You'll be shocked at how clever & useful these 45 cheap things on Amazon are

Small game-changers with even smaller prices.

by Christina X. Wood
Originally Published: 
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If you, like me, have a tendency to overthink things, you might be staring at the rickety lighting in your kitchen and assuming that fixing it is either prohibitively expensive (or something you will never be able to talk your landlord into). You might see an overflowing closet as a complicated physics problem that needs a slide ruler and a storage unit to solve. The thing is, though, these problems — and many like them — can all be solved easily with Amazon products that don’t require much in the way of time or money. I’m pretty sure you’ll be shocked at how clever and useful these 45 cheap things are.


This pair of under-cabinet lights that will transform your kitchen

It’s so easy to add accent lighting to your kitchen with this two-pack of wireless LED under-cabinet lights. Peel and stick them to the underside of your cabinets and then touch them to light your counters, the inside of cabinets, shelves, and all your dark corners. You can set them to turn off automatically so the batteries don’t burn out. And you can control all of this with the included remote control.


A memo board that sticks to your monitor

If you put your sticky notes where you are sure to see them, they will do a much better job of reminding you. And you are sure to see them if they are stuck to the side of your monitor. These two memo boards take this idea to high function. Peel and stick them to either side of your monitor and stick your notes right to them. There is also a place for your phone with a charging cord channel cut into the bottom.


The professional-level foot spa you can keep at home

When your dogs are tired or you are ready for your at-home pedi, pull out this handy foot spa and soak your feet till they are relaxed, clean, and soft. The jets and raised nodes in the bath give your feet a massage while your bath salts or soaps do their work. There is a built-in, removable pumice stone to clean up your calluses and you can operate the controls with your toes.


The wireless doorbell you can install in 5 minutes

If you think installing a doorbell involves running wires and standing on a ladder, meet the wireless doorbell kit you can install in five minutes without tools. The doorbell button can be installed using the included adhesive or screws. Sync it with the receiver, and you can choose from over 50 chimes and four volume levels — you can even sync multiple doorbell buttons to it if your home has more than one entrance.


This monitor stand that brings order to your desktop

Set this monitor stand with a drawer on your desk. Put your monitor on top of it. Your neck will thank you. Raising the monitor up to a height you can look at comfortably without hunching does wonders for your workspace ergonomics. This riser has a handy drawer and side pockets to organize all your desk essentials, keep clutter off of your workspace, and make it easy to put your hands on a pen, notebook, or sticky note.


The spray that prevents bad bathroom smells from escaping

Spray this coconut and freesia scented bathroom deodorizer into the toilet bowl before you go and you won’t have to worry about the smells that might emanate from the bowl afterward. This clever bathroom deodorizer creates a barrier on the surface of the water that odors cannot cross. All anyone will smell — no matter what you leave in the bowl — is flowers with a hint of citrus.


This set of food canisters that will bring instant order to your pantry

Replace that jumble of bags, boxes, and jars with this set of seven airtight food storage containers and bring instant order and longevity to your pantry. Your cereal will stay fresh longer. Sugar will be easier to access. And everything will be stacked neatly. The lids lock out air, the wide opening makes accessing contents easy, and the rectangular shapes are easy to stack.


The under-shelf drawer that makes small items easy to find

If small things tend to get lost behind your computer, this under-shelf pull-out drawer brings them front and center and makes them easy to find. Simply peel and stick it to the underside of a shelf. It pulls out and slants down so you can see what’s stored in there so you can find your notepads, paper clips, and other gear.


A cold brew coffee maker that makes the process simple

This kit is everything you need to quickly whip up your own cold-brew coffee with no mystery or failures. Just use the scoop and cup that come with this cold brew coffee maker to measure your grounds into the fine mesh sleeve. Then add water to the Borosilicate glass carafe, put the airtight, spillproof lid on it, and put it in the fridge. The directions will walk you through it and everything is precise so the results are excellent. “It is the perfect size for the refrigerator door, makes a cold brew that has such amazing flavor, and the pitcher even pours without spilling!” said one reviewer.


This set of stainless steel bowls you will use for everything

You will reach for these five stainless steel mixing bowls when you are baking, mixing, marinating, and whipping. And, since each of the bowls has a matching, tight-fitting lid, you will reach for them again when you are putting leftovers away or stashing a fruit salad in the fridge. They nest for storage, clean up easily, and have a flat base for stability.


This shelf that turns any corner into useful storage

That corner on your stairs, bathroom, or in the kitchen could be working harder. And this corner shelf is here to make it happen. Install it into that empty corner and transform it into five shelves for bathroom supplies, spices, or your collection of D&D miniatures. They come in eight colors and you can even break up the shelves and use them separately.


A space-saving pan organizer that can be configured to fit your space

Get your cookware out of that unmanageable pile and into this versatile pan organizer that you can set up horizontally or vertically depending on your needs. It has five sturdy slots that keep your full pan collection accessible. On top of that, it’s racked up nearly 20,000 fans on Amazon, and it comes in your choice of bronze, chrome, or silver finishes.


A lazy Susan for easy & efficient cupboard storage

If you keep a collection of oils, condiments, and sauces at the ready for your go-to dishes, drop them all into this clear lazy Susan with dividers so they are super easy to access. Snap the dividers into place to separate the interior into quarters (or not) and arrange everything. When you are cooking, you don’t have to hunt for the thing you want, just spin till it’s at hand. It’s a solid 11.8 inches in diameter and is also great for use inside cabinets or in the fridge.


A teacup with its own loose tea infuser

Enjoy a cup of tea but don’t have time for a teapot and the entire delightful ritual? This glass tea cup with an infuser lets you enjoy a quality cup of tea, using loose leaves, quickly and easily. The infuser sits right in the glass. Just fill it with tea and pour hot water over it. While it steeps, cover it with the glass lid. And when your tea is ready to sip, remove the lid, turn it over, and set the strainer in it to drip.


A handy portable vacuum made for in-car cleanups

Keeping a car clean is hard enough without putting an obstacle like dragging your home vacuum cleaner to it when it needs a deep clean. Keep this portable vacuum cleaner in the trunk and cleaning up after a spill, sandy feet, a pet, or even the normal accumulation of dust will be something you can do while parked anywhere. It plugs into the lighter, has plenty of power, comes with three genius attachments designed for cleaning cars, and has a 6-foot cord so you can reach everywhere. It even zips into its own storage bag so it doesn’t create clutter.


This set of drawer dividers for custom storage

Create exactly the storage cubbies you want in your clothing, kitchen, or office drawers with this four-pack of bamboo drawer dividers. They are spring-loaded with rubbery feet so you just compress them to the size of your drawers and let go. They will hold on, dividing the drawers into usable containers. You can stack them for deep drawers and they come in three colors.


The entryway wall shelf that organizes your day

Hang this thoughtful wall shelf and mail holder near your entry and it will streamline everything about leaving the house and returning home. Hang your bag, hat, sunglasses, and keys from the eight hooks as you walk in the door. Drop the mail in the cubby. Set your wallet and pocket knife on the shelf. When you leave in the morning, everything you need will be there waiting for you. It comes in three colors.


The surge protector that charges everything you have

Always looking for a place to plug in and charge? Park this surge protector somewhere convenient and fix that. It has eight standard plugs that are widely spaced to accommodate bulky power bricks. And there are four USB ports with an indicator light to tell you what’s charging. Everything will be protected from power surges when plugged into it and there are two switches so you can shut banks of gear off with one touch.


These smart lightbulbs with millions of colors

If you like the idea of lights that can change colors and turn your space into whatever mood you are feeling, these two smart light bulbs are a clever alternative to strip lights. They plug into the lamps and fixtures you already have, work with your AI — Alexa, Siri, or Google Home — or an app on your phone, and will dim, and change to any of 16 million colors. You can set timers, scenes, routines, and more.


A tiered shelving unit that creates more space on your counters

If your kitchen lacks counter space for all your essentials, this bamboo corner shelf can help with that. It fits neatly into a corner, offering lots more surface area for small appliances, condiments, and other items you like to keep out and within reach. There are even a set of four hooks so you can hang hot mitts or utensils. The corner angle is adjustable and it comes in four color schemes.


A set of 5 drawer organizers so you can put everything in its place

Drop these stiff, sectioned drawer organizers into your desk drawer, underwear drawer, or the junk drawer in the kitchen and watch how that interior storage space begins to take on order. Instead of a jumble, like items get their own cubby, underwear stays in place, and socks are easy to find. These are stackable, have decorative scalloped edges, and come in white or black.


This pastry brush that looks like a highlighter pen

If you are going to stock your kitchen with useful tools, why not make them fun, whimsical conversation starters? This pastry brush has lots of silicone bristles to spread oil on your meats or vegetables before roasting or air frying, brushing butter on your baked goods, or millions of other uses. But it also looks like a big, yellow highlighter pen.


A shelf that sits right on top of an outlet

Where to put that cute speaker, Echo Dot, or electric toothbrush? It needs a place to stand and a nearby outlet. Set it right here on this outlet shelf that replaces the outlet cover for your outlet. It’s easy to install, takes up no counter space, and has channels to run the wires through so it doesn’t create visual clutter.


These heavy-duty reusable bags for everything from groceries to laundry

These big, reusable grocery bags are the heavy-duty version that will take you from the grocery store to the big box store to the laundry room, handling all your carting needs with ease. They fold up small — to the size of a notebook. But they have stiff sides and a firm bottom so they stay open when assembled — like boxes — and can hold up to 65 pounds of stuff. They keep your groceries organized in the car, too.


This little apple that holds your dish scrubby sponge

This little apple sponge caddy looks sweet on the counter but it also serves a clever purpose. It hides your dish sponge, the scrubber you use to clean cast iron cookware, or anything else you want to keep handy but safe from getting swept into the sink. Or you could use it to store your jewelry while you wash dishes. You can turn it so the opening faces the wall and no one will see what’s inside.


The spoon rest that looks like a giant ravioli

Set this big silicone ravioli-shaped spoon rest on the counter next to your stove and you will always have a place to set your stirring spoon when you are cooking. This surface is slightly concave so it will collect all the mess that runs off that spoon, keeping your counters clean. And silicone is so easy to clean, you can just run it under the faucet to reset it. When you aren’t cooking, it’s just another piece of kitchen pop art.


A tiny fan you can take anywhere to keep cool

When it’s hot out, this handheld mini fan will deliver a cool breeze right where you want it. Just pull it out, flip it open, press the button, and enjoy. And you will have it with you, too. Because it's also a power bank and a flashlight so it has you covered for small emergencies. That it looks like an adorable brown bear is just gravy.


This pair of angry moms that help keep the kitchen clean

These two angry ladies are here as kitchen cleaners for you. Fill the Angry Mama with a mixture of vinegar and water and put her in the microwave. Steam shoots from her head, which is funny to watch. It also steam cleans the interior of your microwave. Put the Cool Mama in the fridge filled with baking soda and she will keep the interior from getting smelly.


A bedside caddy that keeps all your essentials at hand

Stick this clever bedside wall shelf to the wall near your bed and, even if you have no room for a bedside table, you can keep your phone, a remote, and other small essentials within reach. Just peel and stick it somewhere convenient. It’s just big enough to hold a few small essentials.


This weird knee pillow that helps save your back

If you wake up with a sore back, reach for this memory foam knee pillow before you start hitting the painkillers. It snugs neatly between your knees so that when you sleep on your side, your spine is not bent into a strained position by the weight of your top leg. It’s breathable, comfortable, moves with you when you toss and turn, and reviewers give it over 2,000 five-star ratings.


These lights that add Hollywood-style vanity lighting to any mirror

Being able to see yourself clearly when you shave or primp is the key to getting it right. But not all mirrors have the best lighting. Fix that situation in Hollywood style with this set of stick-on vanity mirror lights that illuminate your face in daylight brightness so you can see what you are doing — and what it will look like when you leave the house. The brightness is adjustable.


This vanity organizer that keeps all your gear tidy

When your personal care products start to turn into clutter, reign it all in quickly — and so you will be able to find everything when you want it — with this organizer for your vanity. With a tiered shelf area for hair care products, lotions, colognes, and grooming oils and balms, your self-care routine will be tidy. Keep your everyday carry, nail care, and other small items in the drawers. It works great as a desk organizer, too.


A light-up dry erase board for space-age messages

Jot notes, announcements, or your to-do list on this clear acrylic dry erase board with the included dry erase markers. Then, so no one misses the memo, set your sign in the light-up stand so it’s easy to see. It creates a space-age feel in your space while improving your productivity and communication. There is also a preprinted calendar option to help you stay on schedule.


An ultra lightweight clip-on book light

This LED clip-on book light is the perfect way to keep reading even when your bedmate insists on turning off the light or the lights are out on your flight or train. Clip it to a few pages of your book and choose the color light that suits you. There are three colors and nine lighting modes and it filters out blue light so you won’t be awake all night. It’s rechargeable and provides up to 80 hours of reading time on a charge.


This handy fabric shaver that helps maintain your clothes & furniture

When your sweaters start to look tired, your couch has ugly fabric pills all over it, and your favorite pants are covered in lint, this little fabric shaver will save the day — and your stuff. It has three shave heights, two extra blades, and two speeds so you can treat each fabric according to its needs. It’s battery-operated, too, so it’s easy to treat the couch or the clothes in your closet.


An essential oil diffuser & mister that’s also a nightlight

Fill the 500mL tank of this essential oil diffuser with water and a few drops of essential oil to transform the air around you into a soothing, cool mist that smells terrific. You can choose the duration and intensity of the mist using either the buttons on the unit or its remote control. And the entire dome glows a gentle colored light, if you like, so you can use it as a nightlight, too.


This aromatherapy neck wrap filled with farm-grown lavender

Heat up this delightful lavender-scented neck wrap by putting it in the microwave for a couple minutes and then enjoy the relaxation of the scented heat it delivers to your neck — or wherever you put it. The soft, silky fabric is filled with flax and lavender buds grown on the creator's farm in Oregon. “The cloth and construction are high quality, very nicely packaged, and presented in a cloth bag.” said one reviewer. “The lavender is natural and has a very pleasing scent. Pop it in the microwave and heat it a bit and it is extremely relaxing.”


This clever hack for mincing garlic, ginger & other spices

If mincing garlic, ginger, peppers, and other small ingredients is your least-favorite cooking task, this mincer and grinder will do it for you. Just drop a piece of garlic into the container, put the lid on, and turn. It will quickly turn your spice into the little pieces you need so you can drop it in your dish.


A spray-on stain remover that’s nontoxic & super effective

When you — or your child — spills something messy on clothes, furniture, or rugs, pull out this stain remover spray and hit that mess fast. Then watch as it disappears. “This powerful stuff got a dark set-in turmeric food stain out of my beige and white cotton rug. After three treatments and without even needing to saturate the rug with the product, I was able to get the stain out completely.” It works on wine, cherry, and other stains that seem impossible to get out and it has no peroxide, chlorine, or phosphates.


These shower steamers in 6 aromatherapy scents

Whether you want to relax or feel energized, jump in the shower with one of these aromatherapy steamers. Featuring six scents such as lavender, peppermint, and vanilla, the steamers melt in the hot water and fill the steam around you with fragrance. Amazon reviewers are big fans, having given these shower steamers more than 24,000 five-star ratings.


This strange magnifier that turns your phone into a little TV

When you want to watch a video or movie on your phone but wish the screen was bigger, unroll this weird, analog smartphone magnifier, drop your phone on the stand that emerges at the back, and watch through the screen. It uses a simple magnification lens to make your small screen look bigger — like a small TV. You can choose if you want a 12-inch, 14-inch, or 16-inch screen. It stores flat.


This organizer for all your personal care & cosmetics items

This cosmetic organizer is a great way to keep a collection of facial care and makeup items tidy and readily accessible. But, since it’s an organizer with several drawers and cubbies, it also does a great job of organizing desk items, small project tools, or your everyday carry. Color options include white, black, mint green, and more.


A fun little face scrubber that’s also effective

This face scrubber might look like a cute toy that somehow made it to the bathroom but it is, in actual fact, a clever piece of facial cleaning equipment. There is a sponge inside that lathers up your facial cleanser. (And is easy to remove for cleaning.) And both ends work to clean your face. One end has small nubs to exfoliate and the other has larger ones for a gentle face massage. “This little guy is my new go-to face scrubber and I LOVE it!!” said one reviewer. “It's soft enough for sensitive skin but tough enough to know it's getting into your pores and exfoliating.”


This dedicated fruit bowl that has a place for bananas

This decorative fruit bowl turns your fresh apples, oranges, and lemons into a tasty and beautiful display in the kitchen while tempting you to eat fresh fruit instead of less nutritious options. It also has a banana hook so your bananas will ripen the way they like to — hanging as if they were still in the tree. The open scrollwork allows air to flow around the fruit to help keep it fresh.


A set of 12 little glass jars for spices, gifts, & projects

Whether you are crafting an elegant spice rack, drying herbs, organizing your medications or other small items, or making something small to give away as gifts, this pack of 12 glass jars with wide mouths and cork lids will look beautiful doing it. They come with twine and labels so you can label your packaging.

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