Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last Longer

A woman using an iphone on a white tabletop with a green plant and a slice of cake.

As anyone over the age of 60 will gleefully tell you, things just aren’t made as well as they used to be. In a culture of temporary fixes, the things we buy are often meant to be well, disposable, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Store-bought items can last and continue to be useful well beyond their intended expiration, if only cared for and handled well. This article will give tricks and hacks to make sure your stuff lasts longer and your ensure your hard-earned money isn’t wasted.

Computer Battery

An open laptop on a desk with a low battery sign on the screen.

Disable all Bluetooth and added devices. Many times, computers have hidden or outdated activities that significantly eat up power. Using the settings menu, simply switch them to "off."

Close old apps and programs. When I look on the bottom of my Mac, I can see when I've left multiple programs open, which, of course, drains the battery. By hitting control-alt-delete (command-alt-delete for Mac users), a list of all open programs can be shown, along with the option to close them.

Embrace power-saving settings (eco mode). Did you know many computers have built-in programs to save battery? One must simply embrace them. Such things can usually be found in the “preferences” or “about” tabs on a computer home screen.

Always unplug your computer once it has received a full charge. As I learned the hard way, overcharging a computer is just as bad as continuously undercharging it. Experts say that once a computer has reached full capacity, unplug it to save the life of your computer's battery.


An iphone and a tablet charging.

Watch the temperature. If your phone becomes warm to the touch, quickly turn it off, if possible. This will prolong both the life of its hardware and battery.

Know how much power you're using. Did you know the newer iphones have a feature that actually tells the percentage of data and power a particular application uses? This is handy because it gives the user an opportunity to turn off unused applications.

Adjust brightness. Only concerned with battery life? Simply lower the brightness given off from your phone!

Washing Machines

A smiling man taking laundry out of a washing machine.

If you are anything like me, when I've finished doing my laundry, I close the lid and rush to bring the clothes to their final destination. However, experts claim that for the health of your machine, one should leave the lid open to allow for greater circulation and the release of moisture.


My earliest memory of our home dishwasher is of a water leak and my father swearing loudly. Modern research states that dishwasher leaks can be avoided by routinely washing the seal (or tub gasket if you prefer) with soap and water.


According to recent research, one should avoid routinely using the auto-clean setting that comes on most modern ovens. Though convenient, the feature is said to cause extreme temperature, which can cause damage to the wires and internal circuits.


Hate a dull razor? Then this trick is for you. One can actually sharpen a razor by running it backward against a rough fabric surface such as a course towel or a pair of jeans.


Keep pantyhose in the freezer for 24 hours before wearing them. The action will help prevent them from running.

Red Wine Stains

A glass of spilt wine on a carpet.

Never fret over spilled wine again! At a party? Simply sprinkle a layer of common table salt over the spot and let it sit for 60 minutes. This works to absorb the stain, which can then be brushed off. Also, be sure to apply the remedy within 2 minutes of the spill for the greatest effectiveness.


There is nothing worse than biting into a soft, or worse, rotten, banana. Keep your bananas fresh longer by doing one simple thing: store them individually rather than together in a bunch.


After every holiday in my house, we have a plethora of pies and cakes that, despite our best efforts, take a while for us to finish. To ensure the longevity of these types of foods, here is an easy trick: instead of storing them with plastic wrap over the top of the whole thing, slice and store them individually, which aids in stopping bacteria growth.


If you love mushrooms, you know how quickly they spoil. To keep them fresh for longer, experts say one should store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator.


I did not know it until recently, but aluminum foil is a wonderful tool to use for storage of a variety of things, including celery. When kept in the refrigerator, the wrapped vegetable is said to last up to 5 weeks longer because it is protected from added temperatures and moisture, which aid in decay.