As easy as it gets - Life hacks

Create extra storage for your stuff

These ingenious life hacks can free up space in your house. Find out how to use a corkboard, magazine holders, soda can tabs and toilet paper tubes to organise your items better.

Get organised using items you probably have lying around

Want to open a bottle of wine but do not have a corkscrew? Want to organise that messy drawer but don't know where to start?

A tiny spark of ingenuity is often all that is needed to solve some of life's problems.

These clever solutions - now called hacks - have become an Internet phenomenon, making their rounds on social media every day.

The term was coined in the early 2000s by a tech journalist, who put out a call for tips from tech geeks on managing copious amounts of information.

In the last few years, it has been used to describe nifty shortcuts for all aspects of daily life.

Yet, not all hacks are created equal.

Some are so elegant, you wonder why you did not come up with them yourself, while others might be more trouble than they are worth (some sites have compiled the most useless ones, just for laughs).

Which hacks are the real deal?

 

The Sunday Times spent weeks testing out hacks and coming up with this list of hacks, which covers areas such as entertainment, travel, style, food, home and parenting.

From using soda can tabs to increase wardrobe capacity to removing lipstick stains with hairspray, these are some of the neatest hacks around.

If you have a favourite hack to share, send it to stlife@sph.com.sg.



PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

1. TOILET PAPER TUBES AS CABLE ORGANISERS

What: We have all spent precious time untangling a mess of cords and cables that were chucked together.

Here is a simple way to organise wires with toilet paper tubes.

How:
1. Arrange a few toilet paper tubes in an upright position in an empty container, such as a shoe box.

2. Coil the cables and slot each one into a tube (pictured).

Tips:
• Stick labels on the side of the tubes to help you remember what each cable is for.

• Kitchen paper towel tubes may be a better fit for longer cables, or you can cut the tubes into half.



PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

2. CAN TABS AS WARDROBE ORGANISERS

What: Running out of space for clothes hangers in your wardrobe? The next time you drink from a can, save the tab.

It can be turned into a double-clothes hanger.

How:
1. Slide one loop of a can tab through the hook of a hanger such that the tab rests on the neck of the hanger.

2. Put the hook of another hanger into the other loop of the can tab (pictured). Now you have fewer hangers hanging from the rail of your clothing rack but double the hanging space.

Tips:
• The tab fits only hangers with a skinny neck so make sure you get the right kind.

• This is a great way to keep together tops and bottoms that you would like paired, so that you can grab them off the rack easily.



PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

3. SHOE BOXES AS DRAWER DIVIDERS

What: There is no need to spend on fancy drawer dividers when you can recycle shoe boxes and also do your bit for the environment.

How:
1. Use the entire shoe box or cut it up to neatly store items.

2. Use the box cover for shallow drawers and to hold small items such as stationery.

Tip: Dress up boxes by wrapping them in coloured or printed paper.


4. CORKBOARD AS ACCESSORIES ORGANISER


Corkboard as accessories organiser. PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

What: Keep jewellery tangle-free and accessible by hanging necklaces, dangling earrings and bracelets on a corkboard (pictured). Other small accessories such as pouches, sunglasses and caps can also be hung on the board.

How:
1. Invest in a good-quality corkboard, solid pins and hooks for heavier items or sunglasses, which need better support.

2. Start by arranging long necklaces individually on pins or hooks on one end of the board, followed by chunkier and shorter pieces.

3. Smaller items can be slotted at the bottom of the board or in the remaining free spaces.

Tips:
• The corkboard can be hung on a wall or on the inside of the wardrobe door.

• If you have too many accessories, use two or more boards to prevent overloading. You do not want the board crashing to the floor.



PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

5. MAGAZINE HOLDERS AS STORAGE RECEPTACLES

What: Magazine holders are not just good for storing files. The holders - whether made of plastic, cardboard or other materials - can be used to better organise space in every part of your home.

How:
• In the kitchen: Use the holder to store canned goods (pictured) and produce that are kept at room temperature, such as onions and potatoes, instead of using a basket that takes up a wider surface area.

The holders can also create extra "shelves" in the freezer. Stack the holders horizontally and slot packets of food in them.

• In the bathroom: Keep bottled cleaning products or rolls of toilet paper neatly in the holders.

• In the bedroom: Arrange clutch bags and wristlets in the holder and store it in the closet.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Storage hacks using everyday items str.sg/4enF

Gurveen Kaur

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 19, 2017, with the headline 'Home storage'. Print Edition | Subscribe