40 Things I Would Buy Again and Again

Woman wearing a Wrap-a-Nap sleep mask

This is Best Buys Ever, where writers, readers, and everyone in-between shares their all-time, desert-island, best things they can’t live without. Want to share yours? Contact us!

My name is Megan. I’m a 38 year-old mom to one rambunctious toddler, a full-time freelance writer, and a bit of an online shopping addict (as you’ll soon see). So I’ve put together a comprehensive list of all of my family’s greatest all-time purchases, from a few of the handiest gadgets we use every day, to a handful of awesome apparel finds, to a few of the more “embarrassing-yet-necessary” products we all rely on. Hope you enjoy!

Everything Clever is a participant in the Amazon Associates program. As a participant, Everything Clever earns commissions from qualifying purchases made from links on this article.

These Divider Tabs Are Also Sticky Notes, and I Use Them Daily

Redi-Tag Divider Sticky Notes, Tabbed Self-Stick Lined Note Pad, 60 Ruled Notes per Pack, 4 x 6 Inches, Assorted Neon Colors, 2 Pack (10290)

As I may have mentioned, I’m a bit obsessed with books, and I find myself using these throughout my novels, calendars, journals… basically anything with pages. They’re great for marking important spots in a book, while also letting you jot down any important details you really can’t forget.

Clever Alternative: Just in case they’re sold out (it happens from time to time), these make pretty great substitutes.


I Bought This Genius Blindfold Pillow and I’ve Never Slept Better


I know this thing looks funny, but after a friend recommended hers, I had to try it. I have trouble sleeping with any kind of light, and the Wrap-a-Nap solves that problem entirely! It’s basically a long, ultra-soft pillow that wraps around your head, and it’s literally the greatest sleep mask I’ve ever used. My friend is a 3rd shift nurse and uses hers every day to nap in the break room and in her car. Since it’s a pillow, sleep mask and ear muff in one, it really does let you sleep anywhere.

Clever Alternative: This alternative take on the normal design.


This Tiny Gadget Fixes Big, Embarrassing Problems

Original TagBand Micro Skin Tag Remover Device for Small Skin Tags (includes 10x Removal Bands & Cleansing Wipes)

I told you at least a few of my picks would be… embarrassing. Here’s one! This little plastic gizmo is the ONLY solution I’ve found to get rid of unsightly, uncomfortable skin tags. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and painless. I used to have to head to the dermatologist to take care of the little buggers, but now, I’m basically my own dermatologist. And I’m much cheaper!

Clever Alternative: This alternative take on the normal design.


This Squishy Slime Is My All-Time Favorite Cleaning Tool

Cleaning Gel for Car, Car Cleaning Kit Universal Detailing Automotive Dust Car Crevice Cleaner Auto Air Vent Interior Detail Removal Putty Cleaning Keyboard Cleaner for Car Vents, PC, Laptops, Cameras

This stuff is basically a modern version of Gak slime from the 90s, but instead of leaving oily stains on your clothes, it eats up every speck of dust you put it in contact with. It’s marketed primarily as a car cleaner, but I’ll use mine to pick up dust and gunk off of keyboards, phones, basically anywhere that normal cleaning implements can’t access. And did I mention it’s really, really fun to use? I keep a jar at my desk and find myself reach towards it as a stress reliever almost as much as a cleaner.

Clever Alternative: This 4-pack that’ll set you up forever.


These Thirsty Pimple Patches Deserve Their Cult Following

Rael Acne Pimple Healing Patch - Absorbing Cover, Invisible, Blemish Spot, Hydrocolloid, Skin Treatment, Facial Stickers, Two Sizes 10mm & 12mm (96 Count)

I’m sure you’ve seen these things around more and more lately: they’re little stickers that go over any nascent ‘blemish’ (read: pimple!) and draw out all the pus, oil, and gunk from your skin, before a zit-molehill turns into a zit-mountain. As I said before, I still can’t believe I’m fighting pimples at 38 years old, but so thankful I have little tricks like these to stop them in their tracks.

Clever Alternative: These hand-held vacuums that actually suck the gunk from your pores.


This Collagen Lip Mask is Strange and Lovely

Everything Clever

Here’s another weird thing I found on a list somewhere, and it was too strange not to try. Yes, they’ll plump your lips up a bit, but I find them most useful for deep moisturizing my often chapped lips. Try ’em out!

Clever Alternative: This equally weird lip mask that supposedly contains 24 karat gold.


This Silverware Storage May Be My Best Find Ever

Joseph Joseph

Joseph Joseph makes some of the best kitchen gadgets ever, and this super-clever silverware organizer is no exception! I love how little drawer space it takes up, and how easy it is to wash.

Clever Alternative: This genius knife block that fits in your drawer.


This Clever Portable Door Lock Works While Traveling and At Home

Addalock - (1 Piece ) The Original Portable Door Lock, Travel Lock, AirBNB Lock, School Lockdown Lock

I originally got one of these portable door locks when I was traveling for my job (years ago). It’s an easy thing to slip on and adds an extra layer of protection when you’re staying in hotels, motels, Air BNB’s, whatever. You know, back when people traveled. Now, we’ve even used ours to add extra child-proofing around the house, with ease. It’s definitely one of those “Wow, that’s genius!” little inventions.

Clever Alternative: This 2-pack of popular wedge door locks.


My Husband Loves This “Genius” Cup Brush

PAWACA Glass Washer with Double Sided Bristle Brush, Glass Cup Brush Cleaner with Suction Cups, Standing Glass Bottle Cup Cleaner for Bar Kitchen Sink Washing Cleaning Tools

We try to divide chores as fairly as possible in our house, and since I do most of the cooking, my husband takes care of the dishes. According to him this brush is “genius”. You just suction cup it to the bottom of your sink, run your glasses over it once or twice, rinse, and you’ve got a perfectly clean cup.

Clever Alternative: This Joseph Joseph cup brush lacks the outside brush that our own model has.


This Inexpensive Rainfall Shower Head Made My Shower SO Much Better

SparkPod Shower Head - High Pressure Rain - Luxury Modern Chrome Look - Easy Tool Free Installation - The Perfect Adjustable Replacement For Your Bathroom Shower Heads

You never know just how bad a normal shower head is until you get a good one. I’d always thought rainfall shower heads were way too expensive to splurge on, but when I found this one on Amazon, I went for it. This took less than 10 minutes to install, and now our humble builder-grade shower is basically a home spa. I love this thing SO much.

Clever Alternative: These popular square rainfall models.


This Full-Size Picnic Blanket Fits in My Pocket

Matador Pocket Blanket 2.0 New Version, Picnic, Beach, Hiking, Camping. Water Resistant with Built-in Ground Stakes (Alpine Green)

We like to get out and about as a family most weekends (weather permitting). I love having this blanket tucked away in my glove compartment so we can have an impromptu picnic wherever and whenever we please. It’s almost comically small when folded up, but is around 5 feet by 4 feet when fully “unfurled”. And they’re made out of waterproof, dirt-proof, rip-proof fabric that will basically last forever.

Clever Alternative: This sand-proof option.


These Caffeinated Eye Patches are Like a Cup of Coffee For My Eyes

All Natural Caffeine Under Eye Patches & Hydrogel Masks (30 Pairs) - Anti Aging Treatment for Crow Feet, Puffiness, Wrinkles, Dark Circles- Formulated in San Francisco

You read that right, these under-eye patches are packed with caffeine, in addition to a bunch of other stuff that helps tame puffiness and scare away those dark circles I’m unfortunately prone to! The caffeine add a bit of a tingle, so you know it’s “working”.

Clever Alternative: These crazy lip masks I may have mentioned already.


We Treasure This Hunk of Chain Mail

The Ringer - The Original Stainless Steel Cast Iron Cleaner, Patented XL 8x6 Inch Design

From my husband: “Soap will destroy the seasoning on cast iron, so cleaning caked-on gunk means you gotta get creative. This pieces of chain mail is extremely good at scraping away most anything, without damaging the cast-iron or stripping away its seasoning.”

Clever Alternative: This inexpensive set of cast-iron pan handles and cleaners (a must-have for cast-iron enthusiasts).


I Basically Live in These Pajama Pants When It’s Dark Out. And When It’s Light Out.

Elsofer Women's Pajama Lounge Pants Floral Print Comfy Casual Stretch Palazzo Drawstring Pj Bottoms Pants Wide Leg (Tag S (US 4), Black)

If you knew how comfortable these pants were, you’d understand. I’ve got three pairs (they come in like 20+ patterns), they’re breathable, lightweight-but-cozy, and they’re a bargain to boot.

Clever Alternative: These cult-favorite drawstring pants.


This Mascara-Looking Product Ties Up All My Loose Ends

Hair Finishing Stick, Small Broken Hair Finishing Cream Refreshing Not Greasy Feel Shaping Gel Cream Hair Wax Stick Fixing Bangs Stereotypes Cream

I like to wear my hair up, but I never love the inevitable frizzies and loose-ends tickling the back of my neck. This hair cream not only helps with that, but it’s made from natural ingredients that actually help heal frizzy, broken hair.

Clever Alternative: This tiny little brush that cleans your bigger brushes.


This Clever Magnetic Gadget Saves Me So Much Frustration

TedGem 2018 New Style Magnetic Cable Organizer, Desktop Cord Management, Multipurpose Magnetic Cable Clips with 3 Cable Buckles & 1 Bases - for Cell Phone Cable, Light Grey

I got tired of losing cords between my bed and the back of the nightstand. I put one of these on the side of my nightstand, and all my charging cords stay put!

Clever Alternative: This silicone blob that’ll serve a similar purpose.


These Tiny Gadgets Let You Put a Towel Hook Anywhere

SUMAJU 3 Pieces Kitchen Towel Hooks, Premium Round Adhesive Towel Holder Wall Mount Hook Tea Towel Holder for Bathroom, Kitchen and Home, No Drilling Required

Before having a kid, I never knew just how many times I’d need a wet washcloth close at hand to wipe faces, hands, necks, my own shirt, basically anything in the house. That’s why I love these simple, inexpensive towel hooks that stick wherever you want them to. I’ve got them up in the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. They’re great!

Clever Alternative: These equally cool, minimalist towel hooks.


This Blackhead-Removing Scrubber Made a Real Difference In My Skin

TONYMOLY Tako Pore Black Head Scrub Stick

If you’d told me at 17 I’d still be battling blackheads 21 years later, I’d think you were lying. But here I am (and I’m not the only one), inspecting my face for clogged, swollen pores that are begging for extraction. Fortunately this popular Japanese blackhead scrub called the Tako (Japanese for octopus) blends some alchemy of charcoal, mud, and other cleansers to stop blackheads before they reach the “critical mass” needed to exist. I use it daily. It has a cult following, so it’s often selling out. I usually buy 2-3 at a time so I’m not running out.

Clever Alternative: This Tako bundle that includes blotting papers.


We’ve Become Obsessed With This Weird Back-Stretching Cushion

SOLIDBACK | Lower Back Pain Relief Treatment Stretcher | Chronic Lumbar Support | Herniated Disc | Sciatica Nerve | Spinal Stenosis | Posture Corrector | Pillow Cushion and Brace Products Alternative

Carrying a toddler around when you’re not THAT much taller than one yourself can get taxing on the lower back. A mom-friend of mine recommended a back stretcher much like this one (there’s a lot that look very similar) to help. They do look pretty intimidating, but once you get used to it, these things are pretty addicting — and they work!

Clever Alternative: This spikeless, memory-foam model.


I Recommend These High-Waisted Leggings To Everyone on Earth

ODODOS Women's High Waisted Yoga Leggings with Pocket, Workout Sports Running Athletic Leggings with Pocket, Full-Length, Black,X-Small

These may be the best leggings on Amazon, which may make them the best leggings on earth. They’re incredibly comfortable, they actually look good, AND, best of all, they have pockets – which, in my opinion, takes them out of the realm of ‘active-wear’ and makes them legitimate pants, which justifies the fact that I wear my three pairs almost daily now.

Clever Alternative: These similar-looking leggings.


These Boho Tanks are So Cute and Simple

TECREW Women's Boho Floral V Neck Spaghetti Straps Tank Top Summer Sleeveless Shirts Blouse Blue

You can wear these simple tanks with basically anything, dressed up or dressed down. I bought two few (they come in at least four patterns) and find myself wearing them a surprising amount. And since they’re not too expensive, I don’t even have to worry too much about toddler stains!

This Cult-Favorite Mascara

essence | Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara | Gluten & Cruelty Free

I had never heard of this mascara before discovering it on Amazon, but people are obsessed with it! It provides massive volume that looks like you’re wearing false eyelashes, and it lasts all day without flaking or smudging.

Clever Alternative: This equally inexpensive option is also quite popular.


These Gorgeous Solar Lamps Add Inexpensive Glamor to Our Patio

Solar Lantern Outdoor Lights for Decorative Atmosphere Hanging Garden Lantern Cylindrical Table Lamp Night Light Warm Lighting for Courtyard, Party, Walkway,Terrace, Garden, Lawn (1 Pack)

Few things are more beautiful around our yard than watching these solar lanterns come on just after sunset, on a balmy summer evening. They cast such beautiful shadows. And more practically, they’re waterproof, solar-powered, and you can leave them on the ground or hang them from pretty much anywhere. Recommend!

Clever Alternative: These solar lamps with a lovely alternative pattern.


This Miracle-Working Vitamin C Serum

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum for Face with Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Witch Hazel, 1 fl oz

Vitamin C serums are great for clearing up blotches, blemishes, and uneven skin tones. This one is WAY cheaper than the fancy stuff, contains the exact same ingredients, and works just as well. Plus the before and after photos are AMAZING.

Clever Alternative: This day-and-night serum pack.


My Husband Swears By These Ultra-Cheap Drain Snakes

According to my husband: “When I first used one of these, I pulled out so much hair I almost gagged. It was both disgusting, and incredible, and incredibly disgusting. And I saved $100+ on a plumbing bill.” These are cheap enough that you can toss one after using it (and trust me, you’ll probably want to). And they come in packs of three, so order once and you’ll be covered for at least a few clogged drains!

Clever Alternative: These fuzzy flexi drain snakes.


This Kitchen Utensil Can Do Basically Anything

Joseph Joseph Uni-Tool 5-In-1 Utensil Slotted Solid Spoon Spatula Turner Slicer Kitchen All-In One Space Saving, Gray

This deceptively simple 5-in-1 Unitool has become my go-to-gift for almost everyone. At first glance it looks like a simple plastic spoon… but it’s oh-so-much-more. It can drain, stir, chop, turn, scoop, cut, and more. There’s a reason a simple kitchen gadget like this is so popular: it just works!

Clever Alternative: These suspiciously uni-tools.


This Defogging Sponge Is Incredibly Effective

Travelon Windshield Cleaner and Defogger, Yellow, One Size

We don’t use this sponge every day by any means, when you need to get stubborn fogging off the inside of your windshield, there are few things better! We keep one in each car’s glove compartment.

Clever Alternative: These microfiber windshield brushes.


I Love This Brilliantly Simple Handbag Holder For Your Car

Car Cache - Purse Storage Plus Pocket for Small Items - Dog Barrier Too

How many times have you played race-the-stoplight, digging into your purse for something you need while stretched halfway across the car? This clever invention keeps your purse perfectly close at hand, while keeping the interior of your car at least some modicum of organized!

Clever Alternative: This similar product comes in six different colors!


These May Be The Best Nail Clippers You Can Buy

Harperton Nail Clipper Set Fingernail and Toenail Clipper …

For way too many years, we got by using those $3 nail clippers we all have bouncing around the junk drawer. No longer! This beautifully-made, 2-for-1 set of fingernail and toenail clippers are so sharp, and SO easy to use. They leave your nails feeling smooth and cleanly cut right away – no tearing, no filing required. It’s a world apart from those $3 clippers.

Clever Alternative: This 3-for-1 set with stainless steel blades.


These Inexpensive Gloves Keep Shedding Under Control

[Upgrade Version] Pet Grooming Glove - Gentle Deshedding Brush Glove - Efficient Pet Hair Remover Mitt - Enhanced Five Finger Design - Perfect for Dog & Cat with Long & Short Fur - 1 Pair (BLUE)

This is one of those bare-bones, ultra-simple inventions that just works. Once a week I put these gloves on, basically just pet my dog for 5-10 minutes, and viola! The glove is covered in loose dog fur. Our rugs and furniture are SO much cleaner, and I won’t lie – peeling away the mat of fur after a grooming session is pretty satisfying.

Clever Alternative: These heavy-duty gloves that look a bit like a torture device.


I’m Obsessed With This Grossly Satisfying Ear Wax Remover

Debrox Earwax Removal Drops Earwax, 0.5 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)

I warned you there’d be a couple “gross-yet-satisfyting” picks on this list. So here we go! I bought this earwax remover after seeing the incredible before-and-after photos, and I’m glad I did. You put a few drops in your ear and let Debrox’s micro-foaming action get to work, loosining up all that caked-on wax and allowing it to “drain”, or, y’know, ooze out of your ear canal. If you’re the type of person who loves foot peels and pimple patches, well, you’ve got a new obsession now!

Clever Alternative: This slightly terrifying manual earwax remover.


This Camo Sweatshirt is So Comfortable

BTFBM Womens Sweatshirts Camo Leopard Print Crew Neck Long Sleeve Camouflage Casual Fit Sweatshirt Pullover Tops Shirts (Light Green, Medium)

This crazily comfy camo sweatshirt is an easy outfit maker. I love the unexpected colors and patterns it’s available in (pastel camo!), and the price makes it a guiltless impulse buy.

Clever Alternative: This fantastic oversized crew.


This Handheld Garden Trimmer is My Husband’s Secret Weapon

WORKPRO 7.2V 2-in-1 Cordless Grass Shear + Shrubbery Trimmer - Handheld Hedge Trimmer, Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery and Charger Included

My husband swears by these trimmers. They’re lightweight and battery powered, which means no annoying extension cords to run, and you can swap out the cutting heads to cut either grass or trim hedges quite easily (I’ve been told). Oh, and apparently they’re pretty fun to use… if yard work is your thing.

Clever Alternative: This higher-end model with an articulating handle.


These Boyfriend Jeans Are Basically Perfect

Resfeber Women's Ripped Boyfriend Jeans Cute Distressed Jeans Stretch Skinny Jeans with Hole

I never really think of Amazon for jeans, but I took a chance on these as I thought they were cute, and the price was right. They didn’t disappoint! They’re soft, comfortable, and have held up over a year’s worth of wearing. Plus, they can pair with almost anything.

Clever Alternative: These name-brand boyfriend jeans are quite tempting.


This Callus Remover is Strangely Addicting

8oz Callus Remover gel for feet for a professional pedicure. Better results than, foot file, pumice stone, foot scrubber, foot buckets & callus shaver. Rid ugly callouses from feet in minutes!

Time for another grossly satisfying pick! Like any other normal, adult human, I’ve got calluses on my feet — on my heels, and my big toes in particular. So when warm weather rolls around, I bust out this stuff, which may be some kind of actual magic potion. You just squeeze it on the callus, let it sit for 3-5 minutes as it softens the skin, and use your preferred method of callus removal (picking? cheese grater?) to take care of the rest.

Clever Alternative: This even more popular callus softener.


We Love This Machine That Turns Anything Into a Sticker

Xyron Create-A-Sticker, Sticker Maker, Mini, Includes Permanent Adhesive Cartridge (XRN250-CFTEN)

Like most toddlers, our daughter loves stickers. My aunt got us this sticker maker for her third birthday, and we end up using it constantly. You can turn almost anything into a sticker just by rolling it through this ultra-simple machine. I really appreciate that it doesn’t require any power (no batteries!), generates no heat (no burns!) and comes with 20 feet of sticker material to get you started (no extra stuff to buy).

Clever Alternative: This disposable sticker maker.


This Colorful Mat Keeps My Desktop Looking Great

EMINTA Waterproof Desk Pad Protector, 2019 Sewing Reinforcement Dual Sided PU Leather Mouse Mat Desk Blotter Pad, Desk Writing Mat for Office/Home (Green/Blue, 31.5x15.7x0.1inch)

I love this reversible, waterproof leather-like desk mat. Not only does it look great, it also acts as a comfortable, warm work surface that covers most of my desk. It’s available in 5 different color combinations, and it wipes clean with a damp rag. Personally, as a notoriously loud typist, I like that it mutes the noise of my keyboard and mouse so I can work in (relative) quiet.

Clever Alternative: This blotter comes in a ton of colors.


This Genious Outlet Cover Does Double Duty

Sleek Socket Ultra-Thin Electrical Outlet Cover with 3 Outlet Power Strip and Cord Management Kit, 8-Foot, Standard Size

I love these things! Not only do they provide total outlet coverage (100% necessary for good childproofing), but they also give you a heavy-duty extension cord built in, so you don’t have any unsightly plugs littering your wall. Best of all, they come with everything you need for installation. I recommend these for anyone, whether you’re using them for childproofing, or just furthering the reach (and improving the look) of your outlets!

Clever Alternative: This clever power brick that adds 3 outlets, 3 USB ports, AND a shelf to any outlet in your house.


This Hand Exerciser Works Miracles

Everything Clever

A couple years ago, my husband got a terrible case of tendonitis in his forearm, which, considering he also sits at a computer most of the day, meant he was in pretty constant pain. His physical therapist recommended this hand exerciser (in addition to stretches and hot water soaks) to help fight the stiffness that was causing even more pain, and it worked! He keeps it at his desk as a fidget toy now.

Clever Alternative: These squishy rubber eggs that come in a set of four different densities.


This Oversized Sherpa Fleece Hoodie That’s Basically Like Wearing a Blanket

Acelitt Women Oversized Cozy Thick Fuzzy Sweatshirt Casual Loose Sweatshirt Hoodies Fleece Pullover with Pockets Green White Small

We have a beloved chunky fleece blanket that lives on our couch year-round. It’s thick, heavy, and instantly warm. This is essentially the sweatshirt version of that blanket. I love it. It’s oversized, slouchy, SO soft and warm, has big pockets on the sides, and it even looks good! I love to pair these with my all-time favorite sherpa-lined sweats (more on those later).

Clever Alternative: This quilted sherpa pullover with a strikingly cool collar.


This Simple Invention Keeps Our Dog Entertained

UPSKY Slow Feeder Dog Bowl No Choking Slow Feeder Bloat Stop Dog Food Water Bowl with Funny Pattern (Blue)

Like most small dogs, ours is a maniac come mealtime. It had gotten so bad that he’d end up choking himself almost daily from eating so fast! This food bowl has been a lifesaver. The unique design forces dogs to slow down and hunt more for their food, minimizing the risk of choking (or vomiting), and adding some “fun” to mealtimes for the little guy.

Clever Alternative: This slow feeder that includes a water dish.


These Unique Ceramic Discs Keep My Car So Much Cleaner

Getfitsoo Car Coasters, Car Cup Holder Coasters, Ceramic Cup Holder Coasters for Car, Blue Car Coaster for Absorbing Spills (Constellation Blue)

These were a random stocking stuffer from my husband last Christmas, and I love them. What are they? They’re coasters for your car’s cupholders. Seems unnecessary, right? Maybe so, but they’re fantastic. They’re made from some kind of ceramic material that actually absorbs moisture on contact. So any condensation or light spills get absorbed by the coaster, and don’t just sit in your cupholder, gathering dirt and gunk and who knows what else.

Clever Alternative: These more colorful coasters.


This Foot Stretcher Looks Scary, but Feels Great

OPTP Stretch-EZ - Foot and Leg Stretcher for Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Calf, Thigh and Hip (433)

I know this thing doesn’t look fun, but it’s great! You can use it to stretch your ankles, calves, hamstrings, and more. It’s no replacement for a great pilates or yoga class, but these days, I’ll take it!

Clever Alternative: One of these cult-favorite foot rockers.


This Adjustable Lap Desk Lets Me Bring My Office Anywhere

Adjustable Lap Desk - with 8 Adjustable Angles & Dual Cushions Laptop Stand for Car Laptop Desk, Work Table, Lap Writing Board & Drawing Desk on Sofa or Bed by HUANUO

I like to be able to work from anywhere (around the house, at least), and this lap desk has made that possible. Comfy pads on the bottom make it soft on your lap, while the adjustable desktop lets you dial in the perfect angle for whatever you’re looking to do. I keep mine next to our couch, so I can knock out some work while watching TV with the family.

Clever Alternative: This bamboo version with all the bells and whistles.


I Bought A Set of These Iconic Pull Chains For Every Fan in the House

Kare and Kind Light and Fan Pull Chain - 1x Fan Pull Chain (12.5 inches), 1x Light Pull Chain (13.6 inches), 2X 1M Extension Pull Chains and 4X Extra Connectors (2 Styles) - Copper Plated - Gift Set

What kind of a cruel product designer made it SO hard to tell if you’re pulling on the light switch or fan switch on a ceiling fan? Fortunately, replacement pull chains make it obvious which function you’ll be “activating”, and they add a little bit of whimsy to an otherwise unattractive appliance.

Clever Alternative: This six piece set.


These Wearable Leaf Scoops Speed Up Yard Work

GARDEASE ReLeaf Leaf Scoops: Ergonomic, Large Hand Held Rakes for Fast Leaf & Lawn Grass Removal

I have no doubt that we look a bit silly when we don our leaf scoops, but I’m not lying when I say these things speed up fall cleanup by a least 4x. Highly recommend for anyone that deals with lots of leaves in the fall!

Clever Alternative: This collapsible gardening bag.


These Cheap Little Stickers Have Saved My Sanity

LightDims Original Strength - Light Dimming LED Covers and Light Dimming Sheets for Routers, Electronics and Appliances and More. Dims 50-80% of Light, in Minimal Packaging.

I’m weirdly sensitive to light, especially when I’m trying to sleep, which means I’m bothered by EVERY little light in our room: the alarm clock, the standby light on the TV, the blinking status lights on the modem. It’s terrible! That’s where these Dim-Its come in SO handy. They’re special stickers you put over any annoying source of light. They don’t block it entirely, but dim up to 80% of brightness so those lights aren’t piercing your eyelids every time you try to sleep!

Clever Alternative: This multi-pack that gives you all six varieties of Dim-Its.


These Cheap Ring Lights Really Do Work

Selfie Light for iPhone & Android,LVYOUIF Portable Clip on Ring Selfie Light Flash with 36 Rechargeable LED for Phone Laptop iPad Photography Camera Video Girls Makeup(White)

Like basically everyone else on earth, I’m doing a lot of video conferencing these days. Unfortunately, I’m usually super backlit in our home office-slash-guest room. This inexpensive ring light does a great job lighting up my face so people can actually see me, and not some dark, anonymous outline. Definitely worth the price!

Clever Alternative: This ring light with cat ears.


This Dryer Vent Brush Made a Huge Difference

13 Piece Dryer Duct/Vent Cleaning Kit, Lint Remover, Extends up to 24 Feet, Synthetic Brush Head, Use with or Without a Power Drill (12 Rods + 1 Bush Head)

We borrowed this brush set from my sister-in-law and got what had to be decades-worth of caked-on lint out of our dryer ducting removed. After that, I definitely noticed a huge improvement in how our dryer performed. And of course, felt great about mitigating the potential issues (aka, huge roaring fires) that can be caused by huge buildups of dryer lint.

Clever Alternative: This bigger kit comes with a host of accessories.


This UV Phone Sterilizer Lets Us Rest Easy

HoMedics UV Clean Sanitizer Bag Portable UV Light Sanitizer, Fast Germ Sanitizer for Cell Phone, Makeup Tools, Credit Card, Keys, Glasses, Kills 99.9% of Bacteria & Viruses, Grey

This is definitely a husband gadget, but I love having it around. You just pop your phone into it and let the UV-C light kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. We all use our phones SO much and so rarely think about what may be on them (hint: a lot of awful stuff). So I’m happy we can keep ours sterilized whenever we want for way cheaper than I’d ever have expected.

Clever Alternative: This hand-held UV-C sterilizer you can use on anything.


If I Wasn’t Already Married, I’d Marry This Weighted Blanket

Luna Adult Weighted Blanket - Individual Use - 20 Lbs - 60x80 - Queen Size Bed - 100% Oeko-Tex Cooling Cotton & Glass Beads - USA Designed - Heavy Cool Weight - Light Grey

If you’ve never tried a weighted blanket, my friend, you owe it to yourself. There’s really nothing else like it. I love this particular type as it’s extremely high-quality, constructed of 7 layers of breathable fabric and 20+ pounds of glass beads, and it actually looks pretty darn good.

Clever Alternative: This budget-friendly weighted blanket.


This Stainless Steel Garlic Head Actually Removes Odors

AMCO Rub-a-Way Bar Stainless Steel Odor Absorber, Garlic

Chalk this up as a “I don’t know how it works, but it does work” gadget. You just rub your hands with this thing to get rid of odors from prepping garlic, onion, or fish (I use it mostly for garlic). I buy these for Christmas presents every year!

Clever Alternative: This 2-pack of the classic stainless steel bar soap.


These Sherpa-Lined Sweatpants Are Everything

Yeokou Women's Warm Sherpa Lined Athletic Sweatpants Jogger Fleece Pants (X-Small, Light Grey)

I’m not even going to waste your time describing these. They’re incredibly soft sweatpants lined with incredibly soft thick sherpa fleece. They must be felt to be believed. Order them. Wear them. Experience them. You’ll thank me.

Clever Alternative: These fleece-lined leggings with POCKETS.


This Fabric Shaver is Oddly Fun To Use


I spent years accepting pilly sweats, pilly sweaters, even pilly upholstery before I learned that fabric shavers existed. Now I can keep my favorite sweaters looking basically brand-new with this USB powered shaver. I even use it on my couch a few times a year to spruce it up. My favorite part (besides the results) is emptying out all that shaved-up fuzz.

Clever Alternative: This battery-powered version.


These Harsh Japanese Towels Are a True Hidden Gem


A friend introduced me to these rough-yet-wonderful “towels”. In reality, they’re more like an abrasive washcloth. Sounds tempting, right? Even so, you won’t believe the quantity of dead skin they’ll roll right off of you, leaving your skin feeling so fresh and smooth afterwards.

Clever Alternative: This generic multi-pack.


These Simple Clips Are Like Suspenders For Your Sheets

Bed Band Not Made in China. 100% USA Worker Assembled.. Bed Sheet Holder, Gripper, Suspender and Strap. Smooth any Sheets on any Bed. Sleep Better. Patented.,Black,1 Pack (4 Bands)

There are few things more frustrating than an errant corner of your fitted sheet popping loose, just as you’re getting comfortable. It’s even worse if you’re not dealing with a necessarily “roomy” situation around the bed (aka, cramped bedroom). Don’t ask me how I know. These bed clips have saved me SO much frustration over the years, I can’t even tell you.

Clever Alternative: This totally different take on how to solve this common, awful problem.


These Comically Large Carabiners Double My Lifting Power

The Original Mommy Hook Stroller Accessory Black (2 Pack)

I got a set of these at our baby shower. They’re great for clipping basically anything to the handle of a stroller, but I’ve found my favorite application for them: lifting just tons of stuff at once. They’re perfect for clipping 3-4 shopping bags onto, and have a nice padded section that makes them so easy to carry.

Clever Alternative: These plastic handles purpose-built for heavy lifting.


This Silicone Brush Is SO Relaxing

Hair Scalp Massager Shampoo Brush, MAXSOFT Scalp Care Brush

I kept seeing these spiky silicone brushes all over the place online, so I decided to give one a try. They’re great! I use mine while washing my hair — they really work the shampoo all through your locks, and give your scalp a lovely massage in the process. I even bought a second one to use when bathing our pup, who hates the typical wire dog brushes, and he doesn’t mind this one bit.

Clever Alternative: This cheaper and spikier version.


I Wear This Fuzzy Sweater Jacket Constantly

Dokotoo Womens Cozy Ladies Fashion 2020 Oversized Fuzzy Fluffy Fleece Winter Fall Open Front Long Sleeve Fleece Hoodies Cardigans Sweaters Jackets Coat Outwear Khaki Medium

I think I saw this jacket on the Instagram account of some influencer or other, and I just loved how cozy it looked. An Amazon order later, and it was living up to my expectations and more! It’s basically like wearing a thick, fleece blanket all the time. Warm, cozy, and actually pretty nice looking!

Clever Alternative: This very similar cardigan that comes in 10 colors


This Clever Magnetic Sign Eliminates the Mystery of Dish Status

Kichwit Dishwasher Magnet Clean Dirty Sign Indicator, Works on All Dishwashers, Non-Scratch Strong Magnetic Backing, Residue Free Adhesive Included, 4 Inch, Silver

While newer dishwashers have a “clean” indicator light, those of us getting by with appliances from the 90’s are often left to inspect the dishes for insight into their status. No more! We use this clever magnetic sign to keep track of the status of our dishes. Once it’s switched to “clean”, that means I take over and put them all away, then the process begins anew. It’s one of those weird little conveniences that make you realize, man, adulthood can be dull.

Clever Alternative: This clever scoreboard that’ll keep your dog fed.


We Keep Our Cars Looking Great With This All-Purpose Upholstery Cleaner

Chemical Guys HOL315 Foaming Citrus Fabric Clean Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Kit with Drill Brush and Spray Bottle (3 Items)

Anyone who’s owned a carseat can tell you, the quantity of mess, crumbs, unknown stains and general “wtf is this?” that will gather in your back seat is astounding. But don’t worry, there’s hope. The “Chemical Guys” behind this fabric cleaner have a ton of captivating before-and-after photos that’ll convince you that reclamation is possible (it worked on me!) This stuff took the stains out of our seats AND rugs with just a bit of scrubbing. It felt like our 14 year old SUV was brand new again… until our daughter added another suite of spills.

Clever Alternative: This single bottle of cleaner.


These Simple Socket Sealer Actually Lowered Our Heating Bills

Duck Brand Socket Sealers Variety Pack, 16 Outlet Sealers and 6 Switch Plates, 2 Decorative Covers, White, 283333

Winter finds a way to creep into any house, any way it can. And for us, that meant strange, small, ice-cold drafts coming through our power outlets! Aside from reinsulating the house (necessary, yes, but $$$$!), these socket sealers made for an easy, quick fix. Farewell drafts, hello (slightly) lower heating bills!

Clever Alternative: This pack of 100 for those with LOTS of outlets.


These Silicone Muffin Cups Are Perfection

Katbite Silicone Cupcake Baking Cups 24 Pack, Heavy Duty Silicone Baking Cups, Reusable & Non-stick Muffin Cupcake Liners for Party Halloween Christmas

One set of these silicone muffin cups is only about twice the cost of a disposable set, and you’ll never have to replace them! Silicone is non-stick, heat-resistant and incredibly easy to clean, which made these a no-brainer for the occasional baker like myself.

Clever Alternative: This set that comes in all kinds of special shapes.


This Silicone Garlic Bulb Is a Kitchen Gadget and Stress Reliever in One

Everything Clever

This is another clever gadget I found on another listicle somewhere, and it looked too cool to resist. I’m glad I didn’t! It’s a ribbed chunk of silicone that you push garlic cloves through, and so doing, it removes the papery peel. I find myself carrying it around the house sometimes, squeezing it and running my fingers over the ribs, like a fidget toy (which it’s definitely not).

Clever Alternative: This silicone garlic roller and chopper and chopper that looks almost as fun to use.


This Mysterious Mesh Makes Cooking So Much Easier

Lekue Cooking Mesh, Clear

I’d never heard of cooking mesh before I got this as a Christmas present, but I love this stuff! It’s basically a silicone mesh bag that you can submerge in boiling water, making the process of straining or scooping from boiling water completely irrelevant. We use ours for cooking new potatoes all the time.

Clever Alternative: This silicone cooking vessel that looks like some kind of deep-sea creature.


This Frywall Keeps My Stovetop Nice and Clean

Frywall 10 (Medium) - Red - Splatter Guard, as Seen on Shark Tank

I didn’t think I’d use this one as much as I do, since we don’t do a lot of deep-frying. But it’s perfect for blocking any and all oil spray from basically any kind of stovetop cooking. I used to have to scrub down the stovetop monthly (wow, that was fun…), but with the Frywall, I’m hard-pressed to find any splatters anywhere!

Clever Alternative: This popular splatter guard that’s a bit more boring.


These Chobs’ Keep Your Countertops Clean

Dreamfarm Chobs - Non-Slip Silicone Cutting Board Feet, Set of 4 (Assorted Colors)

Yet another “what the heck is that? I need it!” find from the internet. These Chobs’ clip onto your cutting board, elevating it off your countertop and making both sides usable. No more realizing you need to pull another cutting board out, just because you sliced some raw chicken on one side. With the Chobs on, you can flip it right over without spreading chicken juice across your counter.

Clever Alternative: This set of antimicrobial cutting boards.


I Hope I Never Have to Use This Highly-Rated Escape Tool

resqme The Original Keychain Car Escape Tool, Made in USA (Blue) - Pack of 2

We keep these clever, compact escape tools in our gloveboxes. They’re a combination seatbelt-cutter and window-breaker, and super effective.

Clever Alternative: This all-metal rescue tool that looks like a surgical hammer.


This Silicone Bread Maker Has Me Feeling Like Betty Crocker

Lekue Silicone Bread Maker, Model # , Brown

My mom had an electric breadmaker when I was growing up, and I think we used it all of about once, with forgettable results. So when I started to get the itch to bake bread during lockdown, I knew I didn’t want to invest in an entire machine to accommodate what might be a temporary whim. I opted instead for one of these silicone bread makers. The semi-closed design allows the natural steam from the baking process to recirculate around the bread, keeping it moist while also letting it “breathe”. And since it’s all-silicone, cleanup is incredibly quick and easy.

Clever Alternative: These simpler silicone loaf pans.


This Windshield Cover Makes Cold Mornings Slightly Less Painful

MITALOO Car Windshield Snow Cover with 4 Layers Protection, Frost Ice Removal Sun Shade for Winter Protection, Extra Large and Thick Windshield Ice Cover Fits for Cars Trucks Vans and SUVs

My husband has allocated his half of the garage to his woodworking tools, which means his car lives outside. Not a problem in spring, summer, and fall. But come wintertime, every morning was a slog of scraping, thawing, and scraping the windshield. This cover attaches via magnets, and keeps your windshield clean of annoying ice and snow, which has made my husband much more pleasant to be around on early winter mornings.

Clever Alternative: This other cover that also covers your rearview mirrors.


This Shirt Folder Yields Professional Results in Seconds

BOXLEGEND V2 Shirt Folding Board t Shirts Clothes Folder Durable Plastic Laundry folders Folding Boards,Black

Confession: I don’t ALWAYS use this shirt folder, but when I do, my pile of laundry looks like a department store display. It works that well.

Clever Alternative: This more elegant-looking folder.


This Hero Clip Constantly Saves the Day

HEROCLIP Carabiner Clip and Hook (Small) | for Purse, Stroller, and Backpack

Husband says: ” This thing’s great! I use them to hold up pretty much anything — buckets, hoses, buckets of hoses, whatever. It’s a carabiner that morphs into a heavy-duty hook, and since it’s made from “aircraft-quality aluminum”, I know it’s not going to break on me.”

Clever Alternative: These tiny s-hooks he keeps on his backpack.


These Honeycomb Organizers Make My Drawers Look Incredible

Dalanpa Drawer Divider Organizer 8pcs DIY Plastic Grid Honeycomb Drawer Divider

They’re not perfect for all applications, but if you (like me) get a weird thrill out of a perfectly-organized underwear drawer, you’ll love these honeycomb organizers as much as I do. I have other dividers by the same company (see below!) but these are my favorites.

Clever Alternative: These other dividers by the same maker add order to all your other drawers.


This Cleaning Stick Keeps My 100+ Year-Old Ring Looking Beautiful

Connoisseurs 1050 Diamond Dazzle Stik

I opted for a vintage wedding ring (around 100 years old, art deco, white gold with a moderate-for-the-time stone), and these simple cleaning sticks help keep it as shiny, clean, and beautiful as it was in 1920.

Clever Alternative: This affordable ultrasonic cleaner.


These Dryer Balls Pack a Secret Hidden Feature

Dryer Balls XL | The Best Permanent Non Toxic, Allergy & Chemical Free Fabric Softener | Replaces Liquid Softener, Dryer Sheets & Wool Dryer Balls | Vegan & Sheep Safe | 2-Year Warranty

I’m a major fan of dryer balls, and these green puppies are my favorites (even more than the ubiquitous wool ones). These have an opening in which you can add a drop or two of essential oil, which makes our clothes smell incredible.

Clever Alternative: These wool dryer balls that basically everybody loves.


These Simple Shelves Restored The Sanity to My Freezer (and Myself)


I was gifted these freezer shelves when our daughter started on solid foods. I’d make large batches of baby food (so many sweet potatoes), freeze them in small bags, and take one out to defrost for each meal time. That’s a LOT of bags to sit piled in a freezer. Enter these miraculously simple freezer shelves, which added much-needed order to our freezer. Honestly, I’m not sure why they don’t build these into freezers to begin with!

Clever Alternative: These freezer bins.

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