Yeah, I know, these “clever gadgets that make life easier” posts are a dime a dozen. Everyone and their dog has one. So what makes mine so special? Well, rather than parsing Amazon reviews to find gadgets that other people like, I’m sharing the ones that I’ve personally used and thought, “Heck yeah, that’s just what I needed!”
Clever Gadgets That Really DO Make Life Easier
Heads up, this post does contain affiliate links (which means I get a teensy commission if you buy anything through them). However, like I said, I’m sharing products that I used and actually recommend, not just a curated list of things other people like. 😀
1.Headphone amp that lets me actually hear Disney+ on my Kindle 10
Certain apps, like Disney+ & CW, are so quiet on my 7th Gen Kindle 10 that I could only hear them if I watched in a totally silent room (which is impossible in this house). Thanks to this little baby, though, I can actually hear Baby Yoda’s cute little coos!Amazon
2. Low-tech foot massager that’s better than anything, ever.
My mom was surprised when I asked for this super simple and fairly cheap (price-wise) foot massager for Christmas. Let me tell you, though, it works better than all the plug-in ones I’ve tried. I keep it under my desk and use it all day long. No more achy feet. 😀Amazon
3. A stylish coffee canister that keeps my java fresh forever
Another one from my Christmas wish list, the Coffee Gator does just one thing, but it does it brilliantly. My coffee has never been fresher. Plus, it’s a lot classier than just leaving the bag on the counter.Amazon
4. A massive bag of scrunchies for people who are always losing them
I actually got this one for my mom (it was on her wish list), but since there are just so many of them, she’s sharing with me. We’re both forever losing ours, andAmazon
5. Stainless steel soap that really zaps odors
My aunt bought everyone a bar of stainless-steel soap for Christmas and it really does work! Not only does it zap gross onion odors, but it can also help kill germs!
When I was in nursing school, we were taught to always touch that steel bar on a restroom door, especially if we used an air dryer (contrary to what the sticker on them says, they are NOT more sanitary than paper towels).Amazon
7. This baking mat that truly is “Mom’s Favorite.”
I told you about this one in last week’s post about gifts to buy yourself, but it deserves another mention. Not only does it help you roll out the perfect doughy crust, but all the profits go to charity!
The only downside? It’s more for food prep than actual in-oven baking. Which brings us to…Amazon
8. This fantab set of cookie sheet sized baking mats
I asked for these for my birthday last year because I was tired of my homemade calzones and what not sticking to the cookie sheet. Not only do they keep food from getting stuck on older sheets, but they actually make rolling out pizza dough easier. They sort of “grab” the dough and keep it from retracting, if that makes sense.Amazon
9. Soup Sock
While I don’t personally use this one, my mom swears it makes her life easier. She’s in charge of making our family’s traditional dough ball soup recipe every Christmas (it takes days to roll out 500+ tiny dough balls and meat balls, which is why we only get it once a year).
She uses it for all the onions and celery that flavor the soup but don’t actually stay in it. Plus, last year, she bought tiny chickens instead of one big one and used the socks to hold those, too. Again, they flavor the broth, but need to be removed after.Amazon
10. Cheap binoculars for spying on your…
…local wildlife and birds, of course! What did you think I was going to say??? I bought mine with my birthday gift card from my mom. My Pharaoh Hound is always barking at invisible things in the woods.Since my eyes are nowhere near as good as her sighthound eyes, I use these to try to figure out if there’s really something out there or if it’s just a leaf on the wind.
For under $25, they work amazingly well! We have a small airport that does skydiving lessons right near my house. I can practically see the color of their hair (but not quite the whites of their eyes) all the way up in the sky with these babies.Amazon
11. A face scrubber that works great without soap
Want to give your face a good cleaning without harsh soaps? When I use my silicone facial cleaner, I just throw water on my face and spin the grime away. Seriously, no soap required! Of course, you can use them if you really feel it’s necessary. I do about once a week. It’s not gross, trust me. Too much soap (even the gentlest cleansers) wreaks havoc on your skin. FYI, this little $22 model works just as well as a $300+ model that I had years ago.
12. An inexpensive yet stylish wax tart warmer
This affordable was tart warmer proves that you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your house look and smell pretty. Use it with your favorite Scentsy, Yankee, or even homemade wax tarts.
It has a longer-than-average cord (36″), so it actually reaches from my outlet to my top shelf without needing an extension cord. Plus, the removable dish makes it easy to pop into the freezer and then pop used tarts right out.Amazon
13. Echo Dot for keeping your life in order
I know this isn’t exactly a “new to you” (or anyone, for that matter) gadget, but I couldn’t leave it off since my whole family relies on Alexa for so much. I’m super forgetful, so she reminds me to do everything from starting the car on winter mornings to canceling various subscriptions that I got when they were on sale. Like today, she reminded me to cancel Starz now that it’s going back to full price (I had the $.99 a month for 3 months deal).Amazon
14. A Mandolin Cutter that lets me chop potatoes in seconds
My mom bought this gadget to make slicing sweet potatoes for Freya’s dehydrated treats easier, but I use the chopping attachment to cut up regular potatoes for dinner. What used to take me 20 minutes now takes about 2! Be warned, though, the blade is super sharp.
The first time my mom used it, we ended up spending hours in the ER after she cut the tip of her finger off. Granted, most of those hours were spent waiting for a doctor to actually look at her while she bled non-stop (our nearest hospital is a joke, and not the funny kind). So be careful! Still, it’s a great gadget if you actually follow the safety instructions.Amazon
15. A little heat sealer that keeps humidity from ruining your snacks
It looks like a flat iron, but it actually seals (or reseals) plastic bags! I love it because my house gets super humid in the summer. If we open a bag of chips and don’t eat them within two days, they get stale and soggy. This cheap and simple gadget seals the bag back up. No more soggy chips!Amazon
16. Dryer balls that beat the heck out of stiff clothes
I can’t use fabric softener on my son’s clothes because of his sensitive skin. Besides, I learned recently that they’re really bad for the planet. Eventually, I’ll give wool dryer balls a try, but for now, these little dryer balls work great at softening clothes and getting rid of static cling. We’ve had the same set for years!Amazon
17. A pizza wheel cutter that does just one thing really well
This little gadget does one thing very well- makes it easy to slice up pizza. Since I make make pizza pretty much every week, though, it’s come in crazy handy (pun intended). Now, if someone would make a good pizza slicing guide so that I can actually cut it evenly, I’d be in heaven. I’ve seen them, but they either have no reviews or they’re weirdly expensive.Amazon
18. This cheap book stand that’s exactly what its name implies
One of my favorite Christmas presents this year, the BestBookStand really IS the best little book stand ever. It’s lightweight, adjustable, and holds everything from trade paperbacks to heavy hardcover textbooks.
I can actually read print books again. I had to give them up and stick with ebooks for a while because my carpal tunnel is so bad that I can’t really hold a book for too long without wanting to cry.Amazon
19. Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ that’s more than just a smart slow cooker
I got the Ninja Cooking System with Auto-IQ for a review campaign way back in 2017, and I still use it at least twice a week. While I rarely use the “Auto-IQ” part, it’s perfect for everything from slow-cooking soups to regular-cooking casseroles to fast-cooking snacks (like English muffin pizzas). I think there’s an updated model, but this one is about half the price and does everything you need it to and then some.Amazon
20. Air fryer for making French fries in a flash
I can’t find the exact model that we have anymore (it’s old), but when it’s time to upgrade, I’ll probably go with the Ninja.
I’ve had great experiences with most of their other kitchen gadgets & appliances (like the Cooking System above). I like that this one has a roast, reheat, and dehydrate button too.Amazon
21. These LED lamps are a must if you lose power a lot
Back when I lost power for 8 days after winter storm Riley (or maybe after Sandy, we lose power a lot for days on end) I grabbed a 4-pack of LED lanterns so we could actually see where we were going at night. They’re super bright and last a long time before you have to swap batteries. When you’re not using them, they squish down so you can store them in a cabinet.Amazon
22. Beeswax food wraps that are more natural than plastic wrap
Save the planet and your leftovers! Skip plastic wrap and grab a bunch of these Bee’s Wraps instead. Yeah, they’re pricier, but they work better than cheap plastic wrap that never quite stays on your container.Amazon
23. Ceramic knives that cut through frozen chicken like butter
I like making new chicken recipes for dinner but I hate cutting up the chicken breast. I literally gag when I touch fatty parts, so I prefer to cut it when it’s still half frozen (it doesn’t have that super gross texture). I usually use meat scissors, but they were killing my hands when cutting frozen chicken.
I got these ceramic knives for my mom for Christmas (she uses them to make chicken jerky treats for Freya), but again, since she lives with me I get to use them, too. They cut right through frozen chicken like it’s made of butter!Amazon
24. A headphone stand for keeping your gamer’s gear off the ground
I got tired of seeing Jake’s headphones chucked over the back of his chair, across his keyboard, or on the floor (and he wonders why he goes through so many pairs a year). So, I got him this inexpensive stand. Like many of the other “can’t live without gadgets” on this list, the stand does just one thing, but it does it well.Amazon
25. A memory foam travel pillow that does the twist
Another gift for Jake this year (although in blue), I’m planning to grab one of these for myself, too. He loves it because he can twist it just right to prop his head up a bit when he’s watching TV in bed, or put it behind him for support when he’s in his gaming chair. It’s small and lightweight enough to pop into a carry-on bag, too, if you travel a lot.Amazon
Each and every one of these gadgets and gizmos makes my life infinitely easier. Plus, they’re all super affordable. The ones that are more than $25-30 definitely make up for the higher price tag by being all that they can be and then some.
What are some of your favorite clever gadgets & gizmos? I’m always looking for new ideas to make my life easier!
Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API