I listen to podcasts. I read blogs. I Pinterest. It seems there are a million life hacks out there that scream, “TRY ME”. Are you constantly hearing about a life hack for this or that? Do this, it will make your life simpler. Try that to make you smarter, have a better memory, or gain eternal youth (ok, haven’t seen this one but if you do please pass the info on to me). Admittedly, I do like to try new things and am always looking for the ideal way to do everyday tasks. Over the years I’ve read about and tried many of the life hacks I’ve come across. Some were a waste of time, while others proved useful and have become part of my everyday routines. Here’s the list of my 5 favorite life hacks.
One-and-done is great for managing clutter. I find when I observe this as a rule my home looks so much tidier. Here’s an example of one-and-done: say you check the mail and instead of placing it on the counter to look at later, you go through it as soon as it comes in the house. First, toss junk mail in the trash or shred anything with personal information on it. Next, open up the bills and place them in either in a basket, or in a designated spot for bills. By taking a few seconds to look through and do something with the mail you saved your self the hassle of having to revisit it later, and you didn’t allow a a pile up start. Are you getting the idea? One and done also applies to putting things away. Let’s say you have folded laundry, instead of dropping the clothes on your bed to be put away later go ahead, take the extra second and do it. The same philosophy applies to picking up a room and returning items to their place in a drawer, closet, or shelf rather than just placing them in the room near its actual home. In the long run you have saved yourself many steps and your home will look nicer for adopting this simple change.
Have you ever used homemade cleaners? I can hear you saying, “Uhh no, they don’t clean as good as the stuff from Wal-Mart.” This is where I say, “Well yeah, they do and they don’t hurt the environment, and mine smells nice.” A few years ago I read the book, “Living Well Spending Less” by Ruth Soukup. In it she referenced a list of homemade cleaning products she made then used for general cleaning, window washing, furniture polishing, and even doing laundry . All were made from simple ingredients including vinegar, super washing soda, Borax, Dawn, and essential oils. I can whip up 4 cups of general cleaning spray in a few minutes. I like sparing my family exposure to harsh chemicals and, I like the pleasant scent of lemongrass from the addition of essential oil. The recipe for the general cleaning spray includes vinegar, a natural antibacterial agent, so I feel pretty good about using it all over the house. Visit livingwellspendingless.com to find the instructions for making your own cleaning supplies.
Have you heard of Audibles? I am so grateful for the day I discovered it. According to my Google search, Audibles has been around since 1995. Like its parent company Amazon, it is a book store of sorts, but instead of the written word being sold, it is the audio version. In 2011, I took a job as a hospital liaison which required extensive driving during the work day. I did great in the morning, going from stop to stop visiting with physicians, nurses, and case managers at various hospitals, but in the afternoon my attention lagged and I often felt sleepy while driving. In an effort to keep my mind engaged I began listening to audio books. First, I borrowed them from a friend’s extensive library. Once I exhausted this resource I tried borrowing from the pubic library, then I heard about Audibles. It has been a love affair of sorts ever since. For years I didn’t have time to read mainly because my kids were young and needing my attention and by the time I lay down at night to read, I feel asleep almost instantly. I didn’t realize how much I had missed reading until I started listening to books. I recommend this hack to those having trouble finding a time to sit still and enjoy a book the old fashioned way.
I am a bit of a skin care junkie although I’m not sure if that is a thing or not. You get the idea though, I hope. I’ve used a lot of different face care products over the years, and not always with great outcomes. I’ve wasted a lot of money on products. I’ve watched for results that never appear, and have been disappointed one time too many times over false promises with skin care products. Well about this time last year I was reintroduced to Mary Kay and I started using their product line for my face care regime. I started with the Timewise line which uses a 3 step system to wash, nurture, and moisturize the skin. After about 6 months I upped the ante and tried the mature skin line. Its marketed to the “lady of a certain age”, and while I am not there yet, I am north of forty. I figured prevention is key so let’s try some serious skin care. So again I am using a 3 step process plus an addition of the eye cream from the same line (Timewise Repair), and I am pleased with the results so far. The products work together so they aren’t competing to do different things for my skin, thus eliminating the guess work as to what to use. I have spf for day, retinol at night, some peptides, and antioxidants in there, so I’m covered in the skin care department. Easy peasy.
Here we are at number 5. This life hack is a smidge on the philosophical side, and I didn’t read about it on the internet. A couple years a go I navigated through some rather difficult situations, one of which made me look at life’s inevitable mortality. My eyes were opened to how short life is, and it’s fragility. I’d like to think I am wiser for surviving those experiences. Here’s what I learned and want to share with my friends… live each day to the fullest. Enjoy life’s offerings. See, I mean really see the sunset. Enjoy the lavenders, pinks, and corals seen every evening outside your window. Stop and smell the roses, literally. I did just last week while walking on my break at work and its heady fragrance was sublime. Take the vacation. Plan that trip to Africa or Ireland, and actually go. My point here is live a life that your ninety year old self would be proud of. I’ve been told the biggest regrets are those chances we didn’t take rather than the ones we do.
Until next time, I wish you as always the greatest pleasures in life.
Daisies, coffee, and chocolates,