Tonight, I am OCDing on this question: What am I supposed to do with the lovely cotton pouches that only yesterday held our new sheets and pillowcases? Ugh! It was so much easier when we just tore off the plastic wrap and lightweight cardboard folding square and tossed them into the trash and recycling bin. I understand the whole “go green, save the environment” thing, but seriously what’s worse—trash dumps filled with seemingly useless pieces of fabric that otherwise could be put to good use, or recycling the cardboard sleeves that used to encircle the sheets and pillowcases?

Several times in the last 36 hours, I’ve tried to toss these pouches into the recycling pile. But I keep hearing my mom’s voice, “Oh honey, those are too nice to just throw away; let’s use them for something else.” Well, great idea, but they are an awkward not-quite-square shape. They have Velcro closures, but not enough to actually seal the bag securely. Frankly, they fall into what I call Goldilocks’ territory: not quite big enough, yet somehow a little too big to be of any purpose other than holding their original contents—sheets. And trust me, no sheet sets of ours will ever be laundered, folded, and stored in those little guys again! I only mastered the mysterious fitted sheet folding in my mid-40s, and that’s good enough.

My online search for “what to do with the pouches that sheets come in” (bad grammar, but good search topic) resulted in dozens of clever ideas. Almost all require carefully removing the Velcro strips. Dozens of posts describe methods to fashion a shoe bag for travelling. That’s an easy one. Done.

Ultimately, the only other idea that looks appealing (translated: do-able) to me is finding a pretty button, sewing a button hole, and storing one set per bag with matching winter hat, gloves, and scarf in each bag. It would be easy to find an iron-on label or decorative snowflake to add a bit more charm.

My research on fabric pouches led me down several rabbit trails and I discovered a few “how did I not know that!” pieces of information along my journey. Finding faster, simpler, or creative solutions to everyday problems are now branded as “Life Hacks.” In fact, it’s become big business. Websites, blogs, and books generating these types of solutions are more popular each day. When

I searched Google for “Life Hacks,” they returned 14,700,000 results! Yikes! Obviously, I didn’t read all of them, but here’s a short list of my favorites.

Back to bedsheets, the manufacturer’s tag indicates the part of the sheet (fitted and flat) that is to be placed at the bottom right corner of the bed.

Having trouble falling asleep? Try the 4-7-8 Method: 4-second inhale through your nose, 7-second hold, 8-second exhale through your mouth. Repeat for a total of three rounds. This technique refocuses your mind, clears out your lungs, and prepares your body for deep sleep breathing.

If you get an annoying song stuck in your mind, chew on a piece of gum. (I have no idea why this works, but it does!)

Laughter really is the best medicine. According to research scientists, good belly laughs increase antibodies by up to 20 percent, thereby killing viruses and bacteria.

Want an ice cold drink in August? Wrap a wet paper towel around the bottle or can and place in your freezer for 15 minutes. Ta Da!

When trying to figure out where a car’s gas tank is located, look at the gas pump icon on your dashboard next to the gas gauge. There will be a small arrow, or triangle, on the left or right side, the arrow points to the side where your tank is located! will help you find the nearest and least expensive prices as you search for your gas tank and the next place to fill it up.