Listen, adulting is hard. Have you ever had one of those moments when you watched someone do something pretty mundane just slightly differently than you do, and thought, Oh my god, why didn't I think of that? That looks so much easier! I know I have.
Well, friends, it's time to talk about some simple yet genius tips that'll have you feeling just like that all over again. Here are 32 absolutely essential life hacks, as shared by women* of the BuzzFeed and Reddit communities:
*While the initial prompt on Reddit asked for women's life hacks specifically, these hacks are for anyone they apply to, regardless of your identity. Life-hack on, y'all!
1. "I keep a $20 or $50 bill between my phone and phone case, just so I always have some extra money on hand. It's helpful for when you realize you've left your wallet at home or you're at a random place that only takes cash."
2. "A good way to store an assortment of meds in your purse is with a dollar store weekly pill sorter. The weekday labels come off with acetone, and then you can write on each compartment with a Sharpie or dollar store label. With seven compartments, you can have space for a few doses of seven different meds."
3. "Carry biodegradable dog poop bags in your purse or car. They're great for dirty tissues, banana peels, if you have to touch something dirty (you can put them over your hand), or even restaurant leftovers (eliminating nonrecyclable containers). And since they come on a roll, they take up almost no space."
4. "I keep a bag in my car that has packing tape, a Sharpie marker, stamps, and a pair of scissors in it. It has saved me so many times when I pick up a birthday card or gift or mail a package."
6. "Alternatively, you can use a lemon. The lemon oil in the rind counteracts the stank of the onions. I used to do lemon, salt, stainless steel, and boom. Smell gone."
7. "If I’m running late and my blouse is wrinkly, I toss it into the dryer with a few ice cubes. The heat from the dryer melts the cubes, giving the garment just a little bit of evenly distributed moisture. It comes out wrinkle-free every time, and then if a hem or collar needs just a little extra straightening, I run over it with my hair straightener."
8. "If you live somewhere where pepper spray is illegal, carry a travel-size deodorant spray instead."
9. "That, or those really loud alarm keychains. One of my friends who is a cop told me that they’re more effective than using stun guns and pepper spray sometimes because they draw so much attention and they’re so loud and unexpected, they usually scare off the would-be attacker before anything could happen. If you’re living somewhere that doesn’t allow stun guns or pepper spray, this is a good alternative. Just make sure you buy a brand that’s reliable, has a good battery, and is extra freaking loud. The first one I bought malfunctioned a few times when I was testing it. Don’t skimp when it comes to self-defense."
11. "I sew my adjustable bra straps in place at the right size. No more straps always pulling looser and slipping off my shoulders."
12. "Before dyeing your hair at home, put petroleum jelly on any areas you don't want to dye — like ears, the back of your neck, your forehead, the countertop, etc. It makes it soooo much neater; plus, you're not scrubbing your skin off!"
13. "Buy men's razors instead of women's razors. They're more cost effective and they work better."
14. "If you drive where it is icy or there is snow forecast, make sure you place a container of cheap kitty litter in your trunk. If you get stuck, you can sprinkle the litter on the ground in front of your tires to get traction."
15. "Stop buying shaving creams and use cheap conditioner instead. It’s a closer shave somehow and it also moisturizes your skin."
16. "Have all your body measurements written in your smartphone notes so when you go online shopping, you can always pick the right size. Update them once a year or when your body changes. Since I started doing this, my shopping skills have improved immensely."
"Here are some measurements I've found useful: feet length, standard bust-waist-hip, height, wrist girth, finger girths, etc."
17. "If you have to pee while wearing a wedding dress (or any other gown with a big skirt or train), sit backward on the toilet, facing the wall."
19. "When I go to places where I'm prone to impulse buying, I initially don't pick up a cart, even if I'm going to need one for essential purchases. I do one loop of looking at things. Then I get the cart. If I still remember/want the item, then I consider putting it in the cart."
20. "If you take medications, take photos of the bottles and save them on your phone. In an emergency, you are likely to forget things like exact dosages and brands, when it was last refilled, etc. This saves both you and medical staff time and aggravation."
21. "Know how to change the tire on your car. Practice in a safe parking lot during the day. Most importantly, figure out the little things that would make it easier and keep those in the car. I have a towel in the spare wheel well, perfect for putting on the ground if I have to kneel down. I also have a flashlight, a socket that fits my lug nuts, and three spare lug nuts (which are wrapped in a smaller rag so they don't make any noise)."
22. "Budget for pedicures, massages, hair cuts, and waxing. If it’s self-care, budget for it. Taking care of yourself goes so far."
24. "Soak a cotton ball in vanilla essence and attach it to your car aircon. It'll make your car smell good for months for a low cost."
25. "If you try on a fragrance and hate it, wipe rubbing alcohol over your wrists or anywhere you sprayed it to get rid of the smell. Strongly astringent face toners (usually the ones for oily skin) work well because they contain a lot of alcohol, too."
26. "Keep a backup purse or bag of toiletries in your glove box. Fill it with basics like deodorant, perfume, basic makeup, glasses cleaner, mini toothbrush/toothpaste, mini brush, cash, etc. It's saved my butt on numerous occasions such as impromptu meetings, having to stay over at a family member's house, and on dates."
27. "If you drop an earring or earring back while leaning over a sink, just put your hand over the drain as quickly as possible. Don't try to catch the item. It's easier to cover the hole than it is to try and catch a tiny bouncy earring."
28. "I have a ton of allergies to different medications. I made a 'business card' listing all the meds I can't take, plus my medical history, surgeries, doctors and their phone numbers, etc., and keep it in my wallet. Doctors and nurses love my card and have said many times they wished other patients would do this."
"Being deathly allergic to all IV dyes makes it imperative that my card is with me whenever I leave the house. I gave cards to my family, too. You can never be too careful, IMO."
29. "Do NOT put your sweaters on a hanger, ever! Let them dry flat or on a towel rack if you must. Once they're dry, keep them folded or rolled in a drawer. Knitwear is stretchy. Hangers will stretch out the stitches, and gravity will eventually make them sag."
30. "When you can’t squeeze any more product out of a tube container (hand cream, moisturizer, body lotion, etc.), cut it in half using scissors. You’d be surprised how much product can still be in there — sometimes a few days' or even a week’s worth."
31. "If you're unemployed/working from home/studying, get dressed and showered. It helps with your mindset and productivity a lot, in my experience."
Now it's your turn! Do you have a life hack that's made your life waaay easier, and you think all women should know it? If so, tell us about it in the comments below!
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.