Super Bright Switch
Not to say that it's bleeding-edge technology, but something like the Super Bright Switch wouldn't have been possible—or just wouldn't have been any good—before the advent of LED. But thanks to the rise and commoditization of LED, the world now enjoys a whole new lighting subcategory: stick-ons. The Super Bright Switch comes with a simple premise. It sticks right to walls and metal surfaces, with no tools or wiring, and when you flip the switch, it emits crisp, 200-lumen illumination. Stick it inside a cabinet, in a closet, or any place where you need a quick, cheap, and easy solution. Available at Walmart; $12.98.
You have to give it up for Shamwow. Very few as seen-on-TV products—really, very few products of any sort—reach such lofty levels of fame, ever. And it's not just notorious for its commercials, there are plenty of people who swear that for big spills and splashes, the super-absorbent Shamwow works infinitely better than cotton rags or clumps of paper towels. Available on Amazon; 19.98 per pack of four.
Unclogging the drain is perhaps one of the worst—and disgusting—household chores. With TubShroom, you'll take a preventative approach to clogs that can minimize your reliance on drain cleaners and plumbers. Simply position the TubShroom inside a bathtub drain, and it collects hair around its mushroom-shaped exterior. When the water backs up, remove the TubShroom and wipe away the collected hair. Time to enjoy a steaming hot shower in peace! Available on Amazon; $9.23.
While it's not technically true that a watched pot never boils, it can certainly feel that way. So while cooking pasta might not be difficult, it does take time. Speed things along with the Fasta Pasta, so you and your family can enjoy dinner sooner rather than later. The plastic container does it all: Use the lid to measure the right portions, fill with water, pop it in the microwave, and then drain. Only a few, short minutes and your pasta is cooked to al-dente perfection. Available on Amazon; $14.99.
If your current shoe organization system makes it difficult to find what you're looking for—or worse, bends your footwear out of shape—it's time to find another solution. Ideally, your closet has enough floor and shelf space to store all your shoes within easy reach, but if you live like most homeowners where space is at a premium, you'll probably see the space-saving benefit in the Shoe Slotz. Stack sneakers, ankle boots, or heels inside the plastic organizer and watch your shoe collection go from unruly to tidy. Available on Amazon; $14.99.
Ever had to scrub the inside of a microwave? Even when you loosen grime from interior walls of this go-to appliance by nuking lemon wedges and two to three cups of water, the cleaning process still requires a bit of elbow grease to remove the last stuck-on splatter from soups and sauces reheated in past months. Shield your plate in this Hover Cover when you microwave your next meal, and it can catch any splashes before they hit the walls so that you don't have to spend another minute on your microwave plus keep your meal warm. Hand-wash with soap or stick to the top rack of the dishwasher, then have its magnets hold it to the roof of the microwave 'til you need it next. Available on bedbathandbeyond.com; $14.99.
Turbo Scrub Pro
When your arm gets tired from all of the elbow grease needed to clean grout, switch to this handy machine: The Turbo Scrub Pro operates at two speed settings (up to 430 RPM on High) to dislodge grime and mildew growth from high or low. Bathroom counters, tubs, tiles, glass shower walls, tile floors, windows are no match for the scrubber's 75-minute battery runtime and its 4-foot extension pole. Switch out between its four styles of brushes—dome brush, cone brush, corner, large flat brush—to get any job done in a jiffy. Available on Amazon; $39.99.
Is your favorite white shirt covered in stubborn ink, wine, or blood stains? Did you accidentally trek dirt onto your brand-new carpet? Has your shower grout seen better days? All of these problems can be solved with one powerful product: OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover. With 4.6 stars on Amazon, it relies on water and oxygen to effectively break down stains on a variety of surfaces, from carpet to laundry to bathroom tile. Available on Amazon; $9.98 for 7.22 lbs.
There are a few times you really need a flashlight—in emergency situations on the road or at home, while camping or exploring, or when peering into the dark crevices inside your walls, under your floor boards, or wherever else your home improvement projects take you. Whatever the reason for using it, your flashlight should be able to adapt to your needs depending on the situation—like this tactical unit. Whether you'd like to illuminate an entire room or zoom in to focus the beam of light on a small item, this flashlight can do it. Switch the light to one of five settings (high, medium, low, strobe, or SOS), and watch what it can do. Available on Amazon; $15.99.
Side Socket Outlet
Especially in older homes, outlets are precious and few. So, it's a real bummer when an inconveniently placed couch or bookshelf blocks access to the electrical socket. That's where this swiveling socket promises to help. Plug the surge protector directly into the wall, then twist the strip whichever way you need it to go. Available on Amazon; $14.99.
It can feel like a risk to purchase something without being able to see or feel the quality of a product. In those scenarios it’s especially important to read and consider the reviews. If you’re still unsure, you can always rely on BobVila.com Buyer’s Guides and slideshows for trustworthy advice.
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