So while we're working out what a lifehack is, it might be worth discussing what a lifehack isn't. For example, buying a cheap pack of mothballs to solve a moth problem doesn't seem to count as a lifehack, despite being cheap and simple.

Are obvious, engineered solutions to problems not lifehacks?


1 Answer 1


From what I've gathers so far, a lifehack is a an unconventional solution to a problem.

So the opposite of that would be the conventional solution to a problem. A lifehack can't be the solution that's commonly used for that problem.

Likewise, a problem with only one solution can't be a lifehack, because if it only has a single solution then that solution is the conventional solution by default.

  • Does 2. go against what you said in this answer if it's the simplest way? Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 22:06
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    @ZachSaucier I need to update that answer but it depends on how eclectic the device is. If the simplest way to peel an orange is to use an orange peeler, it wouldn't be a lifehack since it's the common method, So the answer would be that there is no lifehack, use an orange peeler. Meanwhile the rotating cheese grater is not a normal cheese grater (I'm pretty sure). Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 22:23
  • (I know it'll be relatively rare, but) What about when "the conventional solution" is different for different people? I suppose we say, "There isn't a convention then." ? Related post Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 14:53
  • @ZachSaucier Personally I'd call them both conventional. It's like saying pop. soda, or cola. None of them are unconventional ways of describing the drink; They're just regional. Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 14:56
  • Does that mean a question who's answer depends on the culture is off topic? I would think it would still be valid, just have no one correct answer Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 14:57
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    @ZachSaucier I'm not sure. It might be easier to call it by a case-by-case basis. Or at least decide once we have a real-life example. I'm having a hard time picturing examples in my mind right now. Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 15:01
  • @MattS. Your orange peeler example is perfect. Before visiting this very site I have never heard of such an item before nor seen or used one. From my point of view its very unconventional. Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 15:52

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