By Nancy Mattia, CTW Features
Duct tape, lemons, and pipe cleaners are just a few examples of everyday items that can be used in a variety of ways that make your home life better. They save you time, effort, or money—and sometimes all three. Take a look below at eights hacks worth trying:
1. Use rechargeable batteries
Whenever you can reuse something rather than throw it in the trash, it’s better for your health and the environment. That’s the case with rechargeable batteries versus regular batteries, which don’t last long and eventually are thrown away. Though the rechargeable kind is more expensive, you save over the long run because you can use them over and over again.
2. Turn on a lighted screwdriver
When you’ve got to fix something in a dark space, it’s awkward to hold your smartphone (with the lightbulb app opened) and a screwdriver at the same time. Having both in one tool will make the job go faster and more efficiently.
3. Grow your own vegetables
Start a vegetable garden in your own yard. Pick a sunny spot to plant seeds or seedlings, fertilize the soil, and don’t overwater—soon you’ll be feasting on your favorite produce without having to go to a store. You’ll pay less too!
4. Keep a step ladder handy
Instead of climbing onto a wobbly chair to grab something on a high shelf, keep a small stepladder in a convenient spot like in a first-floor closet. They are typically both affordable and compact, with most of the ones on the market today folding up to be slim and storage friendly. Safety first!
5. Create non-slip hangers
If you’ve ever put clothing on a hanger and it fell off to the bottom of your dusty closet, you understand the frustration. To prevent you from having to spend time rewashing, wrap a few pipe cleaners around the hanger on both sides. Hello, friction!
6. Squeeze lemons
This natural cleaner contains nothing that’s harmful to you, your family and furry friends, or the environment. Say no to expensive store-bought cleaners and instead make your own. Mix fresh lemon juice with water and use it on windows to make glass shiny, spray in your microwave oven to get rid of food odors, or make your house smell clean and fresh by filling a stockpot with water and spent lemons to simmer on a stove.
7. Assign different colors for keys
If you carry a lot of keys but have trouble telling them apart, painting each one a different color will help distinguish which one goes in which lock.
8. Use sticky tape to remove pet hair
Does your upholstered furniture or your clothing get covered in dog or cat hair? There’s an easy way to get rid of it: Wrap your hand with a piece of duct tape, sticky side up, and roll back and forth against the furry surface. The hair will immediately stick to the tape, successfully removing the pet hair.