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33 Brilliant Home Hacks Using Our 3 Favorite Items

These ho-hum household items can do a lot more than hang your clothes, bundle a newspaper and hold a roll of toilet paper.

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ClampFamily Handyman

Brilliant Bag Clamp

Save those pants hangers to make your own bag clamps. Snip off the ends of the hangers with heavy-duty scissors. The clamps can be used on any bag around the house or workshop. — Stephanie Quattrochi. Plus: Check out these 11 ways to keep your workshop neat and tidy.

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No-Slip Clothes Hanger 1

No-Slip Clothes Hangers

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have all matching clothes hangers in my closet and sometimes you get one of the really cheap, plastic ones when you need an anti-slip hanger. My solution was to wrap pipe cleaners around the clothes hanger. The pipe cleaners add a grippy stop to these otherwise slippery hangers.

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HH Handy Hint Plant seeds in toilet paper tubesFamily Handyman

Cardboard Seed Tubes

For an easy and green way to start seeds, save your toilet paper and paper towel cardboard tubes. Cut the cardboard tubes into 2 in. lengths and set them in a waterproof tray. Fill the tubes with potting soil and plant your seeds. When the seedlings are ready to move to the garden, plant them right in their cardboard tube. The cardboard will decompose. Be sure to keep the tube below the soil surface, so it doesn’t wick moisture away from the roots. Here are 10 more ways to save money in your home garden.

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Hanger Magazine Rack

Hanger Magazine Rack

Create a quick magazine rack for your bathroom or bedroom using a hanger. Place the magazines on the horizontal bar of the hanger; then hang it on a drawer pull or cabinet knob for reading material at the ready.

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Simple DIY Vacuum Extension

Simple DIY Vacuum Extension

To make it easier to clean hard to reach spots use a left over wrapping paper tube as a vacuum cleaner extension. Now you have 3 extra feet to clean ceiling fans and cobwebbed corners.

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Paint brush

Dry Paintbrushes Super-Fast

Here’s a handy way to dry and store paint brushes. Using a hand-saw, cut a slanted slice out of the handle from the hole toward the bristles. After cleaning, hook the brush over a coat hanger and hang it from a ceiling joist. — reader Paul E. Therrien. A Trick for Storing Paint Brushes Overnight

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Lint Starter Log 2

DIY Lint Fire Starter Log

To properly build a fire, you need to have tinder (easy-lighting material), kindling (finger-size sticks) and fuel (logs). We all have a readily available supply of tinder: dryer lint! To make fire starters, I stuff empty toilet paper cardboard tubes with dryer lint. Dryer lint “logs” light quickly and easily burn long enough to light up the kindling. And you don’t have to resort to lighter fluid! Have you ever heard of a Swedish fire torch?

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No-Slip Cutting Board

No-Slip Cutting Board

Most cutting boards don’t come with any kind of rubber surface on the bottom to prevent them from sliding on a countertop, but with a couple of rubber bands, you can stabilize your cutting board and keep it from moving around during use. Slip on two rubber bands—one at each end of the cutting board—and you’re good to go. Make sure that the rubber bands lay flat and aren’t twisted when you put them on so the board will sit steady on your countertop. Next, check out 25 handy hints specifically for the home cook.

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Use a Rubber Band to Grip Stripped Screws

Use a Rubber Band to Grip Stripped Screws

We've all stripped a couple of screws in our day. And it normally isn't a big setback until you need to unscrew it, that is. So the next time you're in this situation, try a rubber band for a screw grip.

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Rubber Band and Paperclip Binder

Rubber Band and Paperclip Binder

Store small extension cords neatly with this simple office supply hack: Attach a paperclip to a small rubber band. Then wrap the rubber band around the bundled cord and clasp the paperclip onto the rubber band again. No more tangled extension cords! Check out this Simple Idea for Extension Cord Storage.

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Rubber Band Paint Can

Stretchy Painting Helper

I hate when my paint cans get dried paint all over them, so now I keep a box of rubber bands with my paint supplies. Before I start painting, I wrap a rubber band around the paint can so that it stretches across the opening. I use the rubber band to wipe excess paint from the brush instead of the can’s rim, which helps keeps my cans clean. — Kate Smith. Check out these other smart painting hacks!

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Clothes Hanger Drain Cleaner

Clothes Hanger Drain Cleaner

Hair clogs in the drain are inevitable; and they’re more likely if there are longhaired people in your home. I’ve found that a wire coat hanger is the most effective tool for removing them. First, untwist the wire under the hook. This leaves the hook at one end and a miniature “auger” at the other end. Push the auger end down the drain up to the clog. Bend the free end 90 degrees, forming a handle. Crank the handle so the auger bores into the clog, allowing you to pull it out. Plus: We’ll show you how to unclog just about anything. — Matt Boley

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clamp

Makeshift Small Parts Clamp

Make a small-parts clamp by wrapping a rubber band around the jaws of a needle-nose pliers. The rubber band keeps the jaws of the pliers clamped together for holding small items. It works especially well for getting nuts into inaccessible spots or for starting small finish nails. — Marvin J. Dirks. Plus: 28 Secret Clamping Tricks from Woodworkers

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Plastic Padded Hanger Hack

Plastic Padded Hanger Hack

Try this hanger hack for crease-free dress pants: Cut a piece of plastic wrap with air pockets that’s about 12 in. long; wrap it around the bottom bar of a hanger and secure it with tape. Hang your dress pants on the pad and in your closet. Next time you reach for them, they’re ready to wear—no ironing required!

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Hands-Free Light Hack

Hands-Free Light Hack

Make a hands-free light in a snap with a flashlight, a pair of pliers and a rubber band. Place the flashlight in the jaws of the pliers; then wrap a rubber band around the handles of the pliers. That’s it! Point the light wherever you need it.

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No-Rattle Ceiling Fan

No-Rattle Ceiling Fan

If the screws that hold the light globe to your ceiling fan tend to work loose and then hum or rattle, slip a wide rubber band around the neck of the globe where the screws grip it. The rubber band prevents the screws from loosening, dampens any noise and protects the globe from overzealous screw tighteners.

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Organize Small Cords with Toilet Paper RollsFamily Handyman

Organize Small Cords with Toilet Paper Rolls

To keep small cords organized, try this handy hint: Fill a shoe box with as many empty toilet paper rolls that will fit vertically; then place a single small cord in each tube. It'll keep your cords free of tangles and in one place.

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Keep the Tape RollingFamily Handyman

Keep the Tape Rolling

Slip a rubber band over the 'ears' of your packing tape dispenser as shown to keep the end of the tape from falling through the slot and then back onto the roll. The tape won't stick to the rubber, so you'll always be ready to roll. Need some packing tape? Grab some now on Amazon.

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Hot Glue Gun Uses: DIY Nonslip Hangers

Hot Glue Gun Uses: DIY Nonslip Hangers

No more rewashing clothes because they fall off of hangers and onto the floor! Rather than go out and buy expensive specialty hangers, simply apply a bead of hot glue to the top arms of your existing hanger and let it dry completely. The rubber-like dried glue will keep your clothes in place, even when you're in a rush and can't decide what to wear.

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Paper Towel Boot Shaper

Paper Towel Boot Shaper

Insert one or two empty paper towel rolls inside each of your tall boots to help them keep their shape while in storage. When tall boots are back in season, you won't have to spend time ironing out creases.

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Break Out a Rubber Band

Break Out a Rubber Band

Wrap a rubber band around the bottle cap crown and start twisting. The cap should pop off in a little while. You can use a rubber band for these 10 brilliant purposes as well.

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Clothing Storage Solutions: DIY Tiered HangersFamily Handyman

Clothing Storage Solutions: DIY Tiered Hangers

Short on closet space? Use a lightweight piece of chain to stagger hanging clothing in tall closets to maximize space. Just loop the first link of the chain over the first hanger, and hang subsequent hangers on every other links after. Hang up to six shirts for the rod space of one. Want to get into a closet project? Build your own melamine closet storage system here.

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Toilet Paper Roll Hair Band Organizer

Toilet Paper Roll Hair Band Organizer

Keep elastic hair bands in one place—not scattered in drawers or in the bathroom sink or all over the floor. Slide them onto an empty toilet paper roll, which can then be neatly tucked into a drawer. The small cardboard tube keeps the circular hair accessories organized yet still easily accessible.

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Hands-Free Door TrickFamily Handyman

Hands-Free Door Trick

Need to go in and out the same door a bunch of times while carrying stuff? To keep the door from latching shut, I loop a rubber band around one doorknob or handle, then twist it once and loop it around the other knob. The rubber band holds the latch in. Now if the door closes, I can push it back open with my body whenever my hands are full. — Nick Paone

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Pool Noodle Hanger Hack

Pool Noodle Hanger Hack

Use a pool noodle to prevent creases in your dress pants! First, cut the noodle to size; then slice it open lengthwise. Slip the noodle onto the bottom bar of the hanger and drape your dress pants over the noodle. No need to iron out a crease before you can wear your dress pants!

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Paper Towel Cord Storage

Paper Towel Cord Storage

Give empty paper towel rolls new life as cord wranglers. Fold small extension cords neatly before slipping them into their own individual storage sleeve. You can even label the cords by writing on the cardboard. Be safe and learn How to Prevent Electrical Overloads!

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Chain Saw Blade GuardFamily Handyman

Chain Saw Blade Guard

Protect a chain saw blade with 3/4-in. foam pipe insulation. Wrap the insulation around the blade and strap it tight with a couple of rubber bands. Chain saw need sharpening? Here's how.

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Rubber-Band Bolt HolderFamily Handyman

Rubber-Band Bolt Holder

Mechanics often use special magnetic inserts in sockets to prevent the bolt from falling out while they try to thread it into a tight spot. You don't need to waste money on those gadgets. Simply cut a rubber band into strips and lay a strip across the opening of the socket. Then insert the bolt head. The rubber band will wedge the bolt head in the socket, allowing you to start threading without losing the bolt.

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Paper Towel Roll Hanger Hack

Paper Towel Roll Hanger Hack

Make a hanger for storing your dress pants crease-free. Use scissors to cut open an empty paper towel roll. Slip the tube over the horizontal bar of the hanger and tape the opening closed. That's it—no need to purchase expensive padded hangers!

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Toilet Paper Roll Wrapping Paper Sleeve

Toilet Paper Roll Wrapping Paper Sleeve

This hint will save you from wasting wrapping paper each time you bring it out of storage. Rather than sticking a piece of tape along the loose edge, cut an empty toilet paper tube lengthwise and wrap it around a roll of wrapping paper. Cinch it up and secure the sleeve with a piece of tape. Next time you use the wrapping, you may rip the sleeve when removing it, but your wrapping paper will remain intact.

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Office Supply Hanger Hack

Office Supply Hanger Hack

All you need to turn your existing plastic, metal or wood hanger into clothes-gripping nonslip hanger is a couple of rubber bands. Just wrap a rubber band around each side of the hanger. It helps to twist it around at least two times and spread it out. That’s it! Instant clothes-gripping hanger.

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Nonslip ToolsFamily Handyman

Nonslip Tools

When you're working on the roof, wrap rubber bands around tools to help them stay put. The rubber will grip on roofs with up to a 6/12 slope. Keep yourself from slipping off the roof with these tips.

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Rubber Band ClampsFamily Handyman

Rubber Band Clamps

You can buy special woodworking clamps to hold hardwood edging in place until the glue sets, but they're expensive and you won't use them often. Instead of buying specialty clamps, you can modify some of your spring clamps instead. Grab a few rubber bands and presto—instant edge clamps. These clever clamp storage tips help keep your workshop organized.