Need to make your life a bit easier? Kristina Knight has some tips and tricks aka #LifeHacks to help along the way...
Every year we get busier and busier, but no-one has figured out how to add more hours to every day. It’s no wonder articles, listicles, and YouTube videos about life hacking gain more popularity every year.
Prime Example: Alarm, an hour writing spring, brushing the teeth, getting breakfast, packing lunch, hitting the school drop-off line, grocery store, drop off the cleaning, girls lunch, helping my MIL with a project, school pick up line, homework, getting dinner ready, swim practice, more homework, brushing the teeth, getting the next day’s clothes ready, throw in a load of laundry, another hour or so writing, fall into a not-sound sleep in which I wake up every half hour freaked out that I’ve forgotten something.
That was my Wednesday.
Who am I kidding? It’s just about every day of the week. Even paring down my schedule, sharing cooking/cleaning duties with RadioMan, even with bebe getting older so she can do more things on her own, most days I have a To Do list longer than my arm.
I confess – I’m actually a fan of life hacking, although I land more of the side of fun/organizational/crafty life hacks than the hacks that involve how to squeeze the equivalent of an 80 hour-a-week day-job into 40 hours.
Why do I like life hacks? Because they teach me how to do more with less, how to free up more time, and how to let go. Here are four of my favourite life hacks (or home hacks, whatever you want to call them!) right now.
The DIY Car Freshener
I don’t know about you guys, but having a swimmer in the family means my car has a permanent chlorine smell. It’s not overpowering and it’s not awful, but it’s there. Also, I have a little sensitivity to any heavy fragrances, and have found that most of the fresheners at the store can be really overpowering for me.
Enter the DIY freshener.
All you need are Downy Unstoppables (those little ball things that go in the wash (we always have them!) and a tulle/mesh/muslin jewellery bag. Fill the bag about halfway with Downy Unstoppables (or stuff with 2-3 dryer sheets if you don’t do Unstoppables), put the bag on the floor of your car and voila! A fresh car that doesn’t smell like chlorine and a scent that isn’t overpowering! This one also works in drawers and to freshen shoes. As luck would have it, I’m actually out of Unstoppables (apparently I need a grocery-list-hack), so I’m using the dryer sheet version this time.
The Dollar Store File Hanger
This one is so simple! I keep files for each of my WIPs, future story ideas, inspirational phrases or pictures from magazines. At any given time, I’m working with 5-6 folders (and sometimes actual 3 ring binders), and I needed a way to organize them. I didn’t want one of those ugly metal things you see in professional office buildings because my home office doubles as a guest room.
Also, I like my folders. I find cute ones at Target or Staples all the time, and I kind of wanted to be able to display them. I saw a display of those desk-top picture holders at the Dollar Store, they were upside down, and I thought – those would be the perfect file holders! I picked up three, some Command hangers and voila! A file system that is cute, doesn’t take up a lot of room, and makes my files not only utilitarian but decorative!
The Office In A Bag
One thing I love about working from home is the silence. I can dive deep into my characters and crank out 3-5,000 words in a morning. But then there are the days when the quiet around here is…too quiet.
That’s when I head out to Starbucks or Panera and write in the noise. I also like to meet up with a few author friends from time to time – we chat and we write and usually lunch is involved…
My office-in-a-bag makes it easy because I have everything I could possibly need already in it: charging cords, pens and pencils, post-its, screen cleaners. All I have to remember is my iPad, my WIP folder, and my wallet – much easier than trying to remember to add all the cords and pens and post-its and index cards to my regular handbag.
I know, planners are everywhere and everyone is using them and everyone swears by their system. I’m the same. I adore my Happy Planner because it works on the ARC system (meaning I can easily move pages around and add in sections for my writing that no planner actually comes with).
What I love most about a planner (any planner!) is the creativity that is involved. I don’t know about you, but there is something really, really satisfying about marking things off a list. And getting to add stickers or cute pens to the mix? Even better!
I divide my planner into 3 sections: one for health, one for writing, one for family, and I can see my whole day or week at a glance. It definitely helps me keep on track!
Those are my favourite life hacks (so far) this spring. I’m always looking for fun, funky things that will make life easier! Do you have any bright ideas for me?
Kristina’s latest book is Lost on Anna Maria Island. You can find out more on her website, and feel free to stalk-follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Have you any favourite life hacks? Want to share your best? Let us know here or on social media using the hashtag #WeHeartLifeHacks. We’d love to hear from you!