Let’s talk about life hacks. And before you start rolling your eyes, let me tell you, I’m on the same page. I think we are all better off without the weird advice on how to “peel onions without shedding a tear” and “open a stubborn banana from the bottom.” So it’s safe to say, internet life hacks don’t particularly have the best reputation out there.

But what if a small fraction of them out of that whole sea of absurdity do indeed work? I’m not implying anything, I am just wondering if we’d all give them one last chance. Last one, bottom line. Would we get to know something genuinely useful?

Well, we’re about to find out, since people in this r/AskReddit thread have been sharing some pretty interesting life hacks that sound crappy but actually work.

#1

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Befriend the "invisible" people that everyone overlooks, the hotel maids, the janitor at your office, anyone doing a thankless job that people often look down upon. Treat them like valuable human beings because they are. These are people working far harder than most of us can imagine, taking care of themselves and their families and often barely scraping by. You never know in this life when you're going to be the one interaction that saved someone's life, or at least made it a little bit better for a day or a moment. And you never know when some person who nobody paid attention to could end up being there for you, especially if they know and like you.

IronChicken68 , Pixabay Report

Kate Tora
Community Member
5 months ago

Apart from the fact that it's basic human decency to treat them right, it also gives you benefits - whatever happened at my workplace, because I've been friendly to the janitors, I knew about stuff going down way ahead of anyone else. Be nice and be friendly!

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#2

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work I call it the power of "might as well"

Gonna get up from my desk and go to the kitchen? Oh well, might as well take this plate with me.

Going to pee before bed? Oh well, might as well brush my teeth.

Going to brush my teeth? Oh well, might as well floss.

Going outside? Oh well, might as well bring the trash.

Its ridiculous, but it works.

ForwardSpinach , cottonbro Report

No you didn't
Community Member
5 months ago

Might as well try this.

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#3

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Writing things down by hand helps you remember them better.

SigourneyReaver , picjumbo.com Report

Natalia Shoemark
Community Member
5 months ago

It helped me learn the first 20 periodic elements!

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It seems like life hacks have been everywhere lately, on TikTok, Instagram stories, Facebook feeds, even Linkedin. It doesn't take you long to realize that most of them are utterly useless, like “peeling onions without shedding a tear,” which basically means you have to use a bunch of extra weird gadgets, or “opening a stubborn banana from the bottom,” because damn those stubborn bananas! It’s only fair to wonder what’s up with this modern obsession and whether there's anything it tells us about ourselves.

#4

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work If something’s worth doing, it’s usually worth doing badly.

Half-assing the dishes is better than leaving them to fester in the sink. Sending old friends a happy birthday message when Facebook prompts you is better than losing touch entirely. Taking a quick shower without soap is better than not showering at all. Piling your laundry up in a basket instead of putting in the wardrobe is better than leaving it scattered over the floor.

Also applies to self-improvement stuff as well as maintenance. Don’t worry so much about doing 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats and a 10km run that you do nothing, just walk around the block and do one of each of the others for now. Just write one page a day of that novel, and allow it to be terrible. Write simple, buggy programs. Draw badly. Watch youtubers cook or fix their car or put on makeup or build something, even, if you can’t find the energy to yourself.

If you’re having trouble finding a date start pre-emptively assuming that everyone is off-limits and just focus on finding genuine friends who match your orientation.

Somewhere along the line you’ll lose your discomfort and start getting better at doing what you want or need to do.

Pseudonymico , MART PRODUCTION Report

Bill Evs
Community Member
5 months ago

This is actually a really good one that I've stuck to over the last few years. It helped me lose weight and get my savings looking healthier. I was always the "I can't afford to save 15% of my wages so there's no point in doing it at all" or "I can't run 5k so why bother" kind of person. Little improvements quickly build up to bigger ones.

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#5

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Don’t ask someone ‘do you need anything?’ when they are going through something. Ask them ‘what can I do for you?’ and stop talking. Sometimes listening is enough. Being a good listener isn’t easy. You have to stop waiting for your turn to speak and just be there for them. Source: father of daughters.

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TheBlackPanda (JustABlackBear)
Community Member
5 months ago

Yeah. Sometimes some people just need to rant. They don't need your advice they just need to get things off their chest and they'll be fine

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#6

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Stop setting needless rules for yourself. You can shower in the dark, eat the parts of a sandwich seperately in fistfuls from the bag, run the dishwasher twice. There is no "proper" way to do the mundane things in life so long as they are done to a standard you're okay with.

It sounds like bulls**t but as an adult slowly realising they have ADHD and fighting chronic illness and long term MH issues, this s**t was life changing. I can just find a way to get the job /done/, it doesn't need to be perfect from step A to Z. If I end up only ever putting laundry on at 2am and putting the machine on a timer so it starts at 7, that's fine because it /still gets done/!

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M Calad
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Exactly! And let people do things their own preferred way. You can just comment on how you do it without judging their way (like " interesting you wash dishes like that! I wash them like this. Cool people have different ways of doing things"). Then they are given the option to consider a different method. But if they are happy doing it their way, it's fine, even if it takes them more time or the result isn't perfect.

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Interestingly, life-hack content in itself is not a new thing. According to Refinery29, the genre can be dated back to roughly 2500 B.C. It’s the time when the “Instructions of Shuruppak,” one of the oldest pieces of “wisdom literature,” came to being, giving people advice that was passed from a father (the king Shuruppak) to his son (Ziusudra). This is an early Sumerian text and it contains practical and philosophical wisdom bites, such as “Don’t pass judgment when you’ve been drinking beer; don’t buy an ass that brays too much; and don’t place your house next to a public square—there’s always a crowd there.”

#7

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Take two to ten minutes to tidy up your home before you go to bed. The next morning, you'll feel way better not having to look at all the junk/things you still have to do.

Greenest-fingers , Pixabay Report

Bella10
Community Member
5 months ago

There is nothing better than waking up to a clean kitchen/house.

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#8

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work One of my favorite is to bring a couple of new disposable diapers to the beach (lake, river, etc.) If you decide to leave your towel to hit the water, you can wrap your cell phone, car keys, wallet up in diaper, then fasten it up and I promise you NO ONE will mess with your stuff! You're welcome! Hee!

4steph , Nathan Dumlao Report

Flying Captain
Community Member
5 months ago

Sees Ökos walking around looking sus....they walk up to my diaper bc "wHY diDn'T sHe pUt iT in THe tRAsh?!?! Shes killing the environment!!" And then proceeds to throw my diaper away...(you know...the kind of militant people who rescue/free a land turtle and thinking doing it a service throw it "back" into the pond.

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#9

Clear packing tape over the speakers of plastic children's toys. It muddles the sounds enough that I still have some of my hearing.

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Shelli Aderman
Community Member
5 months ago

This should be higher up. And yes, I did this when mine were little!!

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So giving one person advice and receiving it from others is the most basic and ancient form of passing knowledge. This is a human thing to do—we share things we’re good at, or that we have knowledge of through experience and skill. I mean, that’s how the education systems work, and that’s how leaders are born.

But life hacks take the concept of sharing something that’s supposedly valuable to us to the extreme. The problem is not giving a hack per se, but rather the content of it. While we may want to know how to start the car in freezing temperatures with a simple trick, we genuinely don’t need a tip on making storage boxes out of coconut shells. Or do we?

Refinery29 suggests that our fascination with life hacks spreading around the internet may have to do with our “deep-seated need to learn more information, without actually requiring that we engage our brains.” If anything, the internet has taught us we can accomplish things without sacrificing our time and effort too much. And if that’s one more weird life hack, so be it.

#10

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work I started saying 'silly' instead of 'stupid' like for example 'Oh I'm so stupid' or 'that was stupid'. I've noticed that it helped improve my self esteem

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Sarah
Community Member
5 months ago

I got into the habit of saying "silly" instead of "stupid" when my sister had kids. We didn't want them to ever call themselves stupid, and then we realized how much WE did it! We should all be a little nicer to ourselves.

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#11

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Taking a break when you get frustrated with a task. Seriously!

AllYouLeftMe , Andrea Piacquadio Report

Cactus McCoy
Community Member
5 months ago

And stop thinking about the problem. Let your underlying thought precesses do the work in your subconscious. Works wonders.

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#12

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work At the start of the year I'll flip all my clothes hangers around so they're facing the wrong direction. As I wear random items, I'll flip it back to the normal direction. If by the next year I haven't worn something, I know I never will, and so I donate anything that's still flipped backwards.

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Loty
Community Member
5 months ago

Learn something new every day. I had no idea hangers had directions.

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#13

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work If you always put your keys in the same place, you won’t lose them.

goat-of-mendes , George Becker Report

Roger Haywood
Community Member
5 months ago

Tried that with my cat. It does'nt work.

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#14

Being genuinely nice and appreciative with people. They'll 100% help you out in any way they can.

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Mazer
Community Member
5 months ago

Spot on

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#15

Ignoring toxic family members or work calls can improve your mental health when properly spread out. Sometimes it’s okay to set your phone aside and unplug.

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Deutschland Mädchen
Community Member
5 months ago

Good advice! -me, on my tablet, procrastinating

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#16

Using leftover bags from grocery stores or whatnot for trash bags. Idk why, but whenever I tell people this, I get a funny look. It works well.

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Kate Tora
Community Member
5 months ago

Been doing that for years and it works perfectly!

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#17

the quickest way to cool the inside of your car down is to open one door, then go to the opposite side and open and close it a few times. this forces the hot air out and draws the cooler air in. I have a black car with black interior, and a few weeks ago when the high was 94 and it had been sitting in the sun for 6-7 hours i tried this before getting in, and holy hell it worked better than i could have ever imagined. i had heard about this before but never tried it.

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TheBlackPanda (JustABlackBear)
Community Member
5 months ago

I'll try this!

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#18

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Taking two steps at a time when walking up the stairs.

You take half the time to get to the next floor, and you get a good glute work out at the same time.

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Roger Haywood
Community Member
5 months ago

No can do. Arthritis is a bitch.

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#19

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Had a pigeon problem on my balcony. I live in front of a church, so a lot of them gather there. At night and early on the morning, they would come to my balcony, leaving s**t and feathers all around and biting my plants.

One day I saw a plastic raven at a store, that supposedly scares them away. It was expensive and I didn't have much money, so I grabbed a bunch of black plastic bags and some wire, made a fake raven and attached it to the railing.

It's been like seven months and I haven't seen a single pigeon on the balcony since.

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Loty
Community Member
5 months ago

It probably scares the crap out all living creatures, not just pigeons.

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#20

Deleting social media of your phone does wonders for your mood and overall mental wellbeing

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Roger Haywood
Community Member
5 months ago

So does eating chocolate, binge watching your faveroute show, alcohol, sex, music.....ect.

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#21

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work A knitted fake wasp nest. Our wasps buggered off the same day, haven't been seen since.

KamahlYrgybly , David Hablützel Report

Thomas Sweda
Community Member
5 months ago

Do you think you could maybe find the time to knit me a fake Jehova’s Witness?

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#22

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work When someone you like or respect does something confusingly infuriating, imagine the most-favorable-to-them possible explanation, and pretend that's true. Wait until you know more before getting reflexively angry.

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Loty
Community Member
5 months ago

And when you learn the truth you can coldly contemplate your revenge.

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#23

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Not necessarily crappy per se but I always encourage people to befriend the hospital employees that bring you your meal trays. They’ll hook you up with the good stuff so you’re not stuck eating crappy food.

SheepherderUseful241 , Oles kanebckuu Report

Mazer
Community Member
5 months ago

I thanked every single person who came into my room every time they came in, lady mopping the floors to the surgeons

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#24

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Choose your reaction before your emotions can.

I was always jealous of people who naturally had a great response to problems (like “I forgot something at home. Oh well, it happens to everyone. I’m sure they’ll understand why I’m late.”). I began really noticing how much easier that must make life, so I started trying to imagine the “right” reaction to situations.

If you make yourself pause to think of a good reaction, you can kind of choose it like “Yeah, that would be a good one” and then you don’t give your stupid brain an opportunity to throw out a sh**ty reaction.

(Someone made me remember something I think is important to add, so I’m pasting it here so it won’t get lost)

I learned to do it despite it seeming impossible. The trick for me was to recognize that I was enabling and feeding my own emotional responses, like “My car won’t start, I should be upset! Why wouldn’t I be?! This will cost me money!” I was choosing to be upset because I was “supposed” to be, or I was entitled to be upset. But I didn’t really want to be.

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TheBlackPanda (JustABlackBear)
Community Member
5 months ago

Sometimes being upset is the right reaction though

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#25

In facing dilemmas, I ask myself, "What would smart me do?" The answer is usually obvious. Smart me still sometimes gets vetoed, but genuinely helpful tool.

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v
Community Member
5 months ago

If "smart you" is able to come up with a solution, "stupid you" is causing a problem. Something has to give in your life so that stupid you doesn't hold so much power.

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#26

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work Don't save your banking information on online stores. Makes impulse buying much more difficult if you have to track down your wallet.

Mikeavelli , Ivan Samkov Report

Christoph Hager
Community Member
5 months ago

Amateur! I have my credit card info in my head ... unfortunately.

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#27

Putting kiwi on a steak.

Kiwi juice has enzymes that break down meats, tenderizing the steak. Pineapple does the same thing, but has a much stronger flavor. So put a bit of kiwi mush on your steak about 30 minutes prior to cooking it and it will be amazingly tender without a strange flavor added.

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Gurnox
Community Member
5 months ago

Make sure the person you're serving it to knows - Kiwi allergies are a thing.

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#28

Never shop when hungry.

Habits are formed over a few weeks.

Look after your feet, even a blister can screw up your week.

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Something
Community Member
5 months ago

The problem with "never shop when hungry" is that according to this rule, if you run out of food, you're never allowed to restock.

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#29

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work If you keep forgetting if you locked your door/car/lock, do something silly after locking it. It will help you remember if you have to think back.

deroobot , George Becker Report

digitalin
Community Member
5 months ago

Taking a photo helps. Or saying out loud "I am locking the door."

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#30

People Share 30 Life Hacks That Sound Terrible But Really Work For electronics: Turning it off and on again

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ZAPanda
Community Member
5 months ago

this is not a good idea for stuck computers except as a last resort. They "Say" it's a journalling filesystem but they are still overconfident in its ability to recover. Also, don't just yank flash disks out. Eject properly.

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