17 Uncomplicated Yet Highly Efficient Life Hacks That People Swear By

    "I'm 40 years late on this trend because I didn't discover how shockingly simple it was until about a week ago."

    Recently, redditor u/Interesting-Eye7340 asked, "Which uncomplicated yet highly efficient life hack surprises you that it isn't more widely known?" The thread was full of tonssss of brilliant yet easy-to-follow advice, and I am certainly not a gatekeeper, so I obviously had to share with all of y'all, too. Here are 17 of the very best simple life hacks they shared:

    1. "Make a copy of your passport, visa, and any other important documents and email them to yourself. If something happens to the originals, you have enough information to apply for replacements."


    2. "Ice cube trays are good for more than water. I freeze cubes of tomato paste, coconut milk, goat milk for me, and pumpkin purée for my cat. I'm working on cilantro 'pesto' cubes now. It's so handy!"

    Different kinds of ice cubes

    3. "The public library lets you stream movies and music for free. You just need a library card, which is free, too."


    4. "Use a hairdryer to remove stubborn stickers and labels."


    Heating stickers or labels before peeling them can make it easier to peel them off without all that pesky residue getting left behind.

    5. "You can bypass a lot of paywalls on mobile websites by simply switching to 'reader mode' before the page finishes loading."

    Graphic showing how to put a page in "Reader Mode"

    6. "Meal prep + freezer + Instant Pot. Once every two months, I prep a bunch of frozen meals that I can just throw in the Instant Pot. I literally just throw raw meat, spices, etc. into Ziplocs and freeze it. When I'm hungry, I pop this meal-popsicle into the Instant Pot for 30 minutes, and voila! I have an amazing, hot meal."

    "There are minimal dishes (both during prep since it's just chopping and throwing in bags, and after cooking), it's so easy that non-cooks in the house can throw it in, and it's cheaper since you buy everything in bulk, and spend less throughout the month. Less food wastage, too. My life is changed."


    7. "Old toothbrushes are the best tools for cleaning small and difficult-to-access areas."

    a person cleaning with a toothbrush

    8. "When you take apart a piece of furniture, put the screws and hardware in a sandwich bag. Then, write the name of the furniture and use of the screws on a notecard and put that in the bag, too. This keeps all the screws from a single item in one place, easily visible, and easily referenced for future use (instead of sitting in a large pile of similar, nondescript hardware)."


    9. "Crumple your parchment paper into a ball, then smooth it out before using it to line a pan. It makes it way easier to fit it into the pan evenly."

    Graphic showing how to lay parchment paper

    10. "Pay your bills the minute you get them. You will not remember to do it later."


    11. "If you have to bring something with you the next morning but are worried about forgetting, put your keys on top of it so you don't forget!"


    12. "Netflix's search bar has a code function that makes it easier to find something to watch if you know the genre or vibe you're going for, but don't have a particular title in mind and don't wanna scroll forever. For example, you can type "8883" if you want to find a general romance movie to watch, or you can get more specific, and type "1255" for a romantic drama."

    a person pointing their remote at the TV

    13. "If you use a computer for a majority of your work, get a second, used monitor off Craigslist or a local sales site. Complete game-changer having a work monitor and a reference one. It's never cost me more than $20, and most video cards have multiple outlets."


    14. "If you’re ever learning something, whether at a work meeting or class or from a YouTube video, have a notebook where you take 30–60 seconds to jot down a summary, in your own words, RIGHT when you finish."

    a man writing in a notebook

    15. "When navigating a crowded place with people going every which way, focus your gaze upon the spot you're walking toward. We look at each other's eyes when trying to avoid bumping into each other, and maintaining your gaze on the spot you're headed allows people to subconsciously see how to avoid you, and they'll adjust their path accordingly."

    "You won't have any more of those awkward encounters where you're looking at another person and you both keep trying to turn in the same direction. I read this trick years ago and use it all the time in stores, the mall, etc., and it really does work. Maybe it's because I look like a psychopath, and people are trying to avoid me altogether, but either way, it works. "


    16. "Use different colored nail polish on your various keys that look the same to differentiate them quickly. Saves SO much time."


    17. And finally, "You can put almost any raw vegetable into a smoothie and — as long as there's enough sweet fruit in there, too (apples, bananas, pineapple, oranges, whatever) — it will taste good. You don't even need a recipe, just throw a bunch of healthy stuff in the blender and hit the button. You can get way weirder with it than you'd expect and still not mess it up."

    Fruits and veggies in a blender

    Do you have any simple yet wildly effective life hacks you swear by? If so, tell us about them in the comments below and they just might be featured in a future article!

    Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.