Helping You Help Yourself #21

feature image via shutterstock

This past week as I was changing the batteries in the remote, I realized that I never feel confident about how to get rid of three things: lightbulbs, batteries, and prescription medication. So I looked up how! Here’s a guide to safely getting rid of different kinds of lightbulbs, here’s how to throw out your prescription medication, and here’s some good news: unless your batteries are rechargeable, you can probably just toss ’em.

Idk, I thought you might think this is neat.

Some tips from Lifehacker on organizing your kitchen.

I often found myself wishing that there was a feature on Amazon where it could alert me when an individual product was on sale or dropped to a certain price. Amazon doesn’t have that feature, but someone else does: CamelCamelCamel! You can see price histories for products on Amazon, set price alerts, and keep track of all the items you’re watching.

Here are two different lists of 22 ways to love yourself more (1, 2). Pick which one works better for you, or don’t pick and identify with both because binaries aren’t real! If you want to get extra meta, read them while listening to Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” which is a real thing I did by accident.

There are a lot of apps and services aimed at people who need to be get a piece of writing done without giving in to distraction. Here’s one more that I didn’t know about before this week! Writer’s Block lets you set either a time limit or a word goal, and you literally can’t do anything else on your computer until you reach it.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 2.40.02 PM

I joined a new gym recently, and have been leaving my stuff in the locker room because I hadn’t gotten around to buying a lock yet and just feeling vague, low-grade anxiety about it for weeks. Finally, while grocery shopping, I thought “I bet they sell combination locks at this store,” and they did, and it was $3.99. Now that anxiety is totally gone because I finally took one minute to do something I had been putting off for weeks. What have you been meaning to get around to but not doing even though you know it would be simple and make your life better? Finally just putting the reusable bags in the car? Just deleting that email you know you’re not going to answer — or, heck, answering it? Texting your landlord and asking him to repair the broken mailbox? Take 1-3 minutes to just to do it today, and bask in the relief of it being done!

Here’s a list of “creative” ways to save money in 2016. Some are a little silly — how many of us aren’t already buying the cheaper store-brand alternatives? — but some are neat!

Some things not to do when stocking your freezer!

Allegedly if you wash your black clothes inside out, they’ll stay a true black longer. Can you attest to this, Stef or Crystal?

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our A+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining A+ and supporting the people who make this indie queer media site possible?

Join A+!


Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. “I finally took one minute to do something I had been putting off for weeks.”

    I needed a post about organizing and not procrastinating and getting things done today- thanks!

    Makes me feel hopeful for the moments when I don’t just want to take a half day and go home to cry and sleep –> my plans.

    I have sooo much I want/need to get done, but my emotions will just let me do SHIT NOTHING right now. So I’m clearly getting a ton done at work right before before my boss tells me to GO HOME.

    THIS inspires me because this is the type of blog post I WANT to be writing all the time when I get out of my current emotional haze. #goals

  2. Re. ways to save money:

    Libraries are really the best, and I couldn’t live without them. I would recommend that everyone downloads the free library app Overdrive for borrowing audiobooks and ebooks.

    For thrift stores, the BEST place to get shoes is from the goodwill with the bulk bins where you buy everything by weight. I’ve gotten my favorite shoes there for $2. Some of the shoes are barely even used.

    #23, why only boys hair?? I cut my own hair at home, thank you.

  3. Well, I am shocked to learn that some people find the energy to right-side out their clothes before washing them. I bet these are the same people who have lids for all their tupperware. I’m torn between awe and fear of these people.

    • Mainly I looked this up because I was like hooray that stack of batteries can go in the bin…and then I googled it because I was wondering why we have recycling points in electrical stores if we can just bin them, and I found the EU business. So yeah, I’ll keep my bucket o’ batteries until I next make a trip to the tip :)

  4. Just as Hat said, several countries around the world have programs for the disposal and recycling of single-use batteries and, if my memory serves me right, in California it’s even illegal to throw this kind of batteries in the trash.

    The problem about throwing your batteries in the trash is the accumulation of hazardous materials that can happened when a bunch of people just do the same thing, and is totally related to the manner that your city or county use to manage garbage, the common manner being just to bury it.

    One of the biggest problems about recycling single-use batteries is the classic cost-effective problem, but we come a long way since the times it was impossible to do it. So, in the UK, the companies that produce this kind of thing are, for the most part, responsible for the disposal and recycling. This seems to be a good choice.

    This site has, at the bottom of the page, a recycling locator for several kinds of batteries. If that’s not possible, we just need to use rechargeable batteries.

  5. omg the writer’s block app. it’s better than me putting my phone in the other room and logging out of every social media because i don’t remember my passwords so it would take multiple steps to even log in and nobody wants to do that.

    • if your phone is an issue wrt distractions i can also recommend Forest, an iphone app that you can set to discourage you from using your phone for a set period of time! it doesn’t lock you out of your phone, you can do anything on it if you really need to, it just makes you feel real bad about it. i like it a lot!

  6. I, too, just discovered Writer’s Block and it’s probably the best thing since sliced bread for me.

    I can also attest to the washing black garments inside out keeps them blacker, longer.

    that lifehacker video was so soothing, too?? What a wonderful roundup.

  7. I love CamelCamelCamel! But it’s also kind of a dangerous enabler. I always feel a sudden need to buy a product whenever it drops by like $3.

    I’ll need to try Writer’s Block. I have Self Control, but it just limits certain custom set websites rather than the entire internet, and I always find new and creative ways to distract myself outside my usual social media outlets.

  8. I love the wave simulator! Good to know about batteries. I can stop feeling guilty now. Thanks for including both 22 ways to love yourself articles. I prefer the first one myself, but can see where others would find the value in the second one.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!