Being a freelance writer, or any kind of freelancer seems as simple as ABC to all those, who have never worked that way. Most people think that I’m a happy slacker, who gets up at 12, works 2-3 hours and spend the rest of the day browsing for cute kitty images on the internet. But they’re all wrong. Sure working from home means I can get up in the afternoon, but this also means I probably won’t manage to handle all my tasks.
Honestly, I think freelancers are sometimes busier than other people with normal jobs, because with this great freedom to set your own working hours, comes great responsibility. I have to finish all my tasks for the day, make my working schedule for the next few days and at last – start looking for new projects, before I have even finished the current ones. Sometimes I don’t even have the time to brush my hair whole day!
This is why organising my day-to-day life started to become a priority, even an obsession. Over the time I have tried many different tricks to ease my busy days (in some cases I just didn’t have a choice). There are tons of internet tips and tricks that look smart and effective but the truth is, most of them simply don’t work. However, testing and trying different life-hacks ended in my personal list of proven ways to simplify my world and get more free time for myself.
Life-hacks That Actually Work
1. If you can pin it, then scotch it. Don’t have a hair pin at hand? Get a small piece of ordinary scotch and “lock” that nasty curl that’s been bothering you whole day. Believe it or not, nobody will ever notice it, especially if your hair is light or blond. I would never think of this, but I have read that some actress’ hair stylist couldn’t manage to find his pins, minute before some event and he used this as a last minute solution and it worked! (Just don’t ask me about the name of the stylist, or the celebrity, this was years before the Internet and I don’t remember anything from that time LOL).
2. Label your seasonal clothes. Every year, when winter is over most of us simply stack all of their seasonal clothes in bags, or at some corner of the wardrobe to take them out after several months. And when you need your coats and jeans again you need a few days to sort our everything and stop wasting precious time every morning. The solution is simple – before storing your winter clothes put labels on each bag. I usually go even further putting sweaters in one bag, jeans in other, scarves and gloves in third etc. This trick also helps A LOT when moving into new home.
3. Make a simple book catalogue. If you love reading and have a lot of books then you probably hate loosing them. I used to lend my books quite unwillingly, because it seemed that losing the tracks of my library was unavoidable. One day, after wondering for hours where is my favourite “Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” copy was (it was at my cousin’s place, but I found that few weeks later) I decided I cannot afford wasting my time and losing beloved books. I spent the rest of the day, making my own catalogue.
You may laugh now, but this was years ago and I used Excell table. Yep, that’s right, different sheet for each genre, with just a few columns – author, title, and most importantly – the name of the last person who borrowed the book and the date. I guess now there are much more sophisticated methods for this, there probably is a nice mobile app, but I still use that same excell file and it works great for me. It saves me a lot of nerves….
4. Run out of leather conditioner and the jacket you want to wear has lost its shine? Just take a cotton pad and pour a few drops of olive oil on it. Then gently apply evenly onto the jacket. If you have put too much, remove the excessive grease with paper towel. Leather is easy to clean, but you need to maintain it to prolong its life. Even if you run out of olive oil, you can use ordinary cooking oil – it will also do the job. Voila, your jacket’s like new and you’re ready to go!
5. Your brand new shoes are too tight? But you NEED to wear them tonight? There’s an easy way to quickly fix that. Put a pair (or two) thick socks, put the shoes on and warm the leather carefully with a hair drier. Don’t keep the dryer too close and don’t use the highest temperature because you can damage the material. Some types of leather soften easily than others, this is why you have to put off the socks and try the shoes every few minutes to see if they’re ready. Usually 15 minutes to half an hour is enough.
6. Iron easily and fast heavily rumpled garment. I hate it when I take out from the wardrobe the shirt or dress I want to wear just to find out it is heavily rumpled. To avoid wasting precious time in ironing or searching for a new outfit just hang the rumpled garment into the bathroom before you take a shower. The hot water vapours will moist the fibres which will make the matter heavier. Fabric will stretch naturally, making the wrinkles easy to iron in 5 minutes. This is priceless trick to iron natural fibred clothes such as linen, silk or cotton easy, fast and without risk of damaging the garment.
7. Get rid of piles half-read books around your home and organise your library easily. If you are one of those people who always read several books at a time you probably have constant problems with book piles all over your home. I used to wait until I finish a book to put it on the shelf because I didn’t want to forget what exactly I’m reading at that moment. But then a friend of mine told me this great trick: Put the book where it belongs, but place it on it’s spine. This way you will have perfectly organised bookshelf and you can easily see which books are half-finished without stumbling over them.
8. Re-upholster old furniture using… adhesive silicone. I once wanted to re-upholster an old kitchen stool, but I didn’t have upholstery stapler. So, instead of buying or borrowing one I cut the fabric the way I wanted and stick it with ordinary adhesive silicone and the result was fantastic! I just love DIY home projects. But I love even more all those home making blogs saying “DIY is simple” and then when I actually open the post to check the steps in making I realise some of bloggers have more tools and specialised gadgets than the local hardware shop! So be creative and don’t stick to the rules.
9.Fresh up your area rug without cleaning it. Even if you don’t smoke and don’t have pets your carpets and upholstery need to be deodorised every now and then, because their fibres tend to collect easily any odour. I used to steam clean one of my wool rugs every 2 months, because it started smelling funny not very long after the cleaning. I found a simple trick to deodorise carpet and upholstery with baking soda and I decided to try it. All you need is ordinary backing soda – you have to sprinkle it liberally on your rug, wait half an hour and then vacuum it. I would probably never try this recipe, if I wasn’t about to throw away my rug. It turned out to work surprisingly well and I still own the rug. The only thing I changed in this recipe is adding a few drops of lemon oil into the soda and after the procedure the whole living room smells like citrus garden.
Author: Anita Ford