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The 50 cheapest, most clever home improvement products on Amazon

Often, small upgrades make a big difference.

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Home improvement can be an expensive undertaking — at least if you watch those TV shows that do makeovers on people’s homes. But in my opinion, those shows are totally unrealistic. Sure, I can walk through a house and say, “If we remove that wall, replace this rug, update the counters and cupboards, and pull out this aging shower stall, we can transform this place into a beautiful open layout.” I can’t actually do any of that, though, because it’s all super expensive and I don’t want to live in a construction zone.

There are things I can do, of course. They just have to be smarter, easier, and able to stay within a realistic (i.e. small) budget. The kind of upgrades I’m currently willing to undertake start with an Amazon purchase and end with a high five and an adult beverage. There are plenty of these. In fact, these are the 50 cheapest, most clever home improvement products on Amazon.

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.

01

This freestanding organizer that puts everything from shoes to hats in their place

Turn the awkward spaces in your closet into orderly cubbies with this freestanding divided organizer with six sections that are ideal for shoes, bags, hats, and other hard-to-store items. Instead of burying these things in bins where you forget you have them, put them in plain sight and within reach. It’s easy to set up and fits on the floor or a shelf. Each cubby is big enough for a pair of shoes or a hat.

02

This colorful charging station that holds & charges 6 devices at once

Line up all your gadgets, stand them on end, and charge them up at once in this affordable charging station that has six adjustable slots to hold your phones, tablets, power banks, or other electronics. It even comes with six tidy mini cords. It charges your gear quickly and the LED lights for each slot turn off when the gadget in that space is fully charged.

03

An over-the-door organizer with 24 pockets for highly visible storage

This over-the-door organizer will whip your chaotic shoe collection, pantry, cleaning supplies, or laundry room tools into tidy order in a few minutes. Just hang it over a door and put the shoes — or whatever needs organizing — into the roomy and breathable mesh pockets. You can see everything at once and, since it uses the back of a door, you don’t have to give up much space.

04

This luxurious cover for your body pillow

Turn your body pillow into a decorative element in your made bed (right?) with this ultra-soft, microfiber body pillow cover that’s made to fit it perfectly. It slips on like a standard pillowcase but covers that 54-inch long pillow completely. There’s a satin trim at the opening end and you have a choice of eight colors so you can design the look you want.

05

The tablet stand with a long gooseneck that holds the screen where you can see it

Clamp this long-armed, sturdy aluminum tablet holder to a table, the counter, or your desk, and bend the long gooseneck arm so that the phone or tablet it’s holding is exactly where you want it. Its arm is 24 inches long so it has significant reach. The clamp expands to hold either a phone or a large tablet. And the head rotates 360 degrees so you can see the screen in whatever position you like.

06

The smart way to store your water bottle collection

If you have accumulated an impressive water bottle collection, welcome to the club of people who have no idea how to store those in a kitchen that was designed for another era. This water bottle organizer is here to fix that. It allows you to store water bottles lying down to maximize your storage space. Each rack — this is a pack of two of them — holds three bottles. You can stack them in a tall cupboard or spread them out horizontally in a short one.

07

An expandable bamboo utensil organizer to tidy up the drawers

If you have drawers, and you have flatware and serving utensils you’d like to store in those drawers, you need this expandable utensil drawer organizer. It will fit your drawers because it expands from a skinny 13 inches wide to a roomy 20 inches wide, which means you can use them in a variety of drawers and take it with you when you move. When it expands, it gives you more storage — in the form of two extra sections on either side that grow with the width of your drawers. This is cool as well as useful.

08

These vacuum storage bags that make your stuff fit in less space

Do you need more storage space? Or maybe what you need is for the things you want to store to take up less space? It’s simple physics, and these four vacuum storage bags are how you alter how much space items take up. Put your off-season clothes, blankets, coats, and other bulky fabric items into these large bags. Then attach your vacuum cleaner or the included pump to the valve and remove the air. The same stuff now fits in less space — because the air is no longer bulking them up — and is easier to move around but you can still see what it is.

09

A nice rug that’s affordable, soft, & comes in the size you want

Give your room an artsy vibe while improving the overall comfort simply by laying down this Moroccan area rug that’s woven from easy-to-clean, non-shedding fibers. It comes in three colors and eight sizes so you can choose the configuration that best fits your room. And the medium pile won’t obstruct doors or make it hard to vacuum.

10

This set of modern LED puck lights with motion sensors

It is so simple to add safety lighting to your stairs, convenience lighting to cupboards and cabinets, and install a light in a dark closet with this three-pack of motion-triggered puck lights. They sense movement and turn on when you walk down ,the stairs or open a cupboard so they add lighting as you live in your house without any effort from you. They are battery operated so there is no need for wiring. And you can mount them simply by peeling off the backing and sticking them where you want them.

11

This box that neatly hides all your wires

This cable management box is the simple, fast, and easy fix for the messy cables under your desk or TV — or anywhere in your house. Just drop that big power strip into this clean, white box, guide the cords through the slots in the back, and put the lid on. The mess is gone, replaced with a neat white box you can set a lamp or phone on.

12

A set of storage cubes that organizes your underwear drawer

Instead of digging through an untamed pile of socks and underwear every day hoping that you will encounter the pair you want — or even a pair that fits — take a few minutes to install this three-piece set of drawer storage cubes and organize that stuff so you can quickly locate the very item you want. There are two small bins for socks and underwear and a large one that’s great for tanks or undershirts.

13

An indoor or outdoor mat that withstands heavy trekking

This durable doormat looks nice, and is built to withstand whatever weather happens on your porch. You can use it inside the door or outside. The rubber bottom keeps it from moving and the durable looped mesh of the top looks good and does a great job getting debris off of shoes. It’s an ideal mat to put in the laundry room, entryway, porch, garage, or anywhere that people are likely to track in dirt.

14

This pair of aerator shoes that will help make your lawn happy

If your lawn is struggling, the solution could be that it isn’t getting enough air. When the soil is compacted, grass can’t put down the roots it needs to support the green above-ground part of the plant. The solution to this problem is a simple matter of putting on these lawn aerator shoes and walking around your lawn. The spikes loosen the soil and aerate it so that grass (or new seed) can spread its roots, get more water and nutrients, and be happy.

15

An easy TV wall mount that lets you view the screen from any angle

Skip the bulky furniture for standing a big TV and streamline your space by mounting that flat-screen to the wall. This totally affordable full-motion TV wall mount can help. Not only is it a sleek, minimalist, and space-saving solution, but it lets you view the TV from more places. Pull it away from the wall and angle it so you can watch from your desk or another place in the room or keep it tidy and flat against the wall.

16

This complete cord management set that cleans up all your wires

When there are cables snaking away from your computer, lights, and entertainment center, the effort you put into the decor gets undermined by clutter. But it doesn’t have to look like a mess. The artful use of this cord management system can hide all of that from view. There are several options for cinching cable bundles together and even more solutions for sticking individual wires or cable bundles to the underside or back of furniture where they will be invisible. There are also handy clips that let you keep wires you use frequently at hand.

17

This Echo Dot that will become your personal assistant, alarm clock & so much more

This little Echo Dot is the most useful gadget you are likely to add to your home and it’s quite affordable. Connect it to the internet and it will do everything you ask. It can wake you up in the morning, tell jokes, play your favorite podcast, turn on the lights, make the coffee, read you a story, remember where you put your keys, tell you the weather, and be your get-to-sleep sound machine at the end of the day.

18

This beefy power strip with 12 outlets & 4 USB ports

This is the power strip you want for your work-from-home rig or massive entertainment system. There are 12 standard outlets and four USB plugs to power everything from your computer or TV to your phone. All the plugs are all protected against power surges to protect your gear. And the two outlets on the end have plenty of room around them to accommodate big power bricks.

19

This ultra-thin, portable disk that’s a wireless phone charger

This easy-to-pack aluminum charging disk is the phone charger you want with you at the café, in your hotel, or on your own bedside table. It looks like a high-tech coaster. But drop your phone on it and it will charge it up. No more fumbling with wires or looking for that tiny plug in the dark. It lights up briefly to let you know it is connected to your phone then it quietly goes about fast-charging while you sleep.

20

This big-display alarm clock that can handle 2 alarms

If you share a bed with someone, you probably get up at different times. This dual alarm clock is a helpful addition to your morning routine. Set it for both of your wake-up times and create alarm equity. You can choose a volume for each alarm, and each sleeper can delay the inevitable for nine minutes by hitting the snooze button. There is a USB port for charging your phone, a battery backup in case there is a power outage, and the big display is dimmable.

21

The flexible filter fabric that helps clean what blows from the air vents

Add some extra filtration to the air that comes into your home easily and cheaply with this filter fabric you cut to size and attach to your air vents. It comes with hook and loop tape that you also just cut to the size you need. You can attach it to the outside of your air vents or remove the vent and put the filter fabric on the inside. It helps keep out dander, smoke, and other potentially harmful airborne elements, which can help people indoors breathe easier.

22

This hack that makes your heat or AC more effective

If your heat and AC vents are in the wrong place, it can have a huge effect on how warm or cold your house feels. This two-pack of air deflectors for vents will send the air in the direction it will do the most good. If all your heat is up at the ceiling, direct it down into the room. Or if the cold is chilling your ankles and little else, send it up into the room. Just attach them magnetically. They adjust from 10 to 14 inches wide and require no tools to install.

23

This Wi-Fi extender so the signal reaches everywhere in your house

If you have spots in your house where the internet signal is feeble, the solution is so easy. Just plug this Wi-Fi extender into a plug that’s inside the signal but near your dead spot and it will grab the Wi-Fi and throw it another 1,200 feet so you can surf anywhere in the house — even the places that had a weak connection. It will look like you just got a whole new network to the devices connecting to it, and you can add up to 20 devices to that network.

24

This USB wall charger that’s also a unique night light

Plug this slick wall charger into an outlet and get two USB plugs that can charge your phone or other gadgets. It’s also a cool-looking night light, with a blue light and a crackle pattern, which makes it terrific for travel, the kids’ room, or even for charging your electric toothbrushes in the bathroom if you don’t have many outlets in there.

25

This stick-on bug prevention for your trash can

Your trash can is a tempting home for some pretty gross bugs. To the insect underworld, your trash is their luxury meal. And once flies, roaches, and others move in there is little reason for them to leave, given that you are constantly resupplying. Stick this insect puck to the inside lid of that trash can, though, and you don’t have to worry about any of this. It ends the bugs that are in there and stops new tenants from ever moving in with a slow-release vapor. It lasts up to four months.

26

An upgrade for the sink stopper that came with your garbage disposal

Toss that ugly sink stopper that came with your garbage disposal and replace it with this fancy universal sink stopper that looks good in the sink and does exactly the same job. It’s a simple thing but you might be surprised at how big an impact it makes on your kitchen. You can choose from oiled bronze, polished chrome, or brushed nickel to match your sink.

27

The under-cabinet jar opener that can handle any lid

Mount this genius jar opener to the underside of a cabinet and you will be able to open whatever jar you have without asking anyone for help. Just push the lid into the triangular opener until it catches on the toothy jaws and turn. You can use both hands so there is no struggle, even with huge jars. “It just takes a quarter turn to loosen jar lids that used to take me several minutes of hot water and effort to open,” said one reviewer. “I cannot thank the people at Grip Jar Opener enough for making this incredible change in my enjoyment of life and urge all with poor hand strength to get the Grip Jar Opener!”

28

A ring light on a flexible gooseneck that clips to the desk

Clip this mini ring light wherever you need better illumination for reading, working, or Zooming. The long, flexible gooseneck arm lets you position the light exactly where you want it and you can choose from three color temperatures and 10 brightness so that the light never hurts your eyes. The base also works as a stand.

29

A complete set of simple, elegant flatware for less than the price of lunch

Stock your silverware drawer so you never run out with this affordable, yet elegantly simple, 20-piece flatware set. The mirror finish looks bright and clean and the simple lines are easy to hold and use. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the full collection is just $19, making it easy to have plenty of utensils to get even a big family through the day without digging in the dishwasher.

30

The bedside wall shelf that keeps everything you need at hand

No room for a nightstand? Peel and stick this clever bedside shelf next to your bed and keep everything you need right next to you. There are two cubbies that are sized perfectly for a phone, glasses, alarm clock, or remote control. It’s easy to mount, is small, and is loved by reviewers who give it almost 6,000 five-star reviews.

31

A wall-mounted phone holder for the shower

Peel and stick this waterproof phone mount to the wall of your shower and you can bring your videos, games, and phone (video?) calls into the bath with you. Just push the frame to pop it open and slide your phone in or out. You can use the touch screen while your phone is protected and the case rotates 360 degrees so you can see the screen in the position you prefer.

32

This clever, hanger-based hiding space for your valuables

When you are staying in a hotel or vacation rental, don’t worry that someone will steal your valuables while you are at the pool. They probably won’t find them if you have them hidden in this coat hanger safe. Just hang it in the closet, hang a jacket over it, and no one will find your stuff. It’s a great place to hide your private items at home, too.

33

This serving board that elevates snacks to full-on charcuterie

The secret to turning a handful of nuts, sliced cheese, meats, and fruit into a meal is to arrange it all artfully on a board, add some jam or chocolate, and call it charcuterie. This large bamboo cheese board is elemental to this life skill because it has plenty of canvas for you to arrange your snacks on, and two elevated channels to hold crackers in clever, decorative rows. The bamboo is not only pretty and light, but it’s also water-resistant and sustainable.

34

This adjustable laptop tray that keeps your machine cool

Set your laptop on this laptop tray with built-in fans to keep it cool, and it just may last longer and run better. Heat is bad for a laptop’s components, even when that heat is generated by the laptop’s hard-working machinery. This laptop tray has five fans that get that heat away from your machine — and you. You can choose how many fans to run at any time. It also lets you tilt the laptop at a better angle so you can see the screen better and not hunch over.

35

This countertop-friendly bamboo bin that organizes all your teas

If you have a massive tea collection, get it organized so you can find the brew you want when you want it. This bamboo tea box has adjustable compartments for tea bags that make it easy to rifle through them. There is a drawer for small items like a tea strainer or infuser. The lid keeps your tea from getting dusty but lets you see your collection. It’s nice enough to live on the counter.

36

A pair of oil dispenser bottles with measurements & pour spouts

Store your oils in these two pour-top dispenser bottles that are made for the task. Each one holds 17 ounces of your favorite olive oil, vinegar, lemon, or other necessities. And the set comes with four spouts so you can choose if you want one with a flap or one with a dust cap. The measures on the side make adding oil to recipes easy because you don’t have to get out measuring spoons. The set even comes with a funnel to make filling them a cinch.

37

The high-quality scimitar knife that’s so affordable

Whether you are slicing a prime rib or cutting a watermelon, this scimitar knife is the one you will reach for. The 9-inch-long blade is big enough to get the job done without being difficult to manage and the curve makes it easy to slice through large pieces of meat. It comes with a knife sharpener and edge guard cover.

38

This color-changing light you can install under water

Turn the bird bath, koi pond, or swimming pool into a fun outdoor lighting element by installing this waterproof, color-changing LED puck light underwater. You can choose the color from the safety of dry ground using the included remote. And the puck stays in place, in your water feature, using either magnets or suction cups.

39

This wall-mounted mail shelf that’s the optimal place for daily sundries

Mount this clever mail holder shelf to the wall and keep your daily post, keys, and other important items out of the fray of chaos on your desk or table. It gives you a handy place to drop the mail and hang your keys when you walk in the door so you will be able to find them later. It’s easy to install and looks charming at your entry or on an office wall.

40

A big set of airtight food storage containers in useful sizes

When you want to put away produce or leftovers or prep food for the coming week, this set of airtight storage containers will make that so much easier. There are four sizes to handle everything from a bit of cut fruit to leftover lasagne. The lids snap tight so there will be no spills. And the seven containers all stack together easily for storage.

41

This cup holder made for the couch to help prevent spills

Jam the base of this sofa cup holder between the couch cushions and set your drink down in it so you don’t spill beer or soda all over the couch. It’s simple to use, lets you lean back and enjoy a beverage on the couch, and is sized to snugly hold beer or soda cans. It comes in five colors.

42

These 2 glass carafes for everything from wine to water

This pair of glass carafes with lids makes it easy to keep cold brew tea, infused water, lemonade, or any other beverage you like to make in batches cold in the fridge. They are attractive so you can pull them out and serve from them. They have lids to keep your creations fresh. And the neck is easy to hold for pouring. They also make great wine carafes so you can serve box wine without admitting to the box.

43

The versatile lap desk that makes working from the couch better

Add this portable lap desk to your rig for when you want to sit in a comfortable chair, lounge on the couch, or web surf from bed. It provides a barrier between you and the laptop so you don’t get hot while you work. Pulling the heat away from the machine also helps prevent the components from overheating. A mouse tray slides out on both sides, the surface is grippy so your laptop doesn’t slip, and it fits easily into a laptop bag or drawer.

44

These ice trays that make a big batch of snazzy round cubes

Make a big batch of spherical ice with these two round ice cube trays that make this task super simple and easy. Just fill the lower tray, put the upper tray on top, and push it down till water shoots out of the spouts so you know your trays are full. Then stack them in the freezer. The trays are flexible so it’s easy to get the cubes out and they make a total of 66 round ice pieces that really slap at parties.

45

A curved knife that makes chopping ingredients so easy

Give your hands a break by chopping everything from nuts to herbs to vegetables with this curved Mezzaluna blade set into a handle that fits in the palm of your hand. Use a gentle rocking motion to quickly and almost effortlessly chop your ingredients. It’s even easier if you also purchase the concave board that stops herbs and nuts from flying away as you work.

46

This pack of 8 silicone coasters so drinks don’t hurt the furniture

Go ahead and set your drinks down on these eight silicone coasters without worrying about the furniture. It doesn’t matter if the drink is hot or cold, these heat-resistant silicone coasters will protect your furniture from condensation, high temperatures, and splashes. And they are so affordable and easy to clean that you can litter them all over the house so there is always one within reach.

47

This ring light that’s the secret to looking great in video calls

Harsh lighting, backlighting, and light that creates shadows is your enemy when it comes to looking your best in a video call. This clip-on ring light is the lighting hack you need to fix all of that. Clip it to your computer screen or cell phone and choose the color mode that’s the most flattering (daylight, warm light, or white light), and set the brightness that looks good on you. It’s rechargeable so you can use it on the go and is easy to clip to any screen.

48

This foldable table tray for leveled-up breakfast in bed

If you are going to deliver (or enjoy) breakfast in bed, this is the tray table you need to do it. First, it’s a roomy surface for the meal with a lip so nothing slides off. It has easy-to-grip handles so the person doing the delivery doesn’t struggle. And the folding legs make it pleasant to sit up in bed, under the tray, and enjoy that meal. It’s made from bamboo so it’s light to carry and easy to clean.

49

A complete manicure kit in a handy travel pouch

You will find every tool you need and discover a few you’ve never heard of in this manicure set in a handsome case. And you will always be able to find your tools because each one has its own slot and the case keeps it all orderly. “I bought this for my husband because I am always borrowing his tweezers and nail clippers and then losing them,” said one reviewer. “This way he has a set that is unmistakably his and hard to lose since all everything is in a nice travel case.”

50

A fancy wine opener with a shiny gold finish

This elegant wine opener will look great on your bar — and on the bottle. It has a self-centering worm so that getting the cork out is more science than art. There’s a built-in bottle opener, and the whole thing is rendered in a plated gold finish that will make your wine adventures feel richer.

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