101 Quick Fixes – Solve All Your Problems in 5 Minutes or Less

Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 1:57am by Site Administrator

It’s your worst day ever: your car breaks down, you got a run in your panty hose, and you start to feel a cold coming on. Don’t worry about running to the doctor or spending a fortune on a replacement for a new car part; instead, check out our list of 101 quick fixes. From exercise tricks to organizational hacks these will help you get your day back on track in no time.

Health and Wellness

Monitor your health and wellness with these 5-minute check-ins.

  1. Motivate yourself: Is your exercise motivation starting to suffer? HealthHacks.com recommends measuring your progress to motivate yourself to continue exercising and set new goals. Write down your personal expectations as a way to commit yourself.
  2. Tone your arms: Whenever you’ve got a few extra minutes, give your workout a quick fix by doing this fast push up routine.
  3. Take deep breaths: Take a minute to de-stress by relaxing your shoulders and taking several slow, deep breaths. You’ll feel instantly energized and will gain more perspective on your many to-do lists.
  4. Listen to your favorite song: Another way to dispel stress is to take a few minutes to listen to your favorite song. If you’re at home, dance around the room to loosen up and relax.
  5. Fitness Fix: Oops! You weren’t supposed to eat that whole piece of cake at the office birthday party. When you get home, try one of these intense cardio moves to blast extra calories.
  6. Airborne: Many people swear by Airborne tablets when they want to avoid getting a cold. At the first sign of the sniffles, gulp down a glass (no matter how bad it tastes!)
  7. Take a nap: This one might take a little longer than 5 minutes, but even a short cat nap will help your body rejuvenate, especially if you think you’re starting to get sick. Continuing to pull all-nighters will only make your system crash.
  8. Quick Fixes for a Cold: From multiple glasses of orange juice to Zicam, find out what these Yahoo! recommend to help you feel better when you have a cold.
  9. Alka-Seltzer: Whether you’ve got indigestion or a killer hangover, a glass of Alka-Seltzer will soothe your tummy in no time.
  10. Slap cold water on your face: When you’re exhausted, nervous, or just need a little more perspective on life, run to the bathroom and slap some cold water on your face to bring back the more coherent, sensible you.
  11. Meditate: Studies show that meditating for just a few minutes at a time can help to "increase energy and decrease anxiety and stress."
  12. A Quick Fix for Fainting: The next time you feel faint, try "crossing your ankles and clenching your thighs together, or interlocking your fingertips and pulling in opposite directions, [which] makes the fainting feeling go away."

Home and Garden

From cleaning up the lawn to repairing furniture, this list is full of DIY projects that will improve the overall appearance and quality of your home.

  1. Homestyle Cleaning Solutions: These Hints From Heloise homemade cleaning solutions will save you from having to run to the store to buy cleaning supplies to straighten up before company comes.
  2. Patching up the roof: Until you can save up to call the roofers, use this guide to help you install metal flashings for a quick fix.
  3. Reduce Swelling on Doors: To reduce the swelling on old doors, TextFiles.com advises homeowners to blow hot air from a hand-held hair dryer directly on the places that are causing the doors to stick. Once you have removed the moisture from those spots, the swelling will go down."
  4. How to Clean a Lampshade: This article reveals a smart tip for getting rid of stains on a lampshade: rub a gummy eraser over the spots.
  5. Heloise Tackles Holiday Stains: From coffee to cranberries, check out these fast fixes for getting rid of unsightly stains.
  6. How to Drill Without Getting Dust in Your Eye: This quick fix was designed with DIY homeowners in mind. If you’re drilling a hole into the ceiling, cut a small hole into an aluminum pan and then hold it up over the hole you’re making in the ceiling.
  7. Brighten up a room: When was the last time you dusted your lampshades or light fixtures? If you’re wondering why your room is looking so gloomy, take a dust cloth and swipe it over your light bulbs for a quick brightening trick.
  8. Ten Quick Landscape Fixes: Clean up your lawn and garden with these temporary solutions to overgrown weeds and more.
  9. Make the most of color: After the painters left, did you break down and change your mind about what color you wanted your walls to be? Prevention.com has an idea for how you can recover immediately: "Scavenge the rest of your house for accessories that will tone down the offending color" like contrasting pillows and accessories.
  10. Make the most of your lighting: If your furniture is impossible dusty, dim the lights a little so your guests won’t see. Make the most of each room’s lighting to hide spots, stains and dust or to show off your cleanest, most attractive areas.

Food and Drink

Check out our list of quick fixes for recipes, drink ideas and solutions to other food-related crises.

  1. Fastest Dinner Recipes: If you’re in a bind about what to cook for dinner, visit this site for GoodHousekeeping’s list of fastest dinner recipes.
  2. Fake a Steamer: If you don’t have a steamer but are halfway through your recipe before you realize you need one, read this guide on how to improvise.
  3. Upgrade your vodka: All of you’ve got is McCormick’s, and you just found out that your boss is coming over. Instead of rushing out to the liquor store, pour your vodka into a Brita. The filtered vodka will be much tastier with those martinis.
  4. How to Avoid Crying When Chopping Onions: Get your eyes to stop watering by cutting out a cone from the bottom of the onion before you start chopping and dicing.
  5. Stop the burn: After eating hot peppers or chiles, your mouth will be on fire. Water won’t help it cool down, so what do you do? Check out this post to find out what works.
  6. Make a fire from a can of Coke and a chocolate bar: If you’re trying to make dinner in the middle of the woods but can’t seem to get a spark going, use this trusty hack from WildwoodsSurvival.com to make a fire.
  7. How to Cure a Hangover: About.com writer Colleen Graham offers several quick tips for curing a hangover, including drinking orange juice, taking Alka-Seltzer, making a Bloody Mary and drinking pickle juice.
  8. Quick and Easy Snacks: If you find yourself starving in between meals, don’t waste time (and calories) rummaging through the vending machine or cabinets for a little of this and a little of that. Visit this website to find the most effective snacks that will satisfy your cravings.
  9. 10 Minute Meals: Can you really make an entire meal in 10 minutes? Follow these recipes to find out how to prepare delicious dishes in a flash.
  10. Soften cookies that have been cooked too long: If your cookies came out crunchier than you wanted, put them into a ziploc bag with a piece of bread. Let them sit overnight, and they’ll be soft and yummy in the morning.


When you’re away from home, simple problems can seem so much wore. Read below for easy tricks to help you get back to your vacation.

  1. Chew gum to stop ears from popping on a plane: Unless you can continue to induce yawning for 10 solid minutes, your best bet to stop your ears from popping during take-off and landing is to chew gum.
  2. Soothe dry skin after a flight: After a long flight, your skin and lips could probably use a little rehydration. For skin, The Daily Obsession blog recommends Evian Water Spray. For lips, crush a capsule of Vitamin E and rub onto your lips.
  3. Franklin Global Translator: If your college French skills suddenly take their leave the moment you land in Paris, use a portable electronic translator like this one to help you on your trip.
  4. Instant Humidity: The 43 Folders wiki knows how to beat super dry hotel rooms: just wet an extra towel and hang it over your headboard to balance out the humidity.
  5. Beauty Tricks for Travel: This article from MarieClaire.com has several great beauty hacks that will save you from the drying effects of long plane trips.
  6. Fog-Proof Bathroom Mirror: Hotel bathroom mirrors are notorious for fogging up after each shower. This post suggests soaping up the mirror and then buffing it off with a dry towel to keep "the mist from condensing on the mirror."
  7. Book online: If you need to change a flight or just want to plan a very last minute vacation, skip the travel agent and the airport agents and book online. Travelers can find great deals on Expedia.com or Hotwire.com.

Automotive and Electronic

From car parts to XBoxes, take a look at these tips for temporary solutions to broken down vehicles and electronics.

  1. Quick Fixes for Better Sound: Want to get better sound out of your microphone or sound system without having to pay for new equipment? Check out this article, which gives great tips including cleaning your contacts, enabling high-res mode on plug-ins and more.
  2. Fix a leaky radiator pipe with duct tape: TheCarConnection.com recommends using duct tape for patching up a leaky radiator pipe until you can bring your car into the shop.
  3. Get rid of body rust: DoItYourself.com has a handy idea for buffing out rust on your vehicle. Dip a piece of steel wool in kerosene and use it to "rub away small rust patches."
  4. Fix a dragging tailpipe with a coat hanger: If your tailpipe is dragging on the road, wrap a metal coat hanger around the pipe, "looping through where the clamp was and twisting it at the ends."
  5. Prevent foggy windows: Use shaving cream to coat your car’s windshield when they start to fog up. You can buff it off with dry paper towels and "repeat whenever the windows begin to collect fog again, or after washing your windows with window cleaner."
  6. Fix-A-Flat: If you can’t remember how to change your flat, or you’d just rather get off the side of the interstate as fast as you can, air up your flat tire with Fix-A-Flat, which "seals and inflates in just minutes," according to the product’s website.
  7. Clean corroded battery terminals: Make your own cleaning solution made up of baking soda and water to clean corroded battery terminals and increase their connectivity.
  8. Fix a dent: Instead of taking your car to the shop every time someone dents your car door in the parking lot, DoItYourself.com recommends getting the toilet plunger and "placing it over the dent. Pump the plunger to create suction, and pull. The dent should pop out when you pull away the plunger."
  9. XBox 360 Towel Trick: Can you really fix an old XBox 360 with a fluffy towel? This article from engadget.com says you can, maintaining "that blanketing your 360 with a towel, firing it up for 10 minutes or so, turning it off, and then removing the towel will mysteriously allow your machine to function for a couple hours."
  10. Use aluminum foil to fix your antenna: It’s an old school method that still works. If you’re getting terrible reception on your TV, try wrapping bits of tin foil around the antenna to attract a better signal.
  11. 5 Quick Fix-It Tips for Your iPhone: If you’re having problems with your iPhone, use these quick fix-it tips to unfreeze it, manage the reset options and more.
  12. Going Green: Follow these tips to find a way to go green even when you’re using technology.

Fashion and Beauty

Wardrobe malfunctions can happen at anytime. Arm yourself with these quick fix solutions that will help you look your best, no matter what.

  1. Patch up panty hose: Paint clear nail polish around a run in panty hose to seal up the hole and prevent it from tearing even further.
  2. Dry nail polish faster with cold water: After letting newly-painted nails air dry for two minutes, dunk them into a bowl of ice cold water to let the polish harden.
  3. Zap a pimple overnight: Dab toothpaste on a pimple before you go to sleep to instantly dry it up. It might take two or nights for the pimple to go away completely, but this trick is especially effective if you can catch the pimple in its early stages.
  4. Tame fly-aways with clear mascara: If you’re trying to control a specific hairstyle, or if the weather is too humid for your unruly hair, swipe a small amount of clear mascara over the fly-aways to hold them in place.
  5. Look more awake with white eyeliner: After you’ve finished your makeup, do you still look like you could use a few more hours of sleep? Perk up your eyes by applying white eyeliner to the inner corners of your eyelid. You’ll only need a little bit to make your whole face look brighter.
  6. Fix a pilling sweater: iVillage’s Beauty page has a quick fix for a pilling sweater: "Rub a piece of Velcro along the pilled fabric" to smooth it down.
  7. Fix a Streaky Self Tan: This tip from CBSNews.com advises readers to "sweep a cotton ball soaked in 100 percent lemon juice over streaky areas" to blend in a tan.
  8. Clean up make up stains: Remove make up stains from your clothes by gently rubbing baby wipes on the spot.
  9. Improvise when you lose the back of an earring: The blog Beauty Women Advice suggests taking the eraser off a pencil to improvise when you lose the back to your earring.
  10. Preparation H your face: If your face is swollen because you’ve eaten too much salt, you could gulp down several glasses of water (which will only make your tummy bloated for the next few hours). Or, you could "massage massage a pea-size dab of Preparation-H on swollen areas…and wash it off after 15 minutes," according to a December 2001 article in Shape magazine.
  11. Quick Fix for a Locker Room Disaster: This blogger writes about saving face when she realizes the only products she has in her locker room bag are a blow dryer, black eyeliner and Udderly Smooth Udder Cream.
  12. Slim down your face with make up: Forget dieting. This beauty quick fix shows readers how to slim down their faces with a few makeup tricks, like playing up eyes, plumping up lips and highlighting your cheeks with bronzer, blush and highlighters.
  13. Lipstick recipe: You’re in a rush to meet your date on time, and you realize that you’re out of lipstick — or worse, your lipstick just broke off in your rush to crack open the tube. Realsimple.com has a recipe for improvising at the last minute: Dab cream or even powder blush onto your lips and then top off with lip gloss or Chapstick to smooth it over.
  14. 3 Quick Fix Makeup Tips: What do you do when you realize you’ve put on way too much makeup? Don’t wash your face and start all over: read this guide to help you fix your face in seconds.

Gift Giving

Have you been procrastinating or did you really not receive the invite until the day of the party? Find last minute gifts with these clever ideas.

  1. The Gift Card: Gift cards from department stores, boutiques, restaurants and cinema houses are great presents that require hardly any thought. Pick one up on the way to the party for a quick fix.
  2. Money: Stuff your extra cash into a card for a gift that will be appreciated by anyone.
  3. Lottery Tickets: Lottery tickets are cheap and fun additions to any card or gift bag. Throw in a few scratch off games, but only if they agree to share the big prizes with you!
  4. Unused bath soaps: Everyone has an extra stash of shower gel and pretty bath soaps under the sink. As long as they’re still in the wrapper and the seal hasn’t been broken, swipe your unused bath soaps and scented lotions for an indulgent gift.
  5. Magazine subscription: This gift idea is the perfect quick fix, because you don’t even have to buy it in time for the party. Just slip one of the order inserts from one of the recipient’s favorite magazines into a card, and tell them their first magazine will arrive in the mail shortly. Don’t forget to order it as soon as you get home.
  6. Baked goods: If you forgot to bring a gift for the host or hostess of the party you’re attending, put some Ready to Bake! Pillsbury cookie dough into the oven. Your host will appreciate the gesture, and besides, who doesn’t love homemade cookies?

Study Reviews

Last minute cram sessions require these quick-fix websites and guides when you need to review for a test fast.

  1. SparkNotes: Touted as "today’s most popular study guides," the SparkNotes review guides are a great way to review for tests, class discussions or essay assignments. If you didn’t read the book, you can find in-depth character analyses, a section that outlines themes and motifs and of course, a plot overview.
  2. PinkMonkey: PinkMonkey also features a vault of study guides for books and college text books.
  3. Study World: Students can find Cliffs Notes, Monarch notes and other useful study guides here for a quick fix when trying to review for class.
  4. Babel Fish: Your Spanish paper is due in 30 minutes, and you’re still having trouble translating the title! Use Babel Fish to help you translate in a flash.
  5. FreeTranslation.com: FreeTranslation.com is another website that offers free translation services that are instant and reliable.
  6. CliffsNotes: CliffsNotes claims to be "the fastest way to learn." Get help with study guides in all subjects, not just literature.

Professional Quick Fixes

Sometimes it’s just not your day. Read below to find out how to deal with stressful situations, manage clients and more.

  1. 30 Quick Fixes for Windows XP and Vista: If your office computers run on Windows operating systems, chances are you’ve got a lot of little bugs now and then. Check out this popular article for how to make the most of your Windows computer.
  2. Quick Fixes for Wardrobe Troubles: This article shows professionals how to make the most of their office supplies when you have a wardrobe malfunction.
  3. Sign up for a spam filter: If your inbox is constantly being inundated with junk e-mails, clean it up in a flash by adding a spam filter that will prevent unwanted e-mails from barging in.
  4. Set up an automatic reply message when you’re swamped: If you’re totally swamped at work and don’t have time to answer the phone or respond to e-mails, set up an auto reply message letting clients know that you’ll have to get back to them later that day. Simply ignoring the e-mails won’t work; it will probably just encourage people to start calling you on the phone.
  5. Start labeling: With all that mess on your desk, you’re probably wasting lots of time trying to figure out what everything is and where it goes. Start an impromptu labeling system — even if consists of writing on folders with a Sharpie — to give your lack of organization a quick fix.
  6. Ask for help: This quick fix is actually a smart idea that will pay off in the long run. When you’re overwhelmed, you probably won’t be able to get much done anyway. Consult your supervisor for a fast way to gain a little perspective.
  7. Delegate: If you’re honestly unable to juggle all of your responsibilities one day, hand a few duties over to your employees. Ask the intern to organize your files, or have your secretary make a couple of phone calls for you. Just be sure to say thank you at the end of the day.
  8. Send e-mails instead of using the phone: If you want to check in on clients to make sure they aren’t feeling neglected, send a brief e-mail to ask how they’re doing and if they’d like to schedule a meeting at a later date. Picking up the phone will just open you up to small talk.
  9. Last Minute Marketing Strategies: This article has great ideas for businesses who need to patch up their marketing strategies quickly.
  10. Donate to a charity: Does your company have a reputation for being greedy, unreliable or too expensive? All you need is some good PR. Donate your services or a percentage of your holiday profits to a local charity, and then send a press release to the newspaper to boost your public image.
  11. Request an extension on your taxes: If you file your taxes as an individual, NFIB.com reports that "you can request a six-month extension using Form 4868, the Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return." You’ll have to pay your taxes eventually, but this quick fix will save you from having to pay a fine as well.


Make your home clutter free with these instant quick fixes for organizing.

  1. Feng Shui your room: Rearrange your furniture to give your room a bit of a boost. The principles of feng shui hold that moving around items in a room promote the free flow of energy, which in turn gives you more energy and increases your productivity.
  2. Donate items to charity: A fast way to declutter your closet is to throw items you no longer want or need into a box or garbage bag. Toss the bag into your trunk and drop it off at a Goodwill station the next time you drive by.
  3. Throw things away: Don’t go overboard with this tip, or you might regret it later. But a quick fix for emptying a room of its mess is to pick up trash and throw unwanted items that no one else can use in the trash.
  4. 60 Second Organizing Tip: About.com writer Sarah Aguirre reveals easy and super fast ways to clean up the house when you don’t have much time.
  5. Vacuum to make a room smell better: If you don’t have hours to sit around waiting for the new potpourri to work its magic, run the vacuum through a room to freshen it up. You’ll be surprised at how much better it smells.
  6. Load up the dishwasher: Clear off the counter and empty the sink by throwing dirty dishes in the dishwasher for an instant clutter removal trick.
  7. Utilize the utility room: If you have piles of dirty clothes on the floor but no time to do laundry, go ahead and throw a load into the washing machine or even the dryer, but don’t run them until after your guests leave.
  8. Air freshener: Spray air freshener into the fan to improve the smell of an entire room. The fan will help circulate the scent much faster.
  9. Throw everything into the bedroom: As a last resort, move all of the clutter into another room to give the illusion of a neat house. Just remember to close the door!
  10. Hang a picture over cracked paint: If there’s a stain on the wall or the paint is starting to flake off, hang up a picture from another room over the spot to cover up the damage.
  11. Last Minute Holiday Organizing Tips: Check out this list of tips that will help you get organized for the holidays. All it takes is 5 minutes.
  12. Sort your mail: To help you organize your life, set up a simple filing system for your mail. Separate envelopes into piles for bills that need to be paid, letters that need to be responded to, and junk mail that can be thrown away.
  13. Make your bed: An unmade bed can make the whole room look much worse than it actually is. Straighten up the covers, arrange the pillows neatly, and watch your room transform.

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  1. This is no doubt a cool list, but you can expect a lot of cynical reactions to your headline.

    In my opinion, you’ve pandered to Digg (or perhaps, an imagining about what Digg users want) over your readers. All of us have problems that can’t be solved by any kind of 101 post — that’s the first thing I started thinking about when I was pitched this, and it distracts from the content.

    A more reasonable and respectful claim would have served the post better, in my opinion. Once again, though, I really appreciate the effort that would have gone into this.

    Comment by Skellie — December 13, 2007 @ 5:36 am

  2. Another place to go for answers on these categories (Home & Garden, Health, Love and Relationships, Gaming and Games, etc). is FunAdvice.com. It’s one of the oldest Q&A sites on the web, and is much more personal and less corporate-feeling than Yahoo, in my opinion.

    Comment by Dara — December 13, 2007 @ 6:50 am

  3. The list might not solve all of my problems…but it would make a good start! I especially liked the tip of using a toilet plunger to fix a car dent!

    Comment by Kathleen — December 19, 2007 @ 5:29 am

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