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 short-cut that helps me save time, effort or energy in my day-to-day tasks, I’m all over it like a dirty shirt!
I suspect that you’re probably the same, so here’s what I’ve done for you today. I’ve rounded up a bunch of tips and tricks that I’ve come up with over the years that help to make life a bit simpler at my house.
Hopefully you’ll find some of them helpful, and maybe you’ll even implement a few in your home!
Likewise, if you have some nifty little household tips and tricks up your sleeve, I’d totally love to hear about them! Please leave me a comment at the bottom of the post!
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links.
30 Time Saving Tips & Hacks for the Home:
- 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 windowsill 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? Try this trick for keeping them organized and easy to use. I get so many comments from cashiers and fellow shoppers when I pull mine out of my purse.
- 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.
- You know how frustrating it is to get that elusive little piece of egg shell 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 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 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, a plastic straw or the sturdy tube from a roll of food wrap make excellent homemade 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.
Wondering about that tiny pot of chopped herbs? It’s one of my favourite tips from this post!
And now, check out 18 amazing tips for cleaning your house and these handy dandy home hacks.
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
Why is there always a strip in front of what i’m trying to read on your posts???
I have no idea, Tammy. I haven’t heard anyone complain about that before. Can you take a screen shot and email me so I know what it looks like to you? firstname.lastname@example.org Have you tried using another browser? Chrome, safari, firefox etc.?
Easier way to have pins at the sewing machine: a large flat magnet and magnetic pins. I never buy pins that aren’t magnetic. Easier than a pincushion, and if I drop one I can find it with a magnet (not my foot!).
Great ideas! Would like to add a word of caution on a couple for those that have young children. I don’t recommend setting out the D/W gel packs; the CDC reports 1,000s of cases where children mistake them for candy. Also, little kids might accidentally inhale bubble soap with straws/similar.
Thanks Malinda. I’ve added a note of caution to the post. I appreciate you looking out for others. x
Here’s another tip. Put the whole roll of kitchen trash bags in the bottom of the kitchen trash can. That way when you take out the trash; a clean bag is at your finger tips. No searching.
Sorry to be negative here (I love (almost) all of your blog!) but I’m saddened to see you suggesting the use of the dustbuster for tasks that can easily and quickly be achieved with a cloth or brush. I understand the aim of your item is to save time but this, IMO, is a needless waste of precious energy (electricity) for very little time saving in comparison to the cloth or brush. On a planet that is struggling to keep cool due to our excessive energy use, I think we can and should afford a few more milliseconds to use a cloth or brush rather than use a dustbuster and its necessary electricity. Don’t get me started on the pointlessness of ironing…lol! Sorry again to be negative, feel free not to approve this message. As I said above, I do love your blog and great ideas :O)
Girl, I hope you’re following my blog from a solar-powered computer. 😉
Funny you should say that because I am 🙂 The energy company I use provides 100% of its electricity from renewable resources (wind, sun etc). Every little helps…down that dustbuster 😉
Are you kidding me? That is AWESOME, Jeni!! 😀
No kidding – the company is UK based Ecotricity http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/ 🙂
I think that’s just fantastic. Despite my using the dustbuster to suck up the ash from the floor of the oven (hope you’ll forgive me for that ;)), I am seriously into doing my part to preserve the planet. Even with a fam of 4 and a busy daycare, I put out one 1/2 bag of garbage a week because I compost and recycle everything I can. Clean with lemon, baking soda and vinegar, make my own enviro-friendly laundry detergent, use recycled materials for most of our crafts, buy second-hand, re-purpose whatever I can etc. I suppose one day, all energy companies will go the route that yours has. I just wish they’d do it sooner! Thanks for the info, Jeni. 🙂
I think you’re brilliant! I was originally on your site looking at craft but I’m now going to try your laundry detergent recipe – just trying to source all the ingredients in the UK at the mo – and have taken lots of other great ideas from your website too. Thanks so much!
Jeni, I had a UK reader send me this msg a while back. I need to make time to add it to the post, but hopefully this will help:
“After reading your post about making your own laundry detergent I decided to have a go, the trouble is that we can’t buy Borax here in the UK and Borax substitute is hard to get hold of in shops. I got the ingredients for my powder all in one supermarket.
Take 1kg DriPak Soda Crystals £1 and one 800g pack of Bicarbonate of Soda 80p in Tesco, 4 sterilizing tablets (I got a pack of 56 for around 60p) and 1 bar of Simple soap (I got a pack of 4 for just over £1, the No Perfume No Colour kind). Grate the soap and mix all ingredients together. We get around 35 washes from this mix and I estimate it to be around 4p a wash. This beats Aldis Almat was by 5p a wash.”
OMG! I love all your great and helpful tips and tricks. I am an ebay seller and for the life of me I have tried everything to remove the store tags. Not once, have I thought about or have even heard about using a hair dryer. What a GREAT IDEA!
So glad that I found your blog and look forward to more great and awesome ideas..
Thank you soooooo much you have made my life so much easier