What is a “Life Hack?”

According to the Oxford Dictionaries, a “life hack,” or “lifehacking” is an informal noun meaning: a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and activities in a more efficient way.

Here’s another definition from Don Schenck: A “lifehack” is a technique or idea that helps or prevents you. For example, putting your car keys in your leftover bag of lunch at work will prevent you from going home without your leftovers.

Any useful idea can come from someone else, or it can come from one’s own creativity.

I live in a 2-bedroom apartment with 3 other roommates. It gets pretty messy, and more often than not, I am the one who ends up doing a lot of cleaning (usually willingly). But since my roommates and I are all college students, we are often short on time, money and resources. So there have been plenty of instances when we’ve had to get creative.

Last semester, my roommate and I decided to go on a cleaning spree. We cleaned the living room, bathroom, and the only room that was left was the kitchen. Unfortunately, we had exhausted our supply of Clorox disinfecting wipes, Formula 409, and paper towels. We needed a mop to clean the floor. Fortunately, we had  some sort of mop contraption, like a Swiffer mop, but it required certain pads or wipes that we didn’t have. Then my roommate got creative. My roommate fashioned a makeshift mop out of a dishtowel and binder clips.

As far as I can recall, the mop worked pretty well. I don’t think it was able to pick up a lot of dirt, but our kitchen is small, so it was exactly what we needed. The towel moved quite a bit, so maybe next time, additional layers of towels could serve as better reinforcement. The towel was also put to good use because it was small enough that it could be rinsed out by hand numerous times, and later washed completely in the laundry, so there. After that long day of labor, my roommate and I succeeded in cleaning the entire apartment, and our floor was squeaky clean!

I am fascinated by other people’s resourcefulness and creativity when it comes to practical ways to getting things done. I love coming with up with interesting ideas, that I can use them in my everyday life. I also know that college students are not the only people who could use some time and money-saving tips. Just like anybody else, I am also a bit skeptical, because there are some things that just seem unnecessary that nobody would really do. Then again, I never thought that I’d ever make a mop out of binder clips and a towel!

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One response to “What is a “Life Hack?”

  1. Pingback: Kool-Aid Toilet Cleaner « Lex's Life Hacks

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