100 Home Hacks That Will Improve Your Life
Sit back and relax with the time you’ll save after adopting these home hacks.
Garage Floor Dam
Invest in Healthy Food
PVC Curling Iron Holsters
Overhead Storage in the Garage
No-Ladder Gutter Cleaner
Use PVC pipe to build a bike rack. Perfect for a corner of the garage, this DIYer used PVC to make a bike rack that holds five bikes upright. Depending on your bike wheel specifications, you can modify dimensions so they all fit snugly. You can also build a wall-mounted bike rack with storage.
Courtesy of Quinnatotor via Reddit
Help keep your home office space organized by using PVC pipe to hide cords. Just wrangle all those computer, mouse, monitor and phone cords and hide them in some PVC pipe. You can even use some colorful tape to match your office décor. Try these 10 easy DIYs for a home office.
PVC Plastic Bag Dispenser
After building a PVC fence, I was left with a few extra 2-ft. lengths of fence post. I turned one of them into a home for grocery bags that I reuse. I stuff them into the top and pull them out the bottom. If you don’t have any leftover fencing, 3-in.-diameter PVC pipe works well too. Attach it to the door inside a pantry or closet, or to a wall of your workshop or garage. — Dave Mitchell. Get those bags out of the way in the kitchen too, and organize your kitchen.
Lighted Screwdriver Hack
Long Reach Shears
Plus: How to Trim a Tree
Stop Losing Socks
Here’s how to Organize a Laundry Room.
— Kelley Griswold
Wine Cork Wobbly Table Fix
Skinny Laundry Room Cart
I was working under the kitchen sink and couldn’t see what I was doing, so I used zip ties to attach mini flashlights to a pair of safety glasses. Now I use this pair whenever I climb into the attic or do any repairs in unlighted spaces. Everywhere I look is illuminated. — Nathan Rodgers. Plus: Safety gear every DIYer should own.
Stay-Put Drawer Organizer
I have always hated the way drawer organizers move around when you open and close a drawer. I solved the problem at my house with a pool noodle!
I measured the distance from the back of the drawer organizer to the back of the drawer and used a utility knife to cut the noodle to size. The pool noodle fits snuggly in place, so the drawer organizer doesn’t move around anymore. You could also cut the pool noodle in half lengthwise to reduce the amount of space that it takes up. — Roy Allison
Lift Gate Protection
Patching a hole in the wall
No-Slip Clothes Hangers
If you have all matching clothes hangers in your closet and sometimes you get one of the really cheap, plastic ones when you need an anti-slip hanger. One solution is to wrap pipe cleaners around the clothes hanger. The pipe cleaners add a grippy stop to these otherwise slippery hangers.
Simple DIY Vacuum Extension
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.
Rubber Band and Paperclip Binder
Check out this Simple Idea for Extension Cord Storage.
No-Rattle Ceiling Fan
Organize Small Cords with Toilet Paper Rolls
Paper Towel Boot Shaper
DIY Tiered Hangers
Toilet Paper Roll Hair Band Organizer
Pool Noodle Hanger Hack
Toilet Paper Roll Wrapping Paper Sleeve
Eliminate drain odor
Kill two birds with one stone by doing similar cleaning tasks at the same time. “Clean your baseboards when you are vacuuming or washing floors, clean blinds when you are cleaning windows, etc.,” suggests Becky Rapinchuk, owner of CleanMama.net.
Use your dishwasher
Dishwashers are for so much more than just washing dishes. Use yours to dust off knickknacks like mason jars and glass candle globes. Pretty much anything glass or ceramic should be fine going in the dishwasher, but you do want to stay away from putting meltable plastics, and these eight objects in your dishwasher at all costs.
Floor Swiffer for Walls
Baking Soda + Vinegar = Magic
Put that magic baking soda to work to eliminate the stink from shoes, you’ll be amazed at the results.
Remove Hard-Water Buildup with a Lemon
Remove Pet Hair with Duct Tape
Wrap duct tape around a paint roller cover, sticky side out. Roll the paint cover over furniture or carpet to pick up the pet hair. Add more tape as the surface gets full of hair.
Clean the Exhaust Fan
Caution: The cans contain chemical propellants, not just air. Don’t let children play with them.
Dust with Your Dryer
Synthetic Soap Simplifies Bathroom Cleaning
Clean Grout with a Bleach Pen
For really mildewed grout, you may need a second application, and it can help to gently scrub the bleach into the grout with a toothbrush before allowing it to work for 10 minutes. Make sure to run the fan in the bathroom and to avoid skin contact. This method is best for light or white grout. If you have colored grout, test a small area first. It might fade.
Instead of trying to find a bleach pen at the store, the cleaning solution to grout might already be in the bathroom.
Clean a Sluggish Toilet
Vacuum First, Then Scrub
For a really thorough cleaning, start at the top, vacuuming the dust from light fixtures and the top of window casings. Then work your way down. And finally, vacuum the floor methodically so you cover every inch. You don’t want to leave any stray hair or dust bunnies to muck up your cleaning water. A soft-bristle upholstery brush works best for this type of vacuuming. Figure out what vacuum to use here.
Clean Your Bagless Vacuum Filter
People avoid cleaning filters because it’s a messy job. The typical method is to tap the filter against the inside of a trash can until most of the dust falls off. But this raises a thick cloud of dust and doesn’t get the filter completely clean. Here’s a faster, neater, more thorough approach: Take the vacuum out to the garage and clean the pleated filter with a shop vacuum. Some pleated filters have a special coating that you can damage, so be gentle with the shop vacuum nozzle. Clean prefilter screens and post-filters the same way.
Citrus Peels and Ice Cubes for a Stinky Disposer
- With the water running at about half throttle, drop in orange or lemon peels. Run the disposer for five seconds. Citric acid from the peels softens crusty waste and attacks smelly bacteria. Give the acid about 15 minutes to do its work.
- Turn on the water and the disposer and drop in a few ice cubes. Flying shards of ice work like a sandblaster inside the disposer.
- Run the water until the bowl is about half full. Then pull the stopper and turn on the disposer to flush it out.
Plus: Bad Smell in the House?
Countertop Gap Filler
Remove Tough Grime with Less Scrubbing
Magic Eraser sponges are available at grocery stores, hardware stores and wherever cleaning supplies are sold. Unlike regular sponges, they wear out pretty fast, so stock up. While you’re out, look for these other very useful household cleaning supplies.
Blow Out the Garage
Forget the broom—clean out the garage with a leaf blower. It’s fast (about five minutes), you don’t have to move heavy stuff, and you can clean work surfaces and shelves along with the floor. First put away papers or anything else that you don’t want blown away. Open the overhead door. Put on a dust mask, earplugs and safety glasses, then turn on the leaf blower and blow out the dust and debris. Use the leaf blower to get under workbenches and to clean off the benches themselves. If you don’t own a leaf blower, you may be able to use your shop vacuum by connecting the hose to the exhaust port. This cleaning method works great for screen porches, too. No leaf blower? Our buyer’s guide can help you decide which one is best for you.
Clean Range Hood Grease Filters With a Degreaser
Clean a Stinky Fridge
You don’t have to live with a stinky fridge. Follow these instructions for using newspaper and charcoal and the odors will be gone within several days.
Luminous Light Switch
Suck Out Drain Clogs
— Don Greer
Plus: Easy Lawn Care Tips
Plastic Bag Dispenser
Make a Homeowner’s Journal
– Debora Emmert
Paying too much for your insurance? Learn how to save money on insurance here.
If you’ve got a dull whistle that comes through the house on a windy day it can make for a long day. Take care any possible leak by caulking the window.
If the bath fan in your home is more than 20 years old, chances are it’s pretty loud. A loud fan may be good for masking bathroom noise, but the jet engine roar is downright annoying the rest of the time. Worse yet, your old bath fan may not be moving enough air to keep your bathroom free of mold and mildew. Here’s how to fix a noisy bath fan.
Clink, Clink, Clink of the Ceiling Fan Chain
Keep It Quiet
Squeaky Door Hinge
Jingling Dog Tags
Hold Knives and Kitchen Utensils
One of the most common ways to use magnetic strips is to hold kitchen knives and utensils in the kitchen. Magnetic strips work great in small kitchens, because they help get items off the countertop so there’s less clutter.
Keep Grooming Tools in One Spot
Keep all those personal grooming tools in one place. A magnetic strip in the medicine cabinet can be used to store tweezers, clippers and small scissors.
Add-On Clothes Rod
Maximize Drawer Space
High-Visibility Boundary Marker
Touch up Nicks and Scratches
If you have shallow scratches or nicks, hide them with a stain-filled touch-up marker. Dab on the stain and wipe off the excess with a rag. But beware: Scratches can absorb lots of stain and turn darker than the surrounding finish. So start with a marker that’s lighter than your cabinet finish and then switch to a darker shade if needed. For deeper scratches, use a filler pencil, which fills and colors the scratch. If the cabinet finish is dingy overall and has lots of scratches, consider a wipe-on product like Old English Scratch Coat. These products can darken the finish slightly, so you have to apply them to all your cabinets. Bigger than a scratch? Use polyester filler.
Restore Free Flow to a Faucet
To remove the sand and other deposits, soak the aerator in vinegar, then scrub it with a toothbrush. This usually solves the problem. If you have to disassemble the aerator to clean it, lay out the parts in the order you removed them so you can reassemble them correctly. Still having issues? Do a showerhead deep clean.
Kitchen Window Plant Perch
Stop Under-the-Door Air Leaks
If you can feel the breeze and see daylight under your entry door, it’s costing you big-time. It also means you need to adjust your door threshold or install a new door sweep. Door sweeps start at $10. The hardest part about replacing them is usually taking off the door.
Start by adjusting the threshold. Newer versions have screws that raise and lower them. Turn all of the threshold screws until the door opens and closes without much drag and any draft is eliminated. If that doesn’t work, or your threshold doesn’t have adjustment screws, replace the door sweep.
Close the door and pop out the hinge pins with a pin punch to remove the door. Set the door on a work surface and remove the old door sweep. Caulk the ends of the door, then install the replacement sweep. Some sweeps are tapped into place and stapled along the door bottom; others are screwed to the side along the door bottom. If a drafty sliding patio door is your problem, here’s how to fix it.
Junk Drawer in a Bag
To clean-up that junk drawer or any space in your home, here are 18 easy organization tips.
Switch Your Ceiling Fan Direction
More Shower Shelves
For more bathroom storage ideas click here.
Seal Outlets and Ceiling Boxes
The tiny gaps around outlets on exterior walls and ceiling boxes let cold air in (and warm air out). Sealing these areas takes just half a day and will help cut down on drafts (and your heating bill!).
Secure Your Kitchen Towels
We’ve collected hundreds of home tips throughout the years to make life a little easier for our readers. Here are 100 of the Handiest Home Tips.
Better in a Basket
We’re sure you’re stocking up on sweet smelling candles to make your home extra cozy for the colder months. But, if your candles are burning too low to reach the wick, there’s no reason to go without your favorite scent. Instead of burning your fingers, light a piece of uncooked spaghetti. It’ll reach into those deep candles and burn long enough to light the candles on grandpa’s birthday cake!
Everyone enjoys saving money, especially when it comes to improving your home. So check out these 35 amazingly cheap handy hints using everyday items.
Identify Your Keys at a Glance
“It seems the older I get, the more keys I carry around. Between the car, house, shed and garage, I have a whole pocket full of keys. To make it easier to quickly find my most used keys, I paint both sides of the key head with brightly colored nail polish. I use a different color for each key. The nail polish is extremely durable and you’ll be surprised how much longer it lasts than spray paint.” —Joseph Grayson
Check out these other 14 Secret Tool Tips for DIYers from the Pros.
Prevent your bathroom mirror from fogging up after a hot shower with car wax. Apply a small amount of car wax to the mirror, let it dry, then buff with a soft, dry cloth. Expert tips that add up to big savings on your next bath remodel.
Get Wrinkles Out of Your Laundry with Zero Effort
Ditch the time-consuming iron or handheld steamer to get wrinkles out of a shirt or slacks. Throw a few ice cubes or a wet washcloth in the dryer with your wrinkled clothes. As the ice melts and the water turns to steam, it will remove the wrinkles. This trick isn’t as effective with heavier clothing but is a miracle for lighter fabrics. The best part is that you don’t have to set the dryer for longer than 10 minutes for it to work. These 20 small laundry room ideas make the most of what little space you have in your laundry or utility room.
Lampshade Lint Roller
Fabric lampshades are magnets for dust and pet hair. You can’t just throw them in the washing machine, so what do you do? A lint roller works really well. Be careful though, as lampshades are fragile and can even become brittle. A torn lampshade is worse than a dirty one.
Lawn Mower Grass Chute Saver
To avoid a lot of string trimmer work, I like to mow as close as possible to trees and buildings. But the grass chute on my riding mower prevents it. So I drilled a hole in the chute and tied a rope from the chute to a handle on the side of the tractor. Now I can lift up the chute without missing a beat, and cut way down on string trimmer work. — Travis Larson
Find Your Lost Items
Everyone knows how annoying it is when you can’t seem to find a dropped pill or the back of an earring. So how do you find these items quickly and easily? Use your vacuum. Here’s the trick; before you turn the vacuum on, cut off the end of a nylon and secure it on the end of your vacuum hose with a rubber band. Check out these ingenious hacks and practical uses for rubber bands that go far beyond their intended use.
Dust Bunny Broom Cleaner
Every time you sweep, clumps of dust and hair collect at the ends of the broom’s bristles. To solve this problem, hot glue a wide-tooth comb to the top of a dustpan. Just run the bristles through the comb to remove any excess gunk dangling from the broom.
Check out these Cleaning Tips to Reduce Household Dust in the first place.
Homemade Heating Pad
Next time you have a sore neck or back, don’t reach for an electric heating pad. Instead, fill a sock with uncooked rice, tie the end and microwave it for two or three minutes. I like this better than a heating pad, as it conforms to whatever body part that needs heat. You can even put in some fragrant herbs like cinnamon or lavender to make it smell nice!
Cheap Planter Upgrade
Water settling at the bottom of pots can lead to root rot. To combat this problem, cut up old sponges and put them in the bottom of the pot. The sponges retain moisture and create necessary air space. They also help prevent water from flushing out the bottom. The sponge acts as a water reserve and keep soil moist longer.
Love to garden but short on time? Here are some tips that will help you plant, water and weed more efficiently so you have more time to stop and smell your roses.
Clean Refrigerator Coils or Pay Unnecessary Repair Bills
Refrigerator condenser coils are located on the back of the fridge or across the bottom. When coils are clogged with dust, pet hair and cobwebs, they can’t efficiently release heat. The result is your compressor works harder and longer than it was designed to, using more energy and shortening the life of your fridge. Clean the coils with a coil-cleaning brush and vacuum. A coil-cleaning brush, which is bendable to fit in tight areas, does a thorough job. Look for one online or at appliance stores. For tips on repairing your refrigerator (without a service call), check out our guide or how to pick the best refrigerator out there.
Build a Ball Tower
All Your Condiments in One Place
The next time you host a barbecue or a patio party, pull out a muffin tin. Rather than using it to bake muffins (although you can do this later too), fill the cups with various condiments and barbecue toppings. This way your condiments are easy to access and your buffet lines will move along quickly. You will also dramatically increase your table space, and cut down on the separate serving bowls to clean up afterward.
For a truly impressive backyard barbecue, a home cook needs the right tools and a great plan for a successful day out in your yard. That’s why we’ve collected 12 of the best tips to make sure your grillout is fun, easy and delicious.
Joist Space Storage
Super-Secure Garbage Bags
Trash bags and waste bins should work perfectly together, but that’s rarely the case. As trash bags start to fill up, the bag slithers into the bin and you have to dig it out. To keep handled or drawstring trash bags in place, all you need are two medium or large self-adhesive command hooks. Position the hooks at a location that allows full use of the bin. Plus: How to keep your trash can from flying in the wind.