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10 simple things you’ve been doing wrong your whole life

Pro tips from your friends on YouTube.


Mike Fenn


Posted on Mar 31, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 1:36 pm CDT

So far today, you’ve probably put on a pair of shoes, folded some laundry, and maybe popped a breath mint to battle your halitosis.

And chances are, you did each and every one of those tasks completely wrong.

Thankfully, several YouTube videos out there can help you rethink common activities while saving you time in the process. As an added benefit, you will appear wiser to those who will insist on doing things the “traditional” (or “wrong”) way.

1) You tie your shoes wrong.

How did your parents teach you to tie your shoes? Bunny ears? Loop, swoop, and pull? Whatever the method, it was wrong. Let Terry Moore show you how to create a strong, durable knot in your laces in his TED talk.

2) You dispense Tic-Tacs wrong.

It’s no secret that we have no idea how to consume food. And as much fun as it is to do, Tic-Tacs were not meant to pour into your hand in a colorful pile like candy. This video will show you how to perfectly snag just one Tic-Tac from the box using the container’s lid construction.

3) You tie your tie wrong.

For a simple accessory, an awful lot of work goes into tying a necktie. There are all kinds of loops, back-to-front moves, and other complicated maneuvers that make the clip-on tie industry a formalwear powerhouse. With just a few simple hand gestures, though, YouTuber Sebring Sage shows you how to easily—and quickly—put on your tie.

4) You take off your shirt wrong.

At the end of a long day, all you really want is to get half-naked. Thanks to (what else?) a cellphone commercial, there is now a way to speed up the process of removing your shirt, leaving you precious extra seconds to devote to partytime.

5) You fold your shirt wrong.

Now that your shirt is off, you naturally want to put it away. However, it is a universal truth that the only people capable of effortlessly folding shirts are your mom and clothing retail employees. With a few creases and pinches, however, this video will show you how to transform your shirt from worn attire to neatly stackable clothing.

6) You throw a football wrong.

All football fans (and possibly even some pros) have attempted to “spiral” the pigskin at some point, only to have it wobble through the air like a bald tire and drop unceremoniously to the ground. This video teaches you how to throw a spiral the correct way—by none other than football great Joe Montana.

7) You use a straw wrong.

A lot of people drink from a soda can using a straw. Unfortunately, the straw likes to fly all over the place each time you attempt to take a sip. This video adorably details how the soda can’s tab can help prevent this.

8) You’re using aluminum foil wrong.

Every time you go to tear yourself a piece of aluminum foil, the rest of the roll always tries to desperately escape from the box. This video will show you how to put—and keep—that pesky foil roll in its place.

9) You’re using bobby pins wrong.

Bobby pins are supposed to keep hairstyles and various hair accessories firmly in place. Unfortunately, once you take a single step, everything comes undone, leaving the pins to fall out and (we’re sure) duplicate until they’re found. With this video, discover the correct way to use those fasteners.

10) You’re cleaning up broken glass wrong.

Whenever you shatter glass on the floor, you probably use a broom to clean up the mess. Then, days or even weeks later, you’re reminded that not every shard was picked up when you neatly slice open your foot in the middle of the night. This video teaches you how a simple piece of bread can truly be the greatest thing since sliced… never mind.

Photo by woodleywonderworks (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Mar 31, 2014, 9:00 am CDT