Life Hacks – Tips and Tricks for Making Life Easier

There are countless problems you encounter on a daily basis that can put a little speed bump in your day. Life hacks are those “a-ha!” moments where you find the simplest solution to your daily problems, often using items immediately at your disposal. Each month this column will take you through some creative hacks to use in all different areas of your life to make your day to day as simple as possible. This month we’ll show you some tricks to easily and inexpensively update your home.

If you’re an avid book collector, record collector, educator or anyone who has a large collection, you’ll need shelves and wall shelves are a great way to reserve floor space while still storing neatly. You can also turn your wall shelving into a work of art. You can combine different size square shelves into a mandala design or anything your imagination can come up with. Keep in mind the capacity of your wall when installing the shelves and what you’ll be storing on them so you don’t put more weight on the wall than it can handle.

Trying to mount items with hanging mechanisms on the back can be a nightmare, especially on your own. Instead of going for it and hoping you get it right, try using painter’s tape. Measure your tape to the edge of each hanger and tear. Then use the measured tape where you want to hang. Insert your nails or screws at each end of the tape and hang your piece without several practice holes in the wall.

Bathroom storage can get tight in a smaller bathroom. If you don’t have a linen closet or room for standing shelving, try using wine racks. There are lots of styles so you can go as simplistic or decorative as you want. The biggest hassle may be learning to roll your towels instead of folding. These racks can even hang just outside the bathroom in that small wall space near doorways.

Ceiling light fixtures can be pretty hideous, especially in older homes. If you want a quick and inexpensive upgrade, try installing a drum shade over the exposed light fixture. You can buy a drum shade from your local superstore or home improvement store, or you can also look up some fairly easy tutorials on making your own shade to save even more money. Depending on your lighting needs and aesthetic preference, you may want to add fabric to the bottom of the shade to cover up the view of the light fixture from below.

An easy way to change up a room is a simple reorganization of furniture. However, if you have carpeted floors, you will be leaving behind the indentions of your previous furniture layout for at least a week or two. To speed up the process, try laying down ice cubes along the indentions. Once the ice melts the indention should be gone but if it’s a stubborn indention, try using an old toothbrush to fluff the carpet fibers.

If you need a change to your kitchen without a major financial commitment try a new backsplash. If you’re not ready to commit to a permanent look, or if you rent and can’t make permanent changes, you can use place mats as a backsplash. Attach using command strips that won’t damage the wall. You can also play with covering the whole area between the counter and shelving or you can do a small strip for a more subtle change.