Life Hacks, Pt. 1

Power stripLife hacks, pro tips, good ideas . . . they go by several different names, but all in all, these tips and tricks are just little ways to make your life a little easier. They range from simple to complex, and some of them can help you cut back on wasted energy (the physical and electrical kind) and money.

Protect Charger Wires — Frayed wires are a problem we face in the world of mobile technology. By wrapping an old pen spring around the wire by the small end of the plug, you’ll keep it protected from bending and fraying.

Wire Management — Bulldog clips (the strong, black, metal clips that fold up) can be used to organize wires, like cell phone chargers and USB cables. Attach them to your desk with the silver metal strips pointing away from the desk. Thread your cables through the silver loops, and use a small rubber band to keep them in place if the cable is too small to rest without falling through.

Traveling — Bring a power strip with you in your carry-on bag. This way, you won’t need to wait for an empty socket at the airport or train station. Others may thank you for the extra plugs too!

Microwave Cleaning — When you want to clean your microwave, place a bowl of water and vinegar in it and microwave it for three to four minutes. This will loosen any grime and make cleaning easier.

Microwave Cooking — Now that your microwave is all clean, make it more efficient for reheating food. Place food on the plate in a donut shape, with a gap in the center. The food will reheat more evenly so you don’t have to run the microwave several times. If you’re microwaving two bowls of food that would bump the walls if placed side by side, place one bowl atop a drinking glass to raise it above the other bowl.

DIY Lantern — If you lose power and need a bright ambient light, you can use the flash of your phone or a headlamp to light up a plastic soda bottle that is filled with filtered water and about 10 milliliters of bleach. Turn the light on and place the bottle on top of it.

Crockpots — Crockpots are a cheap and easy way to create some great meals. A decent one costs about $40, and they use very little electricity. Cook yourself a big batch of food on a Sunday, and you’ll have plenty of lunches for the coming week.

Spam Texts — If you get spam texts on your cell phone, forward the message to 7726. You will then get a text from your carrier asking for the number that spammed you. After that, you should be all set.

Click here for Part 2 of this series.

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