Who doesn’t need life to be made a little bit easier? Below are 25 tips to do precisely that. Readers are invited to post their own life hacks below in comments.
1. Take a photo with your phone of where you park your car at the mall. That way, when you misplace the ticket you can at least show the nice security guard where your car is.
2. Take a cell photo of a list of all the medications used by relatives in your care. It’s handy to have it in case of an emergency or when you take your mother to see a new doctor.
3. To get rid of your turkey neck in photos, photographers recommend that you stick your neck out and tuck your chin down.
4. To make your smile look bigger in photos, squint your eyes just a little.
5. Use nail polish to paint a colored dot on the end of your mom’s keys to help her remember which one unlocks what. Green for front door; red for back door; etc.
6. Use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies inside the pantry door. It eliminates having to crawl under the sink to find the ones you use most frequently.
7. Can’t hear the alarm clock? Set the alarm on your smartphone and put it in an empty glass near your bed. The sound will be amplified.
8. When a friend borrows a tool or book, snap a photo of them holding it so you’ll remember later where it went.
9. Mark the side of your water bottle by hours so that you can keep track of what you’ve had to drink and will stay hydrated.
10. Take a photo of the inside of your refrigerator to help you remember what you need at the grocery store.
11. Use the clasps of an old skirt hanger to keep your cords from tangling and being tripped over.
12. When you downsize your house, consider buying a well-made foldout cot instead of a pullout sofa.
Your guests will thank you.
13. Use two-sided tape on area rugs to keep them in place.
14. Replace your aging parents’ area rugs with wall-to-wall carpeting to minimize falls.
15. Use cold cucumbers to reduce eye puffiness. Cucumbers contain antioxidants that are thought to reduce irritation, while the cooling effect reduces swelling.
16. Carry a big scarf with you 24/7. It’s as good as a shawl in overly air-conditioned restaurants, movies and airplanes and can double for sun protection at beaches and outdoor cafes.
17. Give charitable donations as gifts. Most charities notify the honoree only that a donation was made in their name from you and leave the amount out. You can appear to be a bigger spender and do some good in the meantime.
18. Have a big event and want to look glamorous? Make an appointment at a department store makeup counter for a makeover with their products. Sure they’ll try to sell you stuff, but buy the least expensive item and tell them you’ll think about the rest.
19. Feet making your shoes a bit odoriferous? Try sticking a dry teabag in each shoe overnight to reduce the smell.
20. Have trust issues with your GPS? Highway sign tip: If the exit sign is on the left of the sign, the exit itself will be on the left. If it’s on the right, the exit will be on the right.
21. In a rental car, look at the little icon for the gas pump. The direction the gas handle is pointing is the side where you put your gas in.
22. Carry a nightlight with you when you stay in hotels. Sleeping in unfamiliar territory and trying to find your way to the bathroom in the dark can be a challenge for anyone.
23. Attach a small vial of hand sanitizer to the outside of your purse and use it liberally when you are out in public places. Escalators, elevator buttons, door handles are all germ territory.
24. Make your own emergency first aid kit by stuffing into an old prescription bottle: two bandages, a tiny sample of antibiotic ointment and — if you are caregiving for a heart patient — some nitroglycerin tablets.
25. A frozen wet sponge in a Ziploc bag makes for a great icepack that won’t leak.