No one likes to hear that they’re doing something wrong, but … you’re doing it wrong. Making simple tweaks to everyday tasks could lead to an easier life, time saved, and far less frustration.
1. Applying a bandage to your finger
There’s an easy trick that will keep a bandage from slipping off your finger after you’ve applied it: Cut each adhesive strip lengthwise so that instead of two sticky flaps securing the bandage in place, you have four. Then interweave each flap over one another as you apply. Strapped and secure.
2. Opening pistachios
Don’t break a nail when trying to crack open a pistachio. Instead, find one in the bag that’s easily pried apart, split it, and use that shell to pry open the ones that are tough to crack.
3. Threading a needle
There are few things more frustrating than trying repeatedly—and failing repeatedly—to stick a piece of thread through the eye of a needle. Try this instead: Place the string against your palm and lay the eye of the needle on top of the string. Then, rapidly move the needle against the thread. A long loop will be pulled through the needle; now all you need to do is pull one end all the way through.
4. Shredding chicken
Shredding chicken with your fingers for a salad or taco is time consuming and can be tough on your fingers if you’re pulling it apart while the meat is hot. But if you have a stand mixer, there’s a better, faster way: Put the cooked chicken into the mixing bowl, add the paddle attachment, then put the device on the lowest setting and let it work its magic. In about a minute, you’ll have shredded chicken.
5. Getting wrinkles out of clothes
Need to get wrinkles out of fabric fast? Set your iron aside and grab some ice cubes instead. Pop two or three ice cubes and your wrinkly outfit in the dryer. Set it for 10 minutes on the hottest setting and let it roll: The ice will melt, steaming the wrinkles out of your clothes while you tackle something else on your to-do list.
6. Peeling oranges
There’s nothing worse than trying to peel an orange and ending up with bits of citrus peel under your nails. There is a better way, though: If you’ve got a knife around, just cut off the top and the bottom, and then make a slit through the side; the orange should open right up with the slices ready to eat.
7. Using a cheese grater
Most people set a box grater on the table with the open side down to shred or grate cheese. But you know what’s easier? Setting the grater on its side and grating from side to side rather than up and down. If you’re shredding sticky cheese, apply some cooking spray to the top to make the process even easier. When it comes time to clean out that grater, use an old toothbrush—it’ll get into the nooks, holes, and crannies, and save you from accidentally grating your skin.
8. Slicing bread
There are few better accompaniments to a homemade meal than a loaf of fresh bread, but even if you’re using a serrated knife (which is the best tool for the job), you often end up with a squished loaf and crumbs everywhere. Want to avoid that mess? Simply flip the loaf upside down and cut it from the bottom, which, because it’s softer, lends itself to a more even slice—and a much neater workspace.
9. Shoveling snow
Clearing the driveway after a blizzard is already tough on your back; accumulating flakes on a cold shovel makes it even harder. Avoid that scenario by spraying non-stick cooking spray (reapplying as necessary), or applying car wax, on the shovel.
10. Picking up broken glass
So, you’ve picked up all the big pieces and whipped out the vacuum, and you’re still stepping on tiny shards of glass? Time to open up the pantry and grab a slice of bread. Run a trickle of water over the slice so it’s slightly damp, then press it on the floor, where it will grab the tiny shards you can’t see. (Just remember to dispose of the bread promptly to keep it out of the reach of pets, children, and oblivious housemates.)