Life Food
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One of the best things to come out of the internet–other than the ability to Google every fleeting thought that crosses your mind–is the sharing of life hacks. From makeup to organization to kitchen, the crowd sourcing that goes on online has opened us up to a whole world of ‘that’s so smart why didn’t I think of that’ ideas.

It turns out that a lot of the things you have lying around your house (and that you probably haven’t used in years) can be re-purposed to organize your kitchen and solve problems you didn’t even realize you had. For most of these ideas, you don’t even have to buy anything because we guarantee that you have a bottom drawer full of junk with at least some of these items.

Carabiner clips

Maybe you have carabiner clips for your keys or camping or actual rock climbing (well look at you!) but their real calling is the kitchen. Specifically the pantry or wherever you keep your reusable shopping bags. Keep your bags all together with a handy carabiner clip that you can hook onto the shopping cart once you’re at the store.

Elastic bands

Obviously these things have a million and one uses, but here are two you might not have thought of. Do you ever get so into chef mode with your chopping that it sends your thin plastic cutting board vibrating across the counter? What would Gordon Ramsay say? Fix that problem by stretching an elastic around either end of the board. That should give you just enough stick to keep it in place while you do your best Iron Chef impression.

You can also use elastics to keep cut apples from going brown. If you need to take an apple with you (or pack it in a kid’s lunch), simply cut it into slices, then reassemble and secure it with an elastic. Ta-da!

Binder clips

If you keep water bottles–or any kind of bottle or can–on a low shelf in the fridge where they can’t stand up, you might have the problem of rolling bottles. Stack them nicely on a shelf by sectioning off their designated area with binder clips. Simply attach clips to the wire shelves of your fridge to hold the bottom layer in place and then you can stack to your heart’s content. Or until you reach the bottom of the next shelf.

Pants hangers

Paper recipes are destined to get dirty when you cook with them right on the counter and it can give you such a crick in the neck to stoop over them all the time to read the next step. Our ancestors may have had to cook that way, but we don’t. Just clip the paper up with a pants hanger and hook it onto an upper cabinet. So simple, yet life-changing.

Rice

Rice ain’t just for eating. It’s also perfect for cleaning and sharpening your coffee grinder. When you grind coffee, little granuals stay in the grinder and go stale within about a month. Running some rice through the grinder periodically cleans it out and actually sharpens the blades too. Win-win.

Oven

Ovens are generally pretty useful in the kitchen, but did you know they can help you out with things you’re not actually baking too? Avocados and bananas–both notorious for never being the desired ripeness when you need them–can both be ripened to perfection using the oven. To ripen your avocado, wrap it in tin foil (shiny side in) and then put it in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. For bananas, simply place them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 for five to seven minutes. Boom. Perfect ripeness.