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10 Helpful Hacks To Share With The Lefties In Your Life

Happy “Left Handers’ Day” everyone! I might be a bit biased since I am a leftie myself, but I think that left-handed people are some of the most creative and innovative people out there! :-) So in honor of our special day today, I thought I’d share 10 of my best “hacks” for left-handed folks, as well as a few interesting facts about lefties! For the right-handed people reading this post, you’re very welcome here, so don’t worry. (As long as you share this post with all your favorite lefties!) ;-)

Left-Handed Facts & Figures

  • Only 12% of people are left-handed, and males are twice as likely as females to be left-handed.
  • Left-handed people are, on average, 15% richer than right-handed people.
  • On the other hand (heh heh), left-handed people are 3x more likely than right-handed people to struggle with alcohol addiction.
  • Four of the last seven U.S. presidents have been left-handed.
  • Some notable lefties include Michelangelo, Bill Gates, Marie Curie, David Bowie, and Mark Twain. (So you’re in good company!)

10 Hacks Just For Lefties

 1. Smartphones

The “accessibility” category in your smartphone’s settings menu should have options that make it easier for lefties to access different parts of the screen.

Left Handed Hacks

2. Computer Mouse

If you would prefer to use your computer mouse with your left hand, you can easily change the mouse settings. Set it so that the right-side button is the primary button for selecting, and set the left-side button as the secondary button.

Left Handed Hacks

3. Smudge-Free Writing

Look for rollerball pens – they’re less likely to smudge while you write. Hard lead pencils will smudge less, as will wet-erase markers (as opposed to dry-erase).

Left Handed Hacks

4. Can Openers

Rather than struggling with a right-handed can opener, just spend a few extra dollars on an electric can opener! They’re really easy to use, and fairly inexpensive.

Left Handed Hacks

5. Notebooks

Spiral-bound notebooks can be annoying to write in for lefties. One way to get around this is to use filler paper in a binder. Then you can remove the paper to write on it, and place it back in the binder when you’re done. Or just opt for composition-style notebooks instead of spiral-bound.

Left Handed Hacks

6. Writing

For a left-handed writer, the prime paper position is slightly to the left of your body, with the right side of the paper angled towards you.

Left Handed Hacks

7. Dining

Sit at the left edge of a dining table if you can! That way your left elbow won’t be knocking into someone else’s right elbow.

Left Handed Hacks

8. Makeup

Use angled brushes to apply your makeup. It takes a bit of getting used to, but since I’ve started using them I’ve been smudging my makeup much less often!

Left Handed Hacks

9. Simplicity

Instead of seeking out products especially for lefties, just choose the simplest version of the item you’re looking for. For instance, ice cream scoops with buttons have them on the right side, but you can just get a plain, button-free scoop instead.

Left Handed Hacks

10. Find More Tips

There are tons of tips for lefties that you can find online! Just Google “tips for left-handed ______” (like cooks, crafters, musicians, etc.)

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • Ladies and Gents hi
    I saw that you “lefties battle” to write anything with a pen that can smudge when your hand moves over it. Now I am a “double handed” guy. I can do a lot of things better left like digging. When I was at school, ballpoint pens were taboo! We had to use pen and ink with blotting paper. The Lefties battled and we were taught to write with the right hand only. (( Maybe that is why this is about the only job I do right?) I saw a Lefty with the most beautiful handwriting , he TURNED THE PAGE UPSIDE DOWN and “dragged his pen like a right-handed person. I gave this tip to some of the lefties and their writing speed and the script improved dramatically. All I can say is TRY IT

  • I used to “fight” with my first grade teacher about about turning the top of the paper to the right. She kept turning the paper to the left. I eventually got my way. Thus, I do not write upside down and smear my handwriting like many lefties do! Try it; it is so much easier!

  • I am proud to be called a “southpaw”, it matches my “right hook” ;) We are the only ones that reallt are in the “right-mind” using the right side of our brains more. Thats why we are more creative and problem solvers. In my family, the lefties were the artists and innovators. I am proud to be one, as a child, the teachers also tried to force me to be a rightie. But I prevailed. I did adapt to some right handed things. But my fine detail work is always left.

    • I am a proud lefty. When I was little at the family gathering I was always put on the en of the table along with my cousins who was also a lefty so we would no t hit other family members with our elbows. Still proud to be a south paw

  • I have a left handed daughter & grew up with two left handed brothers. Her dad & I made sure she continued left handed, we were blessed with her first grade teacher who had one fourth of the class as lefties, but knew how t teach printing correctly, taught us parents too how or kids needed to hold their papers. The kids l graduated together, made exceptionally good grades & write very neatly. I learned to buy from a Lefties Store on the internet & have gotten knives, scissors & other things you need to work in an office, which my daughter does. Thanks for these tips on lefties.

  • I consider it an honor to be left-handed!! My dad and I are unique in that sense :-). While growing up in Florida, the teachers tried to make me do things right handed, but my dad stepped in and stopped that real quick! I do throw a frisbee right handed, twirl a baton right handed and shoot long shots in basketball right handed. Everything else is definitely left handed. I also used to get called a “hooker” whenever I was up to bat in softball! Most of us have adapted to a right handed world!

  • While taking a test in the sixth grade, I noticed the teacher watching the room with a funny look on her face. When the test was over she asked everyone who was left-handed to raise their hands. Defying the odds, 18 of us were left-handed, fully three quarters of the class of 24 pupils. That said, I never found being left-handed to be a handicap. Like most left-handed people, living in a world designed for right-handed people forced me to become more-or-less ambidextrous.

  • In Army Basic training I learned that anyone, different from the group would have too do extra duty. So I learned to shoot right handed. It was a skill never needed again

  • I am a lefty as well and had the same nightmare experience at the convent I attended. My parents were forced to take me to a medical doctor who in turn wrote a letter to the nuns. Thereafter I could carry on with my schooling without the fears of being hit. My son is also left handed and I worried when he had to go to school but thankfully over the years things changed and he had no problems. I use my knife and fork the same as right handers otherwise everything is done as a lefty.

  • Being brought up roman catholic the Nun schools I had to attend tied my left hand behind my back, but still today at 70 years I have adapted to a right handed world! Got told I would never play the violin, I do, also that my kitchen should be for lefties but my family is all right handed so adapted myself. If I were to choose I would be a leftie again as it takes a sharp mind and adaptability to live in a right handed world! Best thing that happened in my entire life? My family moved to New Zealand who drive on the left so the gear box was in the right place, but now with automatic I don’t even think about it! I think I inherited the gene from my maternal grandfather who was a clever mathematician but left handed and I also inherited numerical skills from him!

  • I’m a lefty too, and I’ve learned to do many things with my right hand out of necessity. I iron with my right hand because I learned to iron on a “built in – drop down” ironing board in my parent’s house. There was no room to stand on the side that would allow me to use my left hand. I earned my living as a bookkeeper, and I learned to use the 10 key adding machine by touch. Your “instructions” on how a left hander should slant the paper they’re writing on……brought back 3rd grade, when we were learning “cursive”. It was about 1946, and we used “dip pens” that were dipped into an inkwell bottle placed in a corner hole in the desk, of course the RIGHT corner. I had enough sense at age 8 to know that MY paper had to be slanted in the opposite direction from the right-handers. So, I turned my paper as you suggested above. As the teacher would go up and down the aisles to check our work, she would twist mine back to the opposite direction. As soon as she moved on, I moved it back the correct way for ME! I was also “pushing” the sharp pen point, catching in on the paper, and blobs of ink everywhere! A close friend of mine was also a “leftie” (I don’t mind the word) and she wasn’t brave enough to defy the teacher, so to this day, she writes with her hand/wrist all twisted. And to this day, if I write with a ball point pen, it’s smeared all over my hand, that’s why when I write a letter, it’s on my word processor! I also broke my left arm in that grade and she said, NOW you will write with your right hand……she couldn’t read the chicken scratches, and she gave up.

    • I still knit, crochet and iron with my left hand but I can knit also with the right hand, so ambidextrous, hahaha! The dip pens drove me mad until I hit on it I could use it upside down and would you know it, it worked! But building our house, just the two of us was hilarious as my husband is right handed so he would do his nails and the ones that needed the left hand I did! Where there is a will there is a way!

  • I’m a lefty, along with my 3 grown children (boy & 2 girls). Both my parents were right handed. My Mother tried teaching me how to use my right hand, since that was the way of life back in the mid to late 40’s. Glad to say it worked. I have taught my children how to use their right hand to do a lot of things. I iron, use scissors and do a variety of right handed things with no problems…the only thing is we still write as lefties. But, this is no problem, you adapt. Our handwriting is sometimes better than right handed people, my son has great writing skills along with his sisters. We always had people respond about our being lefties, that what we wrote was normal. Guess they thought we would be different or something? Thank you…

  • Please don’t call those with dominant left hands lefty or southpaw. You don’t hear right hand dominant people called northpaw!

    I’ve sat next to more right handed people who jab me with their elbow. Left handed people are usually more careful to hold their elbow close because everyone makes such a big deal about it.

    • Don’t take any notice what they call you and you are right, when they exclaim o, you are a south paw I say perfect match then , you are a north paw, hahaha

  • These are some great tips, I appreciate you sharing them with us. I like many others, born in the 1940’s, was also told by a teacher not to use my left hand. My mother went to her and explained to her, “never do that again! I too was whacked on the knuckles.

  • At one time in my work life (I’m now retired) I worked for an engineer who wrote and drew with his left hand and erased with the right…. how funny and efficient.

  • Have always loved your posts – but love you even more knowing you are a leftie. I am the only one in my family. My maternal grandfather was ambidextrious – because back them it wasn’t right.

  • My son is a lefty for writing and I had to have him eat right handed but he can do everything with both hands just as good as the other. My Grandmother (mother’s mother) my mother and I are all ambidextrious and son, so everything can be done with both hands just as good as the other I guess we all just learned this way. We all preferred right-handed writing though.

  • My mom being a lefty does some things right handed. I was born in 60s .Thank goodness being a lefty wasn’t a big deal when I was in school. I think if they tried to force the right hand on me, I would have thrown a few fits.

    • I was born in the 50’s & in 3rd grade my teacher insisted that I write right handed. I even got my left hand cracked with a ruler when caught writing left handed.

      • My mother was a teacher who understood it was just a gift from GOD. She always just let the child write with whatever hand they took the pencil with – then she knew! But a lot of teachers were MEAN! I’m so sorry that lefties have been treated so unfairly all of these many years!

  • I find the worst item for left hand people are regular pencil sharpeners. My right hand is considerably weaker and with both of them plagued with arthritis, I hate using my right hand. But man, I can’t get a good sharpen on a pencil (eye liner) using my left hand. I have no idea what I can’t do using the regular accessibility settings of my iPhone tho?!

  • I always envied my RH peers in school that could sit sideways in desks and still be able to write in notebooks on the top of the desk. Our desks were the ones that connected to the chair, with only one side open (only RH-friendly).

  • Born in 1945 there were no adaptive items so I learned early on to use both hands equally. Teacher tried to force me to write right handed and then when that didn’t work out, to twist my wrist around. I wouldn’t do it! Now I write with my left and just about everything else with my right. I have never looked at being left handed as a disability.. Sometimes difficult, but not disabling.

  • A tip for lefties using spiral notebooks. I learned shorthand doing this. Turn the notebook upside down and use it that way so the spirals are on the right. Your hand will not hit the spirals. This made life easier for me. I did the same with binders. My teachers didn’t mind.

    I have a twin daughter who is a leftie and her father and I were both lefties. :)

  • It’s odd that no one has mentioned that being left handed can be a major blessing. I am left handed and live in a right handed world but I can do far more with my right hand than right handers can do with their left hand. I can eat quite well with my right hand and can even write, not good, but you can read it. Ask a right hander to do those things. I just never considered it to be a disadvantage. I have beautiful handwriting and since I live in a right handed world, my right hand gets all kinds of exercise.

    • I too am left handed. I cannot do any of the things you mention with my right hand! In fact to even pick up a pen or spoon in my right hand I pick it up in my left first then copy the position with my right – I have no ‘sense’ of how to handle things in my right hand. I was never discouraged from being a leftie so maybe that’s why? I have never tried to adapt to the right handed way of doing things. I’ve often said my right hand is purely for balance and decoration!!! Funny how we are all different. There’s a leftie in each generation of my family. I’m interested to see who it will be amongst my grandchildren ….

  • I’m the only leftie in my family, including my 6 grandchildren! Bummer. I was hoping at least one of them would be. I was fortunate enough to have been taught to write without the wrist bend that looks so awkward. I am unable to cut paper with my left hand and wonder if it’s the result of early training? Using scissors in my right hand works. I get along just fine in this right-handed world and hardly notice differences. One advantage I enjoyed back in my tennis playing days. It confused my opponents to see the racquet in my left hand and they had to re-think which direction to send the ball. It often helped!

  • Thanks Jillee , This is really helpful for those struggling with their lefthandedness. I was born in 1950 so there wasn’t much out there for me, like there is today. I was very fortunate to have a very progressive third grade teacher who introduced the right handed tilt to paper when teaching cursive writing for us lefties. Now there are stores for lefties and handy utensils of all kinds . I was in my late 20’s with one of my two girls being a lefty also. I happening to go to a workshop at our church that addressed learning disabilities and found out they consider left handedness a learning disability but one that is usually compensates for by learning to use tools differently. I had to turn scissors upside down to cut……….there were no left handed scissors. Writing tablets that tear from the top was a huge breakthrough or little spiral tablets with tear out pages.
    One of the biggest revelations was finding out during that lecture was that lefties actually read from right to left and then reprocess from left to right . When helping children with beginning or end sounds or increasing reading speeds using a green dot on the left hand side and red on the right can help. Lefties actually read it twice so retention is higher. Yes, and they are definitely very creative ! If I remember correctly , Leonardo Da Vinci wrote his journals backwards and finally someone held them in a mirror to decipher them.
    Some of this really helped me and helped me with a gifted child who has been teaching elementary school for almost twenty years now.

  • I’m a lefty too.I remember being told about some lefties being forced to change. My Mom is left handed too. As is my Grandma ( her mother) , who I never really knew – long story. Great ideas.

    • If they had tried to force me to be right handed I would’ve had a big time fit. I’ve heard stories from others about forcing people to be right handed. I’m surprised the Nuns didn’t get complaints about it. That’s a form of abuse tying someone’s hand and forcing it on them.

  • With the exception of my Mom, all the women, on both sides of my family for the last 4 generations have all been left handed. Wouldn’t you know it, I married myself a Southpaw. Unfortunately we weren’t able to have kids but it would have been nice to see if the left-handedness continued.

  • I too had a person in my life, “my dad,” he used to yell at me all the time for using my left hand. I grew up insecure, became an alcoholic, & im about to kill him because I heard him tell my niece his granddaughter she had to use her right hand. I’ve heard through my life some people think it’s a sign of autism, maybe that’s why he was such a raging jerk to me

  • When in my mid thirties, someone at work watched me tie my shoes and then commented that I must be left handed. I am not. I forgot about it and woke up in the wee hours the next morning. I remembered my father teaching me to tie my shoes! Both of my parents were lefties as are two of my three brothers. My son who learned from me, also ties his shoes “backwards”. My mom gave up teaching me to sew or do embroidery. I had to learn from a book.

    • I’m in my mid thirties right now, and this just happened to me a year or so ago. Someone mentioned the same thing while I was tying my shoes but I’m right handed. A few months later it came up in conversation with my parents and my mom said it must be because dad taught me! I actually treasure that backwards skill, it reminds me of him every day.

  • I’m a leftie, and decades ago, teachers atempted to “train” me to use my right hand. My dad went to the school, and in no uncertain terms told the teacher to let me be and let me use my left hand, that there was nothing “wrong” with being left handed. I feel that is why I write much like a right handed person, as I was allowed to turn the paper the proper way for a leftie, instead of angled in such a way that makes many lefties twist their wrists to conform to a right handed persons angled paper.
    I deliver mail and use a right hand drive jeep…so now I have a vehicle made for lefties!!! People often ask if it was hard to get used to, and I always say “NO! I’m left handed so it was natural for me!”

  • Thank you for this post! I have a 6 year old daughter who is left handed, a first for mon petite famille. It’s awesome to find more ways to make her feel more at ease using her left hand.

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