Time-saving life hacks 101: Life keeps moving at home
Between dropping the kids here and there, rushing to work, keeping the house presentable and trying to have a social life on the side, life sometimes gets a little hectic. We've put together some time-saving life hacks to help keep things moving at home.
- Take wrinkled clothes into the bathroom while you shower
Did you know that steam takes creases out of clothes? Taking your rumpled blouses or trousers into the bathroom and hanging them up will tease the wrinkles out with minimal effort. No need to waste time at the ironing board!
- Buy socks of the same colour so that you can always find a pair
Do you often look into your sock drawer and curse the washing machine for eating the match to your red sparkly sock/bunny rabbit sock/dotty-with-frills sock? How great would it be to open the drawer, pull out two socks at random and find they match? If you buy all your socks in the same colour, you'll never spend more than a second finding a pair. More time for coffee-drinking!
- Wash plastic toys when you wash the dishes
Sick of filling the sink multiple times a day to wash various household items? Instead of doing separate washes, try doing a sweep once a day, just before you do the dishes. Collect up all the sticky and muddy children's toys from around the house, and then use the dishwater to wash them. Everything gets done in one fell swoop and you get to put your feet up in front of the TV a little earlier than usual.
- Paint keys with nail polish to tell which is which
Pink for the front door, green for the back door, yellow for the snack cupboard...you get the gist. Colour-coding your keys significantly cuts down time trying to open doors. There's nothing more frustrating than fumbling with door keys as it begins to rain outside...
- Take a photo of the fridge and cupboards to save writing a shopping list
We all know how it feels to get home from a food shop only to realise we've forgotten the one thing we were supposed to buy. An easy way of avoiding this without spending ages writing a shopping list is taking a picture of your fridge and cupboard contents on your phone. That way, you can look at it to see what you need while you're trawling the aisles of the supermarket. The problem is, it also means there's no excuse for 'accidentally' buying another pack of chocolate biscuits now...
- Use paper clips to find the end of the sticky tape
Statistics show that, on average, people spend three years of their life trying to find the end of the sticky tape. OK, we might have made that up. But we all know how a pleasant task like wrapping a gift is made tedious by uncooperative tape that's impossible to find the end of. By sticking a paper clip under the end when you finish with the tape, you'll make it easier to find the end next time.
- Remove odours by popping a dry teabag in shoes overnight
Smelly shoes are a burden. Not only does the pong filter through the room, but it's a time-consuming and tedious task to wash them. Try popping a dry teabag into each shoe before bed. When you wake up in the morning, take the teabag out and bin it. Notice how fresh your shoes smell!
- Double up on recipes and freeze half to save time cooking
How much time do you spend rushing around the kitchen each night preparing dinner for the family? What if we told you you could cut this by half, freeing up some time to relax? Simply double up your ingredient quantities on the days you cook and freeze half the food for another day. Then, it'll only take you a few minutes to defrost so you can enjoy your evening.
- Slow-cook porridge overnight for an instant breakfast
Avoid wandering round the kitchen groggily trying to put breakfast together in the morning by getting it done the night before. Making porridge in a slow cooker overnight ensures it's already waiting for you when you get up – and it also makes it more delicious.
- Heat two meals at once in the microwave by stacking one on top of a mug
You're heating leftovers for dinner, but by the time the last one is reheated the first are cold. Try stacking one plate or bowl on top of an upturned mug in the microwave so that there's room for a second one beneath it. That way you can heat multiple meals in quick succession.
- Add tennis balls to your dryer to dry large items quicker
Ever put a coat, duvet or cushion in the dryer and taken it out for the umpteenth time to find it still damp? No one has time to stand around watching clothes drying. Pop some tennis balls into the tumble dryer with heavier items or bedding. Prepare to be amazed by the absorption powers of the humble tennis ball. Full fluffiness and puffiness is restored after one regular cycle in the dryer.
- Charge your phone faster in airplane mode
A top tip for people who are always busy using their phone throughout the day. If your battery's low and you need to charge it quickly before you leave the house or office, plug it in and switch it to flight mode. The bit of time without notifications coming through will do the battery wonders!