As easy as it gets - Life hacks

12 uses for the humble binder clip

The humble binder clip can be used in multiple ways to make your life easier - freeing up space in the fridge, making a smartphone stand and more.
The binder clip.
The binder clip.ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

Who knew this humble piece of stationery could have so many functions - from cable organiser to sponge holder

11. CREATE SPACE IN THE FRIDGE


Create space in the fridge. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: Real estate in the fridge is precious and the binder clip is a clever way to maximise space.

How: Use a binder clip to stop beer bottles from rolling around. Instead, stack them up like a pyramid and you will have room on the side for groceries.

You can also use a clip to hang packets of food (pictured).


12. SQUEEZE OUT MORE TOOTHPASTE


Squeeze out more toothpaste. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: Everyone has a different way of squeezing toothpaste. This hack will maximise usage and end arguments at the family sink.

How: When a tube of toothpaste has been used past the halfway mark, push all the paste to the top and roll up the tube.

Clip the "tail" to prevent backflow (pictured).

Tip: For this to be more effective, roll the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube with a cylindrical glass before you clip it.

This should give a few more squeezes of toothpaste.


13. USE AS A MONEY CLIP


Use as a money clip. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: Don't pay through the nose for wallets and magnetic money clips because a 30-cent binder clip works just as well.

How: With the tight grip of these clips, never worry about your notes slipping from you again.


14. SHORTEN HEADPHONE CORDS


Shorten headphone cords. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

 

What: Wireless earphones may be all the rage, but many people still use wired ones.

A trusty binder clip can prevent wires from getting caught in door knobs or at the edges of chairs.

How:
1. Place the cord inside the triangle of the clip and wrap the cord around the triangle.

2. If you are putting your headphones away, wrap the cord around the clip's handles.

3. When using headphones, shorten the cord slightly and secure the clip onto your shirt.


15. ORGANISE CABLES ON DESK


Organise cables on desk. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: A binder clip can help sort out tangled wires.

How: Bundle cables together and secure them with a clip (pictured).

Or fasten the clips to the edge of the desk so the wires have a place to sit neatly when not in use.


16. HOLD DISHWASHING SPONGE


Hold dishwashing sponge. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: Wet dishwashing sponges can be hothouses for bacteria and mildew. A binder clip can help to keep them dry.

How: Secure the sponge inside the triangle of the clip and use its handles to prop the sponge up (pictured).

This helps the sponge dry more quickly than if it is left lying flat.

Tip: Replace clip if it rusts.


17. USE AS SAFETY COVER FOR RAZOR


Use as safety cover for razor. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: Razors can cause nasty nicks when uncovered.

How: By sheer coincidence of design, a binder clip's triangle fits nicely over the razor blade (pictured) - functioning as a safety cover.

Tip: Replace clip if it rusts.


18. REPLACE KEYBOARD LEGS


Replace keyboard legs. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: Some keyboards have legs - but they can be fragile and break easily, resulting in a wobbly keyboard.

Some remedies suggested on the Internet include creating a wedge using coins, folded paper or small notepads. But the best way seems to be replacing the legs with the handles of a binder clip (pictured).

How: Remove the clip's handles by pressing in both sides of each handle. Then use the handle as a replacement leg for the keyboard.

Use clips of the same size so the keyboard is balanced.


19. HOLD UP TRASH BAG IN BIN


Hold up trash bag in bin. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: It is a nightmare when the trash bag slips down the top of the dustbin and rubbish piles up in the bin outside of the bag.

How: Use a binder clip to keep the trash bag anchored in place (pictured).


20. CREATE SMARTPHONE STAND


Create smartphone stand. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: Create a stand for the smartphone and watch videos hands-free. Just use two binder clips of different sizes.

How: There are a few variations of this hack on the Internet. A favourite involves holding the smaller clip by its triangle and using the larger clip to secure its handles together (pictured).

This creates a stand stable enough to support the iPhone 6S Plus in landscape mode.

Tip: Placed in portrait mode, however, the stand does not prop up the iPhone 6S Plus high enough. If you are more of a Facebook wall scroller at lunch, this is not for you.

21. CLIP SOCKS TOGETHER


Clip socks together. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: No more missing socks.

How: The next time you pack for a holiday or organise your drawer, clip your socks together.


22. USE AS KEYCHAIN


Use as keychain. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

What: For some, telling their house keys from their office ones is easy. Others test key after key at the door or label keys with nail polish. Well, never confuse them again.

How: Use binder clips as keychains (pictured) and label them clearly.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Useful hacks with the binder clip str.sg/4en9

Benson Ang

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