Lifehacks for your leisure

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By Alex Burden, Senior Digital Editor

1 June 2016

You got the problem? We got the remedy! We’ve covered how to simplify your life at work with strategies, apps, and clever techniques, but what about at home or in leisure time? Make your life a lean, mean, streamlined machine.

1. Wake up, wake up! If the snooze button is the bane of your morning life, check out the Barcode Alarm Clock app. When you rise you’ll be required to scan the barcode of an item in your household to turn off the alarm. Please note, it’s best you keep a supply of these items as there’s nothing worse than bin-raking as a wake-up routine.

2. Put a stop to endless defrosting times when creating your after-work culinary masterpieces. Flatten boneless meat in freezer bags to reduce future thawing times. This works best with mince and fillets.

3. People with longer hair can now carry their own instant flatpack-furniture assembly kit, in said hair. The Clippas Mini Tool Hair Clip is also a screwdriver, wrench, cutting edge, ruler and trolley coin made from flexible stainless steel. Keep your hair neat and become part-carpenter in the process. Great for quick jobs around the house.

4. Save money and cupboard space by signing up with your local tool library – fantastic for those with limited storage in their abode. Typically, most libraries will require a donation (money or your old unused tools) and ID; you can sign up to be a member and start borrowing all the tools you need for DIY jobs – for free. The Edinburgh Tool Library and Toronto Tool Library are great examples of these services.

5. This is a minimal hack, but it will give you minutes back on your life everyday… and who knows what those minutes could be used for? Lightning-speed phone charging is not yet a reality for most of us, but you can cut down that time right now by putting your phone into airplane mode when it’s plugged in. You can also save your battery during the day by using the same mode.

6. The Acorns mobile app is connected to your debit or credit card and will automatically round up each spend you make, to the nearest dollar / pound / euro. It’s a mini portfolio management system devised by a Nobel Prize economist, and your change is invested every $5. Great for the cautious investor.

7. Think about saving up money in a different way: free apps like Mint can help you look at the way you are spending in an efficient manner. Mint lets you create budgets, pool your finance in one place, and receive alerts for unusual account changes.

8. Minimalise your cleaning cupboard by ditching the multiple sponges, clothes, and random rags. Instead, invest in the rather inexpensive Magic Eraser, which is activated by water only. Works on grime, scuffs, grease, and more. Just don’t try polishing a car with it, as we can’t guarantee it won’t clean the paint a little too well!

9. Throwing a dinner party or candle-lit occasion? Forget trailing your sleeves across open flames or faffing about with dropped matchsticks – use dried spaghetti to light your candle. A biodegradable extender! Staying on the entertaining theme; you can also use a plastic water bottle to suck yolks from egg white – end that messy separating.

10. Budding green-fingered people can dig straight into their garden adventure with the Good to be Home’s downloadable Vegetable Growing Cheat Sheet, explaining when you plant, how you plant, and how long it will all take. Log on and answer a few questions such as geographical location and the type of garden (indoors, patio, greenhouse, etc.), and you can get your free, personalised guide.

Topics

  • CA Student blog

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