As a busy small business owner or freelancer, you may tend to overlook life hacks in favor of organization or productivity tips specifically geared to your startup lifestyle. But cultivating streamlined organization at home is essential to maintaining a more productive workspace.
Life hacks show you how to organize every area of your life – from your kitchen cabinets to your kid’s play dates. These tips and tricks help you develop strong habits that will make every moment of your day more manageable, whether you’re working, working out or working it (y’know, like on the catwalk of life).
Besides, how beneficial is it to have a completely organized office if you’re coming home to a productivity disaster zone?
Using life hacks to save time, money and sanity in every area of your life will directly benefit your small business. By applying these hacks to every area of your life, you’ll be free to completely focus more time and energy on growing your business.
Amazingly, these 32 time-saving and organizational life hacks will also boost your mood, enhance your quality of life, and give you the freedom to spend more hours each day doing exactly what you want to do.
Life Hacks for the Home
1. Can’t tell one key from another? Use different brightly-colored nail polish hues to help you differentiate between the house key, the laundry key and the garage key.
2. Diminish the appearance of damage on wooden furniture by rubbing the offending area with walnuts. (Yes, walnuts. We don’t know why this works, but it works.)
3. Clean your shower head by filling up a large plastic baggie with vinegar. Dunk the shower head into the baggie and secure it with a rubber band. Leave the baggie in place overnight and wake up to a grime-free shower in the morning.
4. If you’ve misplaced an earring, contact lens or another tiny object, find it quick by placing the end of an old stocking over the bottom of your vacuum cleaner. The sucking force will draw the object to the vacuum, but the stocking will prevent it from being sucked in.
5. Get into the nooks and crannies of your home while cleaning by placing the top of an old condiment bottle onto the end of your vacuum attachment.
6. Tuck the end of the toilet paper into the roll to prevent dogs, cats and kids from unraveling it.
Office Life Hacks
7. When opening scissors, electronics or other heavily-packaged office supplies, save time by using a can opener.
8. Use binder clips to keep various power cords untangled and easily accessible. Attach each clip to the edge of your desktop and insert the end of each cord through the clip’s silver loop. Voila! Instant access to all the power you need.
9. If you don’t have any twist ties lying around, you can use hair clips (the kind with claws) to organize your earbuds and other longer cords. Twist the cord into a neat circle or “bun” and place the clip near where the cord ends.
10. Place office supplies into the pockets of a clear, hangable shoe rack. Your desk drawers will stay free of clutter, and you’ll be able to find exactly what you need with a single glance.
Techie Life Hacks
11. Enjoy hands-free FaceTime-ing and video chatting by using an old cassette case as an iPhone stand. This is also a great way to take steady pictures and videos and create professional-looking webinars without springing for a fancy tripod.
12. Increase your online security by including non-English letters and characters in your passwords. Include tildes, umlauts and accent agues!
13. Why buy expensive iPhone speakers when you can make your own? Cut a phone-sized slit in the top of an empty toilet paper roll. Stick four push pins into the bottom of the roll, being sure to space them out along all four “corners” of the bottom area. The pins will serve as a stand, and the roll creates a reverberation area for the sound.
Crafty Life Hacks
14. Want to conjure your inner artist (or just your inner Martha Stewart)? Place a large rubber band lengthwise around a can of paint. This creates a band across the center of the can, which can be used to wipe the brush in between strokes. It will also prevent paint from dripping into the ring of the can and over the sides onto the floor.
15. Stop smashing your fingers with a hammer every time you hang a painting! To protect your hands, use a clothespin to hold the nail in place while you pound.
16. Keep wrapping paper from unraveling by placing empty toilet paper rolls around the center of the wrapping paper.
17. If you don’t have a screwdriver handy, try using the plug from one of your electronic devices to screw and unscrew. Most North American plugs can double as flathead screwdrivers.
Dress for Success Life Hacks
18. Late for a meeting with no time to iron your shirt? Your hair straightener doubles as a collar and hem iron! Smooth out hard-to-straighten areas with the iron, and spray the rest of your shirt with Downy Wrinkle Spray to release any remaining crinkles.
19. Life hacks for early mornings? No problem! When storing clothing in dresser drawers, fold each item then turn the entire stack on its side. This way you’ll be able to quickly scan available choices, grab your outfit and go! (This hack is very effective for those of us who tend to wake up half asleep.)
20. We all have that one pair of pants with a zipper that keeps losing its battle with gravity. Combat Open Fly Syndrome by looping a circular keyring through the end of the zipper. When you zip up, loop the key ring over the button of your fly. Voila! No more London, France, or unsightly underpants.
Foodie Life Hacks
21. Are you on an egg whites-only diet? While making breakfast in the morning, use an empty plastic water bottle to separate the yolk from the egg white. Simply place the opening of the bottle near the yolk, and squeeze gently. The release of air actually sucks the yolk directly into the bottle!
22. Why is it impossible to put a straw into a can of soda without it rising upwards? Keep your Diet Coke addiction in check by placing the straw through the tab on the can.
23. Forget those big, expensive candle lighters – to light a flame in hard to reach places, simply light the tip of a piece of uncooked spaghetti.
24. If you’re having a barbecue or dinner party, place condiments like tomatoes, onions, pickles and ketchup in the reservoirs of a muffin sheet. You’ll save time doing dishes later and be able to easily pass and share your condiment platter.
25. Knives are so passé – when cutting cakes, soft breads, cheeses and other desserts, use a long strand of dental floss. Be sure to get the scentless, flavorless kind, unless you want your gouda to be minty fresh.
26. If you’re at a beach bonfire and can’t find enough kindling to get the flames roaring, use flavored tortilla chips instead.
27. When reheating leftovers like pizza, place a glass of liquid in the microwave along with your food. The moisture will prevent the crust of the pie from becoming rubbery and too chewy.
28. In the summer, fill your ice tray with coffee. When the coffee cubes begin to melt, your iced latte won’t become watered down.
On-the-Go Life Hacks
29. Late-night meetings with potential clients? Make sure your headlights are primed and ready to lead the way! Use toothpaste to clean off dirt and dust from your car’s lights – you’ll roll up to your meeting safe and sound, and your new clients will be impressed with your sparkling (minty fresh!) ride.
30. Feel free to leave your towel unattended while at the beach – just place your phone, keys and money into a used, rinsed out suntan lotion bottle.
31. Clean out an old lip gloss or Chapstick tube and use it for a wallet! Roll up your cash and stick in inside. This is a great life hack to use while traveling on business. If the unthinkable happens and your wallet gets stolen, it’s highly unlikely the thieves will also go for your Chapstick!
32. Did you know that most TVs actually have USB ports? Plug in for a great way to charge your phone or laptop while you’re away on business.
By saving time, money and stress using these life hacks, you’ll be able to increase your focus while at work. Lowered stress levels will mean increased energy at the office, which in turn will lead to more clients, more conversions, and more revenue for you and your business.
What’s one life hack you can’t live without?
photo credits: collegelifestyles.org, www.wall-online.net, www.brit.co