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“You shouldn’t be annoyed” — BUT I AM

Ramit Sethi · December 7th, 2015

The biggest mistake I made in the last month was not a $200,000+ strategic mistake or a technology meltdown.

It was my damned garbage can.

I’ll tell you how it happened.

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As much as I believe that the Big Wins matter, sometimes it really is the littlest things that take over your day.

Just think about the last time you woke up — for me, my lamp is on the other side of the room, so I have to GET UP to turn it on. AAAAHHHHHH! I start my day off annoyed.

People laugh, but this actually makes a big difference in your day.

Let me show you what I mean. I decided to keep a list of daily annoyances around my apartment — everything from my bed and my lamp to my door handle. Nothing was too small to note!!

  • Oh god, I have to wrap my hair dryer up and put it in the medicine cabinet?? Noted.
  • I don’t have enough hangers for my coat, so I have to store them in two separate closets. Waa….now write it down.
  • My garbage can is kind of ugly. Also, I hate having to bend over, shove it back in, and fiddle around with it to close the cabinet.

I understand how trivial these sound. Honestly, we all have these little annoyances in our lives, but who are you going to talk to about it? Tell your friend how “annoying” your garbage can is, and they’ll look at you, sigh, and start telling you how kids are starving in Africa.

True — but it’s still annoying to have to wrap my hair dryer cord up every morning.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. On its own, having to wrap the cord isn’t that big of a deal.

But combine that with 50 other tiny annoyances…and suddenly you have a day filled with little inefficiencies.

50 small sighs at things that aren’t individually that bad…but add up to a day filled with mental clutter.

The worst part is, who are you going to say this shit to? Your friend? What’s he going to say? “Dude, I don’t give a damn about your hair dryer. Let’s get a beer.”

(Or my favorite: “You think THAT’S BAD? Bro I’m about to lose my job and my girlfriend is halfway out the door.”)

Sorry about your buddy’s girlfriend, but I actually think those 50 tiny annoyances add up to a lot.

You might wake up with the loftiest of intentions, the most energy, the biggest cup of coffee. But the Tyranny of Little Everyday Bullshit conspires to kill your noblest intentions.

That’s why I decided to write down every single minor annoyance in my apartment. I didn’t care how trivial they sounded…I wrote them down.

After I made a list, I decided to add little touches to my apartment to make my day more efficient (e.g., a hook for my hair dryer, a few organizational touches, etc).

Notice that garbage can I mentioned.

To use it, I had to bend over, pull it out, etc. Yes, I get it, if this is a serious problem Ramit, you should thank your lucky stars, shut up, etc.

Anyway, I remembered seeing my friend’s apartment, where she has a cool garbage that rolls out. It’s super smooth. I know, I need a life. So, I got it and installed it.

Boom. Fixed — forever.

To anyone else, if I’d mentioned how annoying my garbage can was, they would have laughed in my face.

(They wouldn’t even want to hear about it…so naturally, I decided to send this to 1 million+ people. God, I seriously love not having a boss.)

But these minor annoyances actually have a real cost. One or two daily annoyances are normal. But when they happen every day, and you combine them all…that’s a lot.

A lot of lost productivity. A lot of frustration. A lot of energy looking backwards on the things that don’t work instead of looking forward to things that do.

It’s almost like starting your day with these huge, ambitious goals…and then realizing your calendar is already packed with pointless meetings scheduled 4 months ago. Ugh.

A lot of people feel embarrassed admitting the tiny frustrations they feel every day.

I don’t think it’s embarrassing to admit it. I think these are real, and we should talk about them. And once you fix them, they’re fixed forever.

I recently wrote about being weird and being okay with it. Totally politically incorrect…and also true.

Yes, it’s weird to think about a garbage can. Yes, it’s weird to keep a list of tiny annoyances around my apartment.

Do I give a shit? No.

I want to improve my life, and I know that by fixing these little things, they go away — once and forever. And that means I can focus on the things that really matter to me, not wrapping the cord around my hair dryer.

Now, you:

Forget what other people say.

I want you to pick the most ridiculous, tiny annoyances in your day. The ones that don’t seem like that big of a deal (the ones you “shouldn’t” complain about), but they actually suck.

What are they? (Remember, one of mine was having to walk 3 steps to turn on my lamp!)

Leave a comment below. Let me know. No judgment.

It’s not shallow or wrong to want to improve these. And I think I can help.

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265 Comments

 
  1. Noah Gibbs

    Front door that sticks a bit.

    Standing desk that shakes – always fine, one monitor is weighted by a book, but I worry that my monitors will come crashing down.

  2. You’re adorable and you crack me up, but I can’t go there. As a mum and a wife the list would never end and I’d end up throwing myself out of a window. Happy you got your sh** sorted though😂

  3. Peeling hard-boiled eggs!!
    That is THE most fucking annoying thing I have to do everyday. There are other things that are annoying but at least their frequency is limited to a few times a week/month, for example, buying groceries, etc… But I love eggs. Those 30 seconds of peeling eggs makes me wonder how inefficient some parts of my life are (silly I know, but hey Ramit says No judgement :)).

    • @Avinash-
      Have you tried putting a couple tablespoons of white vinegar in the water when you boil eggs? It’s supposed to make them peel easier…maybe a quick win for you!

    • Stephanie

      Can you do all of them at one time at the beginning of the week? Then you’re only annoyed once 🙂
      I try to do this myself.

    • arvind s grover

      Avinash, check out Tim Ferriss’s perfect video on how to peel a hard-boiled egg without peeling:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN2gYHJNT3Y

    • 1. Cup the egg lengthwise in one hand. Slap the egg on the counter and roll it with your palm on the counter top. This makes uniform crackles over the whole surface of the egg.

      2. With your fingernail, lift up a likely-looking spot on the broad side and peel off only one small piece of shell leaving the inner membrane intact.

      3.Then grab the membrane with your fingertips and start to peel the membrane away from the egg while taking the crackled shell with it.. If you do it right, the whole membrane and the outer shell will come off at once in one or two pieces.

      Less time, no mess. Efficient and kinda relaxing actually!

    • Michelle

      Put in a little baking soda as they cook. Makes peeling so much easier. 👍

    • Right after you take the eggs out of the boiling water rinse them with really cold water – it works like a charm. Good luck!

    • Jeanette

      Make sure the eggs you’re using are not too fresh. Extremely fresh eggs are the most difficult to peel, even if you use all of these other tricks.

    • @avinash

      Never would I thought I would be excited to tell someone about this but here is your efficiency saver!

      https://cleaningoutthefridge.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/1-26-12eggs1.jpg

      Costco sells pre peeled hard boiled eggs. I know it seems weird, but they taste great. If you have a Costco near you, I would definitely give them a try. Thanks to these guys I will never peel an egg again 🙂

    • Avinash, crush the hard boiled egg then it comes off in a wizz 🙂

    • Go to youtube ” how to peel boiled eggs’ you just blow into the she’ll . takes less than a second!!!really cool! Dee.

    • Charlotte

      England’s Best sells already-peeled eggs in zip-type packages. You’ll never have to peel an egg again.

      http://www.egglandsbest.com/product/hard-cooked-peeled-eggs/

    • Violet Weed

      You can buy a 10 dollar circular ‘egg knife’ (I don’t know what it’s called). It will cut through the eggshell at top of egg, then roll the egg on a counter to loosen it, then peel it under the tap. Works great. I never put up with minor annoyance in my life, and I became a multi-millionaire (the first time) at 18, and the last time at 66 (2015). It’s insane to put up with easily-fixed annoyances.

    • Naomi Liddell

      Take a knife, cut the egg in half.
      Take a teaspoon, scoop out the egg from each half.
      Done. No peeling, no tricks. Just egg.

  4. Aki Merced

    Toothpaste on my shirt just before I head out. (I know. I should brush while naked…)

  5. mobettameta

    In my life, the most annoying thing to me is having to find work, find a job, find a source of money, or find a living.

    Honestly, I just want to live with my wife and play games casually or competitively and not worry about a paycheck or even running a business. If somebody would just come up with a way for me to do this, I’d definitely pay for it. And by do this, I mean the gaming and living my own life part and by “pay for it”, it’d pretty much come from whatever method I’d be signing up for.

    • I love this comment. my sense of humor exactly.

    • Violet Weed

      Any woman who’d put up with your childish ways deserves what she got, or she’s really fat and ugly and you both are on welfare.

    • Violet, I’m not exactly sure why you feel the need to be mean.
      mobettameta, Are you good enough to play games competitively? I mean to make money. Or get a job as one who tests them or helps build them. If games are your passion, maybe you should use that as a jumping off point to build a career in gaming.

  6. I totally resonated with this!

    Funnily enough, about two weeks before starting E1K, I stared dealing with the annoyances in my home. 7 down, about 40 to go! But one-by-one, I’ll get there.

    I hadn’t thought about how they make me feel, just about the time I’ll save by sorting them. Both have big impacts on success and how much I have to put into E1K.

  7. I am glad you are bringing this to people’s attention. I recently got a part-time job at a store that sells organizational solutions. It took working there to help me realize that being organized saves you probably about 200 hours per year, and boosts your well-being by lessening the frazzle factor.

    It is not “just a luxury for the rich.” It is actually a quality of life issue. I love it when a customer we helped comes back saying how much they love the solution they purchased and how it has helped them when they get the exact, perfect and permanent solution to the problem. The relief, joy and pride on their face is priceless. My little “in the meantime” day job has taught me way more than I ever thought it would.

    Thanks for this post.

    • Yes! the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up made me realize this even more than ever. It helped me solve one thing I didn’t even consciously know was annoying me (although it affected me every freakin’ day)

      When I figure out where to store something, I don’t find the place that is closest to where I start using it (like the flower watering can isn’t stored by the water faucet in the kitchen anymore.)

      I store something where it is easiest to put it away AFTER I use. Now it is right by the plants on the porch. And this works!

      Why? Because I’m super motivated to go get the darn thing when I need it. I’m super unmotivated to put it up. That’s why stuff always ends up in the wrong place. You just don’t give a damn anymore after it’s use is over for awhile.

      So for a blow dryer, just put it within arms length reach of where you are when you finish blow drying your hair. When you need the blow dryer, you will go find it.

    • Lisa, thanks for that organizing tip, Lisa!

    • Eden, your part time job piqued my interest. Where do you work? I’m hoping there’s also such a storefront in Dallas. 🙂

  8. I have 3 kitchen saucepans, but all the same size. Which means they don’t stack inside each other, so they all sit separately on the shelf in my kitchen cupboard. Seems like a huge waste of space.

    I should have bought a small, medium and large 3-set which all stack together.

    Also, I have an electric toothbrush, but the battery goes after about 5 uses. So then I have to take it back to my room to charge it. Then, inevitably, the next time I go to the bathroom to brush my teeth, I forget I left my toothbrush in my room, and have to waste time going back to get it. Really annoying!

    • No battery in toothbrush annoyed me too. So I bought Philips Sonicare “DiamondClean”. Comes with this glass that you just put your toothbrush into. No awkward plugging it in or putting it on a charging stand that drips everywhere. Charges through induction charging which is brilliant.

    • SkiptheBS

      Get the cheap Sonicare that uses 2 AA batteries, and an Eneloop set of 4 AAs and charger. Switch out batteries as needed or every couple of weeks on a designated day.

  9. Matt Inglot

    Love it! Thanks for validating my obsession with fixing “first world problems”. It totally does add up and it really does matter. Little life improvements I’ve made the past few months since moving to a new place:

    1) Got tired of coming home at night and realizing we forgot to turn on the light, and then fumbling with keys in the dark. Replaced old school outdoor bulb with crazy efficient LED light. We can leave this sucker on 24/7 and it STILL uses vastly less electricity than the old bulb.

    2) I have a pair of headphones in each room that I use them in. This way I don’t have to run around the house looking for where I put my headphones. Highly recommend for anything inexpensive that you need in multiple places.

    3) Bigger external hard drive so I don’t need to spend hours trying to figure out what to delete and reorganizing all my files.

    4) Over a decade ago I created my first product, a Windows utility program, that placed an 18 pixel high bar over top of your taskbar. I wrote it so I could have faster access to Winamp controls and all the programs that I used. Turned into a 2 year lesson in product development and marketing, and certainly the furthest I ever went to solve a minor issue.

    • Prescott Perez-Fox

      Similar to your (2) above, I have a duplicate of every cable I need for travel — iPod, Lightning, FitBit, and a USB wall plug. I have found this to be an odd sort of luxury, not to have to pack and unpack my travel bag. I always know where those cables are because they never leave their pouch. Also, it’s great for not-forgetting. A few dollars and headaches are removed.

    • 1) This bad boy turns itself on when the sun sets and off when the sun rises. I installed it 3 years ago and it’s still going strong. One of the better $10 I’ve ever spent.

      http://www.homedepot.com/p/Philips-60W-Equivalent-Soft-White-Spiral-Dusk-Till-Dawn-CFL-Light-Bulb-E-405852/100671110

    • I fixed the fumbling for the keys issue by installing a Kwikset 916. Unlock from your car with your smartphone or via the keypad at the door.

      http://amzn.to/1YVdbjb

    • Heather Ford

      @Morgan I have been looking for a solution like this for mom. I have a couple in the mail now.

  10. Hey, dude, sorry about the $200,000. That sux but knowing you, you’ll sort it out!
    Where you headed for the holiday season?
    Cheers 🙂

  11. Carolynn

    People who can’t do their jobs.

    I shouldn’t have to chase companies because their product stopped working, or they screwed up billing, or customer support sucks, or … fill in the blank here.

    Because then *I* have to handle it, and it never takes “just five minutes.” Suddenly I’m on the phone for an hour trying to get something fixed, instead of making money with my clients or going to the gym.

    The reason I chose my current bank is that I NEVER have these sorts of problems with them. The way they automate their services is perfect and their customer service is always on point. I never have to deal with this sort of aggravating shit. If there’s a problem (and there rarely is), they handle it.

    On the flip side: today I just cancelled with a contract provider because they screwed up again and now I can’t even cancel easily, I have to wait for someone to (hopefully) get back to me.

    Little time sucks like this take a huge Godzilla sized bite out of my day. I can’t deal with other people’s bad business decisions, and I shouldn’t have to.

    • What is your bank??

    • This is what assistants are for! If your time is so valuable that you are losing money with these day to day issues, then it’s worth it to pay a small percentage of your income for someone to take care of this shit for you. This would be a perfect bit of side income for a stay at home mom. The tough part will be finding someone you trust with delicate account details.

    • Agree with you!!!!

    • I hear you on the bank it definitely makes my life simpler. I haven’t set foot in the my bank ever since I have had an account in it. never had to it’s online service works efficiently enough and has probably the simplest user interface ever.
      Other banks i use not so simple.

    • I spend at least 1hr on the phone every month with AT&T, asking why I get overcharged every month. For 12 consecutive months before I eventually cancelled my cable contract with them. My life is so much better.

  12. I’m storing my boyfriend’s stuff at my place while he travels around the world, and i have his large black A/V case where I would like to put a front table. The tops isn’t flat, so I can’t keep anything on top. I have to keep my keys all of the way across the room from the front door. So annoying! I can’t wait until he gets back.

  13. Things that annoy me the most: the hardware on Ramit’s kitchen cabinets don’t match the hardware on his kitchen drawers.

  14. I feel your pain! For me it’s a towel ring that squeaks when I put my towel on it EVERY MORNING… (sigh)

  15. Ryan Stephens

    > Transporting power cords or phone chargers from room to room. (Nope. I’ll just spend $20 and get two more.)

    > My wife’s squeaking rocking chair while I’m trying to work. STOP ROCKING.

    > Dishes. This is more like a recurrent chore that never ends vs. a small annoyance, but I loathe dishes. I try to eat healthy so I end up bringing home 3-4 Tupperware from the office every day. I wash those while I’m cooking dinner, but after dinner, I want to decompress for a bit so those dishes don’t get washed until the next day further perpetuating the never ending cycle. (Some stuff goes in the dishwasher, but everything can’t.) My wife could help with dishes, but she’s busy rocking. Basically, dishes suck.

    > Mail. I have somewhat tolerable mail system, but it still sits out (despite being categorized) longer than I’d like. That visible clutter annoys me on a semi-regular basis.

    > Notes. I have scribbled notes *everywhere*. This is a result of too much consumption and not enough application. Those notes are in my phone, on sticky notes, on pieces of paper, in the margins of torn out magazine pages. Eventually this stuff ends up categorized, but I’m always behind and like mail, hate all the visible clutter.

    • I used to have notes everywhere too! Finally I bought a notebook where I could write down all of my random ideas or, really, anything that needs writing down, all in one place!

  16. Nate Kinsey

    Having a short fridge that requires me to get on my knees to put away my groceries!

  17. I hate Lazy Susan cabinets. They never work as intended. Stuff falls in them constantly, making the doors impossible to open. Then you have to read behind and fumble blindly trying to stand whatever fell over up without knocking over more crap that also blocks the damn thing from opening. Of course oversized kitchen appliances get stuffed in there, so it gets used frustratingly even day. Is a major time waster in the mornings, and it’s not something I am willing to leave to my wife to do. I think she’d kill me…

    Thanks for allowing me to vent! Haha!

  18. Ramit, I had no idea you knew how to use a screwdriver?!

  19. Ah, the hair dryer! I installed my holder two months ago and I am in heaven now. And the really deep cabinets in the kitchen. What’s up with these cabinets that are deeper than the length of my arm. For me the Container Store is the go-to solution. I got some rollout cabinet organizers and now I can actually use the back space in the kitchen cabinets.
    The problem I haven’t solved yet is how to organize my desk. I write notes to myself so much, that the entire desk is covered in different colored sticky notes.

    • I used to have post it notes all over my monitor. I got sick of it and I went digital. I’ve been using Trello for quite some time now. It’s free. I use the phone app, too so I can sync my notes (also free). So I will just bring my phone to meetings and have all my notes.

    • I second those incredible pull-out cabinet baskets. Don’t cheap out–get the good ones with ball bearings and sturdy construction. Best money I’ve spent on my kitchen in the past two years.
      .
      .
      .
      No, wait. It’s a tie with the Oxo POP canisters. I bake a lot and I had all kinds of oddball canisters of various sizes, shapes, and materials. Gave them all away and bought gazillions of Oxo POPs. They are modular, stackable, rectangular or square rather than round (= space efficient), airtight, and they open with one hand. Stupid expensive, and yet so worth it.

    • A good way to banish the sticky notes is to go digital. I haven’t tried Trello, but I am *devoted* to Wunderlist. (www.wunderlist.com) There are apps for your smart devices, and tasks are synchronized easily.

      This tool makes organizing fun. I dump new tasks into the Inbox as they arise, then organize them into contextual lists, e.g. Errands, Online Shopping, Home, and Work. The contextual list relieves a major annoyance: Forgetting to do something when it’s convenient to do it. If I know I’m going out to run an errand, I consult the Errands list to see what else I can knock out on the same trip.

      You can create as many types of lists as you want so that reminders are out of the way, but never lost. I created lists like Crazy Ideas, Life/Someday, Books & Music, Travel, and Minor Annoying Tasks (I added the latter this morning, before I got Ramit’s email. Is there something annoying in the zeitgeist and we’re all feeling it today??)

      I still use Post-Its, but they’re reserved for emergencies. When there are only a few of them, they’re easier to deal with.

  20. Sonia M.

    One major annoyance I had for over a year was the lack of an electrical outlet in the bathroom of my apt. I had to use an extension whenever I needed to use my hair dryer, my hair flattener, etc.

    I finally fixed it a few months ago by purchasing an “outlet” you can screw in a light fixture like a light bulb. I had no idea these things existed…

    You never realise just how much energy and productivity an annoyance sucks out of you until you make it disappear. And yes, I complained about it profusely. I would get some sympathy, but not much.

    • My friend has 3 daughters and one bathroom … so he remodeled his bathroom and intentionally removed all outlets. He removed the annoyance of the girls tying up the bathroom every morning drying their hair … LOL.

  21. Veronica

    Finding my keys in my effing purse! This used to make me so angry at the end of the day when I would get home in the dark and have to empty out my entire purse. My tote has one of those key attachments, so I bought an s-biner keychain. Now instead of anger, I get to my door and am delighted to instantly grab hold of my keys. S-biner FTW!

  22. Elizabeth

    One that I’ve been trying to fix for awhile: the doorknobs to my bedroom and bathroom make a lot of noise, especially when I’m trying to be quiet and not wake up my husband. If it wasn’t a rental I might just replace the whole apparatus, but instead I tried getting a door stop. Then I discovered that the gap between the door and the floor is huge and not the same at various points across the door. Not to mention that the way the bedroom door is hung, the door stop should really go on the inside, but I need to be able to wedge it shut from the outside for this to work. (It wouldn’t be wedged shut while we were both asleep – and there is another door just in case.) I’m still looking for a larger/more stable door stop so that this might actually work.

  23. Jesse Anderson

    I’ve done the same thing with my travel. I’ve spent time and effort optimizing every inefficiency out. Have to take off your belt? Get a plastic one. Forget something at home? Add it to the checklist for packing.

    I want to spend my airport time sitting in a lounge instead of standing in a line.

  24. OMG, Ramit!! This was SO on time right in this exact moment. I’m sitting here in my car trying to merge last minute voice over material I was sent via my phone, a client send a text for last minute changes she neglected to mention previously, apps that I downloaded aren’t working, my “smartphone” is being stupid, etc. NONE of this was a part of my original plan for today. So, I am totally annoyed, but was RELIEVED to read your post right now! It made me giggle immediately knowing you can relate.

  25. Not something that can be “fixed” but I find it really annoyed that to get to the bathroom in the morning, I have to walk through my living room, kitchen, and back hallway. Too many opportunities for sleepily stumbling before getting to the shower.

  26. Pamela Slim

    My kids have an art shelf in the family room with clear boxes filled with supplies like paint, pens, glue and clay. I think my job as a parent is to make creative materials as accessible as possible so that when they are bored, they can quickly make a huge, creative mess on the dining room table.

    But there is this one bin for blank paper that is just too big. And because it is too big, a whole series of junk is piled in there when well-intentioned family members (cough- my husband – cough) want to quickly clean up the room.

    So when my kids feel like making a card to send to their grandparents, or draw a picture of a dinosaur, they have to *dig through a huge pile of school papers, remote controls, toothpicks, or whatever else has been piled in the BLANK PAPER ONLY box.*

    And this drives me nuts! #pleasefixitformeramit

    • Give him a different target for the quick clean-up! Put another bin or box ABOVE the one he has been dumping into. That keeps blank paper in its place, and school papers where they can be found again. (How about a place for remote controls close to the TV or whatever? That was my pet peeve! I set up a plant stand with a flat surface next to my recliner. Now, the remotes go THERE-and not in with all the paper that is trying to take over my space!)

  27. Visible clutter EVERYWHERE! Everywhere you go…it fucking multiplies like rabbits everywhere you go…It’s in my office, on my electronics, computer. I seem to spend more time throwing shit out and schlepping it to the curb or finding a spot for it. Wish it would go away!

    • Elizabeth

      I have the same problem. It really does seem to multiply.

  28. Matt Ehrmann

    Far and away, it’s charging my laptop. I’ve got one of those laptops that stays charged for all of a half an hour if it isn’t plugged in, and my apartment has a severe dearth of outlets. So if I want to be on my laptop, which is very often, I continually have to get up and sequester myself in the corner of my apartment, far away from my couch.

    • Generic replacement (or spare) laptop batteries are usually only $10-$25 for slightly older laptops. $25-$50 for newer ones or name brand (I suggest Anker or from the laptop manufacturer). You might even find a high capacity battery for just a couple of bucks more. The exception is Apple replacement batteries will likely be around $50-$75.

      Well worth it having a 2nd battery around.

    • Peter Stewart

      I used to think that the solution was getting a better battery.

      I originally bought a laptop thinking of the freedom and ease of using one. Only to be quickly disappointed by having to carry a huge bag of cables and extras.

      Hardly portable at all.

      Until I got a Chromebook. Wow.

      It lasts for a whole day without recharging. The freedom of unplugging my laptop from it’s charging spot at home, throwing it in my bag and using it all day without bringing a charger.

      Getting the Chromebook was a leap of faith, but it turned out to be the right choice.

  29. sara caldwell

    OMG! OMG! This is TOTALLY my day at work!!!!!! Nobody started the laundry, nobody cleaned the bathroom, someone put away the vacuum wrong…etc, etc, etc. Its a neverending stream of incompetence. Got a fix for that?

  30. When you’re showering and you get soap or water in your eyes (and it’s burning) but your hands are already covered with soap. Then you gotta endure a few more seconds of the burning as you rinse your hands off, rub your eyes, and then relather up.

    Or when your nose gets dry and all nasty like in the winter but you can’t easily clean it out by blowing it. I wish there was some kind of solvent that you can drop in your nose and magically dissolve all that mucus and gunk so you can blow it out.

    Last, but not least, THIS STUPID FORM!!! I forgot to enter my email address so it didn’t take my submission and now I have to rewrite it all! So that’s why I’m tacking on this 3rd annoyance!

    • Hah! Same thing happened to me! I am just glad my comment was short. What an annoyance!

      I’m also curious where my avatar is coming from without me having entered any password.

    • Elizabeth

      Saline! You can buy it as drops or a spray, at places like Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid etc. Or in your grocer’s personal health area (typically near the pharmacy).

      We discovered it when de-gunking our infants’ noses, and then – duh – realized it could apply to sad grownup noses too 😀

  31. I hate wiping my ass so I bought a bidget ….problem solved.

  32. Having to haul my mountain of laundry to the laundry room (80 feet max), and then haul them all the way back once they are dry. Seriously, I have been thinking of installing washer & dryer in my closet/ master bedroom.

  33. Cleaning cat litter and hair balls! Why can’t they just be cute and take care of themselves!

    And vacuuming!

    • ROOMBA! Every pet owner should have one.

    • Mike, I was staying with a friend recently and she started vacuuming with a Dyson stick vacuum cleaner. I asked what she thinks of it. ‘it’s a game change Maz’ she said. I got one on sale and my friend is right. The old cleaner would kill my back and I had to drag about it so it rarely got used. I just do frequent quick spot cleans and I like doing it and the place feels better.

    • Second the Roomba. Day I got it I vacuumed with my Dyson first and Roomba got an insane amount the Dyson missed. One cat and one dog, so Roomba alternates between 1st and 2nd floor everyday. Never been this clean in my life, and basically no effort.

  34. Jesse Moskel

    Judge me, PLEASE! This might be the most valuable thing others overlook in their lives. But… we wouldn’t be people if we didn’t keep stubbing our toes while searching for that all-problem-solving magic bullet (that doesn’t exist). Thanks Ramit, not that I needed any validation for my wicked ways, but it IS cool seeing others who also walk around muttering, “how can I make this just a LITTLE bit better?”

  35. Leslie Frey

    The frost that forms on my bottom step. Not the top one to prepare me or the second step. Just the bottom one. So I hit it as I shuffle along half asleep at daybreak while a 8-pound dog charges ahead with all her might like its the Iditarod. Every winter morning when it jolts me into consciousness as my breath steams from my clenched teeth like a tea kettle squealing, “Shhhhhhhhhit!”

    That annoys me.

  36. Light switch at top of dark basement stairs nonfunctional when I bought my house. Solved it by installing a motion detector that turns on a lamp when my foot hits the first step. $12 and about 2 minutes for the detector plug-in vs $150+ and the time it takes having to find, vet, and schedule an electrician to rewire the switch.

    Two unanticipated bonuses: I don’t have to use my hands at all, so it’s great when carrying a full laundry basket for example. I also don’t have to remember to shut off the light when going back upstairs.

    I ended up installing another in my entryway (even though the switch there is operable) so I don’t have to come in to a dark house or fumble if my hands are full,

    http://www.amazon.com/Westek-MLC12BC-4-Indoor-Activated-Control/dp/B009KSECO8/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1449506675&sr=8-11&keywords=motion+detector+light+switch

  37. Liz Jones

    This was perfect timing for today! I was having the minor mental meltdown in my head over things that may or may not even be an issue AND things that I feel too stupid complaining about to anyone, but that had me in a tizzy.

  38. My blouses sliding off the hangers and falling to the floor.

    The dog’s pee pads actually do their job about 50 percent of the time. So I’m still cleaning up pee everywhere, all the time.

    • Check out Huggable Hangers for your clothes. They have a velvety finish.

    • SkiptheBS

      Cheap black velvet hangers from Dollar General. Cheapest tranquilizer you’ll ever buy.

      Ramit: As much as you travel, you should have seen the wall-mount lamps with adjustable heads in hotels. Undoubtedly someone makes one stylish enough for your bedroom.

  39. Joe Callender

    Folding t-shirts! Why do we fold t-shirts when we have to unfold them in order to wear them?!?!

    It only took me 30+ years of doing laundry to really what a waste of time this is.

    • I kept fussing about how wrinkled they were, until I realized that 3 minutes in the dryer, while I am getting everything else on, makes them wrinkle-free and WARM! (A bonus when it begins to be cold out!)

  40. I think you just stumbled upon a huge area of our psychology that often goes unnoticed.
    At least for me, I don’t give credence to these kinds of thoughts, until they become problems simply because of how socially unacceptable or just plain odd they seem once verbalized.
    When I was in college I lost a sock somewhere between the washer machine and returning to my drawer. It bothered me the whole weekend and everyone I encountered heard about it and just rolled their eyes.

    For me its easy to get stuck in the weeds. I have to remind myself to return to a higher perch and resume the work on more nobel endeavors.

  41. By the way Ramit, if you want to go a step further with your hair dryer, have an electrician put in an electrical outlet under your sink, then put in a sliding shelf, and you can leave your hairdryer plugged in all the time. You can ask for an on/off switch if you prefer. When you use your hair dryer, just roll the shelf in and out. You can even store your brushes, hair gels, etc on that shelf. No clutter on the counter, and you don’t have to repeatedly take them out and put them away.

    I have this setup at home, and I love it!

  42. My bedroom door – doesn’t close tightly and rattles when it’s closed. So I have this folded up little piece of paper that I put between the door and frame every single time I close my door.

    • Try a little piece of weather stripping….glue/tape onto the door jam and presto!

  43. I kept getting annoyed about forgetting to take my headphones in to work, so I bought a second pair. Definitely worthe the $30

    I guess I could’ve come up with some clever system, but I vary between cycling and taking the bus with little consistency between how I prepare for them both. Instead I bought myself a new pair of headphones and left the old ones in the office.

    p.s. Olympic althetes agree with you Ramit. The British cycling team apparently rose to success by focusing on all the small but easy wins
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34247629

    • Fascinating read! Love this idea, especially after reading this article.

  44. Ok so I really had to stop and think about this one. Luckily I was looking for a distraction.
    1. My hair ties don’t work very well at the moment (dud pack) and I generally run out of hair ties. No clue where they go. For days at a time I could be obsessively keeping track of my last hair tie even though CVS (right down the street) sells them for next to nothing.
    2. My laundry bin is not actually a laundry bin (but it’s cute) and so it collapses if clothing isn’t placed in it exactly right.
    3. My mac is not working properly and all my screenplays are on there. So I’m using this other PC laptop and I need to get several scripts (that are ok my Mac) to a producer. The scripts are done. They are just being held captive by my Mac. Small but big consequences.

    • Violet Weed

      You never heard of DROPBOX? I keep all my important work on my 50 gigs (free space) on dropbox as well as backed up a 1 terabyte external drive. All my five computers, 3 notepads two smartphones can access the dropbox as well.
      It is natural for me to do backups, and what’s more it doesn’t even need to be ‘natural’ b/c i wrote a script to do it automatically. Perhaps I’ll share the codeblock one of these days. It’s not difficult. After all I’m almost 68 and if I could do it, I guess millennials or Gen-Z’s could do it, right? Oh wait! I forgot MY generation are the children of the inventors of the computer so all that stuff you read about BabyBoomers not knowing how to use cyberdevices is cheap-baloney, right? RIIIIGHT.

  45. One big, one small:

    – Drying off after my shower. It just seems like such a waste of time, but I can’t think of a good way to automate it, except at disproportionate cost.

    – Driving. I drive two legs of about 550 miles each, every two months. That means I’m trapped in my car for eight hours- an entire goddamned work day, doing nothing but moving the steering wheel a couple of degrees back and forth. For EIGHT FUCKING HOURS, that’s all I contribute to human civilization. I could be returning emails, proofing designs, planning product launches. But no. I am busy making sure my car goes in a straight line for five hundred miles. By the end of the trip, I want to fellate a running drill bit.

    • Hey! I drive a RIDICULOUS amount as well. It’s not even worth mentioning. But I just discovered that Spotify has a great collection of audio books and they are categorized nicely. Also they have audio for learning other languages which I’m using as well. I feel your pain with the driving. It’s so strange when you think about it. Just sharing something I recently discovered. 😊

    • KC OConnor

      About 10 years ago, I got tired of driving 100 miles, twice a week, every week.

      http://cessna.txtav.com/single-engine/learn-to-fly

      I took flight lessons and now fly back and forth instead.

    • Violet Weed

      I have my own plane so I cannot relate.

      PS I got that plane when I was in my early 20s, after making my first million. Cessna.

  46. Very often when entering the basement my hands are full. My workshop is there, and a frequently used second refrigerator is there. The light switch is not conveniently located, plus it’s on the opposite side of the door from my previous house. My brain always makes my hand reach for the wrong wall.

    Major annoyance!

    Now, though, every time I enter the basement I actually smile because the lights come on automatically. For $30 I installed a motion sensor switch. It was DEFINITELY worth it to turn constant annoyance into smiles!

  47. My boyfriend took his daughter’s car we bought her (red Mustang) to work today, never drives it, so when he does something weird it makes me wonder what’s up. Then I called him and he had changed his outgoing message (there’s a couple reasons that was REALLY strange but won’t go into that). All things that may not seem out of place to someone else but really had me wondering WTF.

  48. David Sandel

    I live in a van. Everything is annoying. And I love it.

  49. Nathaniel

    Two of my sons take medicine in the morning. Sometimes, one boy’s medicine bottle gets placed on the other boy’s side of the cabinet, and I have to spend a few minutes looking around for it.

    We have a busted light bulb that’s a real pain to replace, requiring the hassle of bringing a ladder each time.

    On some mornings we run out of ziplock bags for the kids’ lunches.

    The laundry pile near the washer gets in the way of getting things.

    Enough.

  50. My commute is 90 minutes each way, by train and bus. No wifi on either.

  51. arvind grover

    1. I hate when I run out of soap in the shower. I keep extra bars of soap in the kitchen cabinet and I don’t want to run out there and get a replacement.

  52. 1. My driveway was a mess for the longest time, cracked paving flags, wonky edging, looked like crap. £650 to fix it was a bind, but at least I don’t flinch with annoyance every time I drive up to my house.

    2. Clutter, in all its forms. Especially where my kids are concerned.

    3. Knob on kitchen drawer coming loose, constantly. Ditto temperamental light switch in hallway, works when it feels like it.

    4. My complete inability to get back in the gym on the regular.

    5. My house number plaque by my front door, its bloody awful and I have looked at it daily for 8 years!

    6. Our neighbour’s constant inconsiderate parking. I leave it alone cos’ its not ‘annoying enough’ to have ‘the chat’ but I can see myself losing my shizzle over it one day.

    7. My wife’s insistence on trying to do it all, and be all things to all people. I’ve offered to outsource some stuff to lighten the load for us both, but she still says ‘I’ll do it’. She’s a trooper, but its not a good thing long term.

    Annnnnnd breathhhhhhheeeeee! 😉

    • House number plaque ordered.. Ten quid well spent!!

    • Got email from Amazon concerning door number plaque. Found out the company I ordered it from is owned by a friend I haven’t seen in about 10 years, and from that I found out we are both attending the wedding of a mutual friend in 2016. All that from buying a new door number!

  53. middle class revolution

    Haha. My kitchen trash can is a minor annoyance, too! But I get it. I finally bought a shower caddy and am so happy that the annoyance of having bottles of soap and shampoo on the edge of the tub is gone!

  54. I actually have a 3rd meeting with HR today because I lost my temper last Thursday. All the hundreds of minor annoyances, interruptions and unnecessary noises in a big open-plan company made me crack.

    The last time we had a meeting they began acting on some of the suggestions to quieten things. But it is impossible to change the entire company and culture based on a minority of annoyed introverts.

    The main door makes a loud CLUNK when the security lock is opened.
    It also slams when it shuts
    The bathroom plays annoying Top 40 pop music and makes me want to eat fire-ants.
    The coffee maker drips but worse, people take their cups out before it done pouring
    Google Chat is playing over some people’s speakers and it loud. (Hundreds of people work here and chat all day.)
    My boots make a squeak sound as I walk across the waxed floors.
    I get 2-4 email updates for one issue in my tasks. And then the person who made the change comes and tells me. And then my coordinator phones me to tell me about it!!!
    I have dozens more.

    All of these annoyances add up and could potentially cost me my job, and I’d probably be happier if that happened at this point! But I sound really stupid when I’m trying to talk to HR and saying any one of these is a problem. “Is it really that bad?” they ask.

    #sound-sensitive-introverts

    • Might be misophonia? From Wikipedia:

      “Misophonia, literally “hatred of sound”, is a rarely diagnosed disorder, commonly thought to be of neurological origin, in which negative emotions (anger, flight, hatred, disgust) are triggered by specific sounds. The sounds can be loud or soft.

      “People who have misophonia are most commonly angered by specific sounds, such as lip-smacking, slurping, throat-clearing, nail-clipping, chewing, drinking, tooth-brushing, breathing, sniffing, talking, sneezing, yawning, walking, gum-chewing or popping, laughing, snoring, swallowing, gulping, burping, clicking dentures, typing, coughing, humming, whistling, singing, certain consonants, or repetitive sounds.”

    • I work in the back office of a very large company. In theory, everyone is working and few are on the phone, so it should be quiet, right? Not. Loud conversations with friendly, happy people, who can deal with loud sound MUCH better than I can, obviously! When the Powers-that-Be decided to pipe “white noise” through the speakers, I was sufficiently motivated to find my wonderful headphones that block noise and still allow me to hear my (ahh) lovely classical music so I can work efficiently!

  55. At last! Someone who gets it!

    I know exactly what you mean about little annoyances adding up into a big thing. It’s nice to finally have this acknowledged. My biggest annoyance is having the cumulative effects of all these annoyances disregarded in our increasingly positive-oriented society.

  56. Danielle

    I have to complete three time tracking Forms every single day. One for the company I work at so I can get paid. One for the boss lady so she can micromanage my work everyday and then one more for the government because I’m a contractor and cannot be trusted to fill out only one damn time sheet a day. It is a huge pain, every single damn day.

  57. Ramit,

    It is as if you are a mind reader. I started doing this around my house about a month ago. Thank you for fully fleshing out your thoughts on those annoyances and how wonderful it feels when they have been addressed.

    Here are a few of my ‘projects’:
    1) I bought two hooks (one for hubby and one for me) to store our pajamas. I was never happy with not having a specific place for them to be stored.
    2) I bought a basket to catch all our random crap and go through it once a week. I keep it in a centeral spot.
    3) I bought four odd sized train prints. They are in the way so I finally bought four custom frames. The frames should be ready on Wednesday!
    4) We have a wooden locker (holds jackets and winter accessories) and it has four cubbies but we only have three baskets – eek! I just identified some baskets at target that I’m going to buy to replace the current baskets.
    5) I hate having items on flat surfaces but love having things on the wall. So I gathered up all of our picture frames and I will be hanging them all on one wall. That is my project for tonight!

    Thanks for being so awesome! I look forward to every email!

  58. Opening a smoked salmon pack and smell fish on my fingertips for the rest of the day. Opening the pharmacy container with all those boxes that I need to classify and throw – but I am not doing it of course.
    Hang my pants on lose hangers and find them on the floor of the cupboard the next morning.
    Take a shirt from the cupboard and catch another hanger. AAAAAAAAGH
    Catch a belt that is below 4 other belts – on a hanger of course (I think I have an issue with hangers)

  59. My daily annoyance is the laundry room. It has no organization and clean clothes get mixed. The ironing board placement has a lot to do with that. Hmmmmm.

  60. The door to my garage doesn’t open all the way because of some 2×4’s and cabinet doors that are behind it. It only opens maybe 75%, enough for me to get through easily but yet it annoys me every day.

    My dishwasher didn’t get turned on last night so I had to resort to “the shitty bowls” that don’t match the rest. No spoons either. All because I failed to push a button last night. Also – electricity is twice as expensive during the day, although it’s probably a difference of pennies.

    I haven’t polished my new shoes yet. It’s now been about a month and they’re still dull black. I notice it every day, and if I just did it (takes 15 min) they’d be good for 6 months with a minimum of effort.

    It’s all about the feng shui.

  61. I’ve actually optimized nearly all of my home surroundings since I started learning about habits a couple of years ago. I even moved to be closer to my job, knowing that it would have some impact on my energy levels at work, but it was even more effective than I thought it would be. Just removing 20+ minutes of my commute doubled my energy levels at work, and I started getting performance reviews that reflected that.
    Behavioral modification, ftw!

  62. I love this post! Someone who actually gets that little annonyances that can add up, suck up your energy, but can be fixed. Mine is logging into my work computer twice, one on the computer and one onto the server, which involves entering my username and password not twice but three times!! IDK why it was designed like this but I just log off the server instead of comp and server.

    Also, I hate washing multiple pans to cook food so for breakfasts I just use one big frying pan to heat up multiple things in it and wash once.

  63. Tris Prior

    Oh god, SO many:

    – Poorly insulated bathroom in our apartment which is FREEZING COLD when I am getting ready for work before dawn. I have a space heater in there but we really need to get a timer for it so it can start heating the room maybe 15 min. before I actually go in there.

    – We lack any sort of surface to put drinks on next to our living room couch. So we tend to set them on the floor, which has the predictable consequence… but I would rather clean up spilled drinks from the floor than set them on our coffee table where the expensive Macbooks live! I am embarrassed that we still have not gotten around to picking up some sort of cheap TV trays at the very least!

    – The string you pull to turn on the light in my bedroom closet is too short for me to reach. We also lack a tall enough ladder for me to reach it to replace it. This leads to me rummaging through my closet with a flashlight each morning to find clothes, so I don’t have to turn on the overhead light and wake Boyfriend. (I have started laying out clothes the night before so that I don’t even have to go in there in the morning… I am about 50/50 on remembering to actually do this.)

    • For #2, how about drink cups with lids to minimize spilling? Cheaper and easier to procure than side tables or tv trays.

      Or put cups on a rimmed tray on the table to contain spills?

  64. Chapstick: I would always only buy one chapstick at a time and constantly be searching for it. Now I buy minimum 5 at a time.

    Shower Caddy: It’s partially broken but still holds my shampoo, body wash, etc. It would cost $25 to replace and not start off every morning with “ugg this thing looks ugly and is broken.”

    iPod Charger: my iPod frequently runs out of juice because I don’t want to charge it via my computer. I could buy a simple charger for under $20. Problem solved.

    Dish Towels: The dish towels in our house have been dirty for months! They are super cheap and could buy 15 more towels for like $15. Instead of feeling guilty of doing laundry for just 4 dish towels, I could do a dish towel mega load.

    Toothbrush: I love having a new toothbrush and hate having an old one, yet only buy 1-packs. Solution: buy 12 for the year.

    ***Just bought all this stuff. Thank you Ramit for this post!

  65. My Keurig is set to turn on at 5:30 and off at 7:30. For some reason it defaults to the one-hour auto turn off, so when I go to have a second cup of coffee at 6:30 + 10 seconds, it has turned itself off. Every. Single. Time.

    P.S. – where can I get a garbage can like that? I am also sick and tired of fiddling around with a can under the counter. I need this in my life.

  66. Dan Rice

    My little annoyance is that the people of London seem to have a very deep and real fear of pressing the button to cross the road! They would rather stand there and be visibly enraged that traffic doesn’t stop by magic, than suffer the ‘indignity’ of having been the one to press the button and help everyone (including themselves) cross the road haha!

    I have another, losing trolley coins. Those things that you put in trolleys instead of real coins. Why do they even exist, why do I buy them and why does it matter so much when I inevitably lose them?

  67. I’ve been in lean manufacturing all of my career. This is a method we use at the production cell level to identify waste. As you argue here it’s also great for everyday life. I’ve rearranged my apartment doing the same things. The kitchen is a huge source of headaches if you can’t find what you want when you’re cooking.

  68. SkiptheBS

    I just had a solar motion sensor light pair installed to illuminate dim steps. No more falling and cussing.
    I was told many years ago to think like Helen Keller when organizing: be able to find things effortlessly in total darkness. This mindset is a huge help when organizing.
    Rest of my irritants are two-legged and can’t be replaced, upgraded, or trashed.

  69. I hate it when I can t remember where I put my things and lose these things ;also I hate the morning alarm and snooze !

  70. Mike Burke

    I’ve got a pretty decent list like you do – one thing I think you mentioned on an interview w/ Tim Ferriss a while ago that I *finally* took care of was buying a second power supply for my laptop. Routing the wire every time I took the laptop away from home got incredibly annoying.

  71. Awesome post. My wife and I started doing this exact thing a couple weeks ago. We called it our “Stop Dealing List”. The biggest annoyance is a stupid door that wont latch/catches because the screws on the hinge have stripped out the door frame. If anyone has a suggestion I’d love to hear it.

  72. Organizing my kids’ laundry.

    I want my 5 year old and 3 year old boys to be able to find their clothes and dress themselves, but my 19-month old daughter loves to play dress-up and make messes of clothes (in addition to everything else).

    I’ve yet to find a way to store clothes where my older kids can reach them, but my daughter can’t.

    • Years ago, I had a friend with kids that regularly emptied the dresser drawers. I avoided it by buying an unfinished dresser with NO KNOBS, painting it white, then painting only the accents (like the strips between drawers and the simple design on the drawers themselves) with a bright color.

      By the time the kids figured out the system to open the drawers, they were old enough to dress themselves and pick up anything that “dropped”!

  73. Virginia

    As I’ve begun the mother-of-all-decluttering projects in my condo, I realized I have WAY too much jewelry – talk about a first-world problem!! And I only wear a tiny fraction of it. Part of the problem is that I’m very visual, so if stuff is neatly tucked away, it’s also out of mind. So I hit on the solution to install a peg board on the back wall of a closet, move the clothes out, and voila! A nice solution for my gazillion necklaces… It looks as good as a retail display! Now would someone please invite me to a party so I can wear one of my fabulous necklaces?? : ) : )

  74. I don’t mind making my bed every day, but I hate wrestling sheets and the duvet cover back onto the bed even though it takes less than 10 minutes. I hired a cleaner to clean my whole apartment twice a month, but secretly just so I never have to change sheets again.

    I absolutely hate washing and styling my hair, always have, but love having long, thick hair. I get blow-outs once or twice a month for special events, but I teach hot yoga 2-4 times a week so even if I scheduled a blow-out once a week, it would only last a day or two for the humidity and I’d be right back where I started.

  75. Realizing that the same stuff has irritated me before. Brings back the memory of the first-time anger, then the anger about the problem still being there, then I figure “What did I do last time? – Oh yes. I buried it on a to-do list that I don’t access that often, because let’s face there is only ‘unimportant stuff’ on it.” Double-Duh. Thanks a lot, Ramit, for pointing out the importance!! Helped me realize what has been nagging at me for long. Really just, small stupid things: buzzing lamp, forgetting to pack or reload replacement battery, the door does not close well…One trick I’ve used is making the small annoyance a big annoyance. Blocking my way to the door with stuff I wanted to throw away. Or, a friend of mine tended to forget his charger at my place, so I turned it into a game, putting anything he would have the slightest chance of forgetting in his shoes.

  76. Annoying music at the gym. It’s bad enough to make me dread going – I really have to force myself, and there goes some of my willpower for the day. It’s one of those big box gyms, where the music bounces around the walls and cuts through *anything*. I wear firing-range earplugs under my headphones and blast what I want to listen to, but as soon as there’s a pause I can still hear the gym’s crap music and advertisements!

  77. I can’t throw all unwanted papers directly in the trash. They must be shredded first. The shredder is so cumbersome and slow… So the papers stack up next to the shredded.

  78. Katie E.

    I’m 5’1″. We have a beautiful kitchen, but I can’t reach most the kitchen cabinet shelves. This means that every time I need to grab a serving plate or put the garlic away, I have to channel my inner ninja rock climber or grab one of our barstools. Every. Single. Time. It was cute to be a climbing monkey when I was 5, but at 32…not so much!

  79. Jacke Rose

    1. Nightstand too small. Real nightstand being used for entryway.
    2. Not enough storage in dining room, currently using a 3drawer dresser. Looking at different DIY projects online.
    3. Stubbing toe on that metal slide rack on side of tub. (When you have sliding doors instead of shower curtain).

  80. There is the fact that I hardly have any modern (three prong) outlets anywhere in my apartment. Obviously, the solution is simple – just get adapters or extension cords where needed. But I always forget.

    And, ah, there’s the problem with the neighbor’s “intimate” noises upstairs in the middle of the work day. Really, what do you say in such a situation?

  81. Trash on my desk. I’ve had a used paper towel and empty bottle of a medication on my desk for weeks and although I complain about clutter in my office, it’s not occurred to me to toss those things out. Thanks, Ramit, after your e-mail I tossed them (and a lot of other unnecessary junk).

  82. 1) I prefer for my food not to touch on my plate, mostly if there’s something that’s highly liquid and the juice is running into more solid foods. Ugh!

    2) I get PISSED when I’m in a public place and someone is talking on their phone to someone via speakerphone. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR CONVERSATION, LADY!!!

    3) I do not care for hand sanitizer gel. I prefer a wet wipe so I can completely wipe off my hands. OR my biggest preference is to go wash my hands in a bathroom.

    • Elizabeth

      Re: #1) I had that same problem. I bought half a dozen small glass bowls to set on our plates to hold coleslaw, beans, any drippy food.

  83. I put a decorative bamboo ladder on my couch every morning so my girlfriend’s dog doesn’t get on the couch. It’s stupid, I’m aware of this, but is a fix to a problem I have; the dog loves being on the couch. And I cannot stand having a large dog on my nice couches.

  84. I have 2 pairs of slippers, one upstairs and one downstairs. But invariably they both end up downstairs, causing me to walk on cold floors in bare feet when I first get up on cold mornings. I need an elf to carry a pair of slippers upstairs while I sleep.

  85. Apart from having to reload this page 3 times to make this comment.
    1) The door between my bedroom and bathroom that never quite ciicks shut
    2) The door without a screen door which means it can never be left open in summer
    3) Not having the kitchen bin near the sink as there is not space under. Now you’ve really annoyed me about that one:)

  86. I’m a big believer in tackling those little annoyances. With a little creativity (or money), so many things can be fixed, hacked or replaced to work better for you. But in my living situation, there is nothing I can do about my bathroom drawer. Ordinarily, this would be the most intuitive place to keep daily toiletries–but you can’t open this drawer without hitting the bathroom door. Who designs like that?? You have to close the bathroom door in order to access the drawer, so you can’t hop in and grab a q-tip without making a big production. I guess I could leave the q-tips and everything laying all around the counter, but that creates a cluttered mess. This drawer mocks me several times a day, reminding me of my powerlessness, of how many things I can’t fix here; stupid, seemingly insignificant things, but it’s the death by 1000 cuts. My husband and I have fixed so many things around here (thank you Sugru), but the only real answer for our mental health and future is to get out. To get our own space, where we are in control, and can make things work right. We are working on this right now.

    • I feel your pain. I’m in the same boat with my wife. Just need to make it happen.

  87. – Hair dryer cords! Same problem as Ramit – I end up just shoving my hair dryer into the cabinet when I’m done using it and the cord gets tangled so I usually have to untangle it every time.

    – Computer charging cords. I hate having these all around the apartment because they are tripping hazards, cause dust to collect etc, but moving them from room to room is also annoying.

    – Bathroom doors – there are 2 doors to our bathroom and one of them always pops open unless you close the other door first and slam the second shut. Slamming doors is loud and annoying.

  88. Unloading/loading holiday storage boxes under my house. I have to step into a cramped area, bend over and pull everything out into the garage. Then the boxes sit there for weeks while we decorate….leaving my car outside in the cold and wet weather. Sticking front door. Clutter for miles. Light switches in places that make no sense. Tons of interruptions at work.

  89. I love the idea of eliminating waste in my life. For me, today, is not having a desk or table in my room to work. I know there is a lot of data that shows you should only use your room for sleeping, but my space is limited today. Long term goal is to have a dedicated work space. But having a desk today would make me a lot more productive. There are many other big picture annoyances, and those will be prioritized and cleaned up.

  90. Haha love this post!

    I hate showering in the morning, particularly on a weekend! I just see it as this massive barrier to getting up and going. I literally want to put on clothes, eat food and go, but no. Of course, I can’t not shower, that would be gross… but many mornings the thought of it is like arghhhhhhhh…

  91. Saphra Midnight

    Don’t get me started!
    I really love food and cleanliness but really hate the time this takes to do. It can be fun sometimes but not when you have to do it-everyday! So, I’ll be hiring people to help out with these once I’m able because my time could be spent doing more useful things (but I still want good food and a spotless home!)

    In the mean time, if anyone has any suggestions for a more minor annoyance of mine let me know, which is changing the toilet roll on the toilet roll bar thingy-this should be automated.

    Oh and I find getting dressed really annoying. Again sometimes it’s exciting to choose something nice to wear, especially for a special occasion but generally I’d prefer to not get dressed at all. Probably no solution for that one but move to a nudist community… Or a private island…private island sounds better.

    • Go to your local hardware store and find one of the toilet roll holders where the bar pivots instead of being spring-loaded. (That is, one end of the bar rotates on its holder, and the other end has a prong that fits into a notch in the holder on the other end.) The bar will never fall down (or apart) again! I LOVE ours.

      If you rent, so what? Either keep the old one and put it back when you leave, or leave the new one as a gift to the next tenant. (A pet peeve… “But I rent” is IMO the world’s worst excuse for not improving the space where you live.)

  92. I have actually been on this path for a while. Fixes so far:

    1. Having to choose what to wear for work. Major headache every morning. Fix: I got scrubs. I’m a DC, so I can get away with that.

    2. The stupid freezer-on-top fridge. Who ever came up with that idea. Not sure if I can take credit for the thing breaking after I complained about it daily for a week, but it did, and now we have this beautiful freezer-drawer-on-the-bottom unit. Yeah I get to hear about how we should have fixed the old one but I don’t care, I’m happy every time I open the door and everything is at eye level.

    3. A heated sheet. So I don’t have to get into a cold bed. If I could figure out how to put it on a timer/ remote, that would be even better.

    4. The charging box. Basically a box with a strip cord and a multi-USB outlet in it and all chargers already plugged in. No more lost or lying around cords and all the ugliness is out of sight.

    Now if someone has suggestions on how to lovingly train my husband not to use our dining room table as a dump for all sorts of random stuff I’d love to hear about it!

  93. Hi Ramit,

    i have installed a remote control and receivers for EVERY lamp i use DAILY! I never live without it since years 😉

    At the moment my missing time annoys me most. And that my relocation takes up much of my time. But this will be ok in the next time.

    Ciao,
    Sandro

  94. 1 – Stepping into a cold car in the winter, and a hot car in the summer. Ugh.
    2 – Having to take medicine at specific times, but rarely am I ready with them at stated times of the day.
    3 – Not being able to access cloud content wherever I want.
    4 – Not having lotion on hand at all times when I need it.
    5 – Moments when people want me to listen to them, but don’t take time to listen to me.
    6 – Deciding na outfit. Not being able to just rock in a V-neck and Levi’s when I want.
    7 – Not having a designated desk and office.

    That’s enough… for now…

  95. I love this! I spend all day at work looking at process improvement, and I think a lot of people do think of it in the workplace. But at home, we go on autopilot and just deal with it.

    My annoyance: my husband shuts the kitchen drawers hard enough the silverware trays slide back into the drawer. I want them snug against the front of the drawer. Every time I open the drawer, I have to slide them back into place. I tried putting rubber feet on the trays, but they still slide. He does the same thing with other drawers in the kitchen and in our desk, but those don’t annoy me as much as the silverware. I found a site showing how to create a built in frame for drawers to replace the silverware trays. I’m thinking that will be a good weekend project once the holidays are over.

    • Meredith

      Put something in the back of the drawer behind the tray so the silverware can’t slide back.

    • Elizabeth

      They have soft close thingys for cabinets, check to see if they make them for drawers. IMEA has them and I imagine HD and Lowes do, too.

    • Elizabeth

      IKEA! I don’t know what’s available at IMEA. 🙂

  96. My knifes need sharpening, every time I go to cook something I have to work with dull knives.

    Car needs to be washed. Minor let down when I look at it.

    Love this post!

  97. Ha love this!

    Constant one is freezing cold bathroom, then there’s the wake-up call of my cat…. But the proper annoyances are the boyfriend leaving his socks and briefs wherever he dropped them on the floor, him leaving blobs of toothpaste in the sink and the front door sticking when it’s opened and closed.

    Those socks/briefs on the floor will legit drive me insane.

    • Honestly? I started throwing away those dropped socks without saying anything, and stopped stressing over it. He assumed I was picking them up to wash. Ha! Thankfully he grew out of it.

  98. 1. Climbing over my dogs to get in/out of bed
    2. Having to use a key to get into my office
    3. Having a bathtub that’s too shallow to take a proper bath

  99. Katy Walker

    My dog waking me up 10 minutes before my alarm goes off. Every. Single. Day.

  100. John Corcoran

    I totally agree with this post – ballsy of you to post this.

    So, this is kind of a big annoyance, but every night my wife and I end up cleaning up for what seems like at least 60 to 90 minutes, between cleaning up from the mess our kids made and packing their lunches for the next day and cleaning up dishes from dinner. Not sure exactly how to fix it though – I’ve thought about paying someone to come clean up each night, though that seems so indulgent. I’ve also thought and if we were to just leave all dirty dishes in the sink each night and then have someone show up in the morning every day and clean up. We already have a house cleaner who comes two times/week so I guess it wouldn’t be that much more extreme to have her come for up to an hour each day.

    Previously, a minor annoyance was that we had to make our lunches each day for the next day. But we fixed that by basically packing a week’s worth of lunches on Sunday which we then bring to work and leave in the work fridge.

  101. Michelle

    “(They wouldn’t even want to hear about it…so naturally, I decided to send this to 1 million+ people. God, I seriously love not having a boss.)”

    This definitely made me laugh out loud! Super post. My husband loves doing this. I think I’ll surprise him tonight by starting a new list to work on. Thanks!

  102. Kirrilly Burton

    I have just got back from the US and bought more clothes, but I cannot fit them all in my tiny closet. My closet is so small that every morning I have to crouch on the foor to view the bottom of skirts and pants etc in order to find an item of clothing and there is usually an a avalanche of coat hangers while I wrench the piece of clothing out of my closet. Super annoying, but short of moving or buying an ugly temporary hanging closet (which won’t fit in my bedroom anyway), I’m not sure how to solve the problem. #First world problems.

  103. ~ANDREA KARTALIA

    This is great! I cracked up but it’s so true.

    Your blow dryer issue helps me out because that’s first on my list!

    1. Tangled blow dryer that keeps falling off the top of the toilet. (Will try a hook-thnx!)
    2. Not enough light in the living room when it is dark to read so I end up bringing a flashlight or reading in my room.
    3. My toothpaste doesn’t fit in my toothpaste holder and just lingers behind the holder and gets wet.
    4. I keep having to take my facial cleanser out of the cabinet to use in my AM shower and then transfer it back to the cabinet for nighttime use. Sometimes, I forget to take the facial cleanser out of the shower and then I have to open the shower curtain to grab it.
    5. I have a shit load of jewelry and not enough cases or stands to utilize. My earrings get separated sometimes and I have to look for them. This annoys me.
    6. I have a used printer that just sits underneath my desk. I haven’t made time to find the black cord that plugs into my laptop to use. Hence, I always drive a few miles to my local library and pay .10 per page.
    7. My socks drawer always has mismatches. Often, I buy more socks when I don’t have any matches left and the rest of my socks are dirty. I realize that I keep adding to this issue so– NO MORE NEW SOCKS in 2016 and… I will take all the socks out and match them!

    • lol! #6- I had a printer that was given to me. When I started reading the directions, discovered that it works on Wi-Fi (which I don’t have). I donated it, bought a replacement, and the computer shut down. Got the computer fixed…and can’t figure out where the printer is supposed to connect to the computer. GAGGHH! Yep. I do the drive to the library for my 10cent copies.

    • Solution to 7:
      1. Get rid of all existing socks. 2. Buy 30 pairs of the exact same kind of sock. 3. No more loners because they all match!

    • Omg, this. I have long toes so I have “left” and “right” socks. With all-white socks, matching them was a nuisance.

      Then I bought a 6-pack of white socks with a hint of color on the toe or ankle. Now I can match the “red” pair, the “yellow” pair, etc. Happiness 🙂

  104. Lucienne

    My annoyances are as follows:

    Peoples definition of “clean”. Some people think removing dirt is the definition. Others think moving the dirt around is the definition. Its difficult to live with someone who doesn’t share the same definition.

    Public motion sensitive toilets that flush as you place the tissue cover wasting two or three covers before you even sit down to do your business.

    People who travel to fantastic places people dream about and complain about the fact they had to walk somewhere or they had to see people – minor things that appear to be ungrateful for the opportunity.

    Tell someone about a major adjustment that will become more expensive to adjust if its delayed and being ignored, then having to pay more myself because of having to wait for the other person to agree. I think taking care of things sooner results in less stress in all areas of your life.

    • I solve the toilet problem by putting a bit of toilet paper over the sensor first thing. Take off the paper when you’re done, and now you have basic control when it flushes (assuming it isn’t one of those timed ones that flushes regardless).

  105. Jairo Levi

    Oh man, for me is the stupid toilet paper holder.

    Why on earth, do I have to put the toilet paper in the freaking holder, only to have to replace it in 2 days?

    For me it would be more efficient just to put the TP on the counter and just get a fresh roll with needed.

    Those tiny extra useless processes drive me nuts! ( Dont even get me started about the useless processes at my job.. )

    Jairo.

  106. My wife has the medicine cabinet so full of little bottles that I can not easily extract my toothbrush without upsetting several of them wherein gravity obliges in moving them to the level of my feet. I don’t have fat hands either.

    Oh wait, I already moved my toothbrush to a surface 6′ up that’s less cluttered. Man I feel better.

  107. Not enough power plugs in the bathroom. My wife has to unplug my electric toothbrush to plug in her hair dryer.

  108. Hearing my roommates when I’m winding down and getting ready to sleep. Footsteps, loud doors and talking outside my bedroom door – super little things that irritate this introvert like nothing else. I like living with people, but quiet is GOOD.

    • Lance Osborne

      Have you tried a white noise app/machine? Even if it’s not enough to drown out the other sounds, it can let your mind focus on something besides the interruptions.

  109. Hyperhidrosis

  110. mia shin

    I am currently in a rental, I am waiting to buy another home, to which I can make exactly as I like.
    Meanwhile, I have to live with no place to hang my plush bathrobe and I have to hang it on a knob to the linen closet in the bathroom. When I need something from the closet, the robe interferes with access.
    This drives me nuts that I cannot open all the way. I need to buy a robe hanging hardware that I can leave on my landlords’ door, when I vacate. I think I was being cheap by not installing one or putting the one I have in the closet saving it for my own home but I see what it costs me in the end. I also need a recycle bin for all the recycle stuff and have on hand tons of garbage bags that fit from “Simply Human” the people who make nice bins. I hate it when I run out of the bags and I have regular trash bags that don’t fit. The other thing that annoys me is the cubbard in the garage that opening by itself and hits my car. I have always run out of my car to close it before I can enter or exit my garage! Uggh!
    Organizing is a huge factor for me and I now see how having function well keeps me balanced and always in control of my life. I feel out of control when things annoy me and I’m irritated!

    • Try looping rubber bands around the cabinet knobs, in a figure 8 shape.

  111. Having to find my phone or ipad charger, and keep moving it around to a convenient place. Choosing between whether to plug in my phone or a lamp, because not enough convenient outlets are available.

    One of the small but symbolic reasons that I love my boss is she insists that we buy two power cords when we get a new laptop – one to keep at the office and one to keep at home. Because she understands the annoyance factor.

  112. I have a lot of things, but the most annoying one with the highest “IDGAF” factor is that I use one sound system for all entertainmebt outlets and TV / movies have a different volume setting than my gaming consoles.

  113. Greg Webb

    To put it mildly this is a problem that most would love to have, but…

    It’s my sports coupé. Lovely car. Fast, fun to drive, makes me smile when I see it even though I’ve had it for years now.

    But I’ve got a nearly 2h round trip to work at present, and it’s tiring to drive on that every day. I need something that’s built to cruise again, not just go round corners like it’s on rails. Job for next weekend!

  114. Draws… And cupboards…. Awkward difficult to open….. Creaky…. Oh my word!!! You put all this stuff in them and can only get out what’s at the front… And if it’s not you either lose all hope and give up…. Or take everything out in search of what your looking for…. Then you’ve got to (if it’s cloths) fold it all back up and put it all back in…. Like that is a serious commitment right there….. I’m not particularly lazy… Infact I’m quite energetic and have a go get em’ attitude… But this…. No way…

    Everything I actually use daily is lying about on surfaces, even cloths neatly balanced on books on the floor… Easy life….. 😊

  115. Headphone cords! Its a fricking pain to have to untangle these…daily & multiple times!

  116. I was complaining to my friend about how my cat wakes me up for breakfast way too early in the morning on weekends, and a week later she had bought me a pet food dispenser with a timer. My cat and I agree: best gift ever!

  117. Ramit,

    You may want to check out the concept of Kaizen – small continuous improvements. Toyota built the largest auto company on this principle. Even if it only takes an extra 15 sec/day to wind your dryer cord, that’s 90 minutes every year. If it took 15 mins to install a hook (14 mins of thinking/1 minute of doing) that’s 75 minutes you saved at the end of the year, 3 hours at the end of four years. At your hourly rate how much is that little hook worth?

  118. I love this rant. I agree, it is the death by a thousand cuts (irritations) that really wears you down.

    Annoyances I have solved:

    Frozen meat that falls out of the freezer when you open it.
    Frozen food that you can’t find without taking all the other food out of the freezer. Solution: buy baskets that you can store things in by type and which are small enough to fit 2/shelf. This helped organize my refrigerator as well.

    I hate folding laundry. I hate it so much that my laundry just forms a wrinkled mountain of unfolded clothes. Solution: pay someone $12/2 week cycle to wash and fold it for me.

    Irritations that I am working on solving:
    Having to figure out what to eat for dinner every. single. day. because my mom WILL. NOT. PLAN. a weekly meal schedule and we need to coordinate what we eat. (Note: we tried the cook separate meals and do our own thing and that did not work because we have very limited space and, as a result, limited cooking utensils, even if we didn’t need to be cooking at nearly the same times.) Since we both tag team on the cooking duties it has become a nightly idiocy to try and figure out what we are both in the mood for the next day.

    There’s always something but I love the point of Ramit’s post, when there is a minor annoyance it’s brain clutter and it adds with all the other minor annoyances to create a huge mess and mental brain suck. List the annoyances and figure out which ones you can solve and clean the mess.

  119. Xie Konge Donge

    Thin walls when I’m pounding the Mrs. I will probably install sound proofing material in the kids bedroom before X-mas.

  120. Brilliant post and very true. Thanks Ramit.

    However, I wonder if you would say that now that certain nuisances are fixed you find new things you get annoyed about? I could imagine our brains always look for something that annoys us. Maybe because they struggle to accept the beauty and perfection which is already in the world?

  121. The tiny-little-annoyance that comes to mind is our butter.

    I grew up cutting about 30g off the block of butter and leaving it out on a plate, so that you have some soft butter when you need it.

    My husband grew up leaving the whole block of butter out on the bench.

    So now, we regularly have a nice soft plate of butter AS WELL AS a block of butter on the bench.

    I’ve been thinking about getting a butter dish that would house the whole block, but keep flies away.

    However, we’re just coming into the hot Aussie summer and I feel like the butter will just turn into a puddle on my bench!

    • Howdy, Lizzie,

      I can’t tell you where to find one of these, but I’ve seen stonewear butter dishes designed with passive water/evaporative cooling that lets you leave butter out without inadvertently making ghee.

    • They are generally called “Butter Bells”, http://www.thekitchn.com/10-butter-bells-187646. Fill the bell part with butter, put water in the other part, turn the bell upside down into the water….be careful with the amount of water. Voila! Mine holds a stick of butter, which equals about 1/2 a cup.

  122. Passwords. Friggin passwords. I cant save them in my browser. Regulatory requirement. They have to be changed every 30 days. Regulatory requirement. They cannot be reused. Regulatory requirement. Now I have to use 2 step verification. 50+ texts per day sending me verifications. NEW Regulatory requirements. Get the verification wrong? Have to start over. AARRRGHHH!

    • Shawn L.

      There’s ways of saving passwords securely. I use 1Password (1password.com).

      It’s on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. It can sync between clients using an encrypted sync file on Dropbox.

      Love it.

    • Oh God that sounds awful. If I had to do that I’d just incorporate the current month and year to make each password different yet memorable.

  123. I love you for this Ramit. I feel the same! I feel like I am so petty and intolerant about this stuff. At least half of my petty problems are because of living with other people, because you can’t just fix the stuff you want and make it how you want. Yes, you get to save money and have company so there are some major upsides. But some of the downsides are so petty but also so goshdarn annoying. One example of many, many I could come up with is letters and papers on the kitchen table. I don’t want to have to move stuff just so I can eat. Every time. It’s a kitchen, not an office. That’s pretty annoying. In this house, some amateur wired it so there are light switches in wrong places. I have to walk across the room, the opposite direction from the door, to switch off the light, then walk back in the dark. That’s just annoying. Generally, anything where I have to move something in order to do something else is insanely annoying. Sometimes it is a lack of space issue, in which case, no problem, but sometimes it’s just bad use of space. And then I get annoyed because it is like someone else is doing it ON PURPOSE because they are an EEJIT!

  124. I get annoyed when there’s no food in my fridge and have to go grocery shopping: when my alarm clock is not within my reach and I have to GET UP and hit snooze: when I have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to find the comment section when they should be right below the article. So many things….

  125. I’ve just thought of another one that is MY fault. I never have a bag with me when I want to pick up a few groceries. Now they charge for plastic carrier bags over here and the cashier looks at you like you are destroying the planet personally and I end up with a carrier bag collection. Sometimes I carry one in my handbag, but then I use it and don’t put it back. Mainly because i got talking to someone while I was unpacking the groceries. So how do I remember to always put a bag back? Should it be on my checklist for leaving the house? Is that just too many things?

  126. Alright so I have these wooden drawers in my kitchen and whenever I want to get a spoon or pot and try to close the drawer it damned fights me and won’t just CLOSE, I have to use muscle power and jiggle it and make it close. It pisses me off!

  127. -faucet too close to sink so your hands can’t fit under
    -when there are two doors for an entrance/exit but one is locked (what if there’s a fire?)
    -people that stand on the left of a moving walkway or escalator
    -the automatic hand dryer that is too close to the light switch so the hand dryer goes off every time the light is turned on/off (that shit is scary in the dark)
    -can’t open the dishwasher and the garbage can at the same time. Clearing the table has to be a deliberate sequence of events.

    • Justin Scott

      We had the same faucet issue when we moved into the house we’re in now. They were so low and close to the back of the sink that they were pretty much unusable. Even though we’re renting the house one of the first things I did was tank out those unusable faucets and replace them with much better and usable ones. Faucets aren’t exactly cheap but we were able to do both bathrooms for under $200 with all the hardware. People told me I was INSANE for making upgrades to a rental house. I told them I was investing in my own well-being as we planned to be here for a while (coming up on seven years now). Every time I use one of those faucets I feel like I’m getting a little dividend on that relatively small investment from years ago.

  128. Hi Ramit! My hats off to you!
    This is the best disguised market research I’ve ever witnessed, you obviously know your sh*t! 😉
    There you go… My pet hates are, never having enough storage, smell from the garbage can, not having a dishwasher!

  129. Many of the things that annoy me are connected to the fact that I live with my family in this rather (crappy) duplex where things cannot be changed or updated, and my husband’s and my jobs, as well as other factors in our family’s lives keep us from moving. Maybe one of the biggest annoyances are the electrical outlets. They all seem to be slightly too big inside for some reason, so regular plugs tend to fall out of them. I have temporarily remedied this by plugging whatever I want to use into an extension cord every time I want to use something, but that gets annoying, especially since we have a limited supply, and I am running late somewhere. Eventually the extension cord suffers the same end, and I need to buy a new one of those as well. Another annoyance is the tiny driveway, with which we have to share with our next door neighbors, as well as the people who live behind us. We also live on a hill, and the driveway is on a hill, so you can only imagine. I work right down the street, so some days I just want to walk. Another annoyance is how few lights and TV’s we have at home. I myself don’t care for TV, but the kids are Always in my room playing video games. They both have learning disabilities (my older son is autistic, although moderately so), so I have been told many times that they shouldn’t have a TV in their room. Which doesn’t make much difference, since I work a ton, they do all of their homework at school and when I get home, guess what they are doing? I don’t mind, but my room will be messy.
    OK, just a few annoyances. Most are related to things, but aren’t everyone’s? Except for my kids using the video game. I could probably find an easy solution for that. Throw the damn thing in the trash. (LOL jk 😉 )

  130. My rental suite doesn’t have kickboards under the cupboards. When I’m cooking things roll off the counters (house is not level), and ricochet off my foot to the back of the wretched world underneath my cupboards. Landlord well aware.

    • Elizabeth

      If you’re willing to do it, buy some wood planks or trim at the hardware store and cut them (or have them cut) so they are a tight fit and then push the boards against the cupboard bases.

  131. I laughed as I read your article, because it resonated so well! After doing this exercise, I’m surprised by how many of these little things I’ve put off… and how much they’re affecting me!

    Case in point, here’s the list I sketched out:
    – It’s annoyingly dark in my living room!
    – I have an electrical tool bench fully equipped, but no f***ing power for my tools!
    – My chair hurts so much, it’s going out my 5″ wide window… somehow.
    – Digging through all my socks and underwear in my top drawer sucks when I’m in a rush.
    – My monitor is so low, even with this stand… it makes me sit in this poor posture, which makes my body ache after working for a while.
    – My trash can by my desk is always in a different spot every time I sit down… it’s a pain looking left-right-left again trying to figure out where to toss this ball of paper.

    I just took immediate action on the last item as soon as I got home from work. It’s a small but quick win.

    Then I researched a solution for each one (i.e. monitor stand, extension cable, ergonomic chair, a lamp, etc), wrote them into a Google Doc, and now I’ll buy them one by one (or hint to my family for Christmas gifts).

  132. 1 – The layout of my bathroom makes it impossible to store things: no room for a medicine cabinet, have to have towels in a basket, miscellaneous toiletries in a different basket, makeup out on the counter, and everything else in a cupboard that’s hard to reach unless I climb up onto the counter.

    2 – Ditto the kitchen. I have no idea how to store my spices – there are so few cupboards & no good spots to even hang a spice rack! Makes cooking more of a hassle than it should be, and we waste spices when they go stale because they’re stored in an out-of-the-way spot.

    My next place is going to have decent storage or so help me…

    • Our bathroom would also suffer from this problem but we have this amazing bookshelf in there. It’s about a 1.5×1.5ft footprint but it’s 6ft tall with like 5 or 6 shelves. Holds 4 females’ worth of pads, extra toilet paper, trash bags, towels, whatever, with space left over for the toilet tech addicts. It’s a sanity saver and our bathroom would be such a mess without it.

    • Do you have a drawer you could use? You can either create labels for the top of each jar, or get an in-drawer spice rack (check the Container Store or similar housewares shop)

  133. Organized closet with bench on bottom to put on socks. Have 3 bins, 1 for sock, underwear and ties/belt and added a second rod so have 1 for dress shirts and 1 for t-shirts so getting ready each day is easier and know where everything is and doesn’t get lost.

  134. Justin Scott

    My biggest annoyances used to be having to remember all the small stuff that I needed to take with me when I was traveling for work. Things like adapters and cables and my contact lens kit and all the other little stuff that comes and goes when we travel. Eventually I just went to the store and bought 2-3 of everything so I can just leave the travel kit packed so it’s ready to go all the time. Now I have one for home and one in the travel case.

    Now the biggest annoyance is the florescent lights in our kitchen. The bezels are old and need to be replaced. Sometimes the lights all come on, sometimes only half come on and you have to flip the switch 2-3 times to get the others to light up.

    Oh, and the garbage collectors have “stolen” (aka tossed into their truck) all the lids to our garbage cans, so now there are no lids to keep the rain/bugs/dogs/whatever out of the trash. Very annoying.

  135. Cassandra

    Like a good Danish viking i bike every day no matter what the weather is like.
    That is not a problem unless it rains, because my rain trousers are 3 sizes too big, so they constantly get stuck in the chain of the bike. Also my rain jacket is completely worn out and has patches that aren’t waterproof.

    So glad you posted this! I always tend to forget about it when it’s not raining, but now I’m gonna get some new rain clothes.

    • We have a Clapper and it is one of our daily annoyances. Half the time it doesn’t change the light when we clap, but it does turn it on/off when we make some other noise like shutting a door or dropping something on the floor.

  136. Brilliance, Ramit! Looking for things is one of my biggest irritations and having recently moved I am beginning this mission by assuring everything in my home has a designated place, getting it into its place, and remaining disciplined to keep it that way.

    Side note: I watched Ellen Degeneres’ stand up act “Here and Now” (Amazon) a few days ago and much of her act is about the small irritations in her everyday life. Hilarious!

    Warm regards,
    Sue

  137. Speaking of hair dryer! I have ruined my third hair dryer but not because I don’t know how to use one, they are busted because of the lousy voltage here at my rental house in Bali. No styling in 4 years now, can you imagine?
    What really does get at me is the leaking roof and we are about to hit rainy season.
    And the door I have to lift in order to close it.
    Oh, and the gekko poo on the floor – luckily they use the same spot over and over again, so you can predict the “toilet zone”, still, wiping them off the floor on a daily basis is more of a bend than getting the garbage bin out…. just saying. 🙂
    Things go rusty in the tropics, books start to smell and so does clothes if not worn on a regular basis.
    Last but not least, I have lost or misplaced the 8th pair of sunglasses this year.
    Ahhh, feels so refreshing to vent here! Thank you Ramit! You rock! 🙂

  138. I love this article! Finally the right place to complain about my own garbage can situation 🙂
    Well, my wife and i needed a new garbage can. And woman-y as she is, i would not get a vote in it.
    So we ended up paying 90 bucks on a very beautiful garbage can, reasonably large, but under the lid there are TWO separate bins side by side. And that SUCKS! For one, the openings are now not large enough so you can pour the kitchen waste from dishes or other temporary containers into it without spilling. And even more annoying, there are no trashbags that fit well in those thin, long inner bins. So we could put plastic bags in it that are deep enough, but they are wasted as they are only filled to a third of their volume when the bin is full. My wife suggested we could leave out the inner bins and just put a large trashbag in the outer part, but that one is not smooth on the inside, so trashbags will tear when they are filled and one tries to pull them out.

    All this because the perfectly fine, one-large-inner-container trashcan for half the price (and still good-looking imho) wasn’t “beautiful” enough for her.

    We settled on the trashbag-ripping option, and it is HER job to pull out the bag. So this is semi-solved, but good enough for now.

  139. Joonatan

    I have lots of tech stuff everywhere. And every little gadget needs a power socket. I don’t have so many power sockets and while i could take one thing out and put another thing in, it’s… BS!

    Also, i move some gadgets around and i want to have lots of power sockets in another places too.

    So the solution? Install huge amount of extension cords into your furniture! A little out of sight (In the back, on the side etc) but still easily reachable.

    I have something like 50 power sockets PER ROOM in my home! And i love it!

  140. Steven Chavez

    Waking up 5 minutes too early because my damn dog is barking (Why do I have a dog?). being in a car that people have the heater cranked to hell level (when I get hot, I get irritable and claustrophobic). Microwaving instant noodles without water on them (#collegelife). Expensive gun jams on the range (embarrassing). phone falls off desk, gets unplugged from charger and turns lock screen on waking me up (WHY!!?)

  141. Bought the dawn-till-dusk light recommended above… THANK YOU! This is a heck of a lot cheaper/easier than some kind of timer system.

    I travel four days/week for work and am trying to automate a lot of home stuff so that I can make changes remotely. For example, I got a wi-fi thermostat, and I love that I can check the temperature and turn the heat way down when I’m away, but warm it up 30 minutes before I get home.

    On my list is getting a wifi garage door opener, so I don’t have to stress out about whether I managed to close my garage door or not. I think it will be worth the peace of mind, even if it’s expensive!

    Ditto to those who have a set of chargers for travel and a set of chargers for home. You can get dirt cheap chargers on eBay if you’re willing to wait a few weeks for shipment. In particular, I bought multiple FitBit chargers – I leave one plugged into the outlet in my home bathroom and one goes in my makeup bag. Whenever I shower, I plug in my FitBit (since I can’t bring it in the shower anyway). Boom – it’s never low on battery!

    I have separate laptop chargers: at my desk at home, at my desk at work, in my living room by the couch, in my boyfriend’s living room, and in my laptop bag. Amazing to always have one!

    I may be taking things too far, but I bought three cheap Android tablets – one for each TV in my house (which are all on different floors). I don’t have cable, so Hulu/Netflix are my media source, and it’s nice to not have to go searching for a tablet – it’s right next to the TV and the remote. (You’d be surprised how cheap you can get these, $30 each, if you are using it with so few apps.)

    Recent easy win: I used to hate taking the trash out, because I’m usually barefoot when I’m home and would have to tiptoe over my cold/dusty garage floor to put the trash into the big bin. I usually would just put the trash bag next to the door to take out next time I was going to my car. Solution: the big rolling trash can now sits right next to the door that goes between the garage and the house, rather than next to the door between the garage and the outside. I can lean out the door and toss it in without having to set foot in the garage, and I don’t mind the extra 20 steps when I actually take the trash out to the curb once a week.

    Love reading the comments and everyone’s great ideas!

  142. Kasie Jun

    Obnoxious reminder sound in Outlook when I get a new email. I’d be in the zone working on my projects or just needed to concentrate when the honking sound would interrupt me. I’ve worked at my job two years now, and I just changed the settings today so I’m no longer disturbed. Can’t believe it took me this long to be honest.

  143. Cindy Dunn

    DECIDING what’s for dinner. I *hate* that part of my day. I resolve to plan meals; I plan it out for a week, and after that, I lapse. I end up stopping at the grocery store on the way home from work 2 or 3 days a week, spend more money than I would have if I had pre-planned, and get home later than I wanted to. By the time I/we cook, eat and clean up, I have about an hour before it’s time to get ready for work the next day, unless I stay up late and short myself on a good night’s sleep. Occasionally my husband fixes dinner, but he does the same thing—decides to start thinking about what to eat at 5:00 pm on weeknights.

    The irony: my family cares, but I don’t care what I eat for dinner. I’m like Jeff Goldblum’s character in the movie “The Fly”, where he has a closet full of a dozen of the same outfit, so he doesn’t have to decide what to wear every day.

    I do like to “cook once, eat twice” (i.e., make a meal for one night and have leftovers the next night), but I could eat the same thing 5 days in a row (see previous note on Jeff Goldblum)…it’s my family who gets tired of leftovers sooner than I do.

  144. I have my clothes in 2 different rooms, because they don’t all fit in one closet. My husband sleeps in the master bedroom with the master closet, and due to his LOUD snoring I sleep in the extra room with the “extra” closet. It was a real pain having to stumble around in the morning in the dark trying to get clothes out of “his”room while he was still asleep . So I finally spent a few hours sorting and organizing. Now, all the stuff I need for work is in the room where I sleep! I can get up, get dressed, and head off to work without running all over the place, and without waking anyone. I feel like a new woman!!

  145. Annoyance: I don’t have a water cooler/ coffee pot in my office so I have to walk down to the kitchen or to the other side of the floor if I want a cup of coffee/ tea…which means I basically spend two-three minutes (multiplied by at least 5) each day just walking to and from the office kitchen.

    • I don’t know what to recommend about the coffee/tea…but I recently started keeping a large Klean Kanteen insulated bottle at my office desk. Every morning, I fill it with cold water and lots of ice. Now I have long-lasting, ice-cold water within reach all day. No walking to the kitchen, no waiting in line at the public water cooler. This solution is tailored to me, and it’s for my private use — perfect.

  146. Ana Nettles

    My bed is too low and I keep hitting my big toe. UGH. Plus my mobile home gets to cold in the winter and when its hot outside I am freezing cold inside… FML.. you are too cute though, get it repaired you are rich, you do not have to deal with that shit. LOL

  147. Gregory Gandenberger

    Having to reset a wifi router every few days. The $100+ dollars I spent on a top router to make this annoyance go away was well worth it.

  148. I have a hairdryer that retracts its own cord at the push of a button. I highly recommend it. Saves so much time. I take it out. Use it. Push button. Back in cupboard.
    Garbage can- flip top. Just put stuff in, closes itself. One step process.

    Biggest inefficiency, my extension chord is too short. I can’t text and charge my phone when on the couch cause I moved my couch to a better location…. The bitter balance of furniture..

  149. Françoise

    Funny, I started that very list during the weekend. Had a wood worm on it (what really irritated me, was to hear that bloody worm working on a box I like). Fixed it since.

    Now it’s the books I love but which are pilled up on a table instead of being organized somewhere, where they are easy to grab.

  150. Heat blowing down on my face while I sleep. Having to unload the dish drainer before I can wash the dishes from breakfast. Having to move furniture to vacuum under it because the vacuum head is so freaking wide. Carrying glasses to and from the kitchen to get more water after I drink it (I work at home).

  151. Got 9 (gulp) rabbits, so cute though. Somehow, a few strands of hay always manage to get into the sink drain. I keep a plunger handy, but it just breaks the charm of a clean kitchen.

    Choosing my shoes on the days I work with kids (sneakers) and in the DG office (heels).

    Waiting as food cooks. Forgetting about it. Washing a burnt pan. Got an Instant Pot. YES!

    • Charlotte

      Buy one of those small kitchen plungers. Get it at the hardware store in the kitchen aisle. Write “kitchen only” on it and store it under the kitchen sink. Much better than using the bathroom plunger on the kitchen sink.

  152. There are many things that annoy me during the day that could be improved by better design or organization. I try to change the things I can, accept what can’t (and vow never to waste my resources on those again.) My biggest annoyance in my current rental is a flat, rectangular sink. These do not drain well, leave food in the sink that has to be pushed to the drain strainer and food gets caught in the corners. Life is too short to surround oneself by the ugly and unfunctional.

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  155. Wait until my dog does what she has to do everymorning.
    Leaving my house having perfect time to get on time to the office, but arriving late because of traffic.
    People trying to make small talk in the bus, despite I’m listening to music and reading a book and it’s clear I’m not in the mood.
    Music I don¿t like in the bus stations.
    Living in a neighbourhood really far away from, everything and everyone I know

  156. It wasn’t until this morning that I was aware of the annoyance of having to get on my hands and knees to get a saute pan out of a bottom cabinet in my kitchen island.

    I’m six feet, ten inches tall.

    I’m installing one of those sliding racks tonight. And I’m doing it tonight.

  157. 1.) I imagine a universe where my night stand will have only 5 things – a tiny lamp, night cream, toner, sleepy time tea bags and a cup. In the current universe, however, it has multiple deodorants, combs, stray hair, 2 wine glasses (wine in bed), my fitbit, my watches, used and not used cotton balls, makeup remover, and the tiny lamp. At night, it is a game of operation to find the lamp without touching anything else… graduating and moving out in 6 months so will suck it up and continue to live like this….(but loved to rant)

    2.) I started taking lunch to work to save money, which was the best decision ever. I lost 7 pounds and do not buy cafeteria food anymore. Slowly that turned to one lunch box, one coffee mug, one snack box – that for me, boyfriend and room mate equals 9 (sometimes 12) plastic things (mostly those sturdy Thai food takeout boxes) with 9 plastic lids and the sink is full every single night. One dishwasher run every night just for the plastics. In the morning, I waste precious time matching lids…sigh…
    I’d love a solution that suits our graduate student budgets.

  158. Anonymouse

    Not having the basics like washer and dryer and AC/heater unit is fucking annoying as piss. Because of current financial situation, I have to share living space with my family who refuses to invest in those essentials, claiming that they’re expensive. (Well, we live in one of the most expensive states.) They’d rather have everyone in the house turn into human Popsicles in winter and bake in the summertime (you can’t even cool off even if you go the nudist route!) for the sake of looking cool in the front of people by spending a $hitload of $$$ on fancy cars. Those are more important to them. Typical fucking Asians. It’s all about the exterior image. (Hey, I can say that because I’m Asian. :p LOL!) In the meantime, I can only get by with portable heaters and fans. Fans don’t help as much, though. I refuse to go to the laundromat. Stuff has been lost and stolen there. It’s also nasty. People don’t clean up after themselves. Owners of the laundromat don’t even bother to fix the machines. My temporary solutions are professional laundry service (it’s pretty expensive but worth it, so I can only do that once a month at most) and getting into a line of work where I have access to central AC/heating unit and washer-and-dryer set. I run a pet sitting/house sitting service where I get those fringe benefits. I want to have my own AC/heating unit and washer and dryer one day soon, dammit!

  159. Mikos Page

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  160. middle class revolution

    Here’s my tip for reducing laundry folding time. I hang most of my t-shirts instead of folding. So much easier! I often hang shirts with blazers that go together so I can just grab and go.

  161. Charlotte

    The biggest little annoyances are things that I cannot change, like having to take multiple types of pills every day, some with food, some without, some in the morning, some mid-day and some at night. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to make this easier, and would welcome suggestions.

    But I have been working on all the controllable annoying things for several months now. Things like getting outside outlets installed in the house (no more running cords under the front door for Xmas decorations), getting a motion-sensor lightswitch installed on the light that has a switch in the middle of the stairs (terrible spot for it), getting new tires on the car so I can stop worrying about the old ones…the list is huge. This could take years.

  162. I have a love hate relationship with my hair. It’s cool for someone my age; like an adult security blanket over my shoulder. Lately though, every time I absentmindedly run my fingers through it a single strand comes out. Or I’m taking care of the pets and feel a lost strand run against my arm. I actually offered to cut it all off for the Ellen show if they would let me open the show impersonating her as an audience prank and giving my hair to make a wig for someone in chemotherapy. During and after a shower is the worst; I’m constantly making sure they don’t stick to my back or elsewhere before getting dressed. You asked; I’ve never talked about it…I’m not ungrateful for having ‘nice hair’; there’s just a lot more to it than being shiny in the sun.

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  169. Julia Leszko

    Waking my girls up, ages 7 & 10, and they making it clear they hate life & me because I woke them up to get ready for school.

  170. John Hubbard

    Safety, especially other peoples, I always see things that are major safety issues, (Like my wife pulling the smoke alarms because they false alarm sometimes). Most people don’t want to hear about the potential issues, as they have had no problems to date.
    Example, all you folks that are now hanging up your blow dryers, has that caused you to leave them plugged in? Like coffee makers they still draw current, and many have a transformer in them which if it goes bad looks like a Christmas Tree going up.

    Additionally after years of hard use on an outlet from using a blow dryer (which is harder on your electrical system than my 80# jack hammer) Outlets will fail, and when changed you will find they are burned, cracked, and literally fall apart in your hands.

    Please un-plug your major appliances when not in use, you might just save your life.

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  174. I feel your garbage can pain.

  175. My lamp’s switch is broken so I have to screw/unscrew the bulb to turn the light on/off. My partner and I have more clothes than we do places to store them. The front door gets jammed at the bottom. Half the windows downstairs are missing screens or have tattered ones. The grass is my back yard is completely burned. The back sliding door doesn’t slide anymore. My front walkway is sinking. There’s a cracked tile in the center of the kitchen floor. Small random pieces of the hardwood floor are missing. There’s a crack on the wall that we pass by every time we go up and down the stairs. The ceiling paint is peeling.

  176. ahh! Thank you for putting my thoughts into words. I totally feel you on this! I find myself doing the same little annoying thing over and over..and after so many times the annoyance is really not so little anymore!!

    I am always sure to rinse my reusable keruig filter before bed..so thats one less thing to annoy me in the morning. Mornings and I already don’t mix well, so every little bit counts!