How long should you boil an egg? When is it time to throw out your pillows? What’s the secret behind finally ditching a bad habit?

Everyday problems often have simple solutions, and the team attempted to track down those answers in our weekly life-hack series by interviewing experts across a variety of professions, from medicine to tech to travel.

But a few stories struck a chord with readers. Among the most-read life hacks were creative ways to reuse an old cellphone, how to fit 130 items into a carry-on bag in eight minutes (or less) and a look at what skills Canadian employers are looking for.

Here’s a look at the five most popular life hack stories of 2016, ranked from fifth to most popular.

5) 5 bad driving habits that are wearing out your car

What’s killing your car? Regular maintenance, such as oil and air filter changes, is important to maintain your vehicle, but bad habits on the road can cut your vehicle’s life short.

David Weatherhead, a licensed automotive technician and professor at Centennial College in Toronto, offered five suggestions to consider while you’re behind the wheel. If you’re prone to sudden bouts of acceleration or occasionally let the gas get too low, you may want to rethink the way you drive.

4) Travel medical insurance: 6 critical things to watch for in the fine print

Travellers, take note. If you’re headed abroad, you’ll likely want to invest in private health insurance, since Canada’s public health care system won’t cover any medical emergencies out of the country.

Bruce Cappon, president of First Rate Insurance, spoke to to crunch some fine-print clauses that Canadians should be wary of when shopping for travel insurance.

Among Cappon’s suggestions: be sure to analyze which activities are excluded from coverage, such as scuba diving or horseback riding, and know what the policy says about alcohol and drugs – some companies are more lenient than others.

3) 9 things doctors say you shouldn't keep in your home

Do you have an area rug, microwavable soups or a chainsaw in your house? If so, you may want to be a bit more cautious at home. writer Angela Mulholland spoke with a few doctors and a registered nurse to uncover what everyday items are often connected to household accidents. The list has a couple of surprises, including certain types of high chairs and unsecured tall furniture.

2) How to charge your cellphone battery, the right way

It doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or an Android. According to battery experts, there is a right way and a wrong way to charge your cellphone.

Analysis from, a website created by Cadex Electronics, revealed a series of little tricks that can extend your device’s life.

One of the most important tips: don’t let your phone’s battery run to zero. Fully draining the battery is never a good idea, because recharging it from nothing causes high stress on the battery.

1) Tax time, 2016: A look at seven changes this year

The most popular life hack of the year directly related to Canadians’ pocketbooks. After a series of major changes were made to how taxes are filed, broke down how those changes could impact your tax return.

Some of the highlights included a $1,000 boost in how much parents can claim for child-care expenses per child, and a new child fitness tax credit that provides a $150 rebate toward activities like hockey or swimming lessons.

Here’s a look at five other life hacks that cracked our top 10 list.