I love hacks! Anything to make my life simpler, and most times, lighter on the wallet. I collected some really fabulous ones that are so handy to use, and can be a solution to a particular problem/task.
So, here we go. I started with this one because it would have been a great idea for me when I took my granddaughter to the beach. Now the fishes are making calls.
When you’re painting or gardening, or at the beach with your granddaughter, keep your phone clean and dry by sealing it inside a zip-top bag. You can still work the buttons right through the bag.
No-Slip Seat Cushions
The rubbery mesh designed to keep rugs from sliding works on chairs, too. For outdoor cushions add ties.
When your drop something small and can’t find it, turn out the lights and shine a flashlight across the floor. Transparent items like a contact lens will glimmer. Other objects will cast a shadow marking their location.
Here’s how to paint a door without waiting for one side to dry before flipping it over: Drive one lag screw into the center of the top edge and two near the bottom corners. Set the screws on sawhorses, paint, flip and paint the other side.
Keep a couple sections of pipe insulation or pool noodles in your trunk to protect both the car’s paint and your oversized cargo.
Use Lotion Before Painting
Coat your face and arms with lotion before painting and the splatters will wash off effortlessly.
Touch-up Without Cleanup
No need to mess up a brush to fix a wall wound. Just dip an old washcloth in the paint and throw it away when you’re done. A washcloth leaves the same texture as a paint roller, so your repair will blend nicely.
With a big, cheap plastic tarp you can drag leaves, branches or mulch around your yard.
No-Mess Epoxy Mixer
For quick, thorough mixing of two-part epoxy, put the components in a bag and knead them together. Punch a small hole in the bag to make a neat dispenser.
Keep Pictures Level
A pinch of mounting putty (that sticky stuff used to hang posters) prevents picture tilt without harming walls.
Every homeowner should have a flexible-shaft pick-up tool for grabbing stuff out of hard-to reach spots. They’re also great for yanking clogs out of drains!
Find a Flashlight
When the power goes out, you’ll be groping in the dark for a flashlight—unless you wrap one with glow-in-the-dark tape. The tape glows for about eight hours after exposure to light.
Solid Cord Connection
A knot keeps cord ends from pulling apart as you drag them around.
Adhesive-backed hook-and-loop strips let you stick remote controls under an end table. They’ll always be handy when you’re ready to watch TV but won’t clutter up tabletops.
Extra Towel Bar
Not enough space to hang towels in your bathroom? Add a second shower curtain rod and you’ll have plenty of room. Plus your towel will be within easy reach.
Stop Losing Socks
Stuff a strip of foam pipe insulation into the space between your washer and dryer or along the wall. That way, socks can’t slip into the abyss.
Perfect Keyhole Template
When you’re mounting something on the wall with keyhole slots, lay paper over the slots and make a template by rubbing with a pencil. Then level your template on the wall and you’ll know precisely where to position the screws.
Heat up sticky stuff
A hair dryer softens the adhesive under tape or bumper stickers and makes them easy to pull off.
My pine trees drop cones all summer long, and my old back doesn’t like me bending over a lot to pick them all up. I don’t have a dog, but a pooper scooper has turned out to be this man’s best friend! Gently squeezing the handle opens its jaws, allowing me to pick up pinecones with no back pain.
Mirror and Message Board
My family is always on the go, so staying in touch with one another can be tough. We thought about putting a whiteboard near the door so we could write messages, but we wanted something better looking. So we bought a full-length mirror, turned it on its side, and mounted it on the wall. Now we can write on it with dry-erase markers and give ourselves one last look before heading out for the day.— Matthew Kelly
File by Grit
Tired of digging through a drawer full of sandpaper and turning over each sheet to figure out the grit, I devised this handy sandpaper organizer using a plastic file box ($14 at office supply stores). Each hanging file contains a different grit, and I write the grit numbers on the tabs so I can instantly find the sandpaper that I’m looking for.— Lynette Aitchison
My dogs and I have an arrangement. They poop; I pick it up. But rather than make daily trips to the trash can, I built this poop pipe. It’s just a large piece of 4-in. PVC drainpipe sunk into the ground a foot or so, with a trash bag lining it and a cap sitting loosely on top. A rubber band holds the bag in place, and the cap helps keep odors at bay. When the bag gets full, I just take it to the trash bin and put a new one in the drainpipe.— Kelley Griswold
Spray-Bottle Pipe Pump
When soldering a fitting onto a copper pipe, you have to get the water out of the pipe or the solder won’t melt. But removing the water from vertical pipes is tricky. That’s when I grab the spray nozzle from a plastic bottle. I just stick the plastic tube down into the pipe and pull the trigger a few times. It helps to have a small cup to shoot the water into.— Dean Debeltz
Stir-Stick Paint Organizer
When you buy custom-mixed paint, the paint clerk slaps the mix label on top of the can. I always ask for an extra label to wrap around a stir stick. When I’m done with the project, I let the stir stick dry and drill a hole near the top of it. Then I label both the stick and the can with the name of the room where I used the paint. I hang the stir sticks near the cans of leftover paint. With both the color formula and a dried paint sample in view, I don’t have to pull down every can to find the right one for touch-ups.
Wet-Saw Marking Tip
Use a crayon to draw the cutting line on tile before using a wet saw. Unlike a pen or pencil line, a crayon mark won’t wash off and is easier to see in the muddy water.
Pull-Tab Picture Frame Hook
If you’re hanging pictures and run out of those sawtooth hangers, just grab the nearest pop can. Bend the pull tab back and forth until it breaks off. Then screw it to your picture frame. Bend the free end out slightly and hang the picture.
Here’s an easy way to tear tape and get a starting edge at the same time. Simply fold the tape under at a 90-degree angle to the roll. Then, with a snapping motion, pull the tape against the edge of the roll. The tape tears, leaving a triangular starting tab. This won’t work with plastic tapes; those must be cut.
Dustless Drilling and Drum Sanding
Whenever I have curves to sand, I chuck a sanding drum into my drill press. The only problem is that the sawdust flies everywhere. I wanted to catch the dust with my shop vacuum, so I made a bracket to hold the nozzle. I glued together two 3/4-in.-thick pieces of medium density fiberboard (MDF) and cut out the curved shape with my jigsaw. When I want to use it, I just clamp it to my drill press table. I made the hole just big enough so that the tip of the nozzle fits snugly.
Time to clean the gutters? You don’t need a ladder to find out. Attach a hand mirror to the end of a PVC pipe. Cut the pipe at a 60-degree angle so the mirror reflects an inside view of the gutter.
Hope some of these offered a solution you can use!
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