52 brilliant things you didn't know existed that you'd get a ton of use out of

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

by Christina X. Wood
Originally Published: 

Sometimes a small thing that you never thought of can make a huge difference in your life. Like the time my sister came to visit and raided my fridge while I was at work. “That fish curry was amazing!” she told me when I got home. I hadn’t made fish curry in weeks. After she was feeling better, I started labeling leftovers and now I use a labeler to date and name everything in the kitchen. The same is true of so many things things in life. You get a simple, inexpensive item and end up using it so often that you can’t remember how you ever survived before you had it. You’ll get a ton of use out of these 52 brilliant things you didn't know existed. Take it from someone who learned the hard way, it’s better to get the labeler before you give your sister food poisoning.

For example, taking a “not my problem” attitude toward shower drains seems innocent enough — until it clogs so bad you have to shower in a deep puddle. It’s a lot easier to put a hair catcher in there and skip a call to the plumber. And maybe you never thought of getting a sandwich grill but when you are cooking your own gourmet meals instead of getting takeout — and saving a fortune — you might wonder why you waited so long. For clever picks like these and more, keep reading.

1. This brush kit that lets your power drill do all the scrubbing

Forget about elbow grease. That’s exhausting, and you have a power drill, right? Attach these three scrub brushes to your drill just as you would a drill bit and let it to the hard work while you hold the drill up to that soap scum, hard water stain, or whatever else needs cleaning off your stove, shower, or sink. This set includes three brushes — flat, round, and detail — in a medium stiffness that’s safe for your bathroom surfaces.

2. This clever kitchen hack for that gap next to the stove

If there’s a gap between your counters and stove (or fridge) it can be so irritating to try to get that area clean because spills go into a void you can’t access. But these two silicone gap covers are designed to fix that quickly and easily. Just cut them to fit the depth of your counter and insert them. They are heat-tolerant, wipe clean, and stop anything from going into that gap.

3. A pair of web cam covers so no one can hack into your life

Why worry if someone has hacked your web camera and is watching you as you work? The fix is so easy — just peel and stick one of these tiny webcam covers over the camera and close it whenever you aren’t using it. Hackers can hack but they won’t see a thing.

4. A mini donut maker that cooks them in minutes

When nothing but a donut will satisfy but there are none to be had, pull out this donut machine and a few pantry staples and make your own. Just pour in the dough, close the lid, hit the button and you will have seven small donuts ready in just a few minutes. Over 3,000 people give this five stars.

5. This waterproof protection for your keyboard

Place this ultra-thin cover on top of your keyboard and type away as usual. You will hardly know it’s there, but if you spill your coffee or an airplane seat neighbor drops a drink, your computer will survive. It also protects the keys from wear and keeps the letters from rubbing off.

6. The power strip with a shelf that is so handy

This outlet extender transforms any wall outlet into a useful charging station with a motion-sensitive night light. Just plug it in, screw it down with one screw, and you have four outlets, two USB ports, and a nightlight where you once had only two outlets on the wall. And you can set your phone down on the shelf above it.

7. This selfie stick & tripod so all your pics are awesome

Grab a photo from above, from a distance, or get everyone in the shot with this selfie stick that converts to a tripod and features a built-in remote for snapping the pic. The remote clips into the handle so you don’t lose it, the arm extends from a pocketable 7.6 inches to a long reach of 34 inches, and a clamp holds your phone steady at whatever angle you want.

8. These laundry bags that keep delicates safe in the washer

If you have a pile of clothes or items you used to hand wash, try these laundry bags that help protect delicates in the washing machine. The fine mesh protects shoes, delicates, fabrics that snag, and more while letting through the water and soap that gets them clean.

9. A neck light so you can read with the lights off

When you’re too deep into that mystery novel to put it down but your bed mate is grumbling at you to turn out the lights, reach for this reading light. It loops around your neck and you can bend each end to point the beams at your pages. You can also adjust the color and brightness so it’s perfect for your needs to keep reading. It’s rechargeable and each LED light has its own controls.

10. This battery-operated can opener that saves your hands

Your hands don’t need to work so hard to get a can open. This battery-operated can opener is not the big counter device of years ago. It’s small enough to store in a drawer, sits on top a can and opens it hands-free, and cuts the lid off from the side so you don’t have to dig in there to retrieve a sharp-edged lid.

11. The selfie light that makes you look great on video

The secret to looking good in a Zoom call or selfie is good lighting. But you don’t need a lighting crew because this small selfie ring light illuminates only what’s necessary — the space around the lens — to get rid of harsh shadows. It’s easy to use and gets almost 8,000 five-star reviews.

12. These brushes that really clean out the dryer trap

The lint trap stops lint from exiting the dryer and becoming a fire hazard but cleaning the trap just by pulling out the screen is inefficient. Keep one of these lint trap brushes near the dryer and give that trap a swipe to see how much is still lurking in there. It will extend the life of your dryer and make it run more efficiently.

13. This genius hack for cleaning the microwave

How many of your cleaning supplies provide entertainment? Well, this Angry Mama microwave cleaning tool does. Fill her with water, microwave her for a few minutes, and stand back and watch while she throws a steam-from-the-top-of her head fit. That steam softens all the mess that’s baked onto the interior, though, so it all wipes right off.

14. A labeler so you know what’s in everything

This handheld labeler makes it so much easier to prepare food. When you put something away, whip it out of a drawer and type what it is and the date so that no one eats fish that’s weeks old. This is sized to fit in a drawer, prints on two lines, has five font sizes, has an easy date stamp, and you can see your label on a 13-character LCD screen before you print.

15. This wireless charger for easier phone power

End the constant and irritating search for the right charging cable and set your phone or other devices down on this simple and affordable wireless charger. Plug it in once. And forever more when your phone (or Qi-compatible device) needs a charge, all you have to is set it down on this pad and wait for the green light to indicate it connected.

16. The tool that makes fast work of slicing an apple

Sure, you’re good with a paring knife. But can you slice and core an apple with one move? That’s why you need this clever device that takes an apple, pear, or other similar fruit or vegetable and — with just one push on the ergonomic handles — slices it into eight pieces and cores it at the same time with its sharp, stainless blade.

17. This popular way to prevent a clogged drain

When you shower yourself or your pet, hair gets washed into the drain and soon water may stop flowing so easily. This mushroom-shaped drain protector goes into the drain, catching that hair in its cylinder before it can do damage. It keeps the hair out of sight and lets the water flow. Just pull it out and wipe it off occasionally and your drains will flow freely.

18. An easy-to-use fabric shaver for new-looking clothes

When you pull a sweater out and discover it’s pilled, grab this battery-operated fabric shaver and give it a quick sprucing up. Three hole sizes on the shaving surface grab pills, loose threads, lint, and everything else that’s making your sweater, furniture, carpet, or upholstery look older than it is.

19. These wall protectors so the door doesn’t do damage

Stick one of these door stoppers to the wall anywhere that a doorknob or appliance handle is likely to hit the drywall and leave a mark. They make the door quieter and save you from having to fix the wall later. They are made of silicone and you can paint right over them.

20. This bagel guillotine for safe, consistent slicing

Instead of risking a nasty cut on your hands from attempting a bagel slicing, drop it in this slicer for a perfect cut every time with no danger to your digits. It comes in four colors, produces almost no crumbs, and also works on rolls and other bread products.

21. A toothpaste dispenser for a cleaner sink

Stick this clever toothpaste dispenser to the wall with the included adhesive mount, screw your tube into the top, and push your toothbrush into the dispenser window to get the perfect dollop of paste on your brush — not on the sink — every time. Reviewers give it almost 4,000 five-star reviews.

22. This foot hammock for better desk ergonomics

Raising your feet up while you work at a desk can put you into a more comfortable, sustainable, and ergonomic position, and this under-desk hammock is an easy and portable way to achieve that. Clamp it to the desk so that it slings underneath and slide your feet in. It even has a hook for your purse or headphones.

23. A deck of exercise cards for the gym

Deal yourself a new workout with this nifty deck of workout cards. Just grab three cards and follow the instructions. You will get a new workout daily — if you shuffle — and all the know-how you need to execute them. The 50 cards are oversized and waterproofed for your convenience. And if you’re not big on going to the gym, take a look at the other packs; you can find cards centered on pilates, body weight, foam roller, and other exercises.

24. A set of LED mood lights for your TV

Stick these USB powered mood lights to the back of your TV and turn it into a theater-like experience while upgrading the mood lighting in your room. Choose from 16 colors using the 24-key remote and your game room or TV room will look amazing. Reviewers are thrilled with them and give them over 29,000 five-star reviews.

25. These balls that are so much better than dryer sheets

Toss these wool balls into the dryer with your clothes and get all the anti-static and softening effects of dryer sheets with none of the recurrent cost, waste, and landfill contribution. You can drop some essential oil onto the ball to scent your clothes precisely as you like.

26. This scrub brush for your fruits & vegetables

Set this cute little scrub brush next to the kitchen sink so it’s fast and easy to scrub a potato or carrot. The soft nylon bristles get into crevices and remove dirt and debris so your food is cleaner faster and with less effort.

27. The tray that turns the sofa arm into a side table

Once you get into your comfy chair with a cocktail or a cup of coffee, you don’t want to keep reaching for a far-away coffee table. Set this bamboo tray on the arm of your comfy spot and it wraps around the arm creating a solid surface for you to set your drink or phone.

28. A mug warmer so the last sip is as warm as the first

If you are a slow coffee drinker, you need this simple mug warmer so the end of your cup isn’t cold. You tap the button to set the temperature, so your beverage stays as warm as you think is optimal. It will shut off on its own if you don’t use it for a while, so you don’t need to worry about it as a safety hazard.

29. These nonstick mats so you don’t have to grease the cookie sheets

Set these silicone mats on the cookie sheets before you bake and you can skip greasing the pan. The food releases easily from them, and they can go right in the dishwasher for cleanup. Reviewers give them well over 59,000 five-star ratings.

30. This laptop stand for a more ergonomic desk setup

If you work on a laptop that’s sitting on a desk, you will eventually experience neck pain. Lift the screen up to eye level, and you’ll stop hunching; this laptop stand is an attractive and substantial way to do that. It comes in six gorgeous colors of aluminum and provides a space underneath to store your external keyboard.

31. A gel-infused memory foam seat cushion for your back

If your chair is too hard or your coccyx bone is sore or injured, sitting all day at a desk or in your car can be brutally painful. Sit on this gel-infused memory foam cushion that keeps you cool and comfy instead. The cutaway keeps your tailbone from touching the hard seat and a velour cover looks great and zips off to go in the washing machine periodically.

32. This shower head that lights up for a fun shower

This shower head not only filters the water before it gets to you but it lights up with the power generated by the moving water. The colors cycle automatically through seven shades while you shower, and the beads in the clear handle filter out impurities. If that’s not enough shower improvement, it increases water pressure by forcing the water through smaller holes, which speeds it up.

33. These tools that touch potentially dirty surfaces for you

Keep one of these door-opener tools on your keychain so you don’t have to push that elevator button, touch that checkout console, or open that door that who knows how many people with unwashed hands have touched before you. This is a set of three, in different colors, each with a rubber tip that works as a stylus. They also come with three replacement tips.

34. These two collapsible silicone colanders that store easily

These two strainers fit in a drawer or stack easily in a cupboard because they collapse for storage and take up very little room. They are made of silicone so they are heat-resistant and durable enough to go into the dishwasher. One holds two quarts and the other holds up to three quarts.

35. This little Bluetooth speaker with nearly 50K five-star ratings

Despite its small size and waterproof portability, this little speaker sounds great. It has easy to use controls right on the top, comes in three colors, keeps playing even if the Bluetooth-connected music source is up to 66 feet away, and plays for 24 hours on a single charge.

36. The clip that’s always ready to hold your bag

When you don’t want to put your bag on a dirty floor or hang it from the back of a chair where it could be easily stolen, what do you do? Keep this ring hook attached to your bag and when you want to set the bag down, open it up and it becomes a hook you can hang from the edge of the table. It comes in eight finishes and looks like a bit of bling when it’s not in use.

37. This weird cube that measures everything

This one weird measuring device is the only tool you will need to measure cups, tablespoons, milliliters, dry ingredients, and wet ingredients. It is dishwasher- and microwave-safe and takes up a fraction of the space of a collection of measuring spoons and cups.

38. A steamer so your clothes always look clean & fresh

Keep this handy steamer in your closet and it’s like having a dry-cleaner in there. Wrinkles fall right out of clothes when you wave this steamer over them. It also refreshes clothes, curtains, and other fabrics that maybe don’t seem quite fresh. Almost 36,000 people give it five stars.

39. The anti-fatigue mats for the kitchen that look awesome

These squishy mats feel great to stand on so your back won’t hurt when you cook or do the dishes. Their springy texture softens the fall if you drop a dish to prevent breakage and they are super easy to wipe clean. This set of two is perfect for covering all the places you stand in the kitchen and they come in six great colors.

40. These colorful shelf liners for your fridge

Take a few minutes to line the shelves of your fridge with these soft and colorful liners and the interior will be bright and clean every time you open the door. Spills are easy to wipe away; just pull them out and rinse them off. And they protect produce while stopping that harsh glass-on-glass sound of jars against shelves.

41. A fogless mirror that suctions right to the shower wall

This mirror with a clever, built-in razor hook on the front — grips the shower wall with a high-capacity suction cup right where you want it. It has a built-in anti fog coating so all you have to do is splash it with a little hot water and it won’t fog up. You can shave or primp right in the shower.

42. This set of 50 coat hangers that will save closet space

Organize your entire closet with these hangers that not only match but save space because they are so slim. Notches and a velvet coating keeps clothes from falling off and you have a choice of five colors. Almost 105,000 reviewers give them five stars.

43. A cleaning gel that gets into hard-to-reach crevices

This lemon-scented cleaning gel is so fun to clean with because it combines the tactile satisfaction of playing with clay and the pleasure of getting something clean. Just pull some out, squish it in your hands, and push it in between the keyboard keys or those small dust-laden spaces in the car.

44. This splatter screen so your stove doesn’t get greasy

When pan frying or sautéing, the oil often spits up and out of the pan, making a huge mess on the stovetop that someone will have to clean. You can prevent that by setting this splatter screen over the pan. It doesn’t change the way your food cooks. All it does is catch that splatter and then you can put the screen in the dishwasher.

45. The screen door that’s actually a curtain

If you are thinking about installing a screen door so you can let some air in without inviting all the bugs, consider this screen curtain instead. It’s easier to install and you — as well as the children and pets — can go through it without using your hands, which might be full of platters of food or cocktails. It automatically closes behind you because the center seam is lined with strong magnets.

46. This highly-rated air fryer for quick, crisp food

For quickly cooking food with less oil, you need to try this small air fryer. It’s like a compact convection oven that renders food crispy and delicious in less time than an oven and with less mess or oil than a deep fryer. Reviewers give this apartment-friendly model almost 9,000 five star reviews.

47. A pair of meat-shredding claws for your next barbecue

When you pick a huge pork butt off the barbecue so you can set upon shredding it, do you long for the claws a bear would use for this task? These are those claws and they are designed so you can keep them in a drawer. Wrap your own paws around the easy-to-grip handles and tear that meat up with an efficiency you can never get from a couple of forks.

48. This safety lock for when you are at home

This security lock will make you feel better — and provide safety — if you are home and not feeling safe. It mounts easily to the doorframe and closes over the door at about the same place you would put a chain lock. This, though, is impossible to open from the outside and will withstand 800 pounds of force.

49. A tiny tracker that finds what you often misplace

Is there something you tend to lose? Your keys? The cat? Your bag? Attach this Tile fob to that thing and connect it to your phone. Now you can tap in an app to find the lost thing. It will show you where it is and the Tile tracker will sound an alarm so you can track it down.

50. These shoe covers that clean the floors

When you want to clean the floors, put these mop slippers on over your feet, shoes, or a mop head and dance. The microfiber surface is highly absorbent and works as a duster, wet mop, or dry mop. You get five pairs so you will always have some at the ready.

51. The keyboard that lights up your game room

This mechanical, backlit keyboard will look amazing in your game room. Just plug it into a USB port, turn on the lights, and it illuminates the underside of the keys in a rainbow. The key labels also light up and it has some handy dedicated keys.

52. A grill that cuts the sandwich as it cooks

Make yourself a couple of hot sandwiches wiht this clever, nonstick grill. It’ll melt the cheese, toast the bread, and cut them into triangle halves as if you were a pro. It also makes great French toast or pancakes and will even fry eggs.

This article was originally published on

Related Tags