Do you know a good "life hack?"

I love a good "life hack." In case you don't know this phrase, it essentially means an ingenious short-cut.

When you google "life hack," 45 million finds come up.  I could happily spend DAYS looking through these examples.

How great is it to use a straw to remove the stem from your strawberry?  Or to use paper clips to keep all of your power cords on top of a desk?


However, I noticed that many of these shortcuts  miss the age-old, tried-and-true hacks people have been using for decades.  Then it occurred to me that maybe my hacks AREN'T as widely deployed as I imagine.

And so, I thought I'd test the waters and see if you, dear readers, can relate to any of these hacks.

Don't match your socks


90% of the time I'm wearing boots and no one can see my socks, so most of the time I grab whatever pair is handy, never bothering to see if they match. You can't imagine how much time this saves on laundry day!

Of course, I'm not a particularly good judge of what's best for my feet, but that's a different story!

"While you're up..."


I learned this hack WAY back in college from Kady who would wait until someone stood up to make her request.  You start the request the same way: when the person next to you or across the room stands, say, "Hey, while you're up would you mind grabbing me a cup of water?" (or "my phone" or "my laundry")

This saves extra movement for you while giving your roommate/spouse/children the extra exercise they most certainly need.  I'm generous that way!

 Never order dessert again


I don't know about you, but I can easily wave the waiter away when she asks if I want dessert.

However, you should only do this if you know other people at the table (for me, this means the kids) are getting a treat. Then send a signal that you'd like your server to bring an extra spoon. That way, any nibbles you get from the kid's plate goes in your stomach calorie-free.

Not only is this a great hack, it's completely true.  My dad told me so.

Embrace a dog's nature


Our dog Mack ignores his water bowl.  Our dog before him, Jake, didn't notice his either.  Dogs like to drink from toilets, so let 'em.  It's less work for everyone involved plus the water is always nicely chilled.

You can still act "surprised" when your dog gets thirsty and company's around, but never apologize. You're brilliant!

Say "No Thank You"


This is one of my favorite hacks that saves time, money, and sanity. It's radical and, to be honest, I don't use it often enough, though it's still a favorite.

When you get an invitation to attend an event or spearhead a project or give input on an idea, and your calendar is already full OR you're feeling over-whelmed, politely say, "no thank you."

Don't worry about missing out on things, the busy bus will ALWAYS come back around the block.  But saying no is crazy helpful.  Trust me on this one!

Travel light!


As you know, I don't believe in using wheel-y bags.  However, there is one notable, hack-worthy exception.  The best kind of travel is when you over-pack and your kids handle the bags.  This sherpa situation is easily negotiated if you make baggage handling feel like a game.

Who can pull the most? Can you get on an escalator and stop in one step? How long can you pull without dropping something?

You don't even have to tip the players!

Don't judge...

What do you do that's ingenious?