A good life hack is worth its weight in gold when it ends up making even the smallest difference in your daily routine — or your overall happiness. Recently, I wrote a post sharing peoples' genuinely-effective habits and life hacks that became a part of their everyday lives, and in response, members of the BuzzFeed Community had some reaaaaally helpful tips to add to the conversation. These are just some of the most worthwhile ones.
1. "I have a 'wake up' alarm and then a 'get up' alarm an hour later. After 14 years of slogging through mornings because I just couldn’t be the 'up with one alarm' person, I decided that I didn’t have to get up. I just had to stay awake, in bed. I watch an episode or two of a sitcom and work on a crossword puzzle so I wake up gently and slowly, instead of just snoozing into oblivion."
2. "If you work from home and have some downtime, find one thing to clean or put away on your break that you won't have to deal with after work. I always feel like I'm not being active enough when I work, so getting up and cleaning up something during my breaks is nice because not only am I getting physical activity, but I'm also doing stuff that I don't have to do when I log off and want to actually relax."
3. "I only do online grocery shopping. It keeps me from going over budget because I can see the total in my cart as I do my shopping. Plus, it also keeps me from buying unnecessary things since I'm not walking through the aisles or picking up random things as I make my way to the register."
4. "We have four people in the house. I created a system of popsicle sticks (eight of them) with a different daily chore written on each one. Each person always picks two after dinner and completes their chores. Nobody is stuck with the same chore every night, and the house stays tidy until someone has time for a deep clean."
"When my daughter gets married and her husband moves in, we will add two more sticks, and he will join in the chore duty!"
—Sandi Unell Boyd, Facebook
5. "The best hack I've ever implemented in my life was to put a key hook just inside the front door and ALWAYS hang my keys on it. I haven’t lost my keys in more than a decade."
6. "If you constantly need to have certain things on hand at home, make a 'house handbag' to put it all in. After having eye surgery in 2021, they gave me a pouch to put all my eye drops in, and since then, I've needed to use them every hour. I always have my 'house handbag' with me with those drops, and I also put my meds, earbuds, dental floss, phone charger, chapstick, and a pen in it."
"Whenever I have to go out, I just throw the pouch into my actual handbag. I used to constantly misplace little things like that, but now, I almost always know where they are."
—Tamara Jane O'Leary, Facebook
7. "My favorite study hack is to put gummy bears (or whatever small-ish piece of candy you love) on the end of every page you have to read. That way, you get a nice little reward for getting through the material. It wastes way less time than the 'if I read this many pages, I can watch a 45-minute TV episode' tactic of rewarding yourself!"
8. "My biggest rule is: If it takes less than one minute, do it now. Like, putting clothes in the hamper takes just as much time as it does to toss them on the floor. Putting my dishes in the dishwasher as soon as I'm done with them takes about 10 seconds longer than just leaving them in the sink."
—Amy Flaherty, Facebook
9. "If you can afford to fix a problem, buy the solution. My husband constantly leaves his used K-Cups next to the coffeemaker when he’s half asleep making coffee in the morning. So, I bought a tiny trashcan with a lid to put next to the coffeemaker. The solution is right there."
10. "I have a roll of dry-erase contact paper that I use on the refrigerator to write down things I need to do, reminders, and groceries that I don't want to forget to buy. It’s such an improvement over a magnetic whiteboard because it doesn’t go flying across the kitchen when someone shuts the refrigerator too hard. When it gets stained and gross-looking after it's used to much, I just replace it."
11. "For an added push to complete mundane, tedious, or potentially long tasks, just set a timer. Do it only for a manageable amount of time — 15-30 minutes tops. Do as much as you can during that time, then stop."
12. "Whenever you can, pair two 'good' habits together. What I mean by that is: Every morning I wait at the bus stop with my kid, and after they leave, I immediately go for a walk to get some steps in. I'm already dressed and outside, so it makes it super easy. I also take my medication immediately after I take my contacts out for the night. Then, I won't forget whether I took the pills or not."
13. "When I bake or cook anything, I pull all the ingredients out ahead of time — but I put them away as soon as I use them. Not only is the area so much cleaner when it's finally time to tidy up, but I also never worry about accidentally using the same ingredient twice."
14. "Get in the habit of never leaving a room without taking something with you, whether it's an old coffee cup, a water glass, a newspaper, or a magazine. It's kind of like a more intentional version of 'clean as you go.'"
—Pamela Joy, Facebook
15. "To combat lost socks, I have a separate mesh bag that I put my socks in as soon as I take them off. Since all I have to do is toss the mesh bag into the wash without opening it, I never worry that I'll end up with missing socks."
16. "I honestly thought it was BS when people would say it, but putting your alarm on the other side of the room really does help me get out of bed for good in the morning."
17. "I consistently pack up all my things, lay out my clothes, and get everything prepared for the next day the night before. I started it as a kid in high school, and I'm retired now. I still lay everything out for the next day for my piece of mind."
18. "Now that most non-grocery stores have curbside pickup options, I use that all the time instead of actually going in. It's really the only way that I can stick to my list. I specifically do this all the time at Target — it's the one store where I always spend way more money than I intend to unless I pick my order up."
19. "If you're burnt out trying to keep your kids occupied, just let your kids be bored! For years, psychologists have been begging parents to realize the importance of play in their cognitive development. Stop keeping them busy, and they'll find ways to entertain themselves without you."
What's a very doable habit or life hack that's made a tangible difference in your own happiness? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.