There's a lot of genius happening over in the Life Pro Tips subreddit, especially when it comes to home hacks that'll save you a headache down the road. Here are some tips that your future self will appreciate:
1. Put stray socks in a basket or bag so when the other turns up, you can quickly match them again.
"This has saved me more pairs of socks then I can count." —PM-ME-INTENSE-DOGGOS
2. When arranging furniture, check to see if your vacuum can fit between pieces and/or walls.
3. For kitchen products that last a lifetime, buy from a restaurant supply store.
"It lasts practically forever, and you can always find replacements to match. I bought plain black chairs for $18 each. Same ones from the restaurant I used to work in. These are designed for high levels of use and abuse. They're rugged and easy to clean, and if I ever need to replace one or add a couple more, I can easily get matching ones, since they're the same model in use for decades now.
Same with everything else for the kitchen: plates, glasses, flatware, can openers, pizza cutters. I use them less in a month than a restaurant would in a day, and if you shop at any restaurant supply store, they cost roughly the same as any department store — they're just built to last." —DonQuixBalls
4. When you're changing batteries or a filter (like in a smoke alarm or an air filter), use a marker to write the date ON the batteries or filter.
"That way you automatically know when it was last changed." —ShittyShittyNameName
5. If you get work done on your house, have the contractor tell you where all of the materials were sourced from — in case you need spares or replacements in the future and your contractor can't be reached.
"I have followed my own advice sometimes (e.g. writing down paint color codes) but I have a roller blind that has been broken for two years now because I can't find the place where the contractor got them from (they are unbranded) and he won't return my calls." —dob_bobbs
6. After assembling IKEA furniture, tape the wrench to the underside so that you can easily find it when you need to tighten screws or disassemble it.
"My desktop chair's armrest was coming loose, so I looked under it to find out which screw needed to be tightened. The original key that I had used to assemble the chair was taped to the underside, making it quick and easy for me to tighten the screw. Funniest thing was that I had completely forgotten that I had done it, and was stunned at how smart of a trick it was." —Rotjenn
7. Locate your water main and learn how to shut off the water to your house now — because trying to figure it out during a water emergency is not fun.
"It may not be in an intuitive place, and it may require a special tool. A pipe on the exterior of my house broke last night. It took me about 15 minutes to find my water main valve (it was buried in my front yard) and shut it off (fortunately a neighbor had a water meter key I could borrow). Luckily, water mostly sprayed away from the house, so there was no damage. Had the broken pipe been on the interior, it could've been much, much worse. Go find your main and figure out how to shut it off." —Giblet_McGravy
8. Clean your house or apartment before going on vacation so you come back home to a stress-free environment.
"It makes coming home feel that much better. The last thing you want to do is come back to a dirty place where you have to clean." —Petaa10
9. Ask for two labels when buying paint: one to put on the paint can and the other to put behind the light switch panel of the room you're painting.
"That way, you'll know that exact color and brand in case you need to do touch-ups down the road." —kitteninabowtie
10. If there's room, put some containers of water in your freezer.
"if there's ever a power outage, they'll keep items cold for longer." —zachalicious
11. Don't leave fuel in your lawn mower for months unused.
"Gas will go 'bad' over time, so if you have a motor that just sits there over time it won't work when you need it to. If you've let your lawn mower rest all winter and now it doesn't work, you probably need to clean the carburetor. Drain the old fuel, dispose of it responsibly, and then fill it up with fresh fuel. This is like the number one reason lawn mowers stop working, and if you take it to a repairman the first thing they will do is drain the carburetor. It's easy to do, even if you have no mechanical skill. There are lots of good tutorials on Youtube." —solosam10
12. Make sure your house number is visible from the road at night — it could save paramedics valuable seconds trying to find you.
"An ambulance driver I know was ranting about this, so I thought it was worth sharing. He was saying how he often has to waste time finding the right house number. This especially goes at night if the numbers are low contrast (e.g. bronze on wood) or unlit. So, try and see how visible your house number is when driving down your road at night. This ambulance service has some specific recommendations." —ZMech
13. Stick something on your glass sliding door so that your kids — or drunk people — don't run into it.
"Like a sticker, tape, or maybe a suction-cupped hanging plant. My dad made an 'X' out of tape because my sister and I liked to chase each other and ran full speed into it many times." —ooainaught
14. Photograph the air filter installed in your HVAC unit — that way, if you're at a store and don't remember the size, you've got it on your phone.
"It'll also be a reference for the direction to install it (just in case you forget)." —ClarkW_Griswold