always advised that you invest in an actually sharpening stone for future use as it's easier on your blades.
Make A DIY Caulk Gun
A caulk gun is a pretty common household item. However, if you ever find yourself searching in vain for a caulk gun then there's a simple solution that can save you a trip to the hardware store. All it requires is a wood clamp, a small stick of wood, and zip ties. Fasten the caulk to the wood clamp using zip ties and place a piece of wood in the back of the tube and you have an improvised caulk gun.
Actually, there's really no need for a caulk gun ever again if you happen to have these items lying around the garage or shed. It works pretty much exactly like an actual caulk gun.
Use Zip Ties To Avoid Having To Call A Plumber
Calling a plumber can be expensive. Especially when you have something as simple as a clogged sink and it's going to take them all of 10 minutes to finish the job. Instead, you can use zip ties to create a simple drain cleaner. Cut slits at the end of the zip tie to help catch whatever might be clogging the drain and use it to fish out whatever is causing the issue.
It's a better alternative to using harsh chemicals and a much cheaper alternative to calling a dedicated plumber. You'll save some money and time with this simple hack.
Make A Car-Sized Trash Can
For some, keeping the inside of their car squeaky clean can be a challenge, not least because you often don't have a dedicated trash can with you. Instead of constantly stopping to throw away trash or having to remember to empty out your car every time you get home, try this simple hack instead. Just use a normal kitchen container — the kind you might keep cereal or something similar in — to fashion a car-sized trash can.
Just remember to throw a plastic bag in there as a liner and you're good to go. No more having to constantly empty your car out or worse, letting trash accumulate.
Recycle Paint Brush Handles
Old paint brush handles might not seem like the most obvious thing to recycle but they can actually come in handy when you're using a table saw. If you pry off the metal that connects the brush to the handle, you're left with a versatile wooden handle that can be repurposed into a push. If you use a saw to make a couple of simple cuts, you can turn it into a push for when you're cutting on a table saw.
Sure, you could use the handle without making the simple cuts, but this isn't always best, especially when you're pushing a board fairly hard and need something with some grip.
Never Buy An Ice Pack Again
Odds are you've probably made an at-home ice pack using a cloth and some ice before. However, those tend to get things wet when the ice eventually melts and turns to water. Instead, use this hack to make a reusable ice pack that won't leave a mess. Just take a clean sponge and run it through some water before throwing it in a ziplock bag. Put the bag in the freezer and that's it.
The freezer should freeze the sponge and leave you with what is virtually the same as a store-bought ice pack. You could also simply fill a zip-lock bag with ice and use it that way.
Turn Your Phone Into Music Speaker
As nice as it is to have a dedicated speaker, things happen. Sometimes someone forgets to bring the speaker along or they bring it along with not enough charge. When that happens, the only thing you can do to keep the party going is turn to your phone. However, phones don't usually have the loudest speakers. To fix this problem, just put your phone into a bowl or some other container with a hard surface and deep curves.
It'll amplify your phone's speaker and slightly help the sound quality. Of course, it's no replacement for a dedicated speaker, but it is much better than listening to an unaided phone speaker.
Use Bottle Caps To Support Tension Rods
Tension rods are usually pretty great, until they aren't and end up falling down without warning. So, why not give your tension rod a little help to ensure it doesn't come crashing down? All you need is a bottle cap, drill, and drywall screws. Using the drywall screws, secure your bottle cap to the wall where you plan on placing your tension rod. Then insert the rod inside the bottle cap.
This will help make sure that the rod doesn't come crashing down with all of your clothes on it. It's also a good idea to make sure you're screwing into a stud whenever you do this.
Turn Plastic Containers Into Greenhouses
It's always a good idea to recycle plastics. However, this particular hack is an especially nature-friendly way of getting the most out of those containers. Just take a plastic container and make some holes in the top. Next, fill it with potting soil and plant your seeds. Of course, remember to clean out the container before filling it with soil, preferably with a cleaner that's not too heavy on the chemicals.
After your seeds sprout and you transfer them to their own pots, you can reuse the container for other seeds or recycle it with the other plastics.
Improve Your Hangers
This is a pretty inventive little hack to help make sure your clothes never fall off their hangers again. All you really need is some glue, but if you happen to have a glue gun then even better. Just take your hanger and your glue and make tiny beads on the top portion of the hanger. These will ensure your clothes don't slip off without you having to go out and spend the money on higher-quality hangers.
Just make sure that whenever or wherever you do this that you place something down on the floor so you don't get a bunch of glue everywhere while you're working.
Repurpose An Old Wine Box
If you're a wine lover that happens to have a wine box lying around somewhere then this hack is for you. The same slots that make a wine box so useful for separating wine also make the boxes useful for separating other items. You could use it to store shoes or just about anything else that you want to organize. However, there's an even better reason for reusing that old wine box.
It gives you another reason to buy more wine. Jokes aside, this is a pretty handy way to upcycle something that would've otherwise just gone in the trash and off to the dump.
Make A Discreet Wallet
You don't have to be particularly cautious about your valuables in order to still want to make a cool, spy-like wallet. All you need is an empty lip balm container and you have a place to discreetly store any money or other small items you might have. Nobody would ever think to look for money inside a lip balm container. Just remember to keep track of the container so as not to lose whatever you put inside.
However, the best part about this hack might just be that it looks like something out of a spy movie, just remember to keep the container separate from other valuables, like purses.
Make A Homemade Scoop
Odds are most everyone out there has made a homemade funnel before. Well, this hack is sort of like that, but for a scoop in case you ever need to shovel anything in or out of containers, like dog food. And all it requires is an old milk jug. Just cut the milk jug in half diagonally and you have a sturdy scoop you can use for just about anything.
Just remember to keep the lid on so that nothing falls out the bottom while you're using it. You can even use it for any gardening needs, like scooping up a bunch of dirt or planting soil.
Sand Without A Sander
You don't always need a heavy-duty sander. However, simply sanding by hand isn't the greatest as sandpaper tends to get crinkled up and worn when sanding by hand. To solve this problem, try using a small notebook as a hand sander. The notebook will help you sand evenly and help the sandpaper last longer as you won't be sanding using only a portion of the sandpaper, resulting in it wearing down quicker.
It's also much easier on the hands and prevents the sandpaper from crinkling up. There are hand sanders you can buy, but they tend to not hold on to the sandpaper as well as this solution.
Make A Heating Pad
Back and neck pain are no joke. Not only are they uncomfortable but they can result in lasting damage. So, the next time you find yourself in need of a heating pad but don't have one on hand, try using this simple hack. All you need really is some rice (uncooked) and a sock. Just fill the sock with rice and throw it in the microwave for around three minutes.
It should come out moderately warm. If it's too hot to the touch, wait a little while and then use it to ease whatever pain you might have. This should save you a trip to the store and ease the pain.
Raise Your Workbench Or Table
If you've ever been forced to use a pair of sawhorses or a table that wasn't quite tall enough then you know how much of a pain it can be. The constant bending down or over to make cuts or do just anything else can make a tough job even tougher. However, there is a pretty simple solution if you're lucky enough to have some PVC pipe laying around.
Just cut the pipe whatever length you're trying to raise the table by and slip it over your bench or table's legs. Admittedly, if you're working with sawhorses then you're probably going to need some pretty wide PVC pipe.
Use A Drill To Make Nail Pilot Holes
This is a pretty clever hack, especially if you don't have much space to work with and are concerned about splitting wood. It involves making a pilot hole for a nail using your drill. First, cut off your nail head using a pair of heavy-duty wire cutters. Next, insert the nail into your drill the same way you would a drill bit and there you have it. An easy way to make a pilot hole while ensuring you don't split your board.
However, remember not to drill too deep, especially if you want the tightest fitting possible as drilling the full length of the nail will only cause it to be loose whenever you hammer it in.
Use Corks To Stabilize Wobbly Tables
There are few things in this world as annoying as wobbly tables. They rank right up there with mosquitos. However, if you're table is in particularly bad shape then it might need a solution like this. You can use a wine cork to permanently fix any table that might have a case of the wobbles. Just take the cork and measure it against the table leg and ground, marking the space with a pencil.
Next, cut off the extra length and attach it to the bottom of the table leg. You can do this using glue or a screw, depending on what you have lying around.
Easily Stabilize A Toilet
Although this is far less common than running into a wobbly table, it can be just as annoying. And that's wobbly toilets. Luckily, we have a pretty easy hack to fix that. All you need are a couple of coins or washers. Just shimmy them underneath the toilet, adding or subtracting as needed until the toilet seems stable. Then sit on top and attempt to rock the toilet just to make sure it's stable.
Finally, using a caulk gun proceed to caulk the gap and hide any part of the coins or washers that might be visible. This will save you some money in having to call an expensive repairman.
Use A Pool Noodle For Typing
If your job or hobby requires that you sit at the computer typing for hours on end, then this hack is a lifesaver. You can actually use a pool noodle as a wrist rest. It might get you a couple of weird looks if you take it to the cafe with you, but it's better than not having anything at all. Just cut the noodle in half and use one half to rest your wrists on.
It'll save you from having to buy an overpriced wrist rest from a company and who knows, maybe some of those looks will be looks of admiration at not spending a fortune on an Apple wrist rest.
Never Buy Another Candle Again
Okay, that title might be a little misleading because this is certainly no substitute for scented candles — or even regular candles. However, it can help out in a pinch if the power goes out and you don't have any candles around. All it takes is some butter, toilet paper, and a toothpick. To fashion your own emergency candle start by cutting the butter in half and pushing the toothpick down to the base of the butter stick.
Next, take your toilet paper, fold it diagonally, and twist it to create strips. This will be your wick. Insert the twisted toilet paper and you have yourself a homemade candle.
Use Zip Ties To Create A Phone Stand
This one is pretty self-explanatory but you can basically use any zip ties you might have lying around to create a phone stand. Just wrap both ends of your phone in the zip ties, making sure that the extra length of the tie is situated in a place it can act as a leg. Now, you have a phone stand that didn't cost you a penny and you can watch whatever kind of videos you want.
You can even reuse it if you didn't tighten the zip tie too tight as it should just slide off of one end of your phone and be able to slide right back on.
Resuscitate Your Sharpies
It can be frustrating to reach for a sharpie only to open it and find out it's all dried up. The worst part is for whatever reason you usually only find yourself in possession of one sharpie at a time. The next time this happens to you try reaching for the rubbing alcohol. Just pour a small amount down the back of the sharpie, close it up, and shake it.
After a few moments, you should find that the alcohol is thoroughly mixed and your sharpie is working once more. Just be careful not to use too much alcohol otherwise you might end up with an overly wet substance.
Use Glass Cleaner On Your Wipers
Sometimes when your windshield wipers aren't doing a great job it might be time for new ones. However, other times they might simply be dirty and need a good cleaning. When that happens, you can try using a glass cleaner to give your wipers a good scrubbing. Just add some glass cleaner to a soft rag and proceed to clean your windshield wipers. If you find that a lot of excess dirt is coming off then that might of been why your wipers haven't been working great.
The glass cleaner will also help as it wipes your windshield down. Optionally, you could add something like Rain-X to help your wipers remove even more water and make sure you're safer the next time you have to drive through heavy rain.
Add Durability To Your Sandpaper
Here's a sandpaper tip for anyone who's ever been super frustrated after wearing down sandpaper sooner than they expected. This will add a little bit of durability to one of the weakest parts of your sandpaper. Just take some duct tape and apply it to the back of your sandpaper. That's literally it. Now, your sandpaper is reinforced and the back is not going to wear out before the gritty side does.
This is especially helpful if you're sanding by hand as for some reason the back of sandpaper tends to give out quicker than the rough side when you're using your hands.
Use Legos To Keep Track Of Keys
This hack is really getting rid of two birds with one stone. It'll help you keep track of your keys and make sure you aren't stepping on any spare legos lying around the house. That's because you're going to take those spare legos and fashion your own key hanger. Take a building block and — carefully using a drill — drill a hole into a building block. This is going to be attached to your keychain.
All you have to do now is mount a large flat tile block and attach your building block to your keychain. Now, you can simply hang your keys to the tile using the lego on your keychain.
Clean Your Faucet With Ease
This is such a simple hack, we're almost embarrassed to admit that we couldn't come up with it ourselves. Cleaning the kitchen and bathroom sink is easy, but all about all that dirt and grime that builds up at the faucet base? No matter how intensely we scrub, we always struggle with getting it all off. That is, until we learned to cut a hole in the middle of the sponge we clean the faucet with.
By cutting a hole in the middle of the sponge, you can simply fit it around the faucet and clean with ease. So simple!