From preventing tears while chopping onions, to removing screws with worn heads, these 10 unbelievably useful DIY hacks will change your life - or at least make it a tiny bit easier.

1. Hide that thermostat with a hinged painting


Thermostats are great for controlling room temperature - in fact that's their main purpose. What they don’t do very well is look nice. Why not use a favourite canvas print or painting to cover it up? Simply attach two sturdy hinges to one side so you can access the thermostat as and when required.

 

2. Hide your spare key in a medicine bottle then glue a pine cone to the lid


Then bury it in your garden, with the pine cone visible. You'll almost hope you lose your main set of keys so you can dig up your spare. If this seems like too much trouble, or you live in a pine forest, you could just keep that spare with a neighbour.

3. Use ice cubes to remove indentations from your carpet


Simply lay them over the offending marks. Yes, it really works.

4. Use a rubber band to remove worn screws


Screws with worn or damaged heads can be a nightmare to remove. But by simply applying an elastic band to the hole, then inserting your screwdriver and turning, that troublesome screw will be out in no time. Nailed it.

5. Use a glue gun to stop that rug slipping


Rugs on wooden or tiled floors look fantastic - but their appeal lessens when you “go for a Burton” on one. Reduce or eliminate the rug's slipping potential by applying lines of glue on its underside.

6. Christmas tree lights for gloomy wardrobes


Wardrobes. Sometimes they are dark and cavernous and you can't find your shoes. But by stringing up some Christmas tree lights, you’ll be able to find your Valentinos or Clark's Specials sometime before Christmas.

7. Place a magnet inside your cupboard to hold spice jars to the underside


Running out of space for your spices? Simply lay a strip magnet to the bottom of your cupboard, then place your (metal-lidded) jars on the underside. Do not try with Marmite.

8. Use a lighter to remove that wine cork


Fancy a drink but lost your cork screw? Simply remove the wrapping and ignite a lighter around the air pocket beneath the cork. This will expand the air and the cork will pop out ‘a la’ Champagne. Ensure the bottle is pointed away from others. You could also insert a tea spoon into the cork at 45 degrees and turn - although this latter technique works best with plastic corks.

9. Use hydrogen peroxide to remove wine stains

Combine hydrogen peroxide and dishwasher liquid in equal parts, then gently apply the mixture to the wine stain. Leave for 30 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Soak the stain in hot water, then rinse in cold water, before hang-drying the item. If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide handy, absorb the excess wine with a paper towel, then pour salt liberally over the stain. The plonk should be gone in no time.

10. Chop onions in a bowl of water to prevent tears

Wearing contact lenses also prevents a teary outburst in the kitchen.