Lifehacking in Austin

Inspired by the various lifehack lists on Buzzfeed, I created a little blog on lifehacks back in Singapore which shares tips about savings and convenience opportunities specific to the city. Our relocation to Austin presented a great opportunity to put lifehacks into practice, and here are some from week one:

1. As-is section at IKEA

In lifehacksg#13 I talked about the “As-is” section at IKEA and how you could get great deals there at reduced prices. Here in Austin, we walked the talk when we found the As-is section at the IKEA in Round Rock and got our tables at about half off (they were display sets)!

2. Wine crates

I got this idea from my good friend Sung about how wine boxes can actually be used as beautiful display furniture. I picked up two from Steps and found a third (a 1960s 7-Up crate) from one of Austin’s oldest antique stores, and this is the display feature in our living room!

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3. DIY lighting fixture

So we were looking around for a sizeable piece of lighting that could provide a warm-feel to the living room, but didn’t want to spend north of $30 for a piece of metal and some paper/textile material. At the Goodwill store, we stumbled upon an old laundry basket and decided to stick a lamp stand through it. Viola! At a cost of $9.

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4. Beer box table

We didn’t need anything fancy for the bedroom and were thinking of something along the lines of a simple table for misc. use. I took apart the secondary layer that came with the IKEA table, picked up 2 empty beer boxes from Steps and created a small table!

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5. Reusing packaging

It’s amazing how much stuff you could reuse if you don’t have a lot to begin with. We moved into an empty apartment and had, well, an empty apartment. We started to reuse all these packaging material that came with some of the things we bought.

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So far the relocation has been great but I forgot how much work it actually involves! Getting stuff done in the US is generally quite easy, it’s just having to deal with a lot of different things in general ranging from apartment hunting, to figuring out furniture, to auto insurance, directions and groceries and…

… all the “work” aside, we’re excited to start exploring Austin! It’s just a beautiful sprawling place with various unique areas – downtown, UT area, hippie-East, posh-West lake hills, a lot more to figure out as we go along!

Merry Christmas everyone!


  1. Welcome to Texas! As a Native Texan, I’m very proud of my state and I hope you find Texans to be the friendly, hospitable people I know them to be. I work in Austin and it’s a terrific place to be. Merry Christmas!


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