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Smartphones & gadgets

10 incredibly useful low-tech hacks for high-tech gadgets you didn’t know existed

You know that feeling you get when you have an A-HA! moment? Sometimes it comes after the simplest fix to something that’s just been nagging you. It happens to all of us.

As we add to our collections of high-tech gadgets, I had a few A-HA! moments when I realized some everyday items can really help out with organization.

So I picked 10 pretty cool low-tech hacks that are super cheap (you probably have them in the house already) and so easy to do!

1. Don’t step on them!

Anyone with kids knows the horror of stepping on a stray Lego. You really can’t even put that pain into words. But here is a much better use for all of those Lego figures you have laying around. The design of the “hands” make a perfect holder for computer cords! Just stand those little guys on your desk and let them do some work!

2. Super secret drawer

Forget about a junk drawer and create a tech drawer! This is a great way to make your own charging station that’s hidden away. You can use hot glue or double-sided tape to secure a surge protector to the back and now you have a space for your phone, laptop and iPad.

3. Bring on the wine

Don’t throw away your wine corks! You can use them to keep your earbuds from getting all tangled. Just poke a hole in one end and make a slice on the other. You can wrap your buds around the cork and throw them in your bag.

4. Hand-made speakers

If you’re still saving up for some killer speakers, or maybe you just don’t have extra room for speakers, you can still get some great sound from your smartphone with this easy hack. Yup, just a paper towel roll and two disposable cups will get you a homemade stereo.

5. Sound Advice

Is your phone alarm just not loud enough for you? You’re probably just ignoring it in the morning, but this neat trick will ensure you never sleep through it again! Put your smartphone in an empty cup by your bedside. It’ll create an amplifier and boost you right out of bed!

6. Add a little cushion

How many times have you lost the padding on your earbuds? Or they get all gross and you have to toss them? You don’t need to throw away the whole set. Here’s a cheap trick to replace the padding around your earbuds – use earplugs! Just cut those little sponges in half – poke a small hole and press them onto the earpiece.

7. Project Yourself!

Turn your smartphone into a cinema! You can easily make this projector at home. All you need is a shoebox and a magnifying glass. Cut a circular hole on the front of the shoebox that’s the size of the magnifying glass and slide it in. You can use masking tape to keep it secure. Finally, put your phone in the box (you might need to fashion a little stand or holder to keep your phone up). Move the phone closer or farther from the glass to change focus. Point the box toward the wall and play whatever you want from your phone. You’ll need to experiment a little and make sure you’re in a dark room.

8. Tie ’em up

Those tabs you use to keep your loaf of bread fresh can be pretty handy! The little plastic squares are great for keeping cords together. Just wind up your wire and secure the tab around it. You can also write on them, so you can label which cords belong to what!

9. Getting you out of a bind

Binder clips have so many uses beyond keeping paper together. The heavy duty ones are great for keeping your computer space neat and organized. Just clip them to the edge of your desk and you can feed the cords up and through the handles.  Now you don’t have to get on your hands and knees, digging around the floor to find them!

10. Forget about lights…string your cords

Cords all over the floor probably drive you crazy, but you aren’t too sure about making holes in the wall to hide them, plus if you hire a professional to do it, it’ll cost you! So here’s a great hack – get out those little plastic clips you use to hang your Christmas lights! They’re self-adhesive and you can stick them on walls or furniture without damage. Then you just string the cords into them – and wah-lah, you get the cords out of the way!

20 amazing things you didn’t know Google photos could do

You take a lot of pictures and they all have to go somewhere, so you store them in Google Photos. You use it as an archive to back your snaps up to the cloud. Maybe you search it from time to time or use it to share a photo with friends. If that’s all you’re doing with Google Photos, then you’re missing some of the service’s coolest features.

Get ready to become a next-level Google Photos user when you discover all the amazing things it can do. Read more about them here.

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