30 Everyday Activities People Have Been Doing All Wrong
It’s inevitable that we do a lot of things wrong, that’s part of how we learn. And “wrong” is really a subjective experience, what would be more accurate is to say we do many things in a less-than-optimal way.
And there’s nothing inherently bad about that - as long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else. There are an infinite number of things we do on a daily basis that we may have never been taught to do.
So, we’re left to figure out what works best for us and carry on with life. Then one day, you stumble across a TikTok “life hack” of someone hanging a photo with a fork, and your mind is blown.
While smushing your face against the wall to watch as you try to line up the frame hanger with the nail isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s not exactly ideal. And using the tines of a fork to balance on the nail so you can slide the hanger down evenly is arguably faster.
In the spirit of finding out you were doing something the hard way, we found an AskReddit thread full of great advice. User slart_n asked, “What everyday activity did you do wrong for years, before someone finally showed you an important trick?”
Naturally, Reddit delivered, with over a thousand responses! We narrowed it down to the best 30, so keep scrolling to see what you might be doing the hard way.
1. Brushing your hair
Brushing my hair. No one taught me how to do it right because I always had short hair as a kid, and my mom somehow got the impression I knew to brush the ends first, and work up to the roots. Nope. I started at the top and would rip down. No wonder my hair was so bad. But then I saw Tangled AS AN ADULT and realized I had been brushing my hair wrong my entire life.
2. How to move the cursor to different words on your phone
Sliding your thumb on the spacebar of your phone will move the cursor
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3. How to use the last sliver of soap
When the soap bar gets to the last sliver, you can just stick it on to the new bar to use it up completely.
4. Accepting compliments
Not making a joke when someone gives you a compliment. I have learned to say “thank you. That’s nice to hear”. Game changer for me.
5. Using a handheld can opener
Using a tin opener, was putting it side on for years which works just not very well
6. Holding a knife
Holding a knife properly.
7. Restocking spring-loaded shelves
Not every day for everyone, but it WAS every cashier at my job... we had cigarette cases at the self checkout that we could unlock and get packs out of for customers, so we didn't have to walk all the way to the big register to get them every time.
Restocking them was a pain in the ass, one pack at a time, pushing the little spring loader thing back with each one, squeezing them in next to each other...
We did it this way for years. It was how I had been shown how to restock them. YEARS. At least 7!! SEVEN. YEARS.
And then one day I was pulling the price tags off to change them out, and one was a little stubborn. I gave it a little yank upwards and suddenly THE ENTIRE SHELF SLID RIGHT OUT ON ROLLERS.
The way my jaw dropped. I think I actually swore out loud. It was SO MUCH EASIER to restock them. I ended up showing every single one of the other self checkout cashiers and every single one was blown away. Even the ones who had been there way longer than me. None of us knew the shelves pulled out. Not even the manager! She actually said "Are you fucking kidding me?!" when I showed her.
I can't believe we all went that freaking long without knowing the shelves pulled out. Years of stocking those things one pack at a time. Then again, if we had known and been using it, they probably would have been broken like everything else in that place.
8. Rinsing your hair
Rinsing my hair - I used to rinse with hot water and assume I just had frizzy and dry hair. Rinsed with cold water once and realized I'd lived far too long with frizzy hair for no reason.
9. Not waiting for the shower to heat up first
Right after college my girlfriend taught me to let the shower run until it gets hot before going in, every shower I took prior to that I got in first then turned cold water on for however long it took to heat up.
10. Wasting less celery
Not an everyday activity, but someone showed me I'd been wasting celery for years. When it goes limp and loses its crunch, you can just soak it in water overnight, and it makes it crisp again.
11. Safely removing the avocado pit
Taking the pit out of avocados. Literally just push your thumbs against the bottom of the half that the pit is in and pop it out. Or use the corner near the hilt (not the blade or point) of the knife to take it out.
12. Folding washcloths
I folded all my washclothes and they barely fit in the drawer. My kid said "why don't you just stack them unfolded in there?" It's brilliant. They fit perfectly and it saves time. It sounds stupid, but it was a game changer.
13. How to safely lift heavy things
How to pick up heavy things. Finally had a PT teach me how to pick shit up when I was 31 with a chronic back injury.
Edit: since this is getting traction, her actually advice was lift your balls with your abs before you lift.
14. Dressing order for the goth club
Boots first, then corset.
15. Getting all the tomato paste out of the can
Those tiny, obnoxious cans of tomato paste. You can take both ends off with the can opener, and use a wooden spoon to push on the top. It comes out clean like a push pop!
16. Putting on pillowcases
Put on pillow covers. I used to shove the pillow in there and struggle with it until my wife showed me how to flip the pillow case inside out and cover the pillow while flipping right side out.
17. Unloading the dishwasher
you can take the silverware basket out of the dishwasher when unloading it. 💀
18. Using chopsticks
Someone told me I used chopsticks wrong. I put the second one on the side of my ring finger, with my index and middle fingers on top of it. The person told me to just hold it like I would hold a pen, and I was like, wtf, this is how I hold a pen.
Then I realized I hold a pen differently from most people.
I've since retrained myself to hold chopsticks correctly, but I'm not even going to try to change how I write because it's just ingrained so deeply (and also, it doesn't really matter anyway).
19. Cutting bell peppers
Cut bell peppers. For years I did it in a messy way where it got seeds everywhere.
Then one day I decided that there was probably a better way so I watched YouTube.
What you do is you cut the top and bottom off first, pull the seeds out in one piece, then cut down the sides and unroll it like paper. Then you cut the unrolled piece into strips.
I always turn it upside down, cut where the natural creases are and then peel the lobes off with ease. Leaving you with the stem and the attached seeds.
20. Peeling bananas
I used to open banana by pulling the top, then i saw some documentary with monkey opening them from the bottom and its 10 time easier.
I also learn that im more stupid than a monkey that day
21. Cutting onions without crying
Putting onions in the refrigerator for a half hour/ hour before cutting makes it so you don’t cry from the fumes. Learned this working in a restaurant kitchen having to prep 100 lbs of onions every shift. Refrigerating them first was a necessity.
22. Opening a canned drink
Opening a beverage can.
I keep my fingernails very short and sometimes it would be a bit finicky to open the tab on a can.
I was damn near 40 years old when my buddy showed me you’re supposed to push down on the hinge portion of the tab with your thumb to raise the other edge of the tab so you can get your finger under it. I felt like an idiot.
23. Working out
I never thought I needed a workout routine as long as I worked different parts of my body on days until I watched an Arnold Schwarzenegger video on how me makes sure ever single muscle gets hit in a 3 day period. Since then I noticed more gains than I had made all year.
24. Using the dishwasher
I was using my dishwasher wrong and you probably are too.
• Don't pre-rinse your dishes in the sink (it's not necessary if you use your dishwasher correctly and it wastes water). Scrape off big chunks of food, but you don't need to remove residue.
• Do run the hot water in the sink until it's hot before starting the dishwasher
• Don't use pods - liquid detergent is better, powdered is best
• Do use both the pre-rinse and the main cycle cups (the critical part that most people are doing wrong)
• Do use rinse aid
25. How to mount an item with holes already on the back
If you’re mounting something to the wall that has pre-designed holes on the back, rather than measure between the holes and try to space the nails/screws accordingly, stretch a single piece of painters tape (blue tape) across the back of the piece from just before the beginning of the first hole to just after the last one.
Mark each hole with a pencil/pen on the painters tape, then place the tape on the wall and voila, you have a perfect mounting template. I suggest you do a quick check with a laser level on the wall just to make sure your marks are level before drilling.
26. Using the shower curtain
The inside shower curtain goes inside tub
27. Getting the safety cap off deodorant
Taking the safety cap off of deodorant.
I used to try to get my finger nails under it and pop it off. They were quite a pain in the ass to get off. In my late 20s my roommate was talking to me while unpacking her groceries and she opened her deodorant and just twisted up the stick so that the cap came off. I was shocked
28. Hanging pictures
If you're trying to hang a picture by catching the crosswire on a nail in the wall, slide a fork down over the nail so the prongs are behind the nail head and the fork is angled away from the wall.
Slide the wire down behind the fork, and it will be guided right onto the nail. Then just pull up the fork. Saves a dozen attempts to "catch" the nail on the wire.
29. Processing emotions
If I was sad, I'd let myself be sad for a tiny bit, and then brush it off... Saying "I don't have time for this", or " I'm stronger than this", or "crying does no good"
Then anger and frustration would build up until arguments over nothing would happen.
I was shown how to "make space" for those "negative" emotions, and just feel them until they quieted on their own.
Been doing that every time they show up, and the anger and frustration is gone. Most of the anxiety is gone too.
Did it with fears too, which is making a huge difference in relationships.
It's a good thing too; old me wouldn't be able to handle half the shit that current me is shouldering.
30. How to secure a towel
How to properly secure a towel around the waist after a shower. Instead of tucking the hem inwards, you fold it outwards and down, much more secure, you can like, run around and not worry about it falling off.
31. Tying shoes
Tying my shoes. Watched a TED talk about it and learned I had been doing it wrong for decades. Haven't had a shoe come untied since, and no more need for double knots.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely learned a few new things thanks to this AskReddit thread. At the same time, my faith in humanity dwindled just a bit, thankfully, we’re not as reliant on the “survival of the fittest” anymore.
Have you ever discovered you were doing something seemingly simple and straightforward all wrong? Even if you found out through this list, we definitely want to know about your experience, so be sure to drop a comment below!