Being at home is the best place to be. Wandering around in your robe with a cup of tea, inspecting your garden early in the morning, and lovingly looking towards your kitchen where all the action happens during the day; to be at home is to be happy and comfortable.
That’s until the boiler breaks down, however, until the oven suddenly betrays you and stops working - or, even worse, until you light the fireplace for the first time in months and take down the poor family of birds that lived in your chimney.
These unfortunate events make your home less comfortable and far less pleasant. Luckily, we have brilliant advice from all corners of the world on how you can keep loving your home, and avoid unexpected unpleasantness when you’re trying to be in your element.
Kitchen Hacks: Neat cooking and storage solutions
A lovely kitchen is clean, tidy, and smells of cookies without showing any evidence of baking. It’s not always easy to pull off, though, and especially not if your kitchen is kind of cramped. Make it easier for yourself and apply a few of these handy kitchen hacks; they might not make your cooking delicious, but it will make the process of cooking up a dish a lot more pleasant.
First, get familiar with the famous garbage bowl. It’s more like a compost bowl, really, as you should place it next to your chopping board and peel your root veggies over it, and empty out everything you can’t be bothered to carry over to the bin quite yet. It’s nothing magical about it, just a simple bowl or a paper towel to save you time and keep you from dropping onion peels or carrot shavings on the floor.
If you have another bowl handy, fill it with hot water and a bit of soap to quickly rinse your utensils rather than grabbing a new set. When you’re done using that spatula, let it rest in the soapy bowl instead of drying out in a corner on its own.
For longer lasting produce, start to transfer your freshly bought spinach or other green leaves from their original bag to a plastic container. Place a clean paper towel at the bottom and another one at the top of the leaves; now you can enjoy crisp spinach for way longer and don’t have to see those sad, soggy parts at the bottom of the bag.
Do the same when you’re making pancakes, by the way, to keep them from going soggy while you’re waiting for the last to finish up in the pan. A paper towel underneath the first pancake and another one at the top of the last - and voila; you have soft and fresh pancakes for longer.
Bathroom Hacks: Fogginess and shower Pressure
We spend a lot of time in the bathroom - some of us even more than others. Make the experience a bit more pleasant with these handy hacks and let the rest of your household in on your secrets too. To make the airflow slightly better while you’re fogging up the whole bathroom with your long showers, don’t close the shower curtain or door completely.
Locking it up will keep all of that humid air trapped inside where you’re trying to breathe, as well as making the shower dirty a lot faster. Just leave a bit of space on either side and enjoy the freshness.
Next, have a look at your shower head. It’s not a pleasant job always, as hard water leaves mineral deposits behind that can clog up your shower head - and shower you with a disappointingly powerless stream. Soak the whole thing in vinegar for a few minutes to clean it all out, or consider boiling the vinegar first for an even more effective shower head hack.
If you know for a fact that it’s not clogged up inside, you can screw it open and look for a water reducer. A lot of the new heads we buy these days come with reducers installed already; they’re there to save you money and water, but some of them take their jobs a bit too seriously. The reducer is usually a bright colour so it should be easy enough to spot.
Now that you’re able to wash without having to splash a low stream of water over yourself, wipe a layer of shaving cream on your hand mirror. Really - the cream keeps it from fogging up so that you can shave in the shower without having to rinse it in water every fifth second. Bring your wrinkled-up shirt with you to the bathroom too, and let the steam of the hot water curl out a few of the wrinkles.
It makes it easier to iron afterward, you know, or even to get away with not ironing your shirt when you’d rather spend more time enjoying the lovely water pressure in your shower.
Living Room Hacks: Airflow and decoration
We may not spend as much time in our living room as we do in our bedroom or kitchen, but it’s still one of the most important rooms in our home. It’s where you entertain your guests as well as yourself, so it should be a pleasant place to be.
Pleasant sounds somewhat expensive though - and who has money to spend on decorative stuff these days? Make use of these simple living room hacks to fool yourself as well as your amazed guests.
When the air feels permanently stuffy in your home and opening the windows seems to be only a temporary solution, you might have clogged air filters. Cleaning the filters in your home is such an easy thing to do and such an easy thing to forget - but remembering to do it will make a massive difference. Use this DIY article to clean every filter in your home and befriend the team behind your heating and air-con products; Harster Heating services is a great place to start if you want your systems to be in perfect shape at all times.
If you’re fed up with the look of your walls, having its colour and general attitude staring you down wherever you turn, don’t move out quite yet. Removable wallpaper is a thing lately, and people everywhere are sticking it onto the hideous wallpaper of their rental flats, or onto awfully painted living rooms in shades of bright yellow. It is surprisingly kind on your wallet and won’t take long to remove at all - when you’re due for another change, or it’s time to move on for good.
Wrap it around any old appliance you’re tired of looking at as well, by the way. Your imagination is really the only limit with these handy wallpapers, so play around with different designs and patterns to find something you like. It’s going to be a lot better than the old look of your living room walls in any way.
Another genius hack that’s the perfect match for your wallpaper experiments is the classic half-painted wall. The idea is to paint the top quarter in a different shade to make the walls look taller - rather than painting the whole wall white like we’re usually told to do. Fair enough, it’s not a half-wall hack, but it sounds a lot better than a quarter-wall hack.
In case you’re not in the middle of a refurnishing project while reading this post, try the same with the DIY wallpaper we’ve been talking about - you just need two different shades and a sharp scissor to get there.
Bedroom Hacks: More storage and better view
The bedroom is your sanctuary and should be as cozy and comfortable as possible. You know better than any what it takes for you to feel snuggly, but a few of these calming tips should put you to sleep a bit easier - and make your mornings brighter.
First, position your bed towards the window so that it’s facing the view. This might not always be possible, and even if it is, the view isn’t always that much to look at. If you do, however, have space to position your bed like this and are lucky enough to have something to look at, make sure you take advantage of this view for happier mornings.
Experiment with a different shade in your bedroom, too, and have a look at this colour philosophy article while you’re at it. The principle is that you should surround yourself with soothing shades, maybe even a bit darker than you had in mind, and continue the theme throughout the room.
In case you’re planning on some furniture shopping in the immediate future, consider replacing some of your bedroom furniture with storage solutions. Most of the things you’d like to keep there can be replaced with something to store other stuff in; your bed, writing desk, night stand, the list goes on. This is handy as you get two functions out of one piece, and can neatly stack all of those towels and sheets away.
Give your wardrobe a quick makeover as well, by washing it on the inside to make your clothes smell fresh, and arranging your clothes by color. Sure, it sounds like a tedious thing to occupy yourself with on the weekend, but it will make it easier to pick out outfits for the rest of the week.
Anything that can make life easier is worth a bit of time - and these home hacks are worth every second you invest.