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Christina X. Wood

These genius, cheap things make your home so much better with almost no effort

I’ve discovered that there are secrets to upgrading my home — and none of those secrets involve construction, moving to a bigger place, or even buying furniture. Instead, they involve affordable gadgets from Amazon. For example, do you need a brand new home office, or would a few pieces of key equipment and a simple plan transform the space you have into the best office ever?

Or when you feel like you need a monthly storage space, it’s often possible that some inexpensive and easy-to-implement storage solutions will do just as well. So read on for some clever upgrades and a whole load of genius, cheap things that make your home so much better with almost no effort.

These cable clips so your charger is always where you want it

Blue Key World Cable Clips (6-Pack)

Stick one of these six cable clips to your bedside table or desk so you don’t have to crawl around on the floor looking for your charging cable. Just stick the clip to your desk, snap the cord into the clip, and it will always be there right when you look for it. Over 13,000 people give these five stars.

The shoe organizer that creates order from chaos

ZOBER Over The Door Shoe Organizer

Create order out of that pile of shoes simply by hanging this over-the-door shoe organizer in your closet. Each shoe gets its own clear mesh pocket — and there are 24 of those — so that putting your shoes away will become a habit. It’s a great way to organize bathroom products or pantry items, too.

These 6 storage cubes that turn shelves into storage for anything

Greenco Foldable Storage Cubes (6-Pack)

These storage cubes are an easy way to turn open shelving into useful storage for everything from office supplies to underwear. They arrive folded for easy storage but unfold easily and hold quite a bit. A handle on the front makes it easy to get them off the shelves and they come in so many colors you can use them to add a pop of flair to your space.

The strainer that clips right onto your pot

Kitchen Gizmo Snap N Strain Pot Strainer

It’s about time old-school colanders got an upgrade. Enter this flexible pasta strainer that adjusts to fit pots and pans from large to small. This handy kitchen tool lets you pour off boiling water one-handed and can be stored in a fraction of the space of a traditional strainer. Over 15,000 people give it five stars and describe it as “THE BEST KITCHEN GADGET EVER MADE.”

A shoe deodorizer so you can keep wearing those kicks

Elite Sportz Shoe Deodorizer

If a bad smell is the only thing wrong with your well-worn shoes, blast them with the scent of peppermint and the effective mix of other botanicals and essential oils in this shoe deodorizer and fix that STAT. It will bring your shoes back to civilized with just a couple of spritzes. “This stuff works! It's been over a month and there is still NO SMELL!” said one reviewer.

This bamboo bed skirt that gives your bed a tailored look

Zen Bamboo Ultra Soft Bed Skirt

This easy-to-install bed skirt will transform the look of your room. Instead of catching a glimpse of a dusty under-bed region, you will see only tailored edges with a box pleat at every corner. It’s wrinkle-free and, since it’s three-sided, won’t interfere with your headboard. It comes in seven colors and five sizes.

The handy lap desk you can take anywhere

AboveTEK Portable Laptop Lap Desk

If you are a working nomad, add this lap desk to your kit. Not only does it stop your laptop from sliding off your lap while you work, but it also has a slide-out mouse tray on either side so you can give your hands a break from the glide pad and use a mouse instead. It shields you from the heat of the laptop, too, while dissipating that heat to protect your machine. It’s light, small, and slides easily into a backpack or laptop bag.

These three LED light pucks that improve your whole lighting scheme

Brilliant Evolution LED Lights (3-Pack)

One brilliant way to improve the lighting in your home is to focus on spotlighting. Stick one of these three LED puck lights to the underside of a kitchen cabinet, under the stairs, or on the underside of a closet shelf. It will give you light where you need it without overwhelming the room. And since these are battery-operated, remote-controlled (or tap to turn on), have adjustable brightness, and can be set to turn off after you use them, they are excellent for the job.

These luscious sheets that are both soft & affordable

Zen Bamboo Luxury Series Bed Sheets

Dress your bed in the delicious comfort of these bed sheets that are woven from 40 percent rayon derived from bamboo and 60 percent brushed microfiber. This combination is not only ultra-soft — due to the very fine fibers — but also breathable, wrinkle resistant, and fade resistant. They come in a range of beautiful colors and sizes to fit the bed you have.

This charging station that organizes your gear

Hercules Tuff Charging Station

If you have a couple of phones and a tablet or two in your house, it’s shocking how quickly that turns into a mess of wires and sloppy ad hoc charging areas. This charging station brings order to all of that. With adjustable slots to set your gear while it charges, short cords to cut down on cable mess, and an LED indicator that lets you know when your gear is charged, this will turn into a power hub for everyone in the house.

The shredded memory foam pillow that adjusts to the way you sleep

Ontel Miracle Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

When it comes to pillow comfort, adjustability is key. Instead of trying to figure out what kind of sleeper you are, get this shredded memory foam pillow that lets you create the loft you like, squish it into the shape you need, and customize it to the way you sleep. With over 2,000 five-star reviews, this pillow is working for a lot of people. “I love these pillows,” said one reviewer. “[...] It’s easy to clean and retains its shape and support. My dog and I agree.”

A pair of clip-on book lights so you can read anywhere & anytime

GearLight NiteOwl Book Light

When you want to read but the world around you is asking for lights out, pull out one of these book lights, clip it to your book, and carry on. It’s rechargeable and you can adjust the brightness to suit your needs. You can even change the color of the light from bright white for daytime use to amber so the light spectrum doesn’t keep you awake.

These drink dispensers that make big vessels easy to deal with

The Magic Tap Automatic Drink Dispenser

If you buy beverages in big gallon bottles, getting a tiny glass of juice can feel like a challenge. These battery-powered automatic drink dispensers, though, turn the interior of your fridge into an easy-to-navigate beverage dispensary. Just insert them into the big bottles, then touch your glass or bowl to the trigger. They will fill your glass with no effort from you at all.

The quick-dry bath mat that feels terrific underfoot

Genteele Bath Mat for Bathroom

Step out of the shower onto this soft and velvety memory foam bath mat to make bathing safer and more pleasurable. The squishy foam mat dries quickly and is covered in a plush microfiber that comes in 26 colors and lots of sizes so you can design the bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom that feels best to your senses.

A 12-pack of charcoal filters for your Keurig coffee maker

K&J Charcoal Water Filter Pods (12-Pack)

Your cup of coffee has two ingredients: coffee and water. If you want to improve the flavor, improve the water. These charcoal water filter pods will improve whatever water you have by removing impurities, calcium, and chlorine so that the flavor of your high-quality coffee comes through. “These filters are good quality, they haven't given my Keurig any problems, and they fit exactly like the Keurig brand filters,” said one of the more than 38,000 five-star reviewers.

These wipes that keep your glasses streak & fog-free

Care Touch Anti Fog Wipes for Glasses (100-Pack)

When you’re looking at the world through lenses, keeping that glass clean and fog-free becomes paramount. These individually wrapped lens wipes are the easy and convenient way to stay on top of that. They clean streaks and smudges left from fog and dust residue, and they also provide protection from fog that results from moisture and humidity.

This shoe organizer that also organizes your closet

Zober Freestanding 6-Section Organizer

This six-section organizer can, of course, be used to hold your shoes, but it will come in uniquely handy as a shelf organizer for your closet. Instead of tossing things on high-up closet shelves, this storage tool can organize and display scarves, hats, purses, and other odds ‘n’ ends that might otherwise be hidden on a hard-to-reach shelf.

This stain remover that thousands of people swear by

Hate Stains Co. Stain Remover for Clothes (25-Pack)

Pack along a few of these individually wrapped stain remover wipes because you never know when you are going to splatter pasta sauce on your best shirt or miss your mouth when drinking red wine. This is the same stuff that comes in a spray bottle and people swear by it. “This stain remover is the absolute best,” said one reviewer. “I have two young kids that make giant messes and it removes the stain in front of your eyes. My kid got raspberries on my off-white cardigan and it came out within seconds.”

The affordable bidet attachment that’s the best bathroom upgrade there is

Greenco Bidet Attachment for Toilet

It doesn’t seem like $25 could change your bathroom much, but this bidet attachment is a complete overhaul to the way you experience the loo. It’s also easy to install. Every time you go, you can clean and refresh your nether parts with a shower that gets you cleaner than TP ever did. It doesn’t require power, taps the supply line for your toilet for water, and has a dial so you can adjust the spray to your liking.

This little air purifier that’s also a night light

Pro Breeze Mini Air Purifier

This mini air purifier sits on your desk or bedside table pulling the surrounding air in and pushing it through a HEPA filter to remove 99.97 percent of airborne particles — pet dander, pollen, dust — that can cause eyes to itch and noses to run. It helps improve the smell of your air, too, by removing smoke and cooking smells. It also has a built-in LED night light so it’s great for the baby’s room or to create a relaxing environment in your bedroom.

This clever trick for expanding your closet space

HOUSE DAY Black Magic Hangers Space Saving Clothes Hangers (10-Pack)

If your closets are too small for your expanding wardrobe, try these space-saving clothes hangers to create more room. They hold five garments in the space that one hanger normally takes up. One reviewer mentioned their closet and wrote, “Everything looked so cluttered and unorganized and getting anything out was a nightmare! I found these hangers and they not only save space but make it easy to find what you’re looking for!”

A handy table that up-levels the bedside or next to the couch

VECELO Round End Side Table

This clever side table is an ideal place to set your morning coffee or evening beverage next to your favorite armchair. It works just as well as a bedside table. It’s compact but attractive, has a canvas sling in the base to hold your laptop, to-read pile, or other necessaries, and the wood-grain top looks good and is sized just right for holding your book or alarm clock.

This hanging macrame shelf for storage with farmhouse vibes

TIMEYARD Macrame Shelf Hanging Shelves

Use this macrame hanging shelf to create storage in the bathroom, bedroom, or anywhere. It gives you a good place to set a plant, decorative items, or personal care products, and brings with it an eclectic vibe that gives your space some character and personality. “Could not be happier! It’s exactly what I was looking for [...]. Great quality, easy to install, and very sturdy. Holds quite a bit of weight as long as you use sturdy wall hanging hooks,” said one reviewer.

The handy dustpan & broom that doesn’t make you bend over

kelamayi Upgrade Broom and Dustpan Set

This broom and dustbin set is a must-have home accessory because it makes cleaning up small spills, broken glass, and tracked-in dirt so easy. The telescoping broom handle lets you set the height to match yours, and snaps into the handle of the dustbin so the two pieces are always together and the whole kit stands on its own. There’s a handle on the dustbin to make emptying it easy, too.

This cordless handheld vacuum cleaner so cleanup anywhere is easy

Fityou Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

A good handheld vacuum cleaner is must have in any kitchen. How else do you get spilled coffee grounds off the counter or recover from dropping rice all over the stove? This rechargeable, cordless hand vac will also help you clean the car, couch, and keyboard because it has three attachments to get into weird spaces — including a bendy hose that’s awesome for the car. It requires no disposable bags or filters. You just empty the dust container and wash the filter that’s in it.

A stain remover that removes set-in wine stains

Emergency Stain Rescue Red Wine Stain Remover

This red wine stain remover is touted as one of the best out there for removing old wine stains from clothing, carpets and furniture. Made with a biodegradable pH neutral formula, you can rest easy knowing this cleaner is free from peroxide, chlorine, phosphates, sulphates and parabens. “This seriously works to get out stains!” one reviewer wrote. “Red wine, blood and chocolate! It is a must have in the laundry room!”

This deep-pile rug that’s super soft underfoot

Ophanie Grey Rugs for Bedroom

When you want to dress up your room, give your feet a soft place to land when you get out of bed, or are building a cozy interior, this fluffy shag rug is the one you want. It comes in eight colors and many sizes and has a deep and super soft pile that is delicious to walk on. “Love this rug! Ultra soft is a true statement,” said one reviewer. “We use it under the coffee table since we have hardwood floors. The cat loves laying on it more than on her cat bed and we’ve swept it many times and there is no shedding.”

A wall rack that organizes your laundry tools

TJ.MOREE Ironing Board Hanger

Where to store the ironing board is an eternal problem that is solved elegantly with this ironing board hanger. It corrals the ironing board, iron, and any other laundry tools you have into one tidy space on the wall. It’s ideal for the laundry room but would also save space in the closet or create a laundry area in a hallway.

An entry station that brings order & charm to coming & going

buways Wall-Mounted Key and Mail Holder

Hang this wall-mounted key and mail holder to the wall near your entry door to give yourself a place to hang your keys and hat when you come home. It will also welcome you with a friendly greeting and has a shelf for the mail, your pocket kit, and whatever else you need to set down when you walk in the door.

A double-tiered display for your table or dresser

MAINEVENT Farmhouse Tiered Tray with Beads

Set this tiered tray down on your dining table or dresser to create some decorative storage right where you need it. Fill it with your pocket knives, colognes, or jewelry in the bedroom. Stack the condiments in it at the kitchen table. It looks good no matter what it holds and turns your essentials into decorative elements that are within easy reach. It comes in four colors.

This toilet spray that stops the stink before it happens

Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray

With the help of this toilet spray, any unwanted odor will stay within the watery confines of the porcelain bowl. It creates a scented layer on the surface of the water that those particles cannot cross. Then, the bathroom will smell only slightly of tropical hibiscus (or whatever scent you choose).

The tower fan that’s small enough for your desk

Dr. Prepare Tower Fan Oscillating Fan

Set this little tower fan on your desk or bedside table to create white noise and fresh air. It’s small but powerful, with two fans and an oscillating base. It has three speeds and a timer so you can dial in the breeze you need for as long as you need it. Reviewers love it. “I got this for my boyfriend since he loves to sleep with a fan and I do not. It’s pretty quiet and he claims it blows well. It’s a good fan for individual use because it blows a decent amount of air for him without blowing too hard on me. The timer is useful, too.”

The organizer that has a place for all your bathroom essentials

iHave Toothbrush Holders for Bathrooms

This wall-mounted toothbrush holder has a place for everything that currently clutters up your bathroom vanity. It also has a built-in toothpaste dispenser so you won’t have to clean that off the counter again. There is a rack to hold toothbrushes so they stay clean. Two cups cling magnetically to the underside. A drawer holds small essentials. And the shelf system on top keeps brushes and other tools organized and handy.

A modern digital alarm clock that doubles as a mirror

Miowachi Digital Alarm Clock

This digital alarm clock brings a stylish vibe to the bedroom as well as a mirror you can use to check your hair before you crawl out of bed. You can adjust the brightness of the display so it works for you and your environment, the mirror finish is actually useful, it has two USB charging slots, and it comes in six colors.

A hack for silencing your wobbly bed or other furniture

Threaded Bed Frame Anti-Shake Tool for Bed (2-Piece)

If your bed squeaks, shakes, or makes noise when you roll over, this anti-shake tool can silence that. It attaches to the bed and to the wall and holds that bed firmly still. It works well for other furniture that moves too much, as well. “We have a large, solid wood, four-poster bed frame that squeaked like crazy with any movement. It drove me crazy! Purchased these, installed them in a couple of minutes and the problem is completely solved!” said one reviewer.

This LED desk lamp with so many features

, LASTAR LED Desk Lamp

Set this LED desk lamp on your desk or bedside table so you can easily see to read, work, or do crafts. It has five brightness levels so you can turn the light up or down to suit your activity. And the four light colors are great for changing the mood. The one-hour timer is perfect if you tend to fall asleep reading and there is a USB port to charge your phone.

These washable bed pads that are ideal for pets & babies

RMS Washable and Reusable Bed Pad (3-Pack)

Set these washable and reusable bed pads under the pet, baby, or anyone with incontinence issues and they will help save your furniture and keep the laundry and damage to a minimum. They are soft, comfortable, super absorbent, and won’t let liquid through. “I have a 13-year-old chihuahua with bladder issues and I have to wash her bedding daily,” said one reviewer. “I was putting a disposable pee pad in her bed but she always moved it because she didn't like the feel of it. She lays right on these. They are soft and surprisingly absorbent.”

This big box of alcohol-free sanitizing hand wipes

Care Touch Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer Wipes (100-Pack)

Keep a few of these sanitizing hand wipes in your pocket or bag for those times when you have to touch things — elevator buttons, shopping carts, or door handles — that don’t feel sanitary. They are individually wrapped so they are stable to carry anywhere, and they also contain vitamin E and aloe vera to help keep skin from drying out.

A low-key essential oil diffuser that’s also a lamp

ASAKUKI 300ML Essential Oil Diffuser

Set this subtle essential oil diffuser anywhere in your house and it will serve as a light, fill the air with a cool mist, and infuse that mist with your choice of essential oils. It can create a calming, energizing, or healing vibe with a simple change of oil and requires only 300mL of water to reduce static electricity in the air and moisturize your hair, eyes, and skin. Choose from seven colors of light.

The power scrubber that gets grout clean, fast

Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber

The spinning head on this power scrubber spins 60 times a second so it quickly gets hard-to-clean areas spiffy. It works on the grout in your bathroom tile, the crevices of the kitchen sink, the grill, and any other small space that are annoying to clean manually. Said one reviewer, “It cleans grout and hard water stains with ease! I just cleaned the tile in my kitchen and what a difference! The whole kitchen took 10 minutes!”

A foot rest with memory foam to make your workspace more comfortable

Kölbs Office Foot Rest Under Desk

When you’re working at a desk, putting your feet up on a footrest works wonders for helping alleviate back and leg pain. This under-desk footrest is made from memory foam with a high-density core layer that offers firmness and support. Its teardrop shape is designed to cradle feet and promote healthy posture, and a non-skid bottom helps it stay in place.

This portable clothesline that can travel with you

Ulfsaar Portable Clothesline with 12 Colorful Clothespins

Whether you’re vacationing and need a spot to hang beach towels and swimsuits or you’re short on space at home, this portable clothesline comes in very handy. Made from stretchy, retractable elastic rope, it can expand up to 12 feet to fit various spaces. Use it for traveling, camping, or for when you have a few extra items to hang on laundry day at home. It also comes with 12 clothespins.

This odor absorber gel that requires no effort from you

Smells Begone Air Freshener Odor Absorber Gel (2-Pack)

If you want your house to smell good — instead of like smoke, the cat box, and stale cooking odors — this two-pack of odor-absorbing gel is probably the easiest way to get there. All you do is set it in the area you want it to clean up. It works for 90 days, helping clean up and refresh the air in an area of 450-square feet. Choose from 12 scents.

An adjustable TV table so you can comfortably work or eat from the couch

HUANUO Adjustable TV Tray Table

Pull this adjustable tray table up to the couch, armchair, or bed and get to work. The height adjusts to three positions so you can put the surface exactly where you need it. Angle the tray to work on a laptop or tablet or straighten it when you want to enjoy a meal. There is even a slide-out cup holder.

This body wash that helps soothe skin issues as you lather

Remedy Soap Tea Tree Body Wash - Pack of 2

Reviewers love this tea tree body wash because it smells great and helps soothe skin and banish B.O. And it does it with a blend of essential oils, olive and jojoba oils, and other chemical-free solutions that nurture the skin. “Recently I could not get rid of sensitive, dry, itchy skin,” said one reviewer. “I’ve been using this body wash every day, head to toe! My sensitive skin is gone, my skin is creamy, and my itching is gone. A game changer for me!”

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