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8 Simple Home Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

SmartCam, Home Maintenance, Home Tips

Published: May 14, 2020

Who doesn't love a life hack — especially as it relates to your home?

We've tapped our home experts to compile a list of easy, DIY home hacks that can make your life easier — not to mention save you time and money.

Whether you're an expert looking to enhance an arsenal of home tips or a novice seeking small ways to streamline your day-to-day, we have a home hack for you.

Put tennis balls in your dryer for fluffier pillows and fewer wrinkles.

dryer in laundry room

Everyone can benefit from this tried-and-true laundry hack. Add a few (clean) tennis balls to your dryer to fluff up down-filled comforters and pillows, reduce wrinkles, and even speed up drying times.

Run vinegar and baking soda through your dishwasher for a deep clean.

vinegar and baking soda

Experts recommend cleaning your dishwasher at least once per month. Don't worry — it's easier than you think. First, pour one cup of vinegar into an open container, place it on the upper rack, and run the dishwasher through a hot water cycle. When that's through, sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through a shorter hot water rinse. (Want more cleaning hacks? Find them here.)

Speaking of dishwashers... use yours to clean your kids' small, washable toys.

open dishwasher

You could clean your kids' washable toys by hand... or, you could put them in the dishwasher, say the experts at the Family Handyman. Drop small toys like Legos into a laundry bag, place them on the top rack of your dishwasher, and run the machine as usual. Just make sure to remove the toys before the drying cycle!

Quickly remove stickers from furniture and gum from carpets.

hair dryer

Your kids might think it's a great idea to plaster stickers all over their furniture, but you might not agree. If that's the case, use a hair dryer to soften the adhesive and a putty knife to scrape the stickers off.

As for gum on the carpet — there's a simple fix. Fill a sandwich bag with ice cubes and leave it on top of the gum for roughly half an hour. The gum will freeze, grow brittle, and break; then, you can easily pull it out of the carpet. (Thanks again to the Family Handyman for these genius tips!)

Unclog a kitchen or bathroom sink — without harsh chemicals.

bathroom sink with plunger

The experts at This Old House describe a three-step approach to clearing even the most stubborn of clogs — all while avoiding caustic chemical drain cleaners that can wreak havoc on pipes.

Step one: fill the sink with water and pump up and down with a plunger. If that doesn't work, you may need to pop out the drain stopper and extract the buildup with a wire clothes hanger. Still no luck, and it might be time to remove the P-trap. (Find simple how-to illustrations here.)

Repurpose common household items to help you stay organized.

binder clips earbuds

Binder clips have many clever uses; one of our favorites is wrangling unruly cords. Simply attach the clips to the edge of your desk and thread the cords and chargers through the ends. That way, they'll always be in reach!

Another easy organization hack? Use clear plastic straws to keep jewelry from getting tangled. Just cut a straw in half, feed the necklace or bracelet through the opening, and clasp the ends. Then, place your straw contraption in a drawer for tangle-free jewelry storage. (Find other great tips to keep jewelry untangled here.)

Easily identify your keys at first glance.

keys on table

We love this tip. If you struggle to identify which key on your key ring is which, paint the key heads with brightly colored nail polish. You'll never be left standing at your front door, fumbling for the right key again!

Use affordable smart home technology to keep an eye on your home.

woman looking at phone

You might be wondering how smart home technology qualifies as a home hack. Well, if a hack is an easy, affordable way to make life more seamless, certain smart home systems like Hedge definitely fit the bill.

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