You may not realize how many small household items that you used to use in the comfort of your parent’s house. Then, when you head out to live on your own at college, you realize that you do not have some of these items, and you have to make do without them. However, this is not the end of the world, as there are some solutions and easy replacements that can be made, here are five alternatives below.

1. Alternative to a Cork Screw

Opening a bottle of wine, and you do not have cork screw?  Well, that’s no problem.  You can make your own MacGyver version of a cork screw with, well, a screw and a hammer.  Simply twist the screw into the cork, and then use the back end of the hammer like you are getting a nail out of a board, so it looks something like this.  And, boom bip, you’ve just opened a bottle of wine.

2. Alternative to Weird Knives

A good alternative for both long knifes, and precision knifes, is simply a long piece of unscented dental floss. If you grab the dental floss with both hands you can then use the middle of the floss to cut soft foods like cake, banana bread, or cheese with much greater precision than a butter knife.

On a slightly related note, dental floss is also a great alternative for thread, and is even stronger than most threads.

3.  Alternative to an iHome or Speakers

This alternative is in no way a total replacement for an actual set of good speakers, but is just a kind of fun classic hack. What you do is simply use your built in phone or mp3 player speakers, and then put the phone or mp3 player into a ceramic bowl which will amplify the volume of the built in speakers significantly.

4. Alternatives for a Clothing Iron

There are a couple of good alternatives to dewrinkling clothing. For example, you can hang your clothes up in the bathroom while you take a shower, and let the steam do its work which will get out most small wrinkles. Putting your clothes in the dryer for twenty or so minutes will also get most wrinkles out of clothes. I have even heard of people ironing their clothes with a hot pan, or a hot kettle.

5. Alternative to the Chip Clip

A large amount of items could be used as an alternative to a chip clip, like a clothes pin, a binder clip, or a bobby pin. However, my favorite alternative to the chip clip is simply a pen. Just slide the clip part of the pen over the bag, and you will have fresh and crunchy chips longer than a non clipped bag.


A lot of these simple alternatives are kind of intuitive, and were probably thought of based off of the original invention. This shows that if you think with this MacGyver kind of mindset, you could probably come up with some easy alternatives to other household items you do not have, like the ones mentioned above.