At least once a semester, my classroom discussions branch off into conversations about lifehacks. Lifehacks are strategies to make life easier — from how to get fingerprints off the fridge to closet organization.
My mom had a folder stuffed with mimeographed sheets and handwritten notes about using baking soda, ingredient substitutes, and window-washing with newspapers. We also had lifehacks in “Hints from Heloise” in our daily paper. Her daughter still offers tips in syndicated columns and her website, Heloise.com.
Lifehack websites are plentiful, and most are helpful.
www.Lifehacker.com’s tagline is “Do Everything Better.” The website is easy-to-navigate with tech tips, coping mechanisms, and freebies. It recently featured an instructional about customizing your web-browser, a guide to making holidays fun for teens, and weekly gardening freebies at Lowe’s.
www.Dumblittleman.com’s “Tips for Life” focuses on happiness, health, and finance. It has published articles on new ways to model your nursing home, what strong women want men to know, and six mistakes to avoid during spring cleaning. There are links to 194 pages of tips!
www.Makeuseof.com covers the digital environment. Even though it has lifestyle and entertainment sections, stories all have a tech angle. You can learn how to cast Netflix from your phone to the TV and find guides about using Facebook and Instagram.
www.Lifehack.org is about life fulfillment. Categories include diet, exercise, and mental wellness, with deep dives into mindset, potential, and restoring personal energy. Lifehack also features short videos on life management.
www.Reddit.com/r/lifehacks/ is fun to browse, with reader contributions and paid promotional spots. You scroll by new, hot, top, or rising listings. I found tips on pairing socks in laundry basket holes, storing ramen packages in CD racks, and using a metal pick comb to slice and dice onions.
Hack app tips tend to be short and weak. For example, the Life Hacks app has only nine categories and pop-up ads. Swipe right through random tips and sometimes humorous or obscure facts. Learn to flip the lid of a pizza box on your lap toward your chest to create a bib and to put deodorant on an insect bite to stop itching. You can pay a premium ad-free version, but with so many free lifehacks online, why would you?
My cautions on hacks are to be mindful of the source. Just because something worked once doesn’t mean it will work again. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true at all.
Right now, I’m going to microwave a bowl of water for three minutes and see if it really will be easier to clean up the chili I forgot to cover when I nuked it for lunch.