One of my guilty pleasures on Pinterest or BuzzFeed is Life Hacks. I just love the clever money-saving/time-saving tricks that people come up with to make their lives easier! I like to think that I’M creative as well, so I’m going to share a few things that I do around the house to improve our lifestyle. Given my role as a still fairly “new”lywed, I’m going to call it “Wife Hacks.”
Wife Hack 1: Grocery Quick Lists
I love to do the cooking in our family. On crazy worknights especially, some of the only time I have to relax is when I’m cooking and eating a delicious dinner with my husband. I am really hardcore about meal-planning and sticking to a grocery budget for the week. However, sometimes I just don’t have time to make an organized grocery shopping trip, and then it’s up to my husband. He claims to not know what to buy at the grocery store, so in to save the day came the Grocery Quick Lists. I made four different lists of easy-to-find, non-exotic food items that could be flexibly used in many different meals. I put them on a Command Hook next to the fridge and slipped each one in a plastic paper protector. The paper protectors not only keep us from having to reprint the lists, but they also work as dry erase boards so that the lists can be quickly customizable. If we already have something on the list, I just take one of the magnetic dry-erase markers from the fridge next to the list and cross it off (or I add something else on that I know for sure we’ll need). Makes shopping a breeze! We don’t even have to think!
Wife Hack 2: Free “Fine” Art
My mom once gave me the most beautiful gift bag, and after opening the gift and setting the bag next to the trash, I thought, “Wait a minute! I could frame this!” I cut the bag to fit a square frame that I had sitting around the apartment, and I hung it up in our little lounge corner in our office as you can see below. Gift bag art! Voila! Talk about repurposing! At the same time I’m writing this, I’m also cringing because I love supporting the arts and would love to pay an artist for an original piece. I will someday when it’s in the budget! But right now, I’ll stick to framing gift bags that match my throw pillows.
Wife Hack 3: Color Coding your Keys with Nail Polish
My husband would always make fun of me when I tried unlocking the door to our apartment, because not only could I never find my keys within the abyss of my purse, but then when I got my key lanyard out, it also took me forever to find which key I needed! I solved one of those problems by painting each of my keys with a different color nail polish. It has saved me seconds (maybe even minutes) of time. I know you can get cute little rubber key covers too, but that would require me to buy something (nope! not in the budget!), and I had been using stickers but they peeled off too frequently.
Wife Hack 4: Wine Rack Turned into Hot Tool Storage
When we got married, a lot of people gave us bottles of wine with a wine rack as a gift. It was a truly lovely gift idea, but then we had all of these wine racks we didn’t know what to do with! Someday, in our dream basement bar, it will be great to have those, but not right now living in an apartment with minimal storage. One of the wine racks was wrought iron, so I currently use it to store my hot tools in our bathroom! It’s burn-resistant, and it keeps all the cords from getting tangled up like they did when all of the irons were sitting in the same drawer together. Perfect solution!
Wife Hack 5: How to Hide Your Thermostat
Use a canvass painting or print! Canvasses have ridges in the back and thermostats stick out from the wall. Just let the canvass hang off of the thermostat. No nails required! No more ugly thermostat! Boom!
Wife Hack 6: Make an Iced Mocha out of Cold Coffee
I’m a snob about coffee. I’m rarely a snob about anything, but I am about coffee. I won’t drink bad coffee or burnt coffee and I won’t reheat my coffee because then it tastes bad AND burnt. So what do you do when your coffee gets cold because you didn’t drink it in time? Dump it and make fresh stuff? Actually, I used to, but then my dad recommended a trick to me that I’ve been doing ever since. So this is technically a Dad Hack (thanks, Dad)! Pour your cold coffee over ice, add some cream, and mix in some chocolate syrup to turn it into an iced mocha. It’s actually quite delightful. My husband has caught on to the trick to.
Wife Hack 7: Plastic Container Lid Filing
Don’t you just hate swimming through a pile of plastic containers trying to find the matching lid? Put an end to the madness! I use a file separator to organize the lids nicely so I can see them all.
Wife Hack 8: 2 Pieces of Furniture in 1!
This last hack is my favorite. The two pieces of furniture you see below were both created from one dresser! The original dresser as seen in the top picture, was my father’s from when he was young. To flip this piece into an entertainment center for our living room, we removed the top and bottom rows of drawers. We stained the whole piece a darker color and replaced the old drawer pulls on the middle drawers with some more modern hardware. We then found baskets to replace the bottom drawers to give it a more “Pottery Barn” feel. The bottom picture of the bookshelf is what we created with the drawers from the wooden dresser! We stacked the drawers on top of each other, nailed them together, primed and painted the piece a new color, and added some molding to the bottom. The result- two beautiful and unique pieces that make our apartment living room look gorgeous and saved us a LOT of money.
Hopefully you enjoyed the first edition of Wife Hacks! I’ll have more clever ideas to share with you in a future blog post! Stay tuned!
What was your favorite hack? Comment below!