10 Household Hacks Every 20-Something Should Know

If you've ever spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to untangle your earbuds or hopefully searching for the end of a tape roll, you’re not alone. We’re all looking for quicker and easier ways to navigate life, especially at home, with clever life hacks that don't require a PhD in engineering. Ahead, these 10 household hacks use items you already have in your home to solve some of life’s most frustrating first-world challenges while going easy on your wallet, too — they don’t cost a dime!
This month, we're asking you to toss out everything you thought you knew about spring cleaning and give every corner of your life a refresh. The inspiration for a happier, clutter-free you is right this way.
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1. Staple Remover = Key Ring Master

Let’s face it: Attempting to pry a key ring open can test the patience of even the most determined among us. Here's a manicure-friendly alternative that saves both time and your sanity: Use a staple remover to easily clamp and hold the ring open while gliding on the new key. Crisis averted!
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
2. Tin Foil = Safe Dryer Sheet Alternative

Whether you've run out of dryer sheets or would rather avoid the chemicals they contain, there's a perfectly easy alternative to keeping your clothing static-free. Just toss a crumpled up ball of aluminum foil in the dryer with your laundry instead. It does the same job softening clothes and battling static — plus you can use it more than once, making it eco- and budget-friendly. Just be sure the foil ball is smooth and doesn't have any jagged edges that could snag clothing.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
3. Hairspray = Needle-Threading Helper

If threading a needle is the bane of your existence, drop the magnifying glass; we have a simpler sewing solution. Grab a bottle of hairspray instead and spritz the end of the thread to stiffen it, making it infinitely easier to guide through the needle’s eye.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
4. Eggshell = Eggshell Remover

Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled in vain to remove a rogue bit of eggshell with a fork (or your finger, if we're going to be real). There’s a much easier way, and it’s right in the palm of your hand. Use the larger portion of eggshell to cut through the gooey egg white and fish out the offender.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
5. Dishwasher = Oven Knob Cleaner

When the plastic or steel knobs on your stove become caked with grease and debris, simply remove them and place them in the utensil compartments of your dishwasher. Consult your oven’s owner manual, but most knobs are dishwasher-safe. Plus, machine washing them beats trying to maneuver the nooks and crannies by hand.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
6. Tin Foil = Banana Preserver

One day you have a bunch of perfectly yellow bananas; the next thing you know, you’re contending with brown freckles and mushy spots. If your bananas ripen more quickly than you can eat them, there’s a hack for that. Wrap the stems of the bananas in aluminum foil to help them last up to five days longer. Fresh out of tin foil? Plastic wrap is a totally viable alternative.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
7. Cork = Headphones Keeper

Here’s a cute, quick, and creative way to keep your headphones corralled and untangled while on the go. Using a knife, cut a small slot into a clean, dry cork. Wrap the cords around the cork, then place the portion of cord near the ear buds into the slot. Pin the other end of the cord into the top of the cork.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
8. Bobby Pin = Tape Tracker

Have a spare bobby pin? (Considering they come in packs of almost 100, odds are you do.) Use a bobby pin to mark the loose end of roll of tape, and never struggle to locate it (while frantically peeling at the tape and cursing under your breath) again. And if you really are out of bobby pins, paper clips work just as well.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
9. Hanger Clips = Chip Clips

If you've broken a plastic hanger, yes, you'll need a new one to hang up your dress. But the good news is that you can salvage and upcycle the clips formerly used to hold pants and skirts. Remove them from the main portion of the hanger and reuse them to seal bags of chips, granola, and cookies to keep them fresh.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
10. Rubber Band = Nail Polish Opener

Who among us hasn’t used our own teeth to try to pry to open a stubborn, sealed shut nail polish bottle? Dental care is expensive, so try this simple and effective hack instead: Wrap the lid of the bottle in a rubber band to create a grip, then put a little elbow into it to twist that sucker loose.