Life hacks. We see them all the time and yes, it’s always good to know how to get most of the toothpaste out of the tube or the best way to store your cleaning supplies. But there are a few life hacks that are ESPECIALLY good for those of us who call Virginia home. From winter snow tips to spring cleaning to best ways to survive the summer, these tips are sure to help make your life a little easier throughout the year. At the very least, they’ll make you sound smart when you share them at your next dinner party.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Cold weather is officially here in Virginia. It’s finally time to turn on the heat. But ugh…that musty smell from the vents!
Simple solution. Tape dryer sheets over select vents to send your favorite scent throughout the house.
2. Looking for an easy way to get your car out of the snow?
Keep a box of kitty litter in the trunk, then sprinkle it under your tires whenever you need traction.
You’ll either get out of the snow ...or end up with 12 stray cats. Either way, it's worth a try!
3. Tired of burning your fingers when trying to light candles with a hard-to-reach wick?
Light a stick of uncooked spaghetti to use as a long-handled “match.”
4. If you’re out and about early in the morning, you know there’s nothing worse than wet, dew-soaked shoes.
For a simple waterproofing solution for canvas shoes, coat them in beeswax (available at most hardware or natural foods stores), melt the wax with a blowdyer, then let them sit for 5 minutes. Voila. Waterproof.
5. The Holidays are here and family is on its way. That means cooking. A LOT of cooking. So why not try this?
Freeze herbs and olive oil in ice cube trays to ensure that you always have the perfect recipe starter to get a quick meal going. Pesto is a great place to start, but any combination of herbs, spices and oil will work.
6. When you're ready for some spring cleaning, dryer sheets are your best friend.
Use them to clean hard-to-dust places like baseboards, ceiling fan blades and molding. They’ll attract the dust and dirt particles and leave a fresh scent behind.
7. Dryer sheets will also help you remove hard water stains off of your sink, tubs and showers.
8. For many Virginians, on the water is where they'd rather be. And as we all know, accidents can happen.
When it’s time to get out on the water, keep your keys safe, even in the event of fumbling fingers, by attaching a cork to your keychain. Instant buoy!
9. From sandy riversides and lake shores to Virginia's coastal beaches, there are few better places to while away an afternoon. So here’s a tip to keep your personal belongings safe along the way...
When it’s time to hit the beach, clean out an old suntan lotion or deodorant bottle with a wide top, then use it to keep your keys, money and even your phone sand-free and safe. Thanks to the folks at Trusper.com for brining us this great tip!
10. Another Trusper.com gem, for those of you who like to hike and camp in the beautiful Virginia countryside…this one’s for you.
These single use toiletries are also a great tip for traveling of any kind!
11. Sand is nice at the beach. Not in the car.
Keep a bottle of baby powder with you at the beach. When it’s time to head in, sprinkle some powder on sandy parts and watch how easy it is to brush the sand away.
12. And who knew baby powder would also be good for this?
If you live in one of Virginia’s many older hardwood-floor homes, this is a problem you know all too well!
13. Need an easy fire starter for campfires, grills or fire pits?
Pack each section of an an empty cardboard egg carton with dryer lint, a coating of melted paraffin wax and a pine cone, then cut it into individual fire starters…or set the whole thing ablaze. You can also use charcoal briquets.
14. Sitting outside around a campfire or patio fire pit with friends is the best - until the mosquitos show up.
So while you’ve got that fire going, throw on some basil and rosemary for an all-natural mosquito repellant.
15. Let’s be honest, power outages are a reality of winter AND summer storms in Virginia. So if you need some extra light...
Attach an LED headlamp to a gallon jug of water. The light will reflect off the water to create an instant ambient, lamp-like effect. This is also a perfect trick for camping.
16. Anyone who’s hiked Virginia’s woods and countryside knows that ticks are a real and present danger.
But if you’re hesitant to load up on chemical-based repellants, make a mixture of 1 part tea tree oil to 2 parts water, then spray on your shoes, socks, clothes and exposed skin. It works as a natural tick repellant.
17. Want to keep your lovely Virginia wine chilled but don’t want to water it down with ice cubes?
Try using frozen grapes as ice cubes instead. They won’t water down your drink, plus you’ll have a tasty little treat waiting at the bottom of your glass. Play around with different fruits, as well, and use them in any beverage you want to keep cool.
18. Done with your winter canning but have leftover jars?
Reuse them as spice holders using the top from a container of Parmesan cheese. Thanks to the brilliant minds at
, for this great tip! You can also use your jars as vases, places to keep bacon grease or a decorative cotton ball or q-tip holder in your bathroom.
19. And now for my personal favorite: A new twist on an old classic. The Apple Cider Mimosa. Yeah, I know it’s not really a life hack…or is it?
I’m even going to give you a video for this one…
Let us know if you’ve ever used any of these tricks and better yet, how they turned out for you? Do you know any other life hacks that are perfect for Virginia? We would love to hear your contributions in the comments below!