There are tons of times every day when something pops up and we wonder to ourselves, “why hasn’t anyone invented a way to do this easier yet?” Being in the day and age of computers so small you can put them in your pocket that are more powerful than ones we had at our desks ten years ago, it seems silly that simple little daily annoyances have yet to be made simpler. Yet, in many cases, those bright enough to come up with simple ways to fix them have already done it, and have done so using every day household items. What follows are ten really simple ways to make your life easier or better and eliminate some of those daily annoyances by using things you already own.
10. Rubber Band Paint Can
Whenever you have to paint a room, there is always the worry of the mess you are about to make to do it. With hardwood floors there is so much worry of never seeing your deposit again that you might refrain from ever painting an ugly color off. As we all know, wiping the paintbrush on the sides of the can not only causes a mess on the can, but simply doesn’t work well enough that it seems worth it. This is where simple ingenuity comes in. Wrap a rubber band around the can, directly over the middle of the open mouth of the container. When pulling your brush out, wipe it across the rubber band. This keeps the mess off the sides and cuts down dramatically on spillage.
9. Straw Tab
Popping open a can of soda is a great way to refresh yourself and get that much needed caffeine jolt. But for those who want to keep potential messes to a minimum, or don’t want soda to get to their teeth, there is a simple solution for that roaming straw. Simply turn the tab around so its larger hole is now over the open mouth, and stick a straw through. The tab will keep the straw in place and is a near perfect size!
8. Velcro Remotes
Remote controls get lost easily, this we all know. It is subject to cheap jokes by standup comedians and has caused all of us many hours of dashing about in our living rooms, searching in couch cushions. If you have children or elderly living in your home, the chances of your remote control going for a jaunt to the freezer door is even a possibility on occasion. Yet, most of the time, the main reason remotes get lost is that there isn’t a good place to put them when you don’t need them that is still easily accessible. This is where Velcro strips come in. Should you happen to own a coffee table, simply Velcro one side to the side of the table facing your couch and the other to the back of the remote control. Now you have a place to put your controller that’s out of the way and doesn’t require you to go searching every half hour.
7. Trash Can Holes
Taking out the trash is one of those few jobs that is necessary and simple, yet no one wants to do it. Most of that trepidation comes from the fear of what will happen if the bag rips or doesn’t come out easily. For the latter issue, there is a simple solution that can help out immensely. By drilling two holes near the bottom of the can, you create an escape for the air that keeps it from vacuuming the bag down and forcing you to tug at the potential time bomb of trash bag handles in your hands.
6. Empty Space in Microwave
Have you ever cooked something in the microwave, say bagel pizzas, and noticed that the ones on the edge have barely melted cheese, while the one in the middle is fried beyond comprehension and is a mass of molten cheese and sauce lava? This situation, which plagues many a college dorm dweller, is an easy fix, provided you have a big enough microwave. By creating an empty space in the middle of the microwavable container, the remaining food will now cook evenly. This leads well into our next idea…
5. Water for Crispy Pizza
When microwaving a slice of pizza, you are running a terrible risk. When you pull the piece out, will it be recognizable from the crispy slice you received earlier that day or the night before? Or will it be a soggy mess of sadness that flops down the minute you pick it up and sends blazingly hot cheese into your lap? If you follow this simple advice, you can at least cut down on some of the terrible sogginess and enjoy some half-decent leftovers again. Put a small amount of water in a microwavable cup into the microwave along with your slice.
4. Comb Holder for Nails
Banging your fingers with a hammer hurts. This is common knowledge, and a big reason why we all do that weird test swing thing before we start wailing away at the wall. Yet, for those of us who still manage to catch our thumbs in the path of the hammer, there will always be a need for something to save us and our abused digits. A comb, for example, does wonders. The teeth of a comb, while flexible, are fairly rigid still and perfect for holding nails in place. This is also especially helpful since it means your fingers won’t be anywhere near the mallet and can keep your piano playing days going a bit longer.
3. Toothpaste Headlights
Headlights on a car are essential to our safety, and car shops are essential to keeping those pieces working correctly. Yet, it also seems that car shops have an essential need to overcharge by leaps and bounds for simple things, and buying replacement parts is equally expensive. When it comes to your headlights, if you are experiencing a foggy or dimming light, there might be another way than industrial cleaners or replacement lights. Grab a tube of toothpaste and rub it on the light. Now brush it on (preferably not with your actual toothbrush) and then rinse. You will notice that all the dirt, muck and grime have gone as the toothpaste does a remarkable job cleaning!
2. The Cord Control
Opening a box of cords, any cords, is an exercise in patience and temper management. Anything from Christmas lights to headphone cables seem to find a way to wrap themselves in knots around other cables no matter how neatly you stack them together. Yet, there is an easy solution you may never have thought of: toilet paper rolls. Take an empty toilet paper roll and fold the cord up and set it inside. Now put the paper roll, open sides up and resting on the bottom of the box respectively, and place them side by side in the box. If you have a big enough box (and enough cords), you can even lay down a piece of cardboard between them and make a second stack! Label them with marker on the outside for easy detection.
1. The Plastic Packs
Any time you buy a super cool utensil, or cd, or video game and it comes in one of those plastic packs, it feels like the world is taunting you. There it is, the thing you bought, inside this seemingly indestructible package that laughs at steak knives and breaks your scissors. Forget opening them with your hands, they are tear proof by design and even if you manage to get it open, you will have to tear the plastic at whatever angle you can achieve just to get inside. For this, there seems to be no hope, that is until you realize the obvious; you’re can opener is built perfectly for this job. By using a hand crank can opener on the side of the package, you can get any simple plastic package opened up in no time.