Projects & Improvements

Reddit’s Simple, $0 Light Switch Hack Can Save You So Much Time on Your Next Project

published Nov 1, 2021
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Here’s the thing about organization: It isn’t about you. Well, at least not the person you are right now. An organizational system is mostly for future you, the person who is either frantically looking for something they can’t find or trying desperately to finish a project that seems to have a thousand loose ends. If there’s a place for everything, and a system supporting a project’s completion, then all of that disorganized chaos is more likely to fall away. 

Take this idea spotted on Reddit’s popular r/LifeHacks subreddit, for instance. This user says that when you’re replacing an outlet or a switch, take a second to label which breaker controls it on the inside of the plate before re-installing.

This can be done with the simple combination of masking tape and a Sharpie, or you can whip out a label maker for a more polished look. (You could even use a permanent marker to write straight on the back of the plastic.) Place the label at the top or bottom of the panel, and then reattach it to the wall. That’s it!

Taking the time to see which breaker switch corresponds to the outlet in question will save you lots of time in the future — you won’t need to flip multiple switches to figure out which connects to the room in question, whether you’re cutting power for a DIY project like replacing a light fixture or an emergency. Make sure that the numbers in your breaker box are labeled, too.

And if you’re in the process of replacing all of your outlets, which can be a quick way to incorporate a complementary color or finish to a palette, keep in mind that this is also a perfect opportunity to add dimmers to rooms. Besides the obvious benefits of having dimmers in living rooms and bedrooms, they can help set a cozy atmosphere in dining rooms and bathrooms, too (so long, blinding lights during middle-of-the-night trips). Future you says, “Thanks!”