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Top 10 Hacks To Make Your Home Awesome

by Gregory Myers
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Your home is your sanctuary, the place you sleep, eat, hang out, and go to every single day. For this reason, it should be the place beyond all others, where most of our efforts go. The place we clean, look to to save the most money, where we try new designs, or other tricks to make our lives easier, and the place we can well and truly call our own and feel comfortable and safe in. In this list, we will go over ten hacks you can use to improve the utility, cleanliness, savings and brightness of your life at home.

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10 Stuff Your Fridge And Freezer To Save Money (Jeans In Freezer Bonus)

One of the biggest energy sinks in your home is your refrigerator and freezer, and there is actually a really simple trick you can use to maximize the energy efficiency of your fridge. See, the thing is that the less stuff is in your fridge and freezer, the more often it has to cycle on and off in order to keep your stuff cool — as you might imagine, this uses a lot of energy. The more full you keep your fridge and freezer, the less overall space there is to cool, and there is much less energy used overall.

If you don’t have enough perishable foods to keep your food cooling apparatus full, you can put in canned food, cereal or other such things that normally don’t require refrigeration. Also, while we are at it, filling the freezer with a pair of jeans or two might help fill up your freezer for the trick, but it won’t do any good to your jeans. While the founder of Levi’s may be an expert at making jeans, that does not make him an expert at cleaning them. Scientists have said his weird trick to kill bacteria in jeans by putting them in the freezer not only doesn’t work, it can spread germs around.[1]

9 Heat Your Home With An Oven, Or Use A Fan And An Ice Bowl For Improvised AC

If you have ever had to live the struggle, you may already be aware of some of these tricks. Some people grew up with little to no heating or AC, or perhaps heat that was actually controlled by an apartment office and was often set at stun instead of kill. There are two tricks you can use to stay cool in extreme temperatures.

If it is really cold in the house, you can always turn on the oven and open the door. This will quickly flood the house with warmth, and once everything is nice and toasty, you can turn it off to save power (as long as your home is decently insulated). If you are too hot and don’t have adequate or no AC, you can setup a strong fan like a big box fan, and put a bowl of ice in front of it. As the ice melts the cool water will be evaporated by the fan and provide a small cooling effect — though it will never be quite as strong as full on AC. However, depending on how much work you put into your setup, you might be able to rig something quite effective together.[2]

8 Easily Mountable LEDS Are A Cheap Way To Add Some Really Nice Lighting To Cabinets

There are many cheap LED lights out there, from many different brands now, that are easy to clasp with simple adhesives that come off easily later, or magnets for metal surfaces. These LED lights can still be quite strong, and are often sturdier than bulbs, and save a lot of space on lighting. They also allow you to do away with the cost of getting lampshades, that could be destroyed anyway if you have pets.

But most importantly, they provide some really cheap and simple ways to get some really cool lighting effects. You can put them under cabinets, closets or other similar spaces for a convenient way to setup recessed lighting that doesn’t require workers in your home or expensive installation. Using them for recessed lighting also helps diffuse the light so the powerful LEDS are not in a position where they can temporarily blind you or your guests with their luminance.[3]

7 Dishwashers, Dryers And Washers Are Huge Energy Sinks. Wait For Big Loads

Most people know that one of your biggest energy sinks in the house is your AC, and heat, and usually your refrigerator as well. However, many people forget just how huge a power sink the dishwasher, dryer and washing machine are. These machines take the lion’s share of your power house (again, along with the AC and fridge) and there are easy steps you can take to mitigate the cost.

Many people will run the dishwasher, or laundry for just a few things, but considering how much power they use, you are really just taking money out of your own pocket. Unless you really need to wash or dry something right this minute, you would do much better to wait until you have enough for a full load. As for dishes, if you just have a few, you should hand wash them and save yourself a ton of money on water costs. While it may be luxurious to dry clean sheets just for that nice hot feeling, it is also an incredibly costly addition to your electric bill.[4]

6 Drilling A Hole In The Bottom Of Your Trash Can Will Help Prevent Sticking

If you have ever had trouble getting a trash bag out of a can, you could use this tip. We all know the struggle. You pull and pull and the bag won’t come out. Sometimes, you manage to finally jerk and yank and it comes out but goes everywhere, or the pressure vacuum is too great and it rips. Now, you have a huge mess to clean up all over your kitchen, and a lot of unnecessary frustration.

However, for those of you who feel the problem is unavoidable (so long as people occasionally overfill trash cans), we have good news. There is a simple trick that will solve your problems. Just drill a small hole in the bottom of the trash can. This prevents air from getting trapped and creating a vacuum that will ruin your day and leave you with a smelly mess all over the place. Just drill the hole high enough up from the bottom that any trapped liquids that leaked from the bag won’t leak out onto the floor, or you could end up with a different messy and smelly problem to solve.[5]

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5 Ran Out Of Toilet Paper? Get A Bidet, Or Use Your Shower (Kleenex Are Also Great)

The coronavirus pandemic is in full swing, and in many countries around the world, people are panic buying large amounts of toilet paper. Some of them are wannabe entrepreneurs hoping to price gouge and quickly getting shut down by sites like Amazon, but many are just people hoarding it for now in case they cannot get it later. The strange thing is how much people have come to rely on toilet paper, as it really only became a household thing in the last 100 years. For those who came from the early days before toilet paper was big, they may remember a time when JCPenney catalogs used to be used instead.

However, like many in Asia and Europe have already discovered long ago, many Americans are now buying bidets because of the toilet paper outages across the country. A bidet cleans you up with a jet of water afterwards, and many countries prefer this to the insane amount of paper we use every year. If a bidet is a little expensive, or Amazon has them on backorder, you can use your shower instead, as a makeshift way to clean up really quick. Also, while they can be almost as hard to find right now, kleenex can also make a great alternative, as they are not too abrasive or uncomfortable to use.[6]

4 Clean AC Filters In The Dishwasher, Then Spray Them With Air Freshener

AC filters can be hard to clean, but you should keep an eye on them regularly. The dust and other buildup makes it hard for them to function properly. This makes you less cool and spend more energy at the same time. However, most methods for cleaning them are messy and can get a lot of dust spread around. First, if you have a huge amount of dust buildup, you should take it outside and carefully scrape off most of it first, then, you can take it and run it through the dishwasher.

Most AC filters are perfectly safe to run through the machine (although you should still check your particular unit first, as some manufacturers actually recommend against using the dishwasher or even putting it back in while even slightly wet) and it really gets them nicely cleaned like nothing else can. For a really nice, clean, finished feel and smell, you can saturate them in spray bottle air freshener before reinserting them and turning it back on. You can also spray some air freshener in the intakes (not the outtake vents) in order to maximize the nice smell now wafting around your house. Just remember the most important rule — you can damage your air conditioner very quickly if you run it without a filter in place.[7]

3 Put A Rubber Band On The Handle To Make Your Soap Pump Less At Once

Soap is actually incredibly concentrated, and in larger amounts, isn’t great for your skin. It is also incredibly unnecessary to use as much soap as most people use, and the soap dispenser is not helping. Most commercial soap dispensers are designed to pump out more at once than you really need to properly wash your hands, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. If the soap companies know you are using more soap than you need, you will run out and buy more sooner, so they have no incentive to change it.

However, there is a simple trick that many people use in order to save money on soap and not have their dispenser constantly pumping out more than they need. You just wrap a small rubber band around the handle of the soap dispenser. This prevents the pump from pushing down all the way, and allows you to get closer to the amount of soap you actually need to wash your hands (just remember to prevent the spread of the coronavirus you should wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with warm water).[8]

2 Use Drapes Instead Of Blinds If You Have Cats, To Prevent Quick Destruction

If you have ever had cats (or some dogs) you may find that venetian blinds, which are already one of the most prone to destruction inventions of all time, get easily destroyed and shredded to pieces by your loving fuzzy buddies. See, even if your cat or dog is not badly behaved enough to actually damage your blinds, and is extremely well trained, cats and dogs like to look out windows when they are stuck in the house. If there are blinds in the way, they will usually push them out of the way.

This easily starts to damage them quickly, and make them look unsightly while your pet is frustrated that you forgot to pull the blinds up for them often enough, when they want to be able to look outside. Drapes provide an alternative that allows you to much more quickly and easily give you that view or privacy that you want, and if they are up, a cat can much easier paw their way through to see out the window without causing serious damage. While they can still cause damage to linens of course by scratching, they are less likely to damage them by accident, and their are fabrics you can get that are less attractive to cat claws.[9]

1 Put A Cat Flap On Bedroom And Other Doors With High Pet Traffic

One of the most annoying things that most cat owners deal with, is the cat pawing or meowing at a high traffic door that it wants to go in and out of freely. One of the biggest offenders for your cat is your bedroom door (although there can be other doors that bother it in a similar way). When you want to sleep, or have some privacy, your cat still wants to be able to come and go as they please, and doesn’t appreciate being cooped up.

However, while cat flaps were mainly a thing on the front door, and were used to allow the cat in and out, they have fallen out of fashion because wildlife can just as easily get in. This is why we say the catflap should make a comeback, but on bedroom or other interior doors. Now, instead of being woken up by your cat meowing incessantly to get out (or in) you can just install a catflap, and have the peace of mind that the little critter can go where they want to without bothering you.[10]

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fact checked by Jamie Frater