When I was a kid, there was a thing called “helpful hints.” They were collected and disseminated by nice housewifely ladies. Now we have “life hacks” and they’re created and distributed by irony-loving millennials.
I’m somewhere between the life hack generation and the helpful hint generation. I have always loved a better mousetrap – a more efficient, cleaner, easier or more spiffy way to do something. I hate clutter, I hate extra steps, and if something fails me more than once, out it goes.
There are some existing products out there that make my heart sing, but sometimes I have to take matters into my own hands and create a solution for myself. Behold, some of my favorite life hacks/helpful hints/elegant solutions.
Motorcycle bike rack: I love riding my giant scooter. I also love mountain biking. I found a way to do one on the way to doing the other.
Appliance drop guard: Overall I love my front-load washer, but since it doesn’t have a back panel, things were always falling behind it (and between it and the dryer). After enduring the chore of cleaning behind it one time too many, I came up with this solution. It allows me to get back there if I need to access the drain pipe, but the rest of the time it blocks socks and other miscellanea from falling back there.
Front load washer siphon: front load washers have a problem where they hold water in the door seal, and then the water encourages mold growth. Leaving the door open a bit helps, but I have helped even more by stuffing a washcloth into the crevice of the door seal. This soaks up the water and, by capillary action, brings it to the outside where it can evaporate. Simple but very effective.
Garden implement hooks: These are pieces of old bicycle spoke – I poked holes through the ceiling of my Rubbermaid shed, then pushed the spokes through and bent them into hooks. Easy-peasy.
This one might seem gross, but it’s actually the opposite of gross. Sometimes my Cat Genie gets a clog. For those who are not familiar, a Cat Genie is an automatic little box that washes the little granules and flushes the wastewater down the laundry drain pipe. The manual suggests clearing the clog by forcing water from a faucet back through the hose, but I don’t have a faucet close enough. So, I can clear it by blowing into it – this little hose section allows me to do it in a sanitary fashion. One end is marked “clean” and the other is marked “dirty” so I don’t do something gross.
Trigger spray storage: I borrowed this one from some “life hacks” listicle – tension shower rod in a cabinet – in my case the cabinet under my kitchen sink = storage for a bunch of trigger spray bottles. Some hints; hang it low enough for the bottles to clear the top of the cabinet when you remove bottles and high enough to allow storage of other stuff underneath.