15 Household Hacks To Make Your Day-To-Day Easier

Here are some cool ways to make being at home a literal breeze.

Home Improvement

Hacks are cool. No matter what category they fall under, they are simply fairly memorable tips that can help to make your life a whole lot easier. Well, in honor of hacks doing just that, today I thought we should look into some that can make the cleaning up and upkeep of your home a whole lot easier to do. Some of these household hacks, you may have heard of before. Still, something tells me that within these 15 tips, you will learn at least a couple of new things. Are you ready to say "whaaaaa?" a few times?

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1. Paint Your Keys

These days, you can go to a local home improvement store and get a duplicate set of keys made in a design so that you can easily differentiate them. Still, if you are more of a DIY person, another option is to simply paint your keys; that way, you can easily tell the difference between what your house, office and car keys are. Some people even do it with nail polish. You can check out a video on how to do that here.

2. Warm Up Vanilla Beans in a Pot

I'll tell you what—something that can have the rooms of your house smelling absolutely unbelievable in under 10 minutes in a half cup of Fabuloso in three cups of water. Just put it into a pot and let it simmer on medium heat. On the other hand, if you're concerned that it could put some chemicals into the air, that's fair, I guess. An alternative is to replace the cleaner with some vanilla beans and/or cloves. Either way, both are a cool alternative to air fresheners (the scents typically last much longer too).

3. Place Straws into Your Vases

This particular hack has reminded me to get back into the habit of buying fresh flowers every Friday (I used to do it often).

Anyway, I really dig this back because, while flowers can last for up to 12 days (if you take care of them correctly), around the time that they start wilting, now you don't have to toss them out. All you need to do is put some straws into your vase, all throughout the stems and they will serve as an "anchor" so that your flowers will be able to stand upright again. Pretty cool, right?

4. Apply a Paper Clip to Tape Rolls

Sometimes, it really is the little things, y'all. I don't know about you but something that drives me completely up the wall is trying to find where the end of a tape roll starts. One way to avoid the drama is to mark the end with a paper clip. It makes the end so much easier to find. Plus, now it won't take forever to pull the end of the tape up.

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5. Secure Your Toothbrush with a Safety Pin

I keep my toothbrush in a cup, still this is kinda cool. If you're someone who'd prefer to keep your own brush off of your bathroom counter (because they tend to be on the germy side), all you need to do is put a safety pin around the "neck" of it. That way, the part of your toothbrush that you clean your teeth with will be suspended in the air and kept off of the counter.

6. Shave with Hair Conditioner

Instead of buying shaving cream for your legs and underarms, just pick up some cheap conditioner the next time that you're at the store. It works just as well as the commercial brands and it will save you a few coins. Also, if you want to extend the shelf life of your razors before tossing them out, soak them in a glass of olive or sweet almond oil. Make sure the razor part is what's in the oil. The oil will prevent rust from dulling your razors and it will moisturize your skin while you are shaving.

7. Clean Your Toilets with Mouthwash

Do your toilets need some extra cleaning?

No worries. Instead of heading out to purchase some expensive toilet bowl cleaner, just pour a couple of capfuls of mouthwash in there and let it sit for 30 minutes before brushing. It will remove the grime and hard water stains pretty easily.

(By the way, mouthwash can cut the stink out of your garbage disposal if you pour a cupful down it as well. Mint is best.)

8. Polish Your Wood Furniture with Essential Oils

There's no need to purchase any furniture polish for your wooden pieces. Just put some olive oil into a bottle, add a few drops of lemon essential oil (and maybe another scent if you'd like) and the combo will work just as well. Plus, it'll be less harsh on your furniture which is definitely a bonus.

9. Use Ice Cubes to Remove Candle Wax

What should you do if candle wax drips onto your furniture? Well, what you should definitely avoid is trying to scrape the wax off because that could damage the finish that's on your tables and whatnot. Instead, put some ice cubes into a plastic bag and place the bag over the wax. It should harden the wax enough that it will be easy to pull it off with your hands without wrecking anything.

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10. Sprinkle Some Splenda onto Your Carpets

This one is a trip. If you spill something on your carpet, you immediately sprinkle a lil' bit of Splenda on it and let it sit for 15 minutes, the Splenda should absorb most of the spill so that you can vacuum everything up without a stain being left behind.

11. Clean Pans with Alka-Seltzer

Is there anything more taxing than trying to clean up pots and pans that have "food gunk" all over them? Did you know that if you pour some hot water into them, add an Alka-Seltzer tablet, let the pots and pans sit for 20 minutes and whatever is stuck on should come right off? Try it. It just might amaze you.

12. Zap Your Sponges in the Microwave

Ain't nothin' worse than the smell of a nasty sponge. If you're someone who is quick to toss them, consider soaking them in some water and putting them in the microwave (on high) for a couple of minutes instead. Oftentimes, the issue isn't that it's time for the sponge to go; it just needs the odor-causing bacteria to be taken away from it. Your microwave is what can make that happen.

13. Scare Ants Off with Cinnamon Powder

Do you have a bit of an ant problem? Something that they hate—to the point where it kills them if they come into contact with it—is cinnamon powder. So, either sprinkle a little around their hangout spots or pour it onto them directly. It's a safer way to remove them without putting you or your pets at risk of the toxic fumes that come with standard insect sprays. Oh, and if spiders are your problem, they hate the smell of peppermint. Just for the record.

14. Freeze Your Pillowcases

Words can't express, just how much I hate going to bed when I feel hot. That's why I have a cooling mattress pad on mine, I make sure to turn my thermostat down (to around 67-68 degrees) and sometimes, I freeze my pillowcases.

If you put your own cases in a big Ziploc bag and let them sit in your freezer for about 20-30 minutes, they'll be cool enough for you to fall asleep comfortably.

15. Squeegees Are Great for Pet Fur

Last one. It's been a while since I've had a pet. Yet something that used to be a pain was the pet fur that they left behind. A cool remedy? After vacuuming up as much as you can, simply run a Squeegee over the leftover hair. It should pick everything right on up. Then you can run the Squeegee underwater and use it again as usual on your mirrors 'n stuff. It's one of the best household hacks going, chile. Enjoy!

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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