I asked the Community for hacks that make daily life easier. Who doesn’t want to work smarter, not harder? Readers shared some great tips that streamline their routines. I’m excited to pass on their useful responses.

1. Put alarm far from bed

    I have trouble waking up – I’d turn off my alarm and go right back to sleep! Now I place my phone across the room. Having to get up to turn it off helps me rise for the day. This simple habit really works.

    2. Toss clutter on bed when cleaning room

      When tidying my room, I gather everything without a home and pile it all on my bed. Then I clean and organize items with set places first. Finally, I sort through the stuff on my bed, find “homes” for each, and make the bed again. Way more effective than cleaning section-by-section or all at once! This streamlines getting organized.

      3. Walk nearby nature spots

        Studies show green spaces boost mental health. But who can visit parks daily?

        I scope out pleasant areas on my commute or errands. Then I walk through them when I can, even if just 5 minutes. There’s a nice pond by my grocery store. I circle it before shopping.

        For extra impact, I listen to relaxing or nature sounds. This free habit literally changed my life after the pandemic started. It’s like a soothing meditation or yoga class, without the cost.

        4. Try a ‘coffee nap’ when exhausted

          Feeling super tired? Drink some coffee, then nap for 15-30 minutes right after. The caffeine will kick in as you wake up, leaving you refreshed instead of groggy.

          I’ve done this at lunch, and it’s a total game changer! The coffee nap helps me beat midday fatigue in a flash. Give it a try next time you need an energizing boost.

          5. Use passenger seat heater to keep takeout warm

            Pro tip: When bringing home takeout food, place it on the heated passenger seat during the drive. The built-in warmth keeps meals piping hot en route. Genius hack for fresh, just-cooked flavor at home!

            6. Reset at night for a smoother morning

              Whether you have kids or not, this hack is a game-changer. After my two daughters, ages 4 and 1, are in bed, my husband and I spend 10 minutes “resetting” the house before we turn in.

              We quickly tidy the living room, start the dishwasher, wipe the counters, and lay out tomorrow’s clothes. No deep cleaning needed – just pick things up to start the next day on the right foot.

              Too tired for everything? Reset just the room you use most. This small habit makes rushed mornings so much smoother. Give it a try tonight!

              7. Start your day with me time

                My secret for less stressed mornings? I always rise an hour before everyone else to enjoy “me time.” Having a quiet hour to relax and mentally prepare really sets me up for a smoother day.

                Even if you can’t get a full hour, take just 10 minutes in the morning for yourself. Enjoy some coffee, stretch, meditate – whatever calms you. This simple habit has cut my daily anxiety so much.

                8. Store leftovers right in your dinner dish

                  Living with just my hubby? Perfect time to try this nifty hack. I store leftovers directly in the bowl or plate I ate from, covering it up to refrigerate. Chili from tonight is ready for lunch without re-dishing or extra washing up.

                  Obviously skip this if you have roommates – nobody wants to eat after others. But for us empty nesters, it streamlines saving and re-heating meals. Less cleanup means more free time together in the evenings. Give it a go if you can!

                  9. Link forgetful tasks to set habits

                    My trick for remembering things? Connect them to routines I never skip. If I recall a work item while cozy in bed, I don’t want to get up right then. Instead, I visualize putting it in my bag after my morning coffee.

                    Linking a forgettable task to a consistent habit helps it stick. Since I’d never leave without my java, that work thing will get done too! Try this if you’re forgetful like me. Your daily routine can serve as a handy memory trigger.

                    10. Double check store apps for extra savings

                      Let me share my money-saving supermarket hack! I check my Safeway app weekly for extra digital coupons and deals. It learns my buying habits and targets discounts on items I regularly purchase.

                      Loading e-coupons before shopping saves me cash at checkout. I’ve also scored free merchandise and gas discounts through their loyalty program. A little upfront planning nets nice perks!

                      Therapeutically scanning apps helps me save and feel in control. I make my list based on what’s on sale and free. Knowing my costs ahead of time is calming too.

                      Check your grocer’s app today – you never know what special offers await! A few pleasant minutes of planning could slash your next bill.

                      11. Get extra sauce for homemade meals

                        Love fast food sauces but hate the cost? Try this hack – order extra condiments and use them on homemade dishes later!

                        CookOut’s onion rings don’t compare to mine. But their heavenly sauce in those little cups? Pure magic.

                        Asking for extra transforms takeout into multiple meals. Those nugget sauces can upgrade boring chicken breast. Fancy burger spreads can zest up DIY patties.

                        Scoring those flavorful freebies turns cheap homemade meals into gourmet treats. Give it a go next drive-thru run!

                        12. Squish toilet paper rolls before hanging

                          With little ones at home, I’ve learned a nifty trick – squeeze TP rolls flat before putting them on the holder.

                          This slows the roll’s speed, preventing excessive unravelling. It saves tissue and frustration when tiny hands go wild!

                          13. Use Q-tips to fix mascara clumps and smudges

                            I’ve got a nifty makeup trick using humble Q-tips! After applying mascara, hold one horizontally by the fluffy end. Carefully run the stick up your lashes from underneath to catch clumps. It separates perfectly!

                            You can also spin the Q-tip and repeat to remove more excess product. It’s great for precision touch ups too – just dip the stick in water. No need for pricey correctors.

                            This free hack keeps my lashes defined and flake-free. Give it a whirl next time your mascara gets messy or matted. Your clean-up kit is already in your bathroom!

                            14. Acclimate to weather by adjusting clothes slowly

                              Want to save on summer A/C bills and help the planet? I’ve got a green hack to share.

                              As weather warms up, I wear winter layers a bit longer than needed. It kickstarts my body’s heat resistance, so I stay comfortable sans AC.

                              I do the same with light clothes in fall, gradually acclimating to cooler temps. This easy habit cuts costs and my carbon footprint!

                              Give it a go as seasons change. Let your wardrobe ease the transition. You’ll soon enjoy the perks of this eco-friendly trick.

                              15. Use a basket to curb impulse buys

                                Got a spontaneous shopping itch? Try this hack that’s saved my budget – grab a basket, never a cart. It forces me to think carefully about each purchase.

                                When my arms fill up, I ask myself: Do I really need or want this new item? More often than not, I end up putting things back.

                                The basket’s limited space makes me prioritize quality over quantity. I buy less clutter and more intentional picks. Give it a go next shopping spree! See if scaling down helps you combat impulse grabs too.

                                16. Plan meals first, then grocery shop

                                  Want to slash food waste and save money? I’ve got a grocery game-changer. Each week, I start my list by writing out dinners for the next 7 days.

                                  Only after meal planning do I jot down needed ingredients. This stops “might need” impulse buys that lead to spoilage. I purchase with purpose, not speculation.

                                  Following planned recipes means no more mystery leftovers or forgotten items! My fridge stays organized too. Give this hack a go – watch your waste shrink as your budget thanks you.

                                  17. Kickstart mornings with icy water

                                    Here’s a refreshing hack to help weary souls rise and shine – fill a thermos with ice water before bed.

                                    When your alarm blares, a few sips of that frosty goodness really revives and hydrates. It’s an invigorating way to start the day on the right foot.

                                    Iced water first thing works wonders for me. It provides a little jolt without the coffee jitters. Give this quick trick a whirl if you struggle to get going in the AM. Chilly hydration can be just the ticket!

                                    18. Try a shared cleaning chart

                                      Like many wives, I unfairly shouldered most chores despite working full-time too. Resentment brewed as I struggled to keep up. “Just tell me what to do,” my husband would say. Cue crying and arguing.

                                      Finally, I made a daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning checklist and hung it in the kitchen. No assigned names, just tasks to check off when done.

                                      It worked wonders! My husband regularly consults the list like he does at his job, and takes initiative to help. Our girls pitch in too.

                                      Making cleaning visible transformed my husband into a true partner. Try a shared chart if unequal division of labor wears you down. Crossing off tasks together can unite and balance your home.

                                      19. Tackle chores in focused 20-minute bursts

                                        Living solo, I used to feel so overwhelmed by housework. Now I break tasks into manageable 20-minute chunks.

                                        It’s incredible how much I can blitz through in a concentrated sprint! I reward each round with 20 minutes of reading or Netflix to recharge.

                                        This keeps me motivated and prevents getting burned out. I also pamper myself by hiring a cleaner monthly. That extra work shifts buys back precious personal time.

                                        Give timed tidying bursts a go if solo caretaking feels daunting. Small victories keep your home and spirit tidy!

                                        20. Streamline shopping with online grocery ordering

                                          My husband and I discovered a timesaver that also trimmed our budget – online grocery ordering!

                                          We meal prep and jot needs on a whiteboard through the week. Then I place one big order and swing by to pick it up after work. No more wasting hours wandering store aisles or impulse splurges.

                                          This hack cut out major headaches for us. We save money by buying only what we need for planned recipes too. Give it a try if grocery runs devour your time! Just submit your list and breeze through pickup. You’ll get hours back in your hectic week.

                                          21. Buy socks in bulk for carefree matching

                                            I used to fume when hunting for matching socks each morning. Then it clicked – buying pairs piecemeal was the hassle.

                                            So I ordered a versatile style in bulk online, about 30 pairs total. Now no matter the laundry cycle, I can grab a match thoughtlessly.

                                            Scoring that sock motherlode was a game changer! No more grumpy outfit scrambles before work. I breeze through getting dressed with calm consistency.

                                            Try the bulk buy approach if the sock drawer drives you bonkers. Having multiples of one type streamlines your routine. You’ll be amazed how small tweaks add up to saner start-to-work mornings!

                                            22. Swap childcare for free playdates

                                              Finding affordable childcare that’s also enriching can be tough. My parent friends and I devised a win-win system – we swap babysitting and our kids get bonus playdates!

                                              We trade off three ways. For evening swaps, I watch their kids while my partner stays home, then we reverse the next night. The kids play and have fun while we enjoy couple time.

                                              For full swaps, they bring their kids over, go out for a bit, then we return the favor on a different day. Our tight crew makes multi-family swapping work seamlessly.

                                              If you have a good parent network, give it a try! Split cost and doubled fun – it’s become a lifesaver for our group. The kids love the bonus playtime too.

                                              Got a clever hack that could help fellow readers? I’d love for you to share it in the comments!

                                              Tips and tricks from real people like you make these posts extra useful. Together we can discover new shortcuts to simplify life’s little headaches.

                                              So if you’ve discovered a workflow that saves time, an organizing method that reduces stress, a money saver, parenting lifesaver – anything you think others may benefit from – please add your wisdom below!

                                              Let’s build a community resource packed with real-world solutions. Who couldn’t use more life simplifiers like these? I look forward to reading your innovative ideas.

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