Woman in white running down bridge in city

22 Time-Saving Life Hacks for Urban Women

Become the queen of the concrete jungle with these smart hacks for busy women

By Shannon Wilson, 05 April 2016
22 Time-Saving Life Hacks for Urban Women

City living can be a bit of a jungle to navigate. If it's not getting stuck in a traffic jam on the commute (or in someone's armpit on the bus or train), it's facing hefty ticket prices if you want to have a night out or trying to make your teeny, tiny flat look bigger than a shoebox.  Let’s face it – we could all use a little helping hand when it comes to busy city life. These savvy hints, tips and time-saving hacks will stop you feeling like life is an uphill battle and help you take back control. 

Hide a secret stash of money in an empty lipstick tube - no-one will ever know it's there

Never sacrifice your outfits when commuting

When riding a bike in a skirt, use a penny and a hair tie to weigh it down - check out the video below to see how it works! Can’t stand the thought of taking the bus in heels? Keep a pair in your office and commute in your trainers. That way you'll always be stylish and comfortable during the day.

Multi-task your morning routine

In a rush? Hit two birds with one stone and use your hair straighteners to iron out any creases in your clothes and sort your barnet.

Impromptu guests after work?

Always keep some grapes in the freezer – they’ll act as impromptu wine coolers. Don’t have time to plan ahead? Wrap a wet paper towel around drinks bottles to make them freeze more quickly; they should be ready in less than 15 minutes!

New shoes?

Never feel the pain of a long day in new shoes again by breaking them in quickly with this simple hack. Just put on the shoes with a pair of thick socks and then use a hair dryer to blow on the tightest corners. Keep repeating until the shoes fit comfortably!

Keep cool at night

Cities often feel hotter than the countryside due to the density of buildings in a small area. Get off to sleep quicker by putting your pillow in a plastic bag in the fridge for an hour or two before bed. Voilà! A cool and relaxing night's sleep.

In the bag

Get a small make-up bag to keep your essentials in, such as keys, wallet and lipstick – that way you can run out the house in a jiffy by just grabbing the bag and popping it in whichever handbag you want to accessorise with that day. 

Dry, cakey make-up

City living can dry out your make-up products. Make yours last longer by adding drops of essentials oils to moisturiser and foundation or 4-5 drops of saline solution or eye drops to your mascara to make them last longer.

The art of folding

Make the most of small apartment space by rolling your clothes instead of folding them. Bonus: if you roll them tight enough, it’ll stave off creases too. 

Shoes, shoes, shoes

There’s nothing worse than smelly shoes, particularly during summer office hours. Lucky it’s easy to combat this by making small sacks of baking powder and placing them in the soles of offending shoes overnight. The best part? It's super cheap.

Mirror mirror on the wall

Living in a tiny flat? A big mirror used as a centrepiece will double the size of your living space. Magic.

Jewellery saviour

If you lose the back of one of your favourite earrings, just pop to the stationery cupboard at work and use a small piece of rubber to keep it in place.

Jean Jeanie

Don't want to overwash your jeans as they'll lose their colour? Put your jeans in a plastic bag and throw them in the freezer overnight to get rid of any bad odours instead.

Organise your keys

Learn the joy of colour coding by painting your keys with nail polish so you remember which one opens which door.

Hidden gems

Hide money in an empty lipstick tube — no-one will ever know it’s there.

Need an extra pair of hands?

One of the hardest things to do is put on a delicate bracelet by yourself. Thankfully a simple length of masking tape will help – by sticking it over the bracelet on your wrist it’s easy to fasten together. Just don’t forget to remove the tape once you’re done!


Snag in your tights and you're only halfway through the day? Hairspray it and the hole won't get any bigger.

Bathroom saviour

Tiny bathroom and nowhere to put your products? Add a magnetic strip to organise all your metal products, from nail clippers and scissors to bobby pins and hair clips. Genius.

Open sesame!

If you’re struggling to open something small like nail polish, simply wrap a rubber band around the bottle to get extra grip.

Dialling dilemma

Sick of hearing automated messages when you call through to any city company? Pressing 0 or # numerous times forces automated phone systems to put you through to a human being. You’re welcome!

Get the best deals

City rule no. 1: Never pay full price for anything. Use social media and apps to find discounted offers for everything from theatre and beauty treatments to dinner reservations. Don’t know where to start? Companies like Treatwell, Yplan, Groupon and Bookatable have some great offers.

Card it

Have a separate bank account and cards for your purchases and savings, and only transfer money to your purchases account when you need it. This helps save your pennies if your card gets cloned.

Information station

Stuck for inspiration? Ask for advice on things to do at any tourist information office. They don’t work on commission, so will be able to give you their honest opinion on things and will often appreciate talking to a city dweller rather than droves of tourists!

Got your own time-saving tips for living in a city? Share them using #goodliving