Live Smarter, Not Harder: Great Tips that You Will Thank Us for Later

Happy Hooligans gave us a ton of great ideas to make your life simpler!
Get organized and save time, space, effort and energy with these 30 time saving tips and hacks for the home.
Household tips, life-hacks, time-savers, short-cuts, game-changers… call them what you will; they’re all words used to describe those handy, little tricks that make life a bit easier. And who doesn’t love the sound of that?
Hey! Life is busy, right?  Darn right it is, so when I find an efficient shortcut that helps me save time, effort or energy in my day-to-day tasks, I’m all over it like a dirty shirt!

Push in the perforated tabs that you’ll find at each end of a box of plastic wrap.  This will prevent the roll from falling out when you use it.
Keep a small working supply of dishwasher tabs on your kitchen window sill to save time when you’re ready to run the dishwasher. *This is not advised for a home with young children as the tabs may be mistaken for candy.
Some commercial brands of sauces are bottled in Mason jars which can be fitted with mason jar lids for future canning and storage.

Too many gift cards taking up space in your wallet?  Punch a hole in the corner of each card and slide them onto a key ring.  Store in a pocket of your handbag for quick and easy access. *Be sure not to punch the hole through the barcode or magnetic strip.

Keep an expired credit card or gift card at the sink to scrape baked food from pans and glassware.
Store a razor blade in a cute container on top of your stove and use it to scrape dried spills and along the edges of the stove.

Use your hand-vac to clean excess crumbs from the tray underneath your toaster.
For a self-cleaning oven, once the ash and debris has completely cooled, quickly vacuum the floor of the oven clean.
Quickly clean up crumbs and dry debris under the refrigerator’s crisper drawers with a hand-vac.

Disguise a gift of cash, concert tickets or gift cards in a clean, used, pull-tab can.  See the how-to here.  It’s not really a time-saver, but it’s a favourite holiday trick of mine.

Do you know how frustrating it is to get that elusive little piece of eggshell out of the egg white when you mess up cracking an egg?  Use a half-shell to scoop it up.  For some reason it works almost like a magnet. Quick and easy every time!
Wind the cord of your electric mixer around the handle of a bowl when you need a hands-free moment while baking. It’s kind of like a make-shift stand-mixer.  Just don’t leave it unattended!  You could come back to a mess.
Fill empty citrus rinds with water and freeze.  They come in handy when you need to keep a jug of lemonade or a bowl of punch cold.

Use a Pringles can to store plastic bags in a kitchen drawer.
I have a ton of colour-coded face-cloths for my daycare kids.  I “file” them upright rather than stacking them flat. I can fit way more in the drawer this way.

A small piece of adhesive-backed velcro stuck to the edge of the sewing machine is so much handier than using a pincushion. You won’t have to look away from your work when you need a pin or when you’re removing pins from the garment while you’re stitching.
Turn your family’s old jeans into durable, stain resistant bibs for your baby and toddler. They wash well and hold up much longer than a store-bought bib.  See the step-by-step tutorial here.
Here’s another great way to use your old jeans. Turn a pant-leg into an adorable and durable craft apron for a toddler or preschooler. See the easy-to-follow instructions here.

Clean the burned, black bottom of a steel pot or pan in minutes.  Fill the pot with an inch of water, add a few drops of dish soap and a couple of tablespoons of baking soda.  Bring to a boil (it will happen quickly!) and then reduce to simmer for a few minutes.  Whisk the bottom of the pan quickly to lift off all the black bits.

Take a hand-towel and a large bowl or basin of soapy water out to the yard for kids to quickly clean up in when they’re playing or doing messy activities outside.
Save from running in and out of the house to get drinks when the weather is warm.  Fill up a camping jug with water and let kids pour and refill their own refreshments when they’re thirsty.  It’s a fun way to keep them hydrated, and they may just find some other creative ways to use that water too!

Short on space on the table, desk or countertop?  Stand a tissue box on its end.
Fold your kids’ shirts as usual, and then roll them to store them in the drawer.   The drawer will stay much neater, and he’ll wear more of his tees because he’ll be able to see them all at a glance.

Stubborn stickers can be a breeze to remove with the help of a hair dryer.  The hot air from the dryer helps soften the glue and in many cases you can easily pull stickers off bedroom doors, walls and even glass jars and containers.
Dry your craft projects in minutes with a blast of hot air from a blow-dryer.

If your kids can’t find the bubble wands, or if you don’t have enough to go around, plastic straw or the sturdy tube from a roll of food wrap make excellent bubble blowers.
If you’re out of bubble mix, you can get my favourite recipe for making giant homemade bubbles right here.

Store your dried spices in small canning jars.  They stack well, hold plenty, and take up less cupboard less cupboard space than traditional spice bottles.
When labelling spice jars and bottles, put the label on the jar rather than on the lid. That way if the lids get mixed up, it doesn’t matter!  Nothing worse than having a lid that’s labelled “oregano” on the jar that holds the dried mint!

Use a pair of these Triple Blade Herb Scissors to save time (and your fingers) when chopping fresh herbs for cooking.

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