What’s The Best Life Hack Your Mother Or Grandmother Taught You?

What’s The Best Life Hack Your Mother Or Grandmother Taught You?

Many of the life hacks and clever tricks we share and use everyday have been passed down for generations. In honour of Mother’s Day tomorrow, share with us the hacks you learned from the maternal role models in your family.

Long before the internet could spread their wisdom, mums have been hacking the household and life, with tricks like using vinegar to soften clothing and cleaning windows with newspaper for fewer streaks (something I learned from my mum).

What’s the best trick you learn from your mum or grandmother (or great-grandmother)?


  • My Nanna had what was pretty much the householder’s bible – Martha Gardener’s Book (Everyone’s Household Help). Full of household hints and stuff that I used to marvel at when I was a kid (obviously a bit of a strange kid since I found a book of household hints so enthralling).
    Just prompted me to search for it on ebay and buy a used copy – Would have been a great mother’s day present if I’d ordered it earlier.. I’ll just keep it for myself instead 🙂

  • To remove a wart, rub raw red meat on it. Then bury the meat in the back yard, as far down to the back fence as possible.

    Maybe this article should be “What’s The Best Old Wives Tales Grandmother Taught You?”

  • I’m a bloke and my mum taught me how to knit and how to make a pom-pom.
    I forgot how to knit but I never forgot how you draw the threads through a hole in the centre of a circular piece of cardboard. The diameter of the circle determines how big your pom-pom will be.
    Not exacly a life hack. Never made a pom-pom at a job interview. Not in the key selection criteria.

  • The most valuable thing my Mum taught me is that if you treat people with respect, they will respect you.
    The most valuable lesson life has taught me is that the above is not always true.

  • Live and love to the end. (Last words from my mother before she went unconcious and died from a brain tumour). Can’t get any better advice than that.

  • Pour the salt or pepper into your palm, then sprinkle on to your food to ensure:
    1. You have the pepper and not the salt (or visa versa)
    2. You don’t pour too much on.

  • Being a good driver is not about how fasy you can drive or take your corners, it’s about how comfortable your passengers are.
    – My favourite aunt

    • you’d probably wanna put a cup of water or something in with the plates – i dont think microwaving plates would be too good for the microwave

  • My mother passed on a couple of tips for the public transport-using pedestrian in Sydney:
    1. How to get around the retail district of the CBD on a rainy (or hot) day virtually without ever having to set foot in the street – involves knowing all the various underground arcades and overhead walkways between the major department stores and other buildings and the railway stations. The details have changed over the years but the basic approach remains true.

    2. Which city stations to change at to avoid having to take a pram (or luggage) up and down levels or in order to have the easiest exit to the street. For example, coming in from the Western line, it was always best to change at Central for a City Circle train if getting off at Town Hall; or knowing which station was best if you needed to get on to the Eastern Suburbs line.

    The same principle applies nowadays for getting to the airport from the Western or Inner Western lines: change at Central or Town Hall for a train, from the same platform, that will continue around the Circle and out onto the airport line. It takes about 10 minutes longer but saves dragging your luggage all over Central Station unnecessarily. (There is a gem of an (American) train guard currently working for CityRail who knows this stuff and makes the most helpful announcements to passengers.)

    Underlying all this: my mother taught me how to plan when I went out. I’ve benefitted more than once by getting to know the public transport systems in the cities where I’ve lived, including the insider tricks that make life that little bit easier, even if you don’t have kids. Thanks mum!

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