Whether it's finding more closet or kitchen space, or cleaning hard-to-reach places, make life easier with our laundry list of smart, practical and effective home hacks:
1. INSTALL A LAZY SUSAN IN THE FRIDGE
A rotating table is a great way to reach items at the back and ensure that your groceries, especially perishable, don't languish without you noticing.
2. "GREASE" UP A ZIPPER WITH SOAP
If your zipper tends to get stuck or snag easily, simply run a bar of soap across the entire length to help smoothen the tracks.
3. MARK OUT PORTS ON YOUR DEVICES
Ever wasted a good few seconds fumbling about your laptop trying to find the right charging or USB port? We've all been there. Just mark it out with a dot or line for fuss-free plugging next time.
4. CLEAN A CEILING FAN WITH A PILLOWCASE
To clean dusty ceiling fan blades without triggering a sneeze attack, simply slide a pillowcase over a blade and pull outwards slowly. This way, the dust collects into the bag all at once.
5. PUT PANTYHOSE OVER A VACUUM CLEANER NOZZLE TO PICK UP SMALL ITEMS
The next time you lose an earring or that tiny spectacle screw, don't fret. Simply place a pantyhose or thin old sock over the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner and sweep it over your floor or carpet to pick up the lost item easily.
6. BUFF OUT SCRATCH MARKS WITH A WALNUT
Can't stand the sight of ugly scratch marks on your precious wooden dining table? Simply rub a walnut over the scuffed areas - the nut's natural oils work to reduce the appearance of scratches and you'll have a bag of yummy walnuts to treat ourself to.
7. ABSORB PAINT SMELLS WITH ONIONS
If the smell of paint goes for your sinuses, peel a few onions, leave in the room and they'll absorb the chemical odours.
8. PICK UP GLITTER WITH PLAY DOUGH
Arts and crafts can be a messy affair, but cleanup can be a breeze with this clever tip. To pick up tiny things like glitter and sequins, simply roll play dough over it. (Tape works too, just not as well.)
9. USE A HAIR STRAIGHTENER TO IRON OUT SHIRT COLLARS
After straightening your hair in the morning, use it to quickly press the collar of a work shirt. No need to get out the iron!
10. AN EASY WAY TO CLEAN STAINED SHEETS
Bought a beautiful set of bedlinen, only to discover it's been spoiled by a nose bleed? Soak the item in cold water, nothing else, and let it sit overnight. Then wash as normal in the machine. The stain will disappear.
11. FAST-CLEAN YOUR SHOWERHEAD
To get your chrome showerhead looking new again, soak in a solution of half clear vinegar and half water.
12. MAKE CANDLES LAST LONGER
Cover it with a plastic bag and place in the freezer for 24 hours before lighting.
13. DECLUTTER WITH DRAWER DIVIDERS
Who's got time to rummage through a messy drawer full of trinkets? Drawers dividers are a simple and effective solution to keep all your little items organised.
14. USE NUTELLA LIDS AS MAGNETIC PICTURE FRAMES
Simply stick a magnetic strip on top of the lid and place endearing family photographs on the other side.
15. UPCYCLE AN EMPTY NUTELLA JAR
Clean it out and then decorate as you please. You can turn it into mug for drinking, a vase, or receptacle for trinkets, etc.
16. USE A CORK HOT PLATE AS A MEMO BOARD
Instead of using standard framed rectangular cork pinboards in your study (or anywhere), buy round cork trivets from the supermarket. They're inexpensive and you can stick them on the wall with double-sided tape anywhere you please.
17. FILL IN UGLY NAIL HOLES WITH WHITE CRAYON
Simply colour over the tiny hole and your white wall will look good as new.
18. LABEL WIRES WITH COLOURFUL TAPE
Now you'll never have to worry about unplugging wrongly, and save you all that hassle of searching for the right switch.
19. KEEP MATCHING BEDSHEETS AND COVERS INSIDE THE PILLOWCASE
No more hunting through the cupboard and messing everything else up when you need to change bedsheets.
20. SPRINKLE BAKING SODA ON FLOORS BEFORE VACUUMING
The bicarbonate absorbs smells from both the carpet/rug/floor and vacuum. Add essential oils to leave fresh scent too.
21. CLEAN STREAKY WINDOWS
Is the rain or your window cleaner leaving streaks on your window panes? Add a nip of vinegar or vodka to water when cleaning the glass. A shiny, streakless finish is guaranteed!
22. USE CHALK AS A DEHUMIDIFIER
Just hang a bundle in your closet to soak up moisture and keep the inside as dry as possible (especially in our humidity!). Remember to put them in the sun every three months before rehanging.
23. DOUBLE YOUR CLOSET SPACE
Is your wardrobe running out of space? Maximise the space you already have by adding metal can tabs to your clothes hangers, then hook another piece of clothing onto it.
24. STORE FOLDED CLOTHES VERTICALLY
Tradition calls for clothes to be stacked one on top of each other, but storing them in a vertical fashion (no pun intended) saves space and makes it so much easier to find the piece you want. (It's also called the Kon Mari method, in case you're wondering.)
25. RECYCLE OLD TOOTHBRUSHES
Don't toss your overused toothbrushes - use them to clean hard to reach places in the bathroom, faucets and even scrubbing the sink.
26. PICK UP GLASS FRAGMENTS WITH BREAD
Leave no tiny shard of broken glass on the floor by using a slice of bread - the small sharp pieces will be embedded in it.
27. REUSE OLD YOGA MATS AS SHOE INSOLES
Repurpose that old yoga mat as comfy insoles - simply cut to shape using your existing insoles as a template.
28. SECURE WRAPPING PAPER WITH TOILET ROLLS
Cut an empty roll open and keep all your wrapping papers from unravelling.
29. OPEN STUBBORN JAR LIDS WITH A THICK RUBBER BAND
Stretch the rubber band around the rim of the lid to provide some extra non-slip grip, then twist the lid right off.
30. CLEAN SURFACES WITH ORANGE PEEL
Make your own orange cleaner. Place orange peels in a sealable container and cover with vinegar. After a day, the orange oil will permeate the vinegar. Strain and use in a spray bottle, avoiding wood and delicate surfaces.
31. REMOVE CUP STAINS WITH SUGAR
To remove stains from china teacups, wet the cup first, then sprinkle sugar on it. Give the china a gentle rub, then rinse.
32. SAVE SILICA GEL SACHETS
You know those little sachets you get in vitamin bottles or shoe boxes? Store them with your camera gear - it's especially useful in our humid climate as they prevent mould and humidity from destroying your things.
33. USE SOAP TO SMOOTHEN A DRAWER'S MECHANISM
To stop drawers from sticking, rub a bar of soap or a candle across the runners to make them glide easily.
34. REMOVE DUST FROM LAMP SHADES WITH A LINT ROLLER
Dust your fabric lamp shades with a sticky lint roller to remove dust and dirt.
35. WIPE DOWN INDOOR PLANTS WITH COCONUT OIL
If you're growing indoor plants, use coconut oil to shine their leaves, naturally. Dab a small blob of coconut oil on a soft cloth and wipe gently over the leaves.
36. CLEAN CANDLEHOLDERS WITH COCONUT OIL
Love your candles but not the molten mess? You can easily remove melted wax from a candleholder with the help of coconut oil. Before inserting a candle into your holder, coat the base of the holder with coconut oil. Any dripped wax will then be easy to wipe off.
37. OPEN A SEALED ENVELOPE EASILY
If you seal an envelope then realise you forgot to put something in, pop the envelope in the freezer for a couple of hours and it will easily open.
38. THE EASY WAY TO PUT ON THE DUVET COVER
When you remove a duvet cover to wash it, leave it inside out. When it's ready to go back on, put your hands into the top corners inside the cover, then firmly grip the two top corners of the duvet, pull your hands back out, holding the duvet, and the cover will turn the right way round with the duvet inside. Give it a good shake, and it's on!
39. LINE THE BOTTOM OF THE BIN WITH NEWSPAPER
When you clear the rubbish bin at home, place old newspapers at the bottom of the new bag to absorb food juices.
40. USE BAKING PAPER TO PREVENT CHOPPING BOARD STAINS
Cover your chopping board with a sheet of baking paper when cutting beetroot and other colourful food items to stop them staining the wood.
41. SMOOTH OUT CAULK WITH AN ICE CUBE
The caulk won't stick to it and will melt perfectly into the shape of your joint.
42. STORE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS AND FESTIVE LIGHTS IN EGG CARTONS
Empty egg cartons are perfect holders for storing your smaller decorative ornaments like baubles. Don't forget to label each carton so you know what's what.
43. SPRAY OUTDOOR PLANTS WITH CAFFEINE TO KEEP PESTS AWAY
To stop those pesky caterpillars eating all of your potted plants, put diluted granulated coffee in spray bottles and spray al the leaves regularly.
44. ADD ESSENTIAL OIL TO YOUR TOILET PAPER ROLL
To help get rid of bathroom smells, add a drop or two of essential oils on the inside of your toilet roll. So whenever someone uses it, the scent will be released into the bathroom.
45. ODOUR BUSTER
For a cheap and quick fix, make your own odour buster with just three items. Place some baking soda and essential oils into a mason jar or any other jars. Next, make holes on the cover so that the air can enter the jar and you're set.
46. DEEP-CLEAN THE TOILET WITH A SCREWDRIVER
Cover the head of the screwdriver with a home cleaning wipe and use it to clean the hard to reach places. The screwdriver is good for the job with its small head and its sturdy handle.
Source: AsiaOne © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
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