Cracking life hacks

Top tricks and simple shortcuts to make life easier

Life’s tricky enough. At nlc, we like to keep things simple and stress-free. So, here are our top tricks and shortcuts to making things a little bit easier, from your car to around the home.

Car life hacks

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  • You can get your car headlights sparkling again by using toothpaste. Find out how with this Bridgestone guide.
  • While you’re at it, tyre tread is important for road safety – and you can use a 20c coin to check yours. See Bridgestone’s tyre tread check.
  • Bothered by the crumbs and dust gathering in your car’s cup-holder console? Pop a silicone muffin case in place and simply remove when it needs cleaning.
  • Use a plastic cereal container lined with a garbage bag for a sturdy in-car rubbish bin.
  • If pet hair is collecting on your car’s cloth seats and carpet, mist it with water from a spray bottle, then use a rubber squeegee to gather it up.
  • On hot days, plug in your seat belt after you hop out of the car to avoid the metal part heating up.
  • Car making an intermittent noise? Make a recording on your phone when it happens, ready to show your mechanic.

Energy-saving hacks

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  • Beware of ‘vampire power’ – appliances that use standby energy while plugged into a wall outlet, sucking power even when they’re not in use. Turn devices like your gaming console, washing machine/dryer, scanner/printer, televisions and chargers off at the switch to save an estimated 5-10% on your electricity costs.
  • Reduce your heating costs by up to 10% by running your ceiling fan in reverse mode. This pushes warm air downwards, keeping the room warmer.

Cooking life hacks

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  • A game-changer: To keep avocado green for longer, coat the cut side with olive oil and store in a snap-lock bag in the fridge.
  • Cooking corn for taco Tuesday? Pop the cob – still in its husk – in the microwave for around 3-4 minutes (exact timing will differ depending on your microwave so test this out safely). Remove with an oven mitt (as the corn will be hot) and allow to cool slightly. Then, peel away the husk – the silks will come off easily, leaving only sweet, juicy corn behind. Watch the steps here.
  • A tip from Nana for a jar that’s hard to open. Tap the lid all the way around with the back of a butter knife. You’ll likely hear the ‘pop’ when the pressure releases; the lid will twist off with ease.
  • Impress by opening a champagne bottle like a pro – i.e. without an almighty cork pop. Find out how here.
  • Place hand-washed wine glasses and plastic containers upside down on a wire cooling rack to help them dry faster.

Plant life hacks

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  • Trying to create an indoor plant haven, but got a plant looking a little limp? Gardening Australia guru Costa Georgiadis gave Triple J some tips, and says there’s three main culprits:
    • Soil too wet
    • Something on the leaves
    • Not enough light
      Credit: @triple_j
  • If there is something troubling the leaves, white oil may be of help. Here’s Gardening Australia’s fact sheet for how to make your own.
  • To prevent dirt escaping from the drainage hole in your plant pot, cover it with a stone or coffee filter.
  • Use water from boiling your vegetables or pasta to water plants. Not only are you saving water, but the nutrients that have infused the water won’t hurt either. Naturally, allow to cool first.
  • When you prep flowers for a vase, trim the stems by an inch or so on a 45-degree angle. This creates more surface area for absorbing water, helping keep them fresh for longer. Also remove any leaves that would be immersed in the water, which can cause the water to go off. Finally, change the water every few days.

Working From Home hacks

  • Accidentally closed a browser tab? Recover it with CTRL+SHIFT+T.
  • Keen to cut down on blue light? Here are steps from Digital Trends for reducing it on your PC or Mac.
  • Use water from boiling your vegetables or pasta to water plants. Not only are you saving water, but the nutrients that have infused the water won’t hurt either. Naturally, allow to cool first.
  • Check out our tips for how to tame your inbox.

Household organisation hacks

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  • Cure chaotic bathroom drawers by using a kitchen cutlery tray to give everything a place.
  • Keep a bottle of eucalyptus oil on hand to remove sticky residue left behind by labels or price stickers. 
  • Not one for making your bed the moment you’re up? Good news – according to an article by Stylist, a delay can give it time to air, minimising sweat absorption into the mattress as long as you pull back the doona cover. Read more here.

Entertainment hacks

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  • According to the original rules of UNO, a Wild Draw 4 Card can only be played when the player doesn’t have a card in their hand that matches the colour of the card on the deck. If you suspect a player has played the card on you illegally, you may challenge them to show you their hand. If you’re right, they’ll have to pick up the four cards. But if you’re wrong, you’ll be left picking up six!
  • Got young ones cooped up indoors? Try packing a snack box in the morning to reduce requests throughout the day.
  • In a game of hangman, the words ‘Rhythm’ and ‘Sphynx’ prove very tricky for the guesser.

Inspired to make life even easier? Why not leave your car management to the experts. 

We’ll take care of everything for you, from negotiating a better new car price to arranging finance, paperwork and delivery.

We work with you to set a budget for the finance and running costs of your car, wrapped up into set regular payments, and use these to manage your car’s expenses on your behalf, including servicing, tyres, insurance, rego and fuel.

Find out how you can reduce your life admin and access savings by motoring with nlc.