14 Simple Life Hacks for Your Home

For the 3rd post in our series, we have included 14 Simple Life Hacks for Your Home.  As there are thousands to mention, I am sure that we will come back to visit this theme many more times!

  1. Have a junk drop. Face it, there’s going to be one anyway. Wouldn’t you rather decide where it’s going to be? Designate an area where your family can (temporarily) drop their keys, book bags and shoes.
  2. Hide the thermostat by putting a hinged painting or photo over it. Especially when grouped with other pictures, guests will never notice this unsightly but accessible necessity.
  3. Line your trash can with newspaper. You can just line the can itself as protection against leaks, or place newspapers inside the garbage bag to catch any yucky liquids that ooze to the bottom before there’s a major issue.
  4. Keep a small amount of paint handy when you re-do a room. Use a cheap, re-sealable container (like those adorable dressing containers that come in Tupperware sets – who needs 7 of those?). Being able to grab a brush and take care of a small nick or straighten up a wobbly line will keep “touch up living room paint” off your perpetual to-do list.
  5. Use plastic wrap instead of painter’s tape. It’s cheap, and, chances are, you already have some anyway. It will readily adhere to porcelain, glass and finished wood, while the press-and-seal variety will work well on most other materials.
  6. Have a set cleaning schedule. Bathrooms Monday, vacuum on Tuesday, sweep every afternoon, empty the dishwasher every morning… If you aren’t used to a cleaning daily, a task every day can be overwhelming, but when you devote 15-20 minutes to daily chores, you’ll find you free up weekend days.
  7. Wrap a paper clip or small spring around the ends of phone chargers. The springs in used-up ink pens are the perfect size. If you’re planning to use a paper clip, well – it depends on how bad you want to protect your charger and how much time you have, but it can be done!
  8. Hanging shoe racks—don’t let the name fool you. These plastic gems can be used for storing anything from cleaning products to those oddly-shaped drinking bottles that constantly fall over in the cabinet.
  9. Put a pair of panty hose over the vacuum hose to find a small item like an eyeglass screw or an earring back. No more crawling around…on hands and knees… on the hardwood. You are welcome.
  10. Keep a running grocery list in the kitchen. This only counts as a life hack if you add items as soon as you run out of them. On second thought, keep it near the garbage can…
  11. Glue pool noodles to your garage walls. You can’t keep the kids from banging their car doors into the vehicle next to you at Target, but you can protect your doors in the safety of your own garage.
  12. Tape a dryer sheet over hidden vents to freshen the air.
  13. Freeze coffee in an ice tray. You can either cool down hot coffee quickly or make iced drinks…where has this been all our lives??
  14. Have an old safe?  Keep your important documents safe at all times by storing them here!  Safe is broken or you’ve lost the key or combination?  A simple internet search will return plenty of hardworking safe technicians out there who can restore and repair your old safes!  We searched safe repair in Springfield MO since we live up the road in Central Missouri and found a gentleman who does work all over the country.  So there!

14 Simple Life Hacks for When You’re Traveling 

Our next post in our long series of simple life hacks, we present to you: 14 Simple Life Hacks for When You’re Traveling

  1. Leave on time (and by “on time,” we mean 2 hours early). This is a no-brainer for people who fly frequently, but not everyone realizes the time it will take to check backs, eek through security, and hike to their gate…assuming it doesn’t change at the last minute.
  2. Download a helpful app. FlightTrack will alert you if your flight is delayed, and Packing Pro will organize your bag for you. Both can be purchased for less than $5 each.
  3. Pack everything except essentials. We like to keep everything easily accessible, just in case we need to get to it quickly. We won’t. Pack everything except documents you’ll need to breeze through the airport or train station.
  4. Have a plan…This tip especially applies to road trips. Have an overall plan of how far you want to travel each day and which sites are must-see.
  5. …but be willing to abandon the plan. Your plane lands two hours late. You spent a little longer viewing the world’s biggest ketchup bottle (it’s a thing; check it out) than you meant to. It’s about the journey, so be willing to diverge from the plan to make an unforgettable memory.
  6. Plan around high-traffic times and areas. Sights like the Eiffel Tower or the Brooklyn Bridge won’t be as memorable if all you remember is other tourists pushing past or angry horns endlessly honking. Research best times to visit (or avoid) popular attractions.
  7. Leave room in your suitcase. You’re going to buy souvenirs or a sweater if the weather is chillier that expected. Leave room in your suitcase so you aren’t flying home with a “World’s Biggest Ketchup Bottle” replica in your lap.
  8. Carry cash. You never know when you’ll happen upon a toll road or need to tip someone for service. Everywhere takes cash.
  9. Be friendly. Befriending locals led you to off-the-beaten-path restaurants, hangouts and entertainment venues. Making friends with other travelers will (hopefully) safeguard your belongings when you run to the restroom.
  10. Use your time wisely. Train trips and long flights can be used to organize your carry-on or browse through travel brochures.
  11. Pack snacks. Road trips are best spent on the road, not at every other exit to grab snacks. Pack crackers, beef jerky or even sandwiches in a small cooler so you can keep the rubber on the road. Most trains allow you to bring your own food, which can save lots of money.
  12. Don’t buy big luggage. If you don’t buy a suitcase bigger than carry-on size, you can always carry it on. Duh…!
  13. Pack versatile clothes. Consider packing items than can be interchanged to make different outfits. Only take the shoes you’re traveling in, if possible. And think about carrying a little washing powder so you can wash clothes along the way. You could potentially make it on 2 outfits no matter how long you’ll be gone.
  14. Buy it there. Don’t stress about airline regulations. Buy travel-sized toiletries at your final destination and ditch them before you head home.

12 Simple Life Hacks for the Workplace

This is our first post in a long series of 686, 8 second hacks that we feel like will better your life!  Why 686 and 8?  Because those are our lucky numbers of course!  These hacks listed below will help you to be a better employee in your workplace, and walk away at the end of the work day feeling like a better person as well!

  1. Get enough sleep. In addition to feeling sluggish and unmotivated, a lack of sleep can be detrimental to your overall health. Your heart slows and your blood pressure reduces significantly while you sleep, allowing your body to repair and rejuvenate. Not getting enough sleep can lead to missed time at work due to fatigue-related illnesses.
  2. Exercise. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day is proven to improve both mood and energy level. Added benefits if you hit the gym first thing in the morning!
  3. Keep an extra outfit (at least shoes) at work. Take a tip from Mad Men’s Don Draper. You just never know…
  4. Make the boss happy… It’s perfectly ok to set out to please the boss man or woman. That’s who signs your paychecks and doles out promotions, after all.
  5. …but not too happy. There’s a fine line between being efficient enough to make the boss happy and being “teacher’s pet.” You may just earn his or her respect by standing your ground if you feel strongly about a work issue.
  6. Be on time… Being on time every day may not impress anyone, but being late often will definitely draw the wrong kind of attention.
  7. …or get there early. Notice what time your boss gets to work. What about other efficient co-workers? Chances are, they aren’t hanging up their coats and filling up their first cup of joe when it’s time to start working.
  8. Check your email first thing. Setting specific times of day to check your email can help you manage the steady influx of messages. Sort out which ones you can reply to right away (within a minute or two) and which ones will take longer. Set aside a time of day when you address more complex replies.
  9. Restrict yourself from social media at work. Just taking a moment to glance at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…. can add up to several minutes each hour.
  10. Instead, take useful breaks. Having a small snack, stepping out to make a personal phone call, or just briskly walking down the hall (or outside, if possible) can boost your productivity throughout the day.
  11. Write daily to-do lists. Long-term goals are good, but writing them down knowing that you won’t get them done today can be daunting. Only write down a few things that you know you can accomplish quickly.
  12. Prioritize tasks based on who’s asking. Sadly, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you know someone is bound to complain—loudly—if you don’t fix an issue, move that task close to the top of your to-do list.

Take #5 seriously…  We ALL remember what Milton did when he got his favorite stapler taken away because he wouldn’t stand up for himself!