Article and audio introduction by Samantha Kennedy, Family and Consumer Sciences
We are always looking for ways to make our everyday lives easier, even when it comes to the little things. That is where “life hacks” come in. What are they? Well, a life hack is a strategy or technique designed to help people manage their time and daily activities in a more efficient way. In fact, some life hacks seem so obvious, we wonder why we did not think of them ourselves.
10 Simple Life Hacks
There are hundreds of life hacks out there, some of them more practical than others. The following ten have been chosen for their cleverness as well as their practicality. Adopting one or more of them may just save time, energy, and frustration.
Life Hack #1: Separate the egg yolk from the white with an empty water bottle. (The commercially-produced water bottles with a narrow neck work the best.) How does it work? Just squeeze the sides of an empty water bottle, place the neck against the yolk, and release the sides of the bottle. The yolk is vacuumed up into the bottle, leaving the white behind.
Life Hack #2: Use a drinking straw to remove the cores and stems from strawberries. Place the straw (wider ones work best) at the center of the bottom of the strawberry, away from the stem. Gently twist and push the straw through the strawberry until it comes out the top, pushing out the stem. The core of the berry is inside the straw!
Life Hack #3: Endlessly trying to find the end on a roll of tape? Find the end easily by sticking the plastic tab from a loaf of bread on the end of tape. Folding the end over to create a pull tab is also a good way to keep the cut end from disappearing.
Life Hack #4: Unscented, unflavored dental floss makes an excellent cutting tool for soft cheeses, cakes, and other soft foods. Floss makes a clean, straight cut without the creating the buildup of frosting or other food residue that can occur with knives.
Life Hack #5: Ever drop something small on the floor, but are not sure where it landed? Use the vacuum to find it! By fitting a piece of panty hose over the end of the vacuum hose, those small items will be picked up without being sucked into the canister.
Life Hack #6: Store clean, folded sheets in one of the pillow cases in the set to keep the linen closet looking neat and orderly.
Life Hack #7: Organize those extra electronics cables with toilet paper rolls. Simply fold the cords neatly into compact bundles and slide the bundles into empty toilet paper rolls. Align the rolls side-by-side neatly in a storage container or box for easy access without having to deal with the frustrating tangle.
Life Hack #8: Speaking of toilet paper rolls, they do an excellent job of keeping wrapping paper from getting unruly. Simply slide the empty toilet paper roll over the end of a roll of wrapping paper to keep the roll from unwinding. If it does not fit, just slice along one side of it so it will expand to the size needed.
Life Hack #9: Store ground meat in zippered freezer bags. Remove the meat from the retail package, place into a zippered freezer bag, and flatten as evenly as possible. This not only makes it simple to stack several packages in the freezer, it also cuts down on thawing time.
Life Hack #10: Have a bunch of keys that all look the same? Differentiate between them by painting the ends with different colored nail polish.
For more information about these and other life hacks, call Samantha Kennedy at the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension office at (850) 926-3931.