10 Everyday Tasks You're Doing Wrong

iStock/Planet Flem
iStock/Planet Flem

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.)

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]