There are plenty of do-it-yourself projects out there that are better left to MacGyver. So don’t sweat it if you don’t know how to build a lie detector out of a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and alarm clock.
Instead, focus on life hacks that are way simpler and more practical. While these 20 tricks may not be worthy of secret agents, they are perfect for straightening up your home and saving a few bucks. Ready to get started?
1. It’s no secret that power tools are, well, powerful. But did you know your basic electric drill has uses far beyond screwing things into the wall? By attaching a scrubber to the drill bit, you suddenly have a power washer that will have your kitchen and bathroom sparkling almost instantly!
2. Hitting your finger with a hammer is the worst. It hurts like crazy and leaves you feeling like a moron. To avoid any future hardware blunders, you can simply stick a nail through the eraser of a pencil, and use that to hold your target still. Your fingers will thank you!
3. Stinky shoes keeping you down? You can eliminate that lingering odor by placing a couple of ordinary teabags in each shoe and leaving them overnight. Just don’t make tea with them afterward, or you will regret it.
4. When it comes to lawn care, you could always go out and buy a proper sprinkler. But what if there was a free alternative? As it turns out, putting your hose inside a soda bottle with a bunch of holes poked through the plastic does the job just as well.
5. Are you the type of person who’s always misplacing your things? For a key holder that you’ll never forget, just cut a hole in an old tennis ball and attach it to your wall. You have a clamp perfect for any object! Googly eyes are optional, but highly encouraged.
6. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you need to wrap something up for storage, but the bag is just slightly too small. But there’s always a bigger bag! In fact, you can make one by sealing two zip-lock bags together.
7. Next time you’ve got a clogged drain, try this science fair strategy before you call a plumber. Just like a middle school volcano, pouring a combination of baking soda and vinegar will bring about a foamy explosion. It will also clear any clogs right up!
8. Dog sweaters in stores sometimes cost just as much as people clothes, even though they have less fabric and dogs only wear them in certain weather. But there’s a cheaper way to outfit your dog — a pair of long socks, with a bit of trimming, serves as a very stylish canine cardigan.
9. Cleaning out the gutters has to be one of the most reviled chores, but most people make it harder than it has to be. Put that ladder away, and instead, attach a length of PVC pipe to a leaf blower. Now you have a tool that can suck out gutter gunk in minutes, all from ground level.
10. After a while, some charging cords lose their ability to click perfectly into laptop ports. Instead, they fall out with the slightest movement. A quick way to remedy this annoyance is to put a washer on your cord and glue rings of velcro to the washer and charging port.
11. Are your kitchen cabinets an organizational nightmare? To make a bit more room, here’s a way to keep your pot lids from clanging together every time you move something. Simply mount a couple towel racks inside the cabinet door, and the lids will never get in your way again!
12. No matter what, it always seems like you run out of chip clips. However, you probably have some great substitutes scattered across the house, but don’t even know it! Pants hangers — particularly cheap ones that come with clothes — usually have removable clips on each side. Just pop them off and use them to keep your snacks fresh.
13. Most tie racks get cluttered and tangled with just a moderate tie collection. But if you have a ton of ties that you want to show off in style, you can attach an unused bed frame to your closet door. In terms of size and weight, frames from old baby cribs tend to be the best.
14. Can’t find a funnel? Well, there’s a much better alternative to pouring the old-fashioned way and hoping for the best. If you pour the substance into a plastic baggie and snip of the corner with scissors, you’ll be able to effortlessly transfer it even into the most narrow of openings.
15. Sometimes your desk gets so crowded that you don’t have any room for snacks. We’ve all been there. But what if we told you that that old hoodie in your closet has a built-in feedbag? It’s true — all you need to do is flip that bad boy around. To avoid public humiliation, this hack is best tried out in private.
16. Whether you’re a budding artist or a real Van Gogh, paint can get sloppy. To keep your supplies in check, you can put together re-sealable paint bottles with just old soda caps, a plastic sheet, and a knife. Soon you’ll be focusing more on your masterpiece, and less on the mess.
17. Everybody hates the theft-proof plastic packaging that surrounds so many retail goods. Sometimes, it seems like you spend more time opening an item than actually using it! However, an easy way to slice right through these plastic prisons is to trim of the edges with a can opener.
18. Nowadays, it feels impossible to live without a cell phone, which means that nobody wants to see a frayed charging cord. However, this DIY-er came up with the clever trick of braiding leather around the damaged section. It actually looks better than the original version!
19. Even the nicest furniture will acquire little dings and scrapes over time. Luckily, you can erase these marks just by rubbing them will a walnut — really. The nut leaves behind an oily residue that blends in with the wooden finish and makes your furnishings look brand new.
20. Here’s a nightmare scenario: you want to pop open a couple brewskis in your hotel room, only to discover that the room has no bottle opener. It’s hard to imagine yourself in a more depressing situation. But don’t panic. The lever over the door happens to be the perfect size to pry off that cap. Emergency averted!
Some of these DIY tips could really come in handy in a pinch and some of the others prove that there’s nothing mankind won’t try when it comes to making everyday tasks easier than ever before.
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