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Home · February 11, 2015

10 Clever Solutions to Common Household Problems

1. Dinged-up wooden furniture

Buff out small scrapes with a shelled walnut, which deposits an oil that make scratches disappear. For bigger dings, apply a damp washcloth to the wood and rest the tip of a hot iron on it for ten seconds. The steam will swell the wood to push out any dents.

2. Impossible-to-open plastic packaging

This tip applies to clamshell packages, like those used for headphones and other electronics. Crack open one side of the shell with a rotary can opener, then slide a knife between the two layers to cut all the way around.

3. Tangled cords and wires

Sort cables on a power strip with labeled bread tags or doubled-up masking tape. Use a desktop organizer like Quirky Cordies to wrangle loose desktop cords.

4. Warm drinks before the big game

Wrap a wet paper towel around each bottle and stick them in the freezer. You'll have cold beers before the end of the first quarter. To chill a single beer more quickly (were talking two minutes or less), try this chemistry-class hack with salt and ice water.

5. Leftovers cold in the center

Carve out a hole in the middle of your lo mein (or whichever dish youre reheating). A donut-shaped pile of food heats evenly in the microwave, so you can avoid those dreaded frozen spots.

6. Overcrowded power strips

Space on a power strip is always at a premium, especially when you're dealing with bulky adapters that take up multiple slots. Quirky's Pivot Power (above) provides a novel solution, using flexible nodes that swivel to accommodate large adaptersand navigate awkward spaces.

7. Slime-encrusted trash can

After cleaning it out, avoid future messes by placing an old newspaper or folded paper bag at the bottom of the can. The paper catches any leakage from a broken bag.

8. Food-spattered stove

Give the surface a good wipe down, then place a wooden spoon across any boiling pot in the future. The obstruction will keep your pasta from boiling over.

9. Messy medicine cabinet

Pop a magnetic strip on the back of the cabinet door to keep small itemslike nail clippers, scissors, and tweezerseasily accessible.

10. Wrinkled clothes

Hang them in the bathroom while you're getting ready. The steam from your shower releases their wrinkles, eliminating the need for ironingor at least making the chore that much faster.