Open Thread: What’s Made Your Life Easier?

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I was thinking, for the hundredth time, about how annoying it was to wrestle to open a bottle. (Doesn’t it seem like everything has a child-proof cap these days?  Even Mayonnaise?) It wasn’t until I moved a wrench from the tool drawer to the kitchen cabinet that I solved the problem.  That got me thinking about the other small changes or additions I made that made my life easier.

Organization.  I love bins and boxes, shelves and stackers.  My life got much less noise and distraction when I decided not to rely on junk drawers and precariously balancing things on top of each other.

Batteries.  I overbuy and stash them in a separate box (see previous item!).  I never have to worry about my hearing aids, my flashlights, or some of my appliances because I always have batteries. Ditto TP, and dishsoap.

Laundry Service. I send out my laundry to the laundromat.  My dream is to someday own a washer and dryer, but until then, Nancy on York Avenue has me covered and it’s bliss.

Timers.  I can sit down and write, or read something and look up and it’s dark outside!  I use timers set in 15 minute increments.  It’s really helpful to keep me focused and to waste less time. Plus it’s a reminder to walk around for a bit.

But that’s me. What discoveries or hacks or habits or tools make life easier for you – either saving time, or money or stress or all three? Share your secrets in the comments!

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send  Open Thread suggestions to

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