8 Lifehacks for Your New Home

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istock

Congrats! You finally have a place to call your own -- and that means all of the organization, repairs, and cleaning are yours now, too. But don’t sweat it. With just a few lifehacks, your new house can feel like home in no time.

1. Make Freshly Painted Rooms Smell Delicious

Believe it or not, adding a tablespoon of vanilla extract will give a gallon of paint a bake sale-like aroma. The color won’t be affected, but your finished room will smell like cookies instead of chemicals.

2. Store Paint in Baby Food Jars

Speaking of paint, rather than saving a trickle in a giant gallon bucket that will likely sit in your basement for the next 14 years, fill a small jar (baby food containers work great) with just enough paint for touch-ups. Don’t forget to label it with the name of the color and where you bought it.

3. Fix your Dented Carpets

If the previous owner’s furniture left dents in the carpets from years of staying in one place, that problem is fixable. Instead of replacing the rugs, try the ice cube trick: just place a cube in the dented areas, then wait 12 hours. Blot the area to remove any lingering moisture, then fluff the fabric up with a fork. The simple trick should return the rug to its original form.

4. Save a Stripped Screw with a Rubber Band

Whether you’re hanging a shelf or assembling furniture for your new space, a stripped screw can halt your progress in a hurry. Place a rubber band over the top of the shredded screw - the rubber will help you grip the gaps enough to remove the screw and restart with a fresh one.

5. Use Sticky Notes to Catch Dust

Before you drill into your drywall, crease the bottom half of a sticky note and bend it upward. Place the adhesive side on the wall just under where you’re going to drill. When the dust from the drywall falls, the bent sticky note will catch it and save you from having to sweep later.

6. Fix Scratched Wood with a Walnut

Hardwood floors often get scratched during a move. But for a quick fix, look no further than the baking aisle at your local grocery store. Rubbing the “meat” of a walnut (the edible nut, not the shell) into the damaged spots will disguise the scratches. It helps to rub the affected area with a finger prior to applying the walnut - a warm surface will absorb the nut’s oils better.

7. Don’t Forget the Pecans

If a walnut is too dark for the stain you need, don’t worry: there are some other solutions in your tin of mixed nuts. The humble pecan, for instance, does a masterful job on lighter colored woods, taking on the task a walnut can’t.

8. Remove Oil Stains with Cola

If your driveway or garage is pock-marked with unsightly oil stains, there’s an easy solution: pour some soda on it. Specifically, you’ll want to douse each stain in a couple of cans of lukewarm cola and then let the liquid soak in overnight. The next day, just use an old towel to soak up any of the lingering beverage, and then hose the area down with water to marvel at your spotless driveway.

The best lifehacks are about making life simpler. That’s where Wells Fargo can help. With Wells Fargo Mobile® Banking, you can conveniently pay bills, send money, deposit checks, or just check your balance—almost anytime, anywhere. On your phone, online, or on the go, Wells Fargo makes it easy to get banking done. Learn more about these tools at getbankingdone.com. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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22 Creepy Cryptids From Around the World

Belgian painter Pieter Dirkx's interpretation of the Mongolian death worm.
Belgian painter Pieter Dirkx's interpretation of the Mongolian death worm.

According to Merriam-Webster, a cryptid is an animal "that has been claimed to exist but never proven to exist." But as Bigfoot believers and Loch Ness Monster enthusiasts are often quick to point out, it’s pretty difficult to prove that something doesn’t exist. Plus, it’s much more fun to indulge in the idea that giant sea monsters and hairy humanoids are roaming the uncharted corners of the planet.

On this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is taking viewers across time and space to unearth legends about lesser-known monsters that, again, haven’t been proven to not exist. Take the Mongolian death worm, a lamprey-like nightmare that supposedly lives in the Gobi Desert and radiates a poison so strong that you could die just by standing near it. If you’re an ill-behaved child or a Catholic who scarfs down steak every Friday during Lent, watch out for the Rougarou, a Louisiana-based werewolf that sniffs out those two demographics.

Learn about more fearsome, fascinating cryptids of all kinds in the video below, and subscribe to the Mental Floss YouTube channel for future episodes of The List Show.