Life can sometimes all feel like a lot of hard work. But by learning some simple tricks, or “hacks”, for dealing with common problems, you can focus less energy on solving those things, and get on with what’s important. Here are 13 of our favourites.

1 If you’ve got a super early morning, put your clothes out the night before, so you don’t have to rummage through your wardrobe when you’re sleepy. It saves so much time. 

2 Peel your banana from the bottom. Works much easier! 

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3 Here’s a tip for peeling those annoying hard-boiled eggs without destroying them: add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water while they boil. 

4 If you’re clumsy (we put our hands up), drink soup from a mug instead of using a spoon and bowl. It’s saved countless T-shirts.

5 Changing the bedding is a pain, especially when you first live out of home and have to change your duvet cover alone. Make it slightly easier by turning your duvet cover inside out. Put one hand into each of the top corners, then grab the top corners of your duvet, line up the top of the quilt with the inside top seam of the cover, and flip it outside-in. SO much quicker than trying to stuff it in right-side out. 

You can make it even easier by sewing a button to the centre of the top edge of your quilt, and sewing corresponding loops inside your covers.

6 If you’re forgetful or prone to losing things, you need all the help you can get when it comes to your keys. Ask your parents to put a hook for them next to the front door at lock level, so that you see it when you close the door after getting home and remember to hang them up, and to take them with you when you go out.

We forget things too, but we forgot what we forgot.

7 Like inexpensive food? Don’t like crowds or lines? Eat lunch during tea time (usually after 2pm). Bonus: you can pretend it’s because you’re super classy by saying “time for tea”. 

8 Always give lai see and/or a small Christmas gift to the security guard in your building. This is very useful when you forget the door code late at night, or need them to look the other way when you bring a pet home to your “No Pets Allowed” estate. 

9 If you need an extra desk and don’t want to splurge, or simply don’t have space for any more furniture, use a bookshelf. Remove one shelf-load of books, adjust the shelf to the perfect typing height, pop your laptop there, pull up a chair and get to work! 

10 When we can travel again … make sure you always have an emergency money stash, preferably in another bag. Put it into a weird container, so that if someone looks for it, they won’t notice – empty lipstick or Chapstick tubes are good for this, as are empty sunscreen bottles.

5 ways life is easier because of ‘copy and paste’

11 On the subject of travelling, or rather returning from a trip,  be sure to store your suitcase padlock and keys in the inside pocket of your case. Saves buying new ones every time you travel. 

12 Can’t find a clip for your half-eaten bag of potato chips? Grab an empty plastic bottle with a large cap (Gatorade is great), and cut the top off. Put the bottom in the recycling bin. Now simply thread the opened end of your bag of chips up through the bottle neck, fold the bag down over the sides of the bottle, and screw on the cap over the bag. It really works! 

13 Instead of washing your blender in the sink, fill it with water and a squirt of washing-up liquid, then give that a quick blitz to get rid of any leftover smoothie bits, then rinse. It’s way more convenient.