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People Are Sharing The Little "Life Hacks" That Were So Genuinely Effective, They Became A Part Of Their Everyday Routine

"It gives me hope to realize that I can control the little things in my life. Small steps are still steps!”

There's no shortage of "life hacks" on the internet these days, but ya know what there is a shortage of? Life hacks that ~actually~ work. I'm talkin' about the tips, tricks, and habits that've actually had a positive impact on people's lives — no matter how small they may seem.

Recently, u/Accomplished-Rough36 asked Redditors to share the "life hacks that became their daily routine," and after reading them, I will definitely be trying several of these this week. Here are some of the best responses.

1. HACK: Instead of apologizing for actions or circumstances that don't require an apology, try saying "thank you" instead.

"I'm a chronic apologizer, and this hack has helped me a lot. For example: If I have a bad day and vent to my husband, instead of saying 'sorry for venting and bringing down the mood,' I'll say 'thank you for listening and being supportive.' This simple switch puts a much more appreciative and positive light on all of your relationships!"


"As someone who deals with both anxiety and depression, this helped me massively. I often feel like a burden to people, and apologizing tends to exacerbate that feeling. By reframing an apology as a 'thank you' it makes me more aware that the people around me help me because they want to, and because they like me. Also, it’s far less annoying for people to hear than a stream of ‘sorry, sorry, sorry!'"


"Saying 'thank you' is actually a customer service trick that I was taught. If you thank a customer for their patience instead of apologizing for the wait, it'll reframe the entire interaction in their mind."


2. HACK: After taking a pill, flip your pill bottle — you'll never have to worry about whether or not you took it.

someone pouring out some pills onto their palm

"I flip my pill bottles after taking them, so I can easily remember later if I took them or not. It truly helps SO much if you take the same pill in the morning and at night."


"I have ADHD, and I rely heavily on the Upside Down pill bottle trick to remember my medication. When I take it later in the day, I'll always forget whether or not I did it yet, and then the worry sets in. With this method, a simple glance back at my nightstand puts my mind at ease."


3. HACK: Instead of keeping your alarm clock or phone next to your bed, place it across the room, out of arm's reach, so you'll actually wake up when it goes off.

an X across someone turning off their alarm next to their bed

"If you want to go one step further, make sure that you have an actual alarm clock instead of just using your phone. Heck, I don't even have my phone in the same room as me when I sleep, and it helps a bunch."


"I ended up getting an app where you can choose the tasks you want to do in order to turn your alarm off. I've set mine to some math problems, but you can even do memory tasks or take a photo of an item outside your bedroom. It's life-changing in the morning."


4. HACK: Sleep with a pillow between your legs to help alleviate back pain.

an arrow pointing to someone's pillow in between their legs as they sleep on their side

"I sleep with a pillow between my knees every single night, and now I have no more lower back pain."



According to Healthline, sleeping with a pillow between your legs "keeps your pelvis neutral and prevents your spine from rotating during the night," which can in turn lead to a reduction in back pain — usually associated with a herniated disc or sciatica.

5. HACK: When working from home, use your breaks to complete simple chores (that don't require a whole lot of brain power).

"Stuff like dusting furniture or even vacuuming the pool is such a nice little break from all the mental energy I'm expending while I work — and you also get the satisfaction of knowing you're getting things done."


"In order to make sure I don't get too caught up in the chore and get derailed from my work day, I always set a timer for 10 minutes...just to see how much I can get done in that time. I'm always surprised at how much gets done! It's so nice to just be able to get a load of laundry started, or even throw a meal into the crockpot."


6. HACK: Separating work space and relaxation space can ultimately improve both productivity and quality of sleep.

a person working at the library

"I stopped doing any kind of work in my dorm room at college and started to only do it at the libraries. Not only did I become way more productive, but I enjoyed being in my room a lot more, too. It’s way more comfortable (and easier) to fall asleep when you’ve taken a 15-minute walk home than when you’ve been working at your desk — in the same room — for 4 hours."


"I've been working from home since COVID hit, and I've completely 'removed' my desk from my personal life. I use my desk during work hours as much as possible, and I do all my personal stuff on the kitchen table later. It gives me a good mental break from work, and I feel more relaxed doing personal stuff, too."



According to Sleep Foundation, working or studying in a relaxation space — like a bedroom or living room — can "establish unhealthy associations" between your work and relaxation areas, which can lead to difficulties with mentally disconnecting when it's time to relax or sleep. For that reason, experts recommend designating a physical "workspace" in your home, even if it's just a small corner of a room.

7. HACK: As much as you can, prepare and get things ready for the next morning the night before, and you'll be rewarded with a morning routine that goes off without a hitch.

someone sitting at their bed packing a backpack

"For example, I'll always pack my bag the night before with all the things I'll need for that day, get out my outfit in advance, and pack lunches without worrying that I'll run out of time. No more running around in the morning looking for stuff while on a time crunch! Life has become less stressful when I know where everything is and I can just get everything on and leave."


"This is one of the first things I do when I get home from work each night. That way, I can truly unwind — there's nothing else I have to do once I'm done with this task!"


8. HACK: If you're constantly struggling with a cluttered home, make "don't put it down, put it away" your mantra.


If this mantra doesn’t work for you, toss it! Inspired by @littlehomeorganised and @allieshaworganizer #cleantok #organizetok #declutter

♬ original sound - ✨Ames✨

"I make food. I put food on a plate. I eat. What to do with the plate? Leave it on the kitchen counter? Put it into the sink? No — I rinse it as soon as I'm finished eating and it goes straight into the dishwasher. I don’t have to deal with my plate again after being done with it. Don’t make two tasks out of things that are better handled in one fell swoop!"


9. HACK: To eliminate the never-ending issue of mismatched (or missing) socks, buy many pairs of the same sock and toss the others.

an X over a bunch of colorful socks

"I did this for my kids. I buy 24 pairs of socks at a time: all white, gray, or navy. When they grow out of them I just buy 24 more pairs in the next size — all the same color. It's such a tiny trick, but it truly simplifies life so much, and they actually love playing 'match the socks' with the clean laundry!"


10. HACK: Hang a notepad on your pantry or refrigerator to stay stocked on the kitchen essentials you don't replace all that often.

a circle around a shopping list on the fridge

"When I take something out and finish it up, all I have to do is jot it down on my pantry notepad. Voila — instant shopping list!"


"I used to keep a notepad, but now I actually have a small white board hanging up. I drew a line down the middle: One side is for Costco, and the other side is for literally any other non-bulk grocery store."


11. HACK: To effectively moisturize your skin, get in the habit of doing it "right after you shower," when your skin actually needs it most.

"When you moisturize right after showering, it moisturizes your skin at the best time. It seems counterintuitive, but showers don't hydrate your skin — they actually dehydrate and dry your skin much faster! Hot showers (and scrubbing with soap) remove natural oils from your body, and that natural barrier of oils is what keeps your skin hydrated in the first place. Instead of waiting for your skin to dry after your shower, moisturize immediately to re-hydrate ASAP."



According to The University of Tennessee Medical Center, moisturizing the skin immediately after a hot shower is paramount for maintaining healthy skin. Since hot water "strips moisture and oils out of your skin," it's actually recommended to take shorter showers (and with cooler water), but moisturizing ASAP will help your skin stay more hydrated and healthy regardless.

12. HACK: When cooking, clean as you go. "Now, it's at a point where I just do it without thinking about it. I want a clean kitchen!"

"A lot of cooking is waiting. Cleaning in that downtime saves SO much time that I'd just be spending later — and it's also a great time to actually empty the dishwasher if you haven't already."


13. HACK: If you make it a point to make sure your kids are occupied at all times, getting comfortable with the fact that your kids can be bored occasionally might alleviate some extra stress.

"There's absolutely nothing wrong with your kids being a bit bored sometimes, that's their problem. Let them figure it out on their own — but don't limit what they're able to do in that downtime."

"Honestly, I just really don't want to be the source of everything in their lives. There's gotta be a small amount of freedom on their part, and they need to figure out how to occupy themselves and be content with their own company. We do lots of group projects, outdoor activities, and one-on-one crafts...but Mom deserves a break, too!"


14. HACK: When shopping for any kind of goods, make it a habit to always stick to your list and you'll avoid splurging on unnecessary items for good.

a person looking at their grocery list while at the market

"Putting things on a list when they need to be replaced and then sticking to that list when I go shopping has probably saved me many thousands of dollars by now."


"My wife and I actually share our list in the Notes app on our phones. If either of us uses the last little bit of something, we've made it a habit to just pull out our phone and add it to the list. Works every time!"


15. HACK: Start your day with a full glass of water, and make it happen through whatever means necessary.

"I fill a reusable water bottle every single night and leave it on the kitchen counter before I go to bed. In the morning, I'll remember to chug it when I see it sitting on the counter. My day is completely different when I start it off well-hydrated."



According to Healthline, "dehydration is strongly linked to decreased mental performance." Additionally, even mild dehydration can impact one's physical performance, short-term memory, and even the ability to concentrate. To keep your body optimally hydrated and functioning as you want it to, it's never a bad idea to start the day with a glass of water upon waking.

16. HACK: Though it was probably the bane of your existence as a kid, making it a point to tidy up your bedroom every morning could do far more than just keep things looking "presentable."

"Making my bed and straightening up my room every single morning has become a daily habit for me. It started when I was trying to cope with major depression, and it's become an invaluable tool for me ever since."


"Making my bed before going to work, no matter how tired I am, has helped me so much. When I started, it seemed so small and dumb...but now when I get home, it feels so nice and refreshing to see a made bed. It gives me a small amount of joy, and that small amount can really add up after a bad day. It also gives me hope to realize I can control the little things in my life. Small steps are still steps!"



According to Very Well Mind and a study by Princeton University researchers, general clutter and mess can be "linked to negative emotions like confusion, tension, and irritability," while clean, organized spaces tend to foster a better sense of well-being. Clutter can often make our brain think about unfinished business, which can then lead to stress responses — especially in people that already have "significant concerns" or stressors in their lives.

17. HACK: If you have kids, complete your nighttime routine at the same time you're making sure they do theirs — especially if you have trouble sticking to it yourself.

a parent and daughter brushing their teeth together

"I've gotten in the habit of always brushing my teeth as part of my daughter's bedtime routine. In my case, it's kept me from snacking late at night since my teeth already feel clean (and I don't want to mess them up before bed). I've lost about 5" from my waist so far, and beyond appearance and weight loss, I've found that it also keeps me accountable to brush my teeth before I'm too tired to care."


"My parents would always send me to brush my teeth alone, but I rarely ever brushed my teeth during that time. It snowballed into terrible dental hygiene habits for most of my adult life, and I was determined to do things differently with my daughter. It also encourages me to drink water — I have an almost Pavlovian response to brushing my teeth where I just need to down a bunch of water."


Are there any life "hacks" — big or small — that've totally become a part of your everyday routine? Drop 'em in the comments below!

Note: Comments have been edited for length and/or clarity.