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13 Tips and Tricks to Make Life More Comfortable

Make chores and DIY projects a little easier with these brilliant tricks.

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hand lifting the corner of an area rug to reveal carpet paddingFamily Handyman

Make Any Rug Extra Comfortable

Want to make any rug feel extra plush and luxurious? Add a layer of carpet padding underneath your rug — it’s thicker and cheaper than a typical rug pad. The next time you wash that pile of dishes in the sink, your feet will thank you.

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bubble wrap on rake handleFamily handyman

Make Sweeping More Comfortable

Bubble wrap can help prevent blisters if you place some on the handle of a rake or a broom.

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air compressor on a rolling platformFamily Handyman

Compressor Creeper

Save your back by storing your air compressor on a mechanic’s creeper, making it easy to tote around your workshop or garage. Depending on the size of your compressor, you might store your hose on the creeper as well.

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pool noodle keyboard rest for wristsFamily Handyman

Pool Noodle Wrist Rest

Keep your wrists from getting fatigued during a long day in the home office by making this pool noodle wrist rest. First, mark where you want to cut the noodle. For the wrist rest shown, we made the height slightly less than half of the full noodle diameter. You could cut the noodle exactly in half and make two equally sized wrist rests.

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man on ladder with pool noodles on the rungsFamily Handyman

Ladder Padding

I spend a lot of time on my ladder, and leaning against the rungs all day was taking a toll on my shins and thighs. Then I got smart and slit pieces of my kids’ pool noodles lengthwise and wrapped them around the front of the rungs. Instant relief!

The cushions are easy to move as you work. Just make sure you never stand on the pool noodles. And always place them higher than you’ll step, since they can create an uneven step or fall off if you step on them. — Dave Switzer.

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man laying on ironing board to repair under the sinkfamily handyman

Ironing Board Back Saver

Working on your back under the sink isn’t exactly comfortable, especially when the sharp cabinet edge cuts into your shoulder blades. Support your back better by lying on an ironing board.

Set one end of the board inside the cabinet and support the other end with a scrap piece of 2×4 or 4×4. It won’t make the plumbing repair any easier, but it’s definitely easier on your back.

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man with a heat gun applying comfort grips to a wheel barrel HandleFamily Handyman

Better Wheelbarrow Grips

Make lifting heavy loads with your wheelbarrow more pleasant by adding these cushioned hand grips. Reuse an old rubber bike tube by cutting pieces to fit over the handles. If needed, warm up the rubber with a hair dryer so it’s easier to stretch. The bike tube provides the perfect amount of padding and traction.

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man in flannel shirt and jeans holding a PVC handle midway on a rake handlefamily handyman

Handy Rake Handle

Save your back when raking mulch or shoveling heaps of dirt by adding another handle to your long-handle tools. A section of PVC pipe with a tee fitting and cap work perfectly. Add a screw through the tee fitting and into the handle for won’t-budge stability.

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non slip mat under a chair cushionFamily Handyman

Stay-in-Place Chair Cushions

Are you tired of your chair cushions sliding all over and always looking askew? Here’s a way to keep them in place: Buy a piece of thin, non-slip rug padding used under area rugs. Cut it about one inch smaller than the chair cushion all the way around. Then just lay it in place under the cushion. — Judy Stone.

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close up of hands on a lawn mower handle with a pool noodleFamily Handyman

More Comfortable Mowing

I don’t mind mowing my lawn, but the vibration from my lawn mower handle was aggravating the arthritis in my hands. Then I taped a piece of a swim noodle over the handle. Mowing the grass is much more comfortable, and my hands don’t ache when I’m done. – Phillip E. Oinonen.

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hand using a hair dryer on a leather sneakerFamily Handyman

Break in a Pair of Shoes

An uncomfortable pair of shoes can really ruin your day. If you’re walking a lot, you’ll end up with painful blisters. So why not just buy comfortable shoes that fit properly to begin with? Well, sometimes shoes fit just fine other than a couple of pressure spots. Or maybe your old favorites got wet and shrunk a bit.

Take heart. For leather shoes, I’ve found a solution that works well.

Stretch a pair of tight leather shoes by wearing thick socks and blowing a hair dryer on the tight area. For maximum benefit, flex and stretch your feet as you blast the tight spots with hot air. Keep the shoes on while they cool, then try walking in them in the socks you’d normally wear to check the fit.

If your shoes are comfy, you’re done. But if they’re still snug, repeat the process until your shoes are a comfortable fit. — Tina Humphrey.

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man with yellow gloves moving large piece of concrete by rolling it over PVC pipesfamily handyman

Roll Heavy Objects

You’d be amazed how easy it is to move heavy, awkward objects with three pieces of PVC pipe. Move playhouses, yard sheds, empty hot tubs and rocks weighing well over a ton with this trick. Use 4-in.-dia. Schedule 40 PVC, available from home centers. This technique works best on relatively flat ground. On mild slopes, you’ll need a helper to shift pipes while you stabilize the load. Don’t try this on steeper slopes.
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man in green sweater and blue jeans holding a red rake with fall leaves in the grassfamily handyman

Blister Buster

I rake leaves like I’m sweeping the floor with a broom. I always used to rub up a blister between the index finger and thumb of my lower hand. Now I just keep my thumb and fingers on the same side of the pole. You get just as much gripping power —  without the blisters! – Kipp Beck.

Alex Shoemaker
Alex is an avid DIYer but had little experience before purchasing his first home in 2019. A Family Handyman subscription was one of his first purchases after becoming a homeowner, and he's been hooked ever since. When he’s not working, he can be found fixing up his 1940s Florida home or relaxing on the beach with his family.