Over the years, the Internet has produced a number of wonderful things (read: cat videos and BuzzFeed lists), but none have been more beneficial than the popular trend known as “life hacks.” These tips, which have sprung up in all corners of the Internet, serve to remind us that even the smallest nuisance can be solved with a little bit of creativity, and also, that everything we’ve ever known is a lie.
1. Eating cupcakes
As tempting as it might be to shove an entire cupcake in your mouth like some anaconda unhinging its jaw before a big meal, there is a simpler solution that reduces the risk of looking like a wild animal in public. Next time someone hands you a cupcake, pull off the cake-y bottom and move it to the top of the cupcake. This sandwich technique ensures a perfect frosting-cake ratio. For those of you who, like myself, prefer a higher percentage of frosting, you can also direct the cake-y bottom to the trash can after removal, leaving just the frosting, or else just purchase a jug of frosting and eat it in private, like the rest of us.
2. Using phone speakers
Anyone who’s ever been to an impromptu summer party knows how awful iPhone speakers are at projecting music beyond a 3-feet radius. While one solution to this problem would be to buy an iHome (or at least befriend someone who owns one), another, significantly cheaper option is to simply place your phone in a bowl, instantly transforming your otherwise useless cereal holder into an acoustic sound system.
3. Cutting tomatoes/grapes/round things
Unless you find slicing individual tomatoes/grapes/round things therapeutic, try cutting them all at once by sandwiching the items between two plastic lids, then sliding a knife through the middle.
4. Putting clothes away
I fold clothes horizontally for the same reason that I write “start exercising” on my New Year’s Resolution list even though it never happens: I’m a creature of habit. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that stacking clothes on top of one another makes absolutely no sense, as it forces you to take out your entire wardrobe just to see what shirts you have available. According to the Internet, drawers should be organized more like file cabinets, where the clothes are folded and packed in vertically so you can actually see all of your options without having to dig through the entire pile.
5. Buying razor blades
The only thing worse than using disposable razors is emptying your wallet every few weeks to replace the ones that have grown dull. One way to avoid this problem, though, is to run a razor up and down a pair of blue jeans, thus sharpening the blade and saving you a trip to CVS.
6. Breaking in your shoes
I haven’t tested this method, so I can’t promise that it works, but if it does, I’ll have to seriously consider writing an apology note to my feet for all the blisters they’ve been forced to endure over the years. According to one writer, wearing thick socks and pointing a hair dryer at trouble spots in a pair of shoes can speed up the breaking-in process and reduce the chance of developing bloody ankles. Why this isn’t the first thing you learn in school is beyond me, because I don’t see how anyone could argue that comparative literature or algebra are more important than proper foot care.
7. Putting on nail polish
Though painting the entire tip of your finger and waiting a few days for the excess to fall off is an effective strategy, it’s one that requires a lot of patience and a whole heck of a lot of nail polish. Apparently, there’s an easier solution that involves putting a drop of polish in the middle, then painting down, up, and to the sides.
What other everyday tasks can be “life hacked?”
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