Ten Fixes For Life’s Everyday Annoyances

Ten Fixes For Life’s Everyday Annoyances

Every day is filled with tiny annoyances: from bottle tops that won’t open to shoelaces that keep coming undone. Thanks to the internet, someone’s out solving most of those problems for us. If you want to remove the tiny frustrations that plague you day to day, here are ten great solutions to get you started.

#10 Foggy Bathroom Windows


When you shower, your mirror often fogs over even if you have a fan running. This makes the mirror pretty useless when you’re getting ready in the morning, but you can de-fog it in seconds with a blow dryer. All you do is point the blow dryer at the mirror and watch as the fog disappears. In my experience, both the hot and cold settings do the job all the same, so it doesn’t matter which one you use.

#9 Soggy Leftovers

Few foods are as good the next day when you reheat them and that’s definitely true of the fried variety. If you want to get your french fries or fried chicken crispy again after they’ve spent a night in the fridge, just wrap them in aluminium foil and stick them in the broiler. The top-down heat on oil-soaked food is what makes it possible for these leftovers to become crunchy again.

For fries and chips, sautéing is also an option if you want to avoid ending up with leathery bits of potato.

Finally, if you’re not sure your food can be safely reheated, there are plenty of guides and infographics to advise you.

#8 Bloated Garbage Bags That Won’t Come Out Of The Bin


One of the most annoying parts of taking the garbage out is getting the bloated bag to leave the bin. Plastic bags aren’t too strong, so you can’t pull very hard on them. If you don’t pull hard enough, the bag will remain stuck in the bin. Eventually you find a happy medium with a little bit of help from the forces of gravity and get the thing out, but it’s never an easy process.

The solution? Drill a hole in the side of the bin. This prevents air from getting trapped and allows bags to easily slip out.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to ruin your bin (or provide an entry vector for pests), you can simply tape a tube to the inside, which will do the same job.

#7 Lacking Energy During The Day

Staying awake and alert throughout the day can be tough if you didn’t always get a good night’s rest. Stimulants are often not the answer, as they can cause more problems in the long run than they immediately solve.

One very simply way to give yourself a boost is pushups. You don’t have to do heaps of them. Just a couple of sets of 10-20 should do the trick. You shouldn’t get too sweaty from it either — just more alert. As you would expect, getting a good night’s sleep will make you more likely to want to get up and pump out a few.

If post-slumber exercise just isn’t for you, there are a bunch of other ways to get your eyes to stay open without resorting to, say, coffee, such as a glass of juice and bright lights.

#6 Getting A Stich While Running

Whether you love running or not, it’s good daily exercise that can be easily hampered when you get a stitch in your side. It’s pretty uncomfortable and makes it much harder to keep going. Fortunately there’s an easy fix: bend over and touch your toes. If that’s not successful, try digging a few fingers into the affected area.

The idea is to divert blood flow away from the stich so you don’t feel the pain and you can get back to running a bit more comfortably.

They say prevention is better than a cure, so to avoid getting a stitch in the first place, concentrate on your breathing while you exercise (or otherwise exert yourself).

#5 Spilling Liquid While Pouring


Anyone who has eaten with me knows I spill on myself at least once per day. Things get even worse when it comes to pouring something — it’s just not a good idea to let me do it. But there’s actually a simple solution I ought to start trying: using chopsticks.

By placing the chopsticks along the top of a bottle’s opening, they’ll guide the liquid out in a straight line beyond the edge of the opening and avoid annoying spills. (This is especially great for me because I have a chopstick surplus problem.)

#4 Bunching Up Underwear While Putting On Pants

Chances are you’ve put pants on during your lifetime, and you know how your underwear can bunch up underneath them during the process. There’s a simple solution: put your underwear in your pants first, then put them both on. It takes less time and effort and everything slips on seamlessly.

#3 Folding Lots Of T-Shirts

Laundry is boring — especially when you have to fold a bunch of clothes. As demonstrated in the video to your left, there is a Japanese method that can save you a lot of time. It takes a few minutes before you get the hang of it, but once you’ve got it down you’ll be able to fold your shirts in just a few seconds.

You may want to consider rolling your shirts and putting them in your drawers back to front (rather than bottom to top). This makes it easier to remove them and rolling saves space while preventing wrinkles.

If you have a variety of shirts and would like to make it easier to see which ones you have, then the KonMari technique is for you.

How about your pants? Do they keep falling off your coat handers? Don’t worry, the Savile row fold is here to rescue your clothes from the bottom of your wardrobe.

#2 Non-Twist Bottle Tops

You probably don’t have to open a bottle every single day, but it’s a common enough task that often presents the problem of how you’re going to do it. If you’re not given the convenience of a twist-off cap and don’t have a bottle opener handy, there are plenty of alternative methods you can use to get that bottle open pretty easily.

Using a coin and a piece of paper or your forearm both work but take a bit of practice. If you’ve got a Mac laptop power adaptor handy, they work, too. So do Bic lighters, rings and a newspaper.

Not enough options for you? Spoons, kitchen tongs and even a stapler can serve as makeshift bottle openers.

All it takes is a little practice and you’ll never really need another bottle opener again.

#1 Shoelaces That Come Undone


Tying your shoes inefficiently wastes time and it often results in them coming untied. Many of us don’t tie our shoes properly without realising it, and the knots we create don’t really do their job. These bad knots are called granny knots, and you want to ditch those and learn to tie a reef knot.

Doing so will balance the knot more evenly on your shoe and give it a better chance of staying tied as a result. If you want to take your shoe tying to the next level, learn to to an Ian knot instead. Once you get the hang of it, you can gain the benefits of the reef knot but tie your shoes significantly faster. Either way, you’ll be saving yourself time.

And for those who prefer smarter over faster, give the Ukrainian lacing technique a go.

This article has been updated since its original publication.


  • …just wrap them in aluminium foil and stick them in the broiler…

    What’s a broiler? Does it broil???

    Thanks to the internet, someone’s out solving most of those problems for us…

    Can someone save us from Americanisms…

    • A broiler is basically what we call the grill. The (mostly) top element of the oven that you can turn on or set differently from the oven.

      Americans mostly call a grill as a open flame. Where as we liken it to putting it on the barbie.

  • Thanks to the internet, someone’s out solving most of those problems for us.
    Lifehacker – Getting the internet to do our job for us.
    (Seriously though, I have nothing against this article, apart from the unlocalized “broiler” bit, as @bonehead pointed out)

    Also, with the shoelaces thing… I’ve just started buying shoes without shoelaces. They just have elastic. Problem solved.

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