Lynae Hanson
Use a squeegee to remove pet hair from carpet. (Lynae Hanson)

Use a wine rack to store guest towels. (Lynae Hanson)

Create an outdoor art hook from a strip of metal roofing strap. (Lynae Hanson)

Use a 4.5"-diameter PVC pipe as a garden stake organizer. (Lynae Hanson)

This wire basket stores garbage bags in previously unused space. (Lynae Hanson)

Many years ago, I let life's little irritations consume me. As I complained to my boss about a problem at work, he advised me to only worry about what I can control and let the rest go. That advice shaped me into a person who is always searching for ideas to design, organize and create spaces that eliminate stress, add beauty and bring order to my life. After all, I can control my environment.

So after perhaps a bit too much time on the Internet searching for storage solutions and cleaning tips, the word "lifehack" began appearing in my Facebook and Twitter feeds. There are many definitions of lifehacks, but the most straightforward is any clever way to simplify your life.

I began following several lifehack feeds and realized the tips are extremely handy. Although there are some I have no need for and some I already knew, I gathered a few of my favorites from and tested them out:

-Use nail polish to differentiate your keys.

-Use a squeegee to remove pet hair from carpet.

-Use a wine rack to store guest towels.

-Cut open toilet paper tubes and use them as a cuff to keep wrapping paper from unrolling.

As I was looking around my house to see what else bothered me, I realized I had come up with few lifehacks of my own over the years that are worth sharing:

Outdoor art hook

After moving into our current home, we experienced seamless steel siding for the first time. I wanted to make our home more inviting by hanging outdoor art on the siding without causing any damage. I cut a strip of metal roofing strap about 3 inches in length and bent it into a 'C' shape with a little hook on one end. The hook slides up under the siding and the artwork is wired onto the other end. The pressure of the artwork against the metal strap keeps it in place. And when you want to remove it, simply lift the artwork to relieve the pressure. The hook comes right out of the siding without any damage.

Garden stake organizer

I love to grow flowers and I need many garden stakes to keep my plants upright in North Dakota's wind. For years I stored my garden stakes in an old garbage can. The stakes would spread out in the can, the can would tip over, and the stakes would become tangled. I decided to purchase a 4.5"-diameter PVC pipe, cut it to just shorter than the garden stakes and attach it horizontally to the shelf in my shed. The stakes slide in, they never tip over, and they are never tangled. Plus, they are up off the floor, so I have my precious workspace back.

Garbage bag basket

Garbage bags typically come in a large box, but my kitchen drawers are small. So I purchased a wire basket and hung it above the garbage can, in the cupboard, using two tiny hooks. The bags are now stored in what was previously unused space, they aren't taking up drawer space, and they are handy when needed.

Here is a list of more lifehacks from that caught my eye:

-Use a see-through shoe organizer insider your pantry door to hold snacks and packages like gravy mix, tuna packets, etc.

-Dry erase marker on framed glass makes for a great alternative to expensive white boards.

-Empty tissue boxes can keep plastic bags organized in each room where needed.

-A ball of aluminum foil makes a great reusable drier sheet.

-Use magazine organizers to store flip flops or flats.

I don't plan to move anytime soon, but when I do, I'm definitely implementing this lifehack from When moving homes, pack a box with toilet paper, paper towels, and everything you need to cook a meal. Label this "BOX 1" and take it with you in your car.

I love this idea from Attach Velcro to your small appliances so cords can easily be wrapped around the appliance and held in place. offers this ingenious idea: Mount towel racks to the inside of your cabinet doors to store pot lids.

Feeling stressed by life's little irritations? Figure out which ones you can control. Then get creative with a lifehack search to help you become that person who navigates through life with ease.

Lynae Hanson is an artist with a passion for graphic design, marketing, lively interiors, furniture construction, updating the outdated and transforming found objects. She is a wife, the mother of two grown children and two furry dogs as well as a gardener and assistant executive director for the North Dakota Safety Council.