Life's complicated, and that's why we have technology. But usually, the best way to fix a problem is to use a product for something other than it was intended. Here are a few simple, easy hacks to make your life easier, whether it's delaying a trip to the mechanic, finding the remote, or organizing your crap.
Fun fact: nail polish and automotive paint and sealant are actually very chemically similar. Why is this important? Because you can use clear nail polish on your car. Layer it on a door ding to keep it from rusting until you can get it knocked out, or apply it to a cracked windshield to keep the crack from spreading before you can replace it.
Google Voice is a spectacular program in a lot of ways: it can streamline your life by giving you one phone number and flexible blocking capabilities. But why stop there? If you have a "friend" you get sick of calling you constantly, forward their number to your answering machine. Telemarketers won't leave you alone? Forward their number to a fax machine. Crazy stalker? Forward that number to the telemarketers.
Sick of losing your remotes, controllers, etc? Just buy some stick-on Velcro, and Velcro them to the table. You always know where it is, and it also can keep that stuff out of the way.
This may sound simple, even stupid, since it's literally a trip to Home Depot and doesn't even require much in the way of tools, but it'll make your life easier in dozens of ways. It'll give you more privacy, it'll keep birds from striking your windows, and it'll diffuse the sunlight coming in, making your house cooler and spreading the light more evenly, making the place look better even if it's a total sty.
This one is dirt simple. Get a wire basket. Place it over your power strip upside down, and maybe snip out a few wires to let the power cords fully in. Collect the slack under the basket, and tie it off with twist ties. Then screw the basket into the floor or to the underside of your home entertainment center. Boom, no more rat's nest of cables.
Hand sanitizer is incredibly useful, and not for wussy purposes of "cleanliness." It's basically alcohol in a gel form, and alcohol is a great way to remove ice from, well, anything. If you've got a stubborn lock that won't open, just squirt some hand sanitizer into it and it should loosen up in a couple of minutes.
Similar to the Google Voice trick, it's pretty basic to set up a "Forwarding" option on web mail accounts (just check their "help" section), so you can forward all of it to one email. The trick, though, is not giving out your "central" email to anybody, not even friends or family. Just have all these email address forward to one place, or one program, and you'll not only get everything...you'll have the advantage of two layers of spam filters.
Ever had your computer crash right when you need to get on the Internet? Fortunately, there's an easy solution for that. Just get a USB stick that's about 4GB, and install the Ubuntu kernel on it using UNetbootin. The next time a computer breaks on you, stick the USB stick in the slot, turn the computer back on, and start jamming F12. Once the boot options come up, just select the "USB" option, and "Try Ubuntu" on the next menu. Bingo! The computer is running Ubuntu off the USB stick, and is fully functioning.
This one is pretty simple. Get a surface you can hang, or just pick a wall where you need some organizing space. Use painter's tape to make the shape you want. Then, first, lay down a few layers of magnetic primer, and then a few layers of chalkboard paint. Instant, easily revisable to-do list/organizer.
Messenger bags can kill your back, but backpacks can look unprofessional. The solution? When you need a backpack, just lengthen the strap all the way, unclip it from one end, run it through your bag's handle, and clip it back on the other end. Instant backpack.
Finally, there's this. A screw that won't screw is a pain in the ass, especially if you're assembling something or just need one screw to go back in for a project. So just grab some bar soap, wet it, roll the screw in it, and it'll go in much more smoothly.
Get your mind out of the gutter.