These clever, inexpensive products work so much better than what you currently use

Delivering nifty and thrifty all at once.

by Christina X. Wood

When you’re cooking with pans that are subpar, cleaning with tools that could be better, and storing your gear using methods that irritate you and take up too much space, it creates daily frustrations that sap you of mental energy that could be put toward other things. Why not use the right tool for the job so that small tasks go smoothly, and save your energy for the tasks that matter to you? These clever, inexpensive products work so much better than what you currently use and they are all affordable, easy to acquire, and will look nice in your home.

If you have a messy closet that makes getting dressed every day more of a chore than it needs to be, you spend more time looking for kitchen tools than you do prepping a meal, or your daily shower fails to relax, clean, and refresh you the way it should, you will find brilliant solutions to all of those problems in this list. Or maybe your irritants involve the infrastructure in your home — the lighting, power, or drainage? Or maybe frustrations occur in your “home on wheels,” your car. The solution is probably a lot easier than you think. And I took the time to find the solution.

So read on and start enhancing your calm.

1. These 3 cutting boards that are easy on knives

Improve your cutting options with this three-piece set of bamboo cutting boards in different sizes. The antibacterial bamboo is gentle on knives so they don’t dull too fast, looks good in the kitchen, and features a two-tone color pattern that’s so pretty these could double as serving boards. They each have a juice groove around the edges for neater cutting, and two of them have handles for easy portability.

2. This cold-brew coffee maker in an elegant steel pitcher

With airtight, silicone seals inside and an elegant, cutout stainless steel pitcher that holds the borosilicate glass brewing container, this cold-brew coffee maker is engineered to make an excellent cold brew. The filter is laser cut so no grounds get past it and it makes brewing cold so easy. It makes and stores 34 ounces of delicious coffee.

3. A silicone body scrubber for clean exfoliation

This palm-sized body scrubber gently exfoliates your skin while turning just a dollop of body soap into a rich lather. Because the soft bristles are silicone, they are easy to clean — unlike many exfoliators — so you don’t have to worry about mold or bacteria. It comes in five colors and has a cutout that makes it easy to hang.

4. The shower mirror that won’t fog up

Shaving in a warm shower is so much better for your skin, beard, and razors, but most mirrors fog up in the hot water, making this a challenge. This anti-fog mirror, though, is easy to add to your shower and won’t fog up. It comes with a peel-and-stick hook to hang it on. When you get in the shower, run the mirror under the hot water so it’s the same temperature as the water, and hang it from the hook. It won’t fog and you will be able to see what you’re doing.

5. An outlet extender that turns 1 outlet into 8 plugs & a light

Plug this outlet extender into any free outlet to transform it from two plugs to six standard outlets and two USB outlets with a built-in surge protector. The plugs are spaced so it’s easy to use them all simultaneously, and the two USB plugs let you charge phones or other tech items. It also has an optional dusk-to-dawn nightlight that comes on whenever there’s a lack of ambient light.

6. This brilliant strainer that clips into your pan

This compact strainer won’t eat up storage space the way a full-sized colander does, and it makes getting boiling water out of a pasta pan so much easier. Just clip it to the pan and pour the water down the sink. It’s flexible so it fits lots of pans, and comes in five colors.

7. The rainfall showerhead that boosts water pressure & feels amazing

This high-pressure showerhead delivers such an amazing shower that it’s a bit startling it only costs $30. Just unscrew your old showerhead, screw this one in, and enjoy a delightful, life-improving shower. The 90 rubber jets boost water pressure by forcing the stream through a small opening but, since the jets are spread out over a six-inch diameter head to form a wide-angled shower, it feels like you are standing in a warm, tropical deluge.

8. This slim, RFID-blocking neck wallet for travel

When you head out into the world, protect your valuables and your identity from thieves by tucking them into this neck wallet and wearing it inside your shirt or jacket where no one can grab it from you. It has an RFID shield so no one can steal your particulars wirelessly, either. There’s room for your passport, credit cards, and phone.

9. A frother that lets you make foamy coffee drinks at home

This battery-operated frother turns any kind of milk into a foamy, café-coffee-worthy froth in just 30 seconds. The stainless steel whisk is durable and easy to clean, and the frother operates at two speeds so you can use it to whiz up salad dressings, eggs, sauces, and other toppings, too.

10. A big trunk organizer with a place for everything

Keep your groceries from flying around in the trunk by securing them into this big trunk organizer that has a clever tie-down strap system. There are two big inner compartments, two roomy exterior organizers, and four mesh pockets so you can keep everything you cart with you organized and stable. It folds up for storage when it’s empty and can reduce in size when it’s half full.

11. This wine opener that makes getting the cork out so smooth

With big, easy-to-use wings and an easy-to-grasp handle for turning the corkscrew, this substantial wine opener is the one you will reach for every time you’re ready to pop open a bottle. Just turn the handle till the screw is deep in the cork and press those big wings down. It gives you so much leverage that every cork will come out with ease.

12. The pen you fill with your own paint for easy, custom touch-ups

Before you put the paint can away, fill one of these touch-up pens with paint and keep it handy. If there’s a scratch, repair, or need for touch-ups on your painted surface, pull out this pen and paint right over the problem. It fills with a syringe and stores your paint in its airtight compartment so you can use it for years. This paint pen kit includes two pens and one syringe for easy filling.

13. This elegant magnetic phone mount that sticks to the dash

Stick this handsome devil to your car’s dash (with the included peel-and-stick pad and built-n suction cup) and you will have a stylish magnetic phone mount right where it’s handy to see your device when driving. It works with most phones — even those that are in a case, lets you position the phone however you like, and looks so good doing it.

14. The nifty hair catcher for your drain that looks like a mushroom

There is good reason for the mushroom shape of this in-drain hair catcher. It fits into the drain so that you look at its top instead of a gross snarl of hair. But the in-drain strainer lets water through while trapping every hair in the “stem” of the mushroom. Just pull it out occasionally to swipe off the hair and keep your drain flowing.

15. A bento box lunch box that won’t embarrass a grownup

If you like to bring your lunch to work to save money or eat healthier, this bento box lunch box opens up so many options. The three compartments will hold everything from sandwiches to snacks to separated curry and rice, and the lid seals tight so nothing leaks from one compartment to another (or out of the container and into your bag). It has its own carry case with room for utensils, and it can go into the freezer, microwave, and dishwasher.

16. These silicone baking mats that don’t stick & make cleanup easy

Put these silicone mats onto a baking dish and their non-stick surface keeps foods from sticking to your pan with less oil. They keep pans clean and are easy to clean themselves — just rinse off or put them in the dishwasher. This is a pack of four and you can roll them up for storage and use them thousands of times.

17. The brush that gets tangles out of hair without pain

The Glide Thru hairbrush has so many fans — there are over 39,000 five-star reviews — because it does a very simple thing that other brushes just can’t seem to accomplish. It gets snarls out of all kinds of hair — wet or dry — without torturing the person under the hair. “I don't know what my toddler does in the night,” said one reviewer. “But she wakes up with a rat's nest on the back of her head. It was torture to brush it. With this brush she actually enjoys getting her hair brushed!”

18. This little speaker that’s waterproof & sounds great

This little Bluetooth speaker from Anker sounds surprisingly good for its small size, and is ready to go with you anywhere. It is IPX5 waterproof so a little rain or an outing in your kayak won’t hurt it. It runs for 24 hours on a single charge. It’s nice-looking and packable in all three of the available colors.

19. A 3-pack of quick-drying microfiber towels

When you want a towel for your gym bag, camping, or just to keep on hand in your office or car, this three-pack has you covered. The microfiber towels pack up super small and they absorb a lot of water and dry quickly, making them perfect for use on the go. This set includes three towels in three different sizes so you’ll always have the one you need when you need it.

20. These modern, stainless steel canisters with glass windows

When you’re organizing your pantry, get all your grains, pasta, and beans out of the hard-to-store bags they came in and into these airtight steel canisters so they stay fresh and don’t get bug infestations. You can see what’s in each of the canisters by glancing through the glass windows and they bring modern, attractive organization to your pantry.

21. A set of hangers that expands your closet space

When your closet is too small for your wardrobe, this 10-pack of space-saving hangers can make it work. Hang five garments on the five holes in one of these hangers, with both hooks on the closet bar. Then let one hook drop and that collection of five garments hangs in the space that once held only one item.

22. These plug-in lights that turn on only when you need light

Plug these dusk-to-dawn, motion-triggered lights into an outlet in the bathroom, hallway, or kitchen so that, when you get up in the night, your path is automatically and gently lit for you. The warm light won’t glare you awake but it will let you see what you’re doing. And the light will turn off automatically 60 seconds after you move away. They are convenient and save power. This is a four pack.

23. These satin pillowcases so you don’t wake up with messy hair

When you lie down to sleep, set your head on something soft and silky so that when you wake up, your hair isn’t a tangled knot and your skin isn't pressed into the shape of the fabric. You just may sleep better, and your hair and skin will wake up requiring less attention. These satin pillowcases are exactly what you need and they’re available in 38 gorgeous colors and patterns to make your room look amazing, too. They zip closed for a perfectly made bed.

24. This smart plug that lets you Alexa-control anything in the outlet

When you want Alexa to start brewing coffee, turning on lamps, or controlling fans, plug this smart plug into an outlet and plug the coffee pot, lamp, or fan into it. Then connect her, wirelessly, to the plug and, forevermore, all you have to do to turn that device on or off is tell her to do it. Because it’s designed to work with your Amazon Echo or other Alexa device, setup is super easy.

25. A hanging toiletry bag so you always have what you need

Get organized before you travel by putting all your necessaries into this clever hanging toiletry bag. It zips up neatly and has a handle on the top for easy grabbing from your suitcase. When you head to the showers, just open it and hang it from a hook and all your gear is at the ready. It has three mesh pockets for organization and comes in six colors and styles.

26. This dishcloth that’s absorbent like a sponge

These Swedish dishcloths are made from a blend of cellulose and cotton, which puts them somewhere between cloth and sponge. Use it to wipe up spills, as you would a paper towel. Use it to wash dishes as you would a sponge. And use it to clean counters and surfaces as you would with either of those. Then toss it in the laundry and use it again. It will survive through over 100 washings.

27. These grill mats for cleaner barbecue & less hassle

Set these grill mats down on the grates of your grill before you toss your veggies and shrimp on there and everything will be easier to clean up afterward. And who doesn’t want to grill more and clean less? The grill mats are thin enough to allow those coveted grill marks to adorn your food, but they keep the grates clean and stop smaller items from falling through.

28. The big reusable grocery bags that stand on their own

These box-like reusable grocery bags make shopping and getting groceries home so much easier. They have firm sides so filling and emptying them is easy. They hold a huge amount and have sturdy, wide straps — and side handles — to make carrying big loads easy. And, when you aren’t using them, they fold up flat for storage.

29. These cable clips that bring order to cords & wires

Tidy up your desktop or bedside table by quickly bringing all those wild cables to heel with this six-pack of cable clips that peel-and-stick to any smooth surface and holds that sucker exactly where you want it. No more climbing under the furniture to retrieve a cord that slid off or letting wires run amock on your work surface.

30. A big trash can that cleans up your car

This waterproof trash can will hold all the garbage that accumulates in your car, making it so much easier to keep the car clean. Just grab the liner when you get out and toss it in the trash. It has a leak-proof interior and comes with 10 liners. Or grocery bags fit nicely, too. The elastic-close top keeps trash hidden and contained, the side pockets hold a few supplies within reach, and it secures easily to your interior.

31. A retractable dog leash that neatly handles your pet

This 16-foot retractable dog leash is nice and tidy when it’s not on your pet. And when in use, it eliminates all the hassle of tangled leashes and dogs who want to bite the lead. The one-button locking system lets you set a fixed leash whenever that’s necessary, and the ergonomic handle makes dog walking easy on your hands.

32. This wireless charger for your phone or other gadgets

If you hate fumbling with the irritatingly small plug that connects your phone to power, dot your home and office with this inexpensive wireless charger on every surface (well, within reason). It charges up any Qi-compatible gadget without the need to plug in tons of different chargers. Just plug this disk — it comes in six colors — in once and set your gadget on it. It will deliver the right power level to whatever you put there. The perimeter light flashes to let you know it connected, then shuts off (so you can sleep with it in the room).

33. This cover that helps keep your razor sharp longer

When your razor gets dull or corroded, you are more likely to get cut when you shave. This clever blade cover has a built-in, anti-corrosive element that helps keep blades sharp and free of rust much longer. So you can get more life out of your razor and go into the world with fewer pieces of TP stuck to your face. It fits all standard razors.

34. The memory foam pillow for your camping kit

If you think that camping involves resting your head on rolled up clothing or other uncomfortable solutions, this adjustable travel pillow is here to glamp up your experience. This comfy, memory foam pillow packs up small into a compression sack so you can sleep comfortably without adding too much bulk to your pack. It’s smaller than your bed pillow but just as comfortable.

35. These nifty cups that keep wine chilled for hours

Pour wine — or whatever you want to sip — into these cooling cups and they will keep your beverage chilled for hours at the perfect temperature for wine. Just keep them in the freezer for white wine and in the fridge for red wine to get perfect results at happy hour. The silicone band protects your hand from the chilling gel embedded in the BPA-free plastic glasses and they are sized perfectly for fridge-door shelves.

36. This soap dispenser & dish brush in 1 handy tool

Fill the handle of this dish brush with your favorite dish soap and make washing dishes so much easier. When you want to load the bristles with soap, just press a button on the handle. It shoots a dollop into your pan or glass so you can use the brush to get that item clean. Almost 15,000 people approve and gave this tool five stars.

37. These food storage bins that keep produce fresh longer

These produce bins will help you organize your fridge while keeping produce fresh longer. They are clear so you can see what’s in them, stack neatly, have a handle to make grabbing them easy, and each one has a tray to keep produce elevated above any water drips, which keeps fruits and vegetables dry and fresh much longer.

38. The nonslip mats that help make showering sturdier

Set these textured bath mats on the floor of your shower or tub so that you don’t slip and fall when you shower. They let water through, feel great on your feet, and don’t move due to the grippy bottom. You can use them as a bath mat outside the shower, too. They come in four colors and three sizes to fit your shower, bath, or room.

39. This sizable, airtight canister for coffee

Keep your coffee in this airtight, stainless steel canister and it will be so fresh when you want to use it. The lid locks securely, is lined with silicone to keep out coffee-staling air, and the canister has a built-in scoop holder so you always have a coffee scoop at hand (it comes with a perfectly-fitted stainless steel one). The silicone base makes it quiet and non-slip, and the whole thing just elevates that morning cuppa.

40. A handsome blue pan that’s tough as diamonds

This little blue pan is perfect for a couple eggs or a serving of pancakes, and it’s so non-stick that it’s super easy to clean up. The best part, though, is that it’s incredibly durable — with actual diamonds baked into the finish for toughness. Cook on it, use metal utensils(!), use less oil and butter, and then put it in the dishwasher.

41. These measuring cups that let you see what’s happening from the top

These measuring cups have angled measuring marks on the inside so you can see how much liquid or dry ingredient is in them without having to awkwardly lift and peer at the side. This simple improvement makes cooking so much easier (and less irritating). This is a three-piece set with 1, 2, and 4 cup measures.

42. A double-wall insulated cooler for your beer can

Skip the flimsy neoprene koozie and put your beer or soda into this double-wall insulated can cooler so your beverage stays cold for hours instead of minutes. It will also keep cans from sweating. An anti-skid bottom makes it silent and gentle on furniture so you can skip the coasters, too. It comes in five colors and three sizes.

43. An organizer stand for everything from dishes to pans

Bring quick order to your cupboards by setting everything from dishes to pans to cutting boards on their sides. You can grab the one you want and see everything at once with this simple organizer that holds eight items securely, and comes in four finishes to match your look. It’s a simple upgrade that makes finding things — and putting them away — so much easier.

44. This cleverly engineered ice-cream scoop

The shape of this ice cream scoop is somewhere between a spade and a scoop, so it removes gorgeous curls of ice cream from the container with very little effort. The rubberized handle won’t get cold in your grip and the handle and scoop are so solid that it will hold up to the hardest ice cream. It’s also useful for other kitchen tasks (like melon de-seeding) and comes in 11 colors.

45. A complete set of bottle brushes to get those water & protein shake vessels clean

If you have water bottles, travel mugs, a coffee carafe, and other beverage containers that are hard to get into, this set of bottle brushes will have the very tool you need. Keep these five sturdy, thick-bristled brushes on hand to make cleaning everything in your kitchen easy, wether it needs a skinny brush, a fat one, or a long one. The handles are hefty and all the brushes are durable enough to go in the dishwasher.

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