How To: 20 Simple Solutions to Life's Most Irritating First World Problems

20 Simple Solutions to Life's Most Irritating First World Problems

Just because a problem is small or superficial doesn't mean it can't annoy the living crap out of you. Others may think you're overreacting, or even have the audacity to roll their eyes, but you're in your own personal hell.

First-world problems, white whines—call it whatever you want—but knowing a problem is trivial doesn't make it any less frustrating. On that note, here are 20 simple solutions for some of the most maddening first-world headaches.

#1. I Can Never Remember Which Side My Gas Tank Is On

You pull up to the pump, get out, swipe your card, and pick up the nozzle, only to turn and realize you parked on the wrong side. And it's rush hour, so all the other pumps are taken. Ugh.

How can you prevent this dilemma from disrupting your future commutes? Just look at your dash. A lot of cars have a little arrow next to the gas gauge that shows you which side your tank is on.

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#2. My Cereal Has Too Many Crumbs, Now It's Soggy

Soggy cereal is disgusting, and the last little bit in the box is always the worst. Next time you snag the last bowl, use a colander to strain out the dust for a crunchier texture and less excess sugar.

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Unless, y'know, mushy, super sugary cereal is your thing. We won't judge.

#3. My Least Favorite Song Is Stuck in My Head

Some songs just get stuck in your head. No matter how much you hate them, they're catchy. And the worst part is, the harder you try to get rid of them, the deeper they dig into your brain. So how, then, do you solve a problem you're not supposed to think about?

Humans are notoriously bad multitaskers, so take advantage of your disadvantage by distracting your brain with something else. Researchers at Western Washington University found that solving five letter anagrams is the best way to prevent or get rid of an earworm.

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Hate anagrams? Any puzzle or mentally tasking activity will do, just make sure it's not too difficult or that song will come right back.

#4. My Fingers Always Get Messy Dipping Oreos in Milk

It's a well-known fact that an Oreo cannot be eaten until it's dunked in milk (unless you're some kind of monster or something). With that requirement comes the burden of gross, sticky fingers. Have your cookie and eat it too by using a fork to dunk so you can keep your hands clean.

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#5. My Produce Goes Bad Before I Can Eat It All

Always have a few pieces of fruit that end up going bad before you have a chance to finish them? Just change your storage habits. Fruits like bananas, apples, and avocados emit a gas called ethylene that causes other nearby fruits to ripen faster. To slow down the process, just divide and conquer by storing them separately.

#6. The Balance on My Gift Card Is Too Low to Buy Anything

The only thing worse than money you can only spend in one specific place is not actually having enough to buy anything with said money. But don't chuck those almost-empty gift cards yet—some states require merchants to give cash refunds for cards with low balances.

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In California, you're entitled to a refund if the balance is $9.99 or lower, no matter what. The laws in other states can get a little more specific, so check out this post by my colleague Nelson to find out how it works where you live.

#7. My Burger Keeps Falling Apart

Don't you hate when you bite into a big, juicy burger, only to have it disintegrate in your hands? Next time, just turn it upside down. The bottom bun is thicker, so it's better at holding the sandwich together.

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#8. Siri Can't Pronounce My Name

What's the point of having a tiny personal assistant if it can't even say your name properly? In iOS 7, if Siri always butchers your name (or one of your contacts'), you can teach her to say it the right way by pronouncing it for her.

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When you're looking for a contact using voice recognition, after two failed attempts Siri will ask you if you want to correct her pronunciation. Tap Yes, then say the name the right way. It's that easy.

#9. I Hate the Orange Dust on My Hands from Eating Cheetos

Love Cheetos, but hate Cheetos fingers? Don't eat them with your hands; just use chopsticks instead.

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This isn't just good for Cheetos, either. Obviously, you can use chopsticks to eat whatever you want, but they're particularly useful for chips, candy, chocolate and any other small but messy snack.

#10. My Coffee Always Sloshes Out of the Cup When I Walk

It's not just your awful luck—the way humans walk has a lot to do with why you're always spilling your coffee. The easiest way to combat it? Watch your cup.

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Your instinct is probably to look back and forth between the cup and where you're going, but by walking slowly with your eyes fixed on your coffee, it's much less likely to slosh out over the side.

#11. I Can't Get the Last Little Bit Out of My Spray Bottle

Those elusive last few drops at the bottom of a spray bottle are infuriating. Spray bottles are horribly designed, but you can hack them to spray at any angle with some plastic tubing and a couple of stainless steel nuts.

#12. My Straw Won't Stay in My Soda Can

If you're one of those weird people who uses straws for everything, you probably hate this:

The simplest solution would be to just not use a straw, but if you've gotta have one, you can keep your straw from floating out of the can by holding it in place with the tab.

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#13. I've Lost, Like, Twenty Lens Caps

Why, when you spend a bunch of money on a camera lens, does it not include some mechanism to prevent losing the lens cap? That sounds like it would be pretty simple to add—because it is. Just grab some LEGOs and glue.

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#14. There's Nothing Good on Netflix

Sometimes, you can scroll for days and not find a damn thing you feel like watching on Netflix. But with the Hola Unblocker plugin and a simple script written by redditor zhuki, you can watch content from any country where Netflix streaming is available.

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That means no matter which country you're in, you can watch anything available for streaming in Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, the UK, or the US.

Talk about upgrading your library.

#15. My Car Remote Doesn't Work from Far Enough Away

Why even have a remote for your car if you have to be three feet away for it to work? Isn't the whole point that you're supposed to be able to unlock your car, well... remotely?

You can easily increase the range of your keyless entry remote by pointing it at your head.

#16. The Fridge Isn't Cooling My Drinks Fast Enough

Can't wait an hour for your room temperature soda to cool down? You can speed up the process and have ice cold drinks in under five minutes by putting the cans in a bath of cold water, ice and salt. Alternatively, wrap them in a damp paper towel and stick them in the freezer for a few minutes (just don't forget about them or you'll have a mess to clean up).

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#17. Naps Make Me More Tired

Napping is truly an art. Personally, I can't nap successfully to save my life. I always feel worse when I wake up, no matter if I sleep for 30 minutes or 3 hours. Turns out, that's because I'm doing it wrong.

The perfect nap is only ten minutes. A ten-minute nap is just the right amount of time to recharge your brain without making you groggy so you wake up refreshed, not ready for bed.

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#18. I Made Cookies Yesterday, They're Already Stale

The only downside to fresh-baked homemade cookies is how quickly they turn stale. One day you're biting into a delicious pillow of goodness and the next, it's hard as a rock.

Make them as soft and fresh as new with a slice of bread. Just put it in the container with your cookies and their moisture will be restored through a very scientific process called cookie osmosis.

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#19. Pushing My Self-Propelled Mower Is Too Much Work

Summer is supposed to be all about relaxation, not yard work. Make your self-propelled mower do all the heavy lifting by putting it on a leash.

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As the mower goes in circles around the stake, the rope will get shorter, so it gets closer with each trip. Once it gets to the center, all you have to do is manually trim the area where the stake is.

#20. My Clothes Are Wrinkly, but I Don't Feel Like Ironing

Hate wrinkles, but too lazy to bust out the iron? Use your morning routine to your advantage: hang your clothes in the bathroom while you shower to steam the wrinkles out. Not planning on showering? Spray a little water on your clothes and dry them with a hair dryer on low.

What's Your Problem?

Got a solution to a first-world problem that's not on the list? No solution, just want to complain? That's what the comments section is for.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Images via movinonup2east, Leela Cyd Ross, Margaret Maloney, Marcelo Alves, Foodbeast, Raw Sniper, buyalex, jack_brightside Mark Sebastian, kowitz

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