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19 Smart Home Hacks That'll Make You Say "Why Didn't I Know About This Sooner?"

Low-stress tricks and shortcuts.

Posted on
Nicole Ench / BuzzFeed

We asked the BuzzFeed Community about the best home hack they'd learned this year and their favorite Pinterest hacks. Here are some of their smartest tips!

1. Drill a hole through the side of your trash can or plastic trash can liner to prevent the garbage bag vacuum effect.

Works like a charm!—kla040See exactly where to drill the holes on Pretty Handy Girl.
prettyhandygirl.com

Works like a charm!

kla040

See exactly where to drill the holes on Pretty Handy Girl.

2. Store sheets in their own pillowcase so your linen closet looks neat, and it's easy to grab everything you need when you want fresh sheets.

Hands down, storing sheets in their own pillowcase.—carymouseFrom Martha Stewart.
Photo by Raymond Hom. Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living. Copyright © 2011.

Hands down, storing sheets in their own pillowcase.

carymouse

From Martha Stewart.

3. Hang an over-door shoe organizer in your bathroom to organize makeup, hair tools, lotions, toothpaste...the list goes on.

fromoverwhelmedtoorganizedblog.com, onecreativehousewife.com

Super nice to have everything at the tip of my fingers and not have to search through endless drawers!

shelbycarolynz

From One Creative Housewife and From Overwhelmed to Organized.

4. Start a "crap basket" system on the stairs if your family's always leaving random stuff around the house.

Little baskets for the stairs are the best things ever! A cute way to be a slob. :) —nicolehula1You put each person's stuff in their basket, and they carry it up the stairs later to put everything away. From Sew Many Ways.
sewmanyways.blogspot.com

Little baskets for the stairs are the best things ever! A cute way to be a slob. :)

nicolehula1

You put each person's stuff in their basket, and they carry it up the stairs later to put everything away. From Sew Many Ways.

5. Put plastic wrap (or Glad Press'n Seal) on fridge shelves, and when the shelves get dirty, just change the wrap.

—larsmmFrom Mommysavers.

6. Hang conversion and temperature "cheat sheets" on the inside of your cabinets, so you can easily get the info you need when you're in the middle of a recipe.

manditremayne.blogspot.com, sugarandcharm.com

I fully recommend putting conversion and temperature "cheat sheets" on the inside of your cabinets. I've got a conversion one in my baking cupboard and the temperature one in the cabinet with the pans above the stove. That way in the middle of cooking/baking if you've got a moment of "crap — my brain has stopped working" the information is RIGHT THERE. Cleaning flour out of every crevice in your phone case sucks. —Kathryn Simm, Facebook

From Tidbits From the Tremaynes and Sugar and Charm.

7. When you're threading a needle, use a little bit of (plain, no-color) lip balm to stiffen the thread.

nationalsewingcircle.com

Put a little bit of chapstick at the end of a thread to stiffen it, which makes threading a needle about 100 times easier and faster. Make sure that it is white or clear chapstick, though, so you don't stain your sewing red with cherry chapstick. —Rachel Lee, Facebook

According to National Sewing Circle, you first wipe your forefinger over the lip balm a few times, then pinch the thread between your thumb and forefinger to rub it on the thread.

8. Those little plastic ties from bread or rolls make it easy to label everything plugged into a power strip.

Using the plastic tags that close bags of rolls to label the cords plugged into a power strip.—plumjoA classic. From Out of Chaos.
outofchaos.ca

Using the plastic tags that close bags of rolls to label the cords plugged into a power strip.

plumjo

A classic. From Out of Chaos.

9. Attach upside-down Command Hooks to your trash can to keep the bag from slipping off or moving around.

reddit.com, reddit.com

Put two command hooks upside down on the side of your trash can, then loop the handles of the trash bag on them! Keeps it in place and doesn't move!

—Alannah McCarley, Facebook

From /r/LifeHacks and /r/LifeProTips.

10. Keep your chargers from falling off your desk or nightstand by stringing them through a binder clip.

Use a binder clip to keep your charging cable readily available on a tabletop, nightstand, desk, etc. I never have to look for my charger at work anymore.—raebeaFrom Everyday Dishes.
everydaydishes.com

Use a binder clip to keep your charging cable readily available on a tabletop, nightstand, desk, etc. I never have to look for my charger at work anymore.

raebea

From Everyday Dishes.

11. Pick up — and even squish — nasty bugs with a sticky lint roller.

If you squish a bug in your house and you are (like me) grossed out trying to pick it up, use a lint roller to do it. Yay for avoiding bug guts!—murrymoFrom /r/LifeProTips.
reddit.com

If you squish a bug in your house and you are (like me) grossed out trying to pick it up, use a lint roller to do it. Yay for avoiding bug guts!

murrymo

From /r/LifeProTips.

12. To remove food that's burned onto pans, simmer with a baking soda and water solution for 15 minutes, let cool, and then clean.

Coco Morante / thekitchn.com

I was skeptical of this, but it's saved a couple of pots.

rachelsporyh

From The Kitchn.

13. Or use dryer sheets, warm water, and dish soap to soak off the gunk.

Just fill the pan or dish with warm water and a bit of dish soap, then drop in a dryer sheet or two (depending on how big your pan is), and the stuck-on food will scrub right off in about 20 minutes. Saved me hours of scrubbing and soaking.—jessicaf22From the Kitchn.
Joe Lingeman / thekitchn.com

Just fill the pan or dish with warm water and a bit of dish soap, then drop in a dryer sheet or two (depending on how big your pan is), and the stuck-on food will scrub right off in about 20 minutes. Saved me hours of scrubbing and soaking.

jessicaf22

From the Kitchn.

14. Use a magic eraser to clean light-colored grout.

—steppingstoneshccFrom What's Up Fagans?

15. Get rid of white rings or marks on your wood furniture with the help of Guardsman's white ring remover.

amazon.com

If you have white rings from beverages or heat on wood, it's amazing! I had white rings from a drink spilled on my wood table and this took it off immediately!

summer29

I mean yes, that's the point of the product, but hey, if it works, it works. Get it on Amazon for $4.99.

16. Scrub down your bathtub or shower insert with dish soap and a new broom (or a broom you keep just for that purpose).

onegoodthingbyjillee.com

I thought it was brilliant! What better way to get the walls and ceiling of a shower insert?

j4353b4312

From One Good Thing by Jillee.

17. To clean carpet strings, hair, and whatnot from the rolling bar under the vacuum, use a seam ripper.

—katieclassycFrom Rachel Freebairn Fitness.

18. Newspaper (or coffee filters) will clean your mirrors and windows without leaving any streaks or little fuzzies.

When cleaning mirrors, spray the glass cleaner on but don’t wipe with a cloth. Use a newspaper instead so there won’t be streaks.—shorthaironionFrom Instructables.
instructables.com

When cleaning mirrors, spray the glass cleaner on but don’t wipe with a cloth. Use a newspaper instead so there won’t be streaks.

shorthaironion

From Instructables.

19. Make your glass shower door look shiny and new by scrubbing it down with Barkeeper's Friend.

blog.timesunion.com, Picasa

Barkeeper's Friend ceramic/glass cooktop cleaner is awesome for cleaning glass shower doors. Minimum scrubbing required to take off soap scum, and it doesn't scratch the glass. —Andrea Lewis, Facebook

From Times Union Blogs.

Submissions have been edited for length or clarity.

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