33 Brilliant Home Hacks Using Our 3 Favorite Items
These ho-hum household items can do a lot more than hang your clothes, bundle a newspaper and hold a roll of toilet paper.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Brilliant Bag Clamp
Save those pants hangers to make your own bag clamps. Snip off the ends of the hangers with heavy-duty scissors. The clamps can be used on any bag around the house or workshop. — Stephanie Quattrochi. Plus: Check out these 11 ways to keep your workshop neat and tidy.
No-Slip Clothes Hangers
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have all matching clothes hangers in my closet and sometimes you get one of the really cheap, plastic ones when you need an anti-slip hanger. My solution was to wrap pipe cleaners around the clothes hanger. The pipe cleaners add a grippy stop to these otherwise slippery hangers.
Cardboard Seed Tubes
For an easy and green way to start seeds, save your toilet paper and paper towel cardboard tubes. Cut the cardboard tubes into 2 in. lengths and set them in a waterproof tray. Fill the tubes with potting soil and plant your seeds. When the seedlings are ready to move to the garden, plant them right in their cardboard tube. The cardboard will decompose. Be sure to keep the tube below the soil surface, so it doesn’t wick moisture away from the roots. Here are 10 more ways to save money in your home garden.
Hanger Magazine Rack
Dry Paintbrushes Super-Fast
Here’s a handy way to dry and store paint brushes. Using a hand-saw, cut a slanted slice out of the handle from the hole toward the bristles. After cleaning, hook the brush over a coat hanger and hang it from a ceiling joist. — reader Paul E. Therrien. A Trick for Storing Paint Brushes Overnight
DIY Lint Fire Starter Log
To properly build a fire, you need to have tinder (easy-lighting material), kindling (finger-size sticks) and fuel (logs). We all have a readily available supply of tinder: dryer lint! To make fire starters, I stuff empty toilet paper cardboard tubes with dryer lint. Dryer lint “logs” light quickly and easily burn long enough to light up the kindling. And you don’t have to resort to lighter fluid! Have you ever heard of a Swedish fire torch?
No-Slip Cutting Board
Most cutting boards don’t come with any kind of rubber surface on the bottom to prevent them from sliding on a countertop, but with a couple of rubber bands, you can stabilize your cutting board and keep it from moving around during use. Slip on two rubber bands—one at each end of the cutting board—and you’re good to go. Make sure that the rubber bands lay flat and aren’t twisted when you put them on so the board will sit steady on your countertop. Next, check out 25 handy hints specifically for the home cook.
Use a Rubber Band to Grip Stripped Screws
Rubber Band and Paperclip Binder
Stretchy Painting Helper
I hate when my paint cans get dried paint all over them, so now I keep a box of rubber bands with my paint supplies. Before I start painting, I wrap a rubber band around the paint can so that it stretches across the opening. I use the rubber band to wipe excess paint from the brush instead of the can’s rim, which helps keeps my cans clean. — Kate Smith. Check out these other smart painting hacks!
Clothes Hanger Drain Cleaner
Hair clogs in the drain are inevitable; and they’re more likely if there are longhaired people in your home. I’ve found that a wire coat hanger is the most effective tool for removing them. First, untwist the wire under the hook. This leaves the hook at one end and a miniature “auger” at the other end. Push the auger end down the drain up to the clog. Bend the free end 90 degrees, forming a handle. Crank the handle so the auger bores into the clog, allowing you to pull it out. Plus: We’ll show you how to unclog just about anything. — Matt Boley
Makeshift Small Parts Clamp
Make a small-parts clamp by wrapping a rubber band around the jaws of a needle-nose pliers. The rubber band keeps the jaws of the pliers clamped together for holding small items. It works especially well for getting nuts into inaccessible spots or for starting small finish nails. — Marvin J. Dirks. Plus: 28 Secret Clamping Tricks from Woodworkers
Plastic Padded Hanger Hack
Hands-Free Light Hack
No-Rattle Ceiling Fan
Keep the Tape Rolling
Hot Glue Gun Uses: DIY Nonslip Hangers
Paper Towel Boot Shaper
Break Out a Rubber Band
DIY Tiered Hangers for More Closet Storage
Toilet Paper Roll Hair Band Organizer
Hands-Free Door Trick
Pool Noodle Hanger Hack
Paper Towel Cord Storage
Chain Saw Blade Guard
Protect a chain saw blade with 3/4-in. foam pipe insulation. Wrap the insulation around the blade and strap it tight with a couple of rubber bands. Chain saw need sharpening? Here's how.