Hacking the Home

26 Apr

For the past 10 + years, I have lived in rental apartments. Some of these apartments were well maintained, others were not. Over the years I have “hacked” my home to make it more livable.

Hack: To jury-rig or improvise something inelegant but effective, usually as a temporary solution to a problem.  (according to Urban Dictionary)

I have become the MacGyver of the home.  Now if you are not familiar with MacGyver, he was a television secret agent who solved complex problems with everyday materials he found at hand. In every single episode, MacGyver rescued himself from the bad guys using homemade hacks.

MacGuyver’s formula to hack a gun.

I have tested and tried some everyday hacks that will make your home life easier and more enjoyable.

Here are my top 5 hacks:

1. Using mosquito netting to make temporary window screens. There are many different ways to keep the mosquito netting up and around the window. In the past I have stapled it to old wood window frames, or I have sewed it to the metal window bars. Last night I hung up the mosquito netting outside of our porch doors by sewing it to the porch door’s iron grill.

2. Placing a lavendula plant (lavender that looks like rosemary) outside of the window to repel mosquitos from coming in. I use this when I can’t use my #1 hack

3.  Baking soda + vinegar = natural magic cleaning power.  There are so many use cases for this combination. My favorite use case for this? Drain cleaner. Yup. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda down the sink or bathtub drain. Then pour 1/2 cup of   (cheap) vinegar down the drain. Let it bubble for 5 minutes and then rinse the rain with a cup or two of boiling water.

4.  Taping bay leaves  inside every single cupboard and shelf in my kitchen. For some reason, bay leaves repeal food moths that can ruin your food or give you an infestation of  maggots. GAG.

5. A tablespoon of vinegar poured into a bowl of cold water to clean fruits and veggies. This mixture kills the bacteria that turns your gorgeous strawberries into a moldy mush. When I wash (and then dry) my fruits and veggies in this mixture, they last a lot longer. I also use this mixture to kill any bugs hidden in my lettuce, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.  But I only soak these veggies right before I use them.

What are you favorite home hacks? I’d love to hear your tips!


2 Responses to “Hacking the Home”

  1. HomeforNow May 1, 2014 at 5:38 am #

    Great tips! I’m a renter to. Didn’t know the one about the lavender plant so I will definitely be trying that one this summer!


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