10 Life Hacks I Learned the Hard Way


If you are unfamiliar with the term “life hack”, Merriam Webster defines it as “a usually simple and clever tip or technique for accomplishing some familiar task more easily and efficiently.” In other words, they are the cheat codes for our every day lives provided to us by our innovative peers.

Now, over the course of my 25 years of human-ing, I’ve picked up a wide variety of life hacks, some on purpose, some on accident (most on accident) and I’d like to share some of those with you today.




1) Keep your eyes open

As it turns out, closing your eyes after you drop something does not prevent it from breaking. I’ve learned that if you keep your eyes open, not only can you see where said item is falling, you also greatly increase your chances of catching it, thus saving it from the break all together.


2) Always re-cap your nail polish remover.

I don’t care who you are, or how many times you’ve given yourself a mani/pedi, this stuff WILL spill and it WILL ruin something important. #JustLidIt


3) Don’t assume driving directions are wrong

I get it, Siri and her ever present “recalculating” is completely obnoxious, especially when you already had a general idea of where you were going and so you were basically ignoring her anyways. But trust me on this, you are not always right. Sometimes your gut feeling to go north is going to go south (HA, direction pun) and you will end up driving 20 miles in the wrong direction, making Siri even more obnoxious as she starts chanting, “PROCEED TO THE ROUTE, BITCH” Or, you know, something like that.


4) Don’t assume assembly instructions are wrong

Yes, we’ve all had those manuals that ask you to insert peg A into peg B, never once mentioning that it has to be at a precise 45.2 degree angle, and is best put together next to a sequoia tree in the middle of March while you are wearing leather pants and singing Bohemian Rhapsody. BUT this doesn’t declare all guides void. In my experience, the assembly of even the simplest of gadgets can benefit from an old scroll down Instruction Avenue. That way, instead of completely disassembling you’re cousin’s new Christmas gift to find the battery slot, you’ll learn that it’s charged on a stand that plugs into the wall.


5) Move your clothes out of the dryer

As it turns out, in the process of doing laundry, putting clothes in the dryer is not the final step. In fact, it is extremely helpful to remove said clothes from the dryer, fold them and put them in their corresponding drawers, as this allows you to a) know where they are, and b) not have to tip toe down the hall to the laundry room, sans chonies, in search of some clean underwear.


6) Remove pasta from strainer before adding toppings, sauces, etc.

This seems obvious, you say, but it wasn’t, at least not to me who—unlike with driving and assembly instructions—is an avid recipe follower. I never stray. And so in junior high, in my first ever attempt at making macaroni and cheese, I had no idea that the strainer would pose a huge problem when I added the milk, stirred in the cheese sauce, etc. because I was never told to return the pasta to its original bowl.  You can call this ignorance, but I like to call it naivety, the doorway into common sense. Plus, if the milk spilling all over the counter wasn’t sign enough that I was doing something wrong, the first bite gave it away. Never have I ever had a bite of macaroni so mushy and disgusting.


7) Allow hot glue to dry on your skin before attempting to wipe it off

Working with hot glue is like spending your summer at the beach, you just have to accept that you are constantly going to get burned, the key is to know how to react when this happens. When I was in college we were given an assignment to create a durable structure using only cardboard and hot glue. We were also told that our teacher was unable to provide us with any medical assistance should we need it. So when I got distracted by a friend and a huge glob of hot glue landed on my finger, and in trying to quickly wipe it off I removed three layers of my skin, my teacher offered little more than a sympathy frown and excused me from class. I then spent 30 minutes looking for the nurse’s station, 15 of which were spent lost in one of the school’s botanical gardens.


8) Don’t staple your finger

Just don’t. It will hurt, you will bleed, and you will be considerably judged, especially if you’re an aid in the health office and you have to explain to the head nurse that you are in fact an idiot, and you need gauze.


9) Stop weighing yourself

Honestly, this is the greatest decision that I ever made. But while I know that weighing yourself plays a large part in noting the progress being made in anyone’s given weight loss journey, I also know that focusing on a number and living for its decline does little in the way of helping you ever truly feel good about yourself.


10) Love Yourself

Similar to “don’t staple your finger,” this one might seem obvious but it is much harder to truly understand why until you’ve done exactly the opposite. So in the interest of saving time and making this a true “life hack”, just take my word on this one. Because loving yourself is way better than stapling your finger and is way easier than straining your pasta while trying to add powdered cheese sauce.


9 responses to “10 Life Hacks I Learned the Hard Way”

  1. This is just too perfect….have you been spying on me? I did the superglue thing just this morning!

    1. It happens to the best of us 🙂

  2. we are definitely related! 🙂

  3. Thanks for the advice Kim! One of my kids might add….don’t microwave Easy Mac without water. It starts a little fire in the microwave and produces A LOT of smoke!! 🙂

    1. Haha! We all have to learn as we go! 🙂

  4. Life’s little moments, once again, captured perfectly!

  5. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
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  6. […] As far as names go, I’ve decided to fondly refer to this new segment as “Strain Then Stir,” which recalls one of my most shining moments in the kitchen that you can read about here. […]

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