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Products that simplify my life
Life gets hectic. Between work, errands, and all the little things that need to get done, it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in a day! I’m always on the lookout for new products that simplify life.
Keep reading for 25 of my favorite products; products that help to make my life simpler. Little things can make a big difference, and this list is full of them!
1. Philips Wake-Up Light
I don’t like mornings. Waking up is not an easy thing for me, especially during those times of the year when I have to wake up before the sun even wakes up. The Philips Wake-Up Light is the perfect solution for mornings that are too early. I love it because as soon as my eyes pop open, they’re greeted with this gorgeous Simulation Of A Sunrise, which makes getting out of bed easy(ish)!
It’s not perfect, and there’s a bit of a learning curve. And, unless I’m doing something wrong, you have to remember to set the alarm every night. But it’s still way easier to wake up to “sunlight” than to be jolted awake by some buzzing or beeping sound.
Two little disclaimers:
- It does not wake up my husband. This is great in my situation since I need to wake up before he does. But that also means that it doesn’t work for everyone.
- One time, during the year or so that I’ve been using it, the light didn’t come all the way on (for no apparent reason). So, I always set a backup alarm on my phone, just in case.
2. Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer
I can’t blow out my hair to save my life – My arms just don’t bend that way or something. But with the Revlon one-step hair dryer, I can dry and style my hair in one go.
It runs pretty hot, so I definitely don’t use it ALL the time. But it’s perfect for a quick dry and style when I’m in a hurry. It has a cult following online, and I can see why.
3. Dry shampoo & conditioner
Speaking of hair, mine is…complicated. Kinda curly, kinda wavy, kinda straight…and lots of it. It usually takes me a LONG time to wash, dry, and get it to do…something. So, washing my hair every morning is NOT an option. This is why I love dry shampoo and conditioner.
The dry shampoo helps absorb the oil at the roots, which means I can go an extra day or two without washing my hair (and still skip the baseball cap). Pro-tip: When you use dry shampoo, let it sit for a minute, brush it out, then hit it with a hairdryer!
Dry conditioner is a game-changer, though, and I don’t hear people talking about it nearly as often as the much-lauded dry shampoo. If you have any sort of curl, the dry conditioner is amazing. It helps define the curls, adds shine, and makes my hair look a lot less frizzy.
4. The Cladwell App
I used to be a little bit of a clothes hoarder. I had pieces that I’d never worn, that didn’t fit, and that I just plain didn’t like. But I still hung on to them because:
a) There are about 83 things I’d rather do than go shopping.
b) What if I magically fall in love with all those clothes I never wear one day?
So, when I heard that Cladwell finally introduced an android app, I knew I had to try it.
The premise is simple: you take pictures of everything in your closet, then the app gives you suggestions on putting together outfits and keeps track of what you do – and, more importantly, DON’T – wear. It’s helped me get rid of a lot of things that I never reach for and combine what I kept into capsules.
I can see at a glance where there are gaps that I need to fill (Hooray for no more aimlessly wandering through stores looking for…something…) And I have a closet full of things that I actually kind of like. (Plus one entirely empty drawer in my dresser!)
I love using Trello to stay on top of my tasks and goals. The board-based tool is perfect for organizing everything from work deadlines, personal obligations, and errands – you name it!
You can create boards for anything – to-do lists, project tasks, groceries, whatever you need. You then add cards to those boards, which can have lists, checkboxes, due dates, and all sorts of goodies. It’s perfect for keeping track of multiple projects at once or just making sure that you’re not forgetting anything on your to-do list.
The desktop version and app are linked, so you always have access! No more forgetting the grocery list at home.
6. Noise-canceling headphones
I work from home. My husband’s business also has him at home part of the day. I live in the city. They’re currently doing foundation work on the house next door. Things can get loud around here… distractingly loud. This is why I love my noise-canceling headphones.
I can put them on, completely tune out the world, and focus. They’re also great for plane rides and other situations where you need to drown out background noise.
These aren’t the MOST noise-canceling of the noise-canceling headphones out there, but they’re a decent budget option. Plus, they’re really comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and a charge lasts a good amount of time.
7. Lap desk
This is one of those things that I never thought I needed until I got it. And now I can’t live without it.
I love my office desk, but sometimes I just want to work from the couch. Or front porch. Or bed. But I don’t want to have to hold my laptop the whole time or risk it overheating. Enter the lap desk.
It’s a desk where ever I want to be, instead of being tied to my desk – I can put my laptop, my mouse, my phone, and whatever I need right in front of me. Plus, it has a built-in wrist rest, which is really nice.
8. Shower notepad
This one is just for my fellow weirdos who get the best ideas when you can’t write them down.
I have a lot of thoughts & ideas when I’m in the shower. Sometimes, they’re important thoughts & ideas that I want to remember. And that’s why I love my shower notepad.
It’s small enough that it doesn’t take up a lot of space but big enough that I can actually write something down when a thought pops in my head. And it’s some sort of magically waterproof paper, so I don’t have to worry about it getting wet – I have no idea what kind of sorcery makes that work, but it works.
Bonus: My husband and I also occasionally leave each other silly notes…
9. A really nice pen
There’s just something about a good pen that makes me happy. It might sound silly, but it’s true.
But you might be wondering how a good pen makes my life any simpler…two reasons.
- It’s special, so I never misplace it. Like, ever.
- It’s refillable, so I never have to hunt down another pen from somewhere else in the house mid-thought.
I don’t know why, but having a good pen makes me feel more put together and organized. And when I’m feeling put together and organized, I can focus on what’s important and get things done.
10. Cell phone power bank
This is another one of those things that I never thought I needed until I had it.
It’s great for phones, sure. But it will also power anything else with the right connection. Like the light I use during zoom calls at work! I don’t have to be tied to an outlet anymore (which is fantastic, because we live in a very old house and outlet space is limited).
Also, it’s a nice thing to have on hand for random power outages.
11. Google mesh wifi extender
We’ve all been there- you’re in the middle of a movie, and your wifi cuts out. Or you’re trying to work from home, and your internet is painfully slow. Sometimes, you just need a better signal.
Enter the Google Mesh wifi extender. We tried several other extenders, but this one is by far the best we’ve tried. It was a total game-changer for us. Now we can stream movies in HD without any buffering, and we can work from home without any connection issues. If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your wifi signal, the Google mesh wifi extender has my vote.
12. Plant care app
I love houseplants. They bring a bit of nature indoors and help to purify the air. But my thumb leans a bit more black than green, so I need all the help I can get when it comes to taking care of them.
Enter the PlantIn app. (There are other apps that are very similar, but this is the one I’ve tried.) It’s an app that you can use to track the water levels, light exposure, and temperature of your plants. It also has a built-in reminder system, so you know exactly when they need watering, fertilizing, or repotting.
I’ve found that using PlantIn over the past year has helped me to keep my plants alive and healthy. And plants are always more fun when they’re green instead of brown…
13. Houseplant grow lights
My home-decor-focused brain gets frustrated when plants don’t want to grow where I think they’ll look pretty. But I recently discovered grow lights.
Of course, I’ve heard of grow lights before…I always pictured them in some industrial setup (possibly in a situation illegal in some states…) But there are these small, cute grow lights that you can get for your houseplants.
And they work! I’ve been using them for a few months now, and my plants are THRIVING. Hello, new growth!
14. Tiny lights with timers
Fairy lights, flameless candles, lighted tabletop trees… They are a cozy staple in my house! But lights with timers that turn on and off by themselves??? That’s next level!
Cozy on auto-pilot.
15. Rechargeable batteries & large capacity charger
All those little lights I just mentioned? They need batteries. And I have them on all the time, so replacing them every time they died would be expensive, not to mention not-so-great for the planet. So, I invested in some good rechargeable batteries. And a large capacity battery charger.
The charger can charge up to 16 batteries at once. Such a time saver!
16. Label maker
A label maker can be a ridiculously addicting tool…in the best way possible. Suddenly, you know exactly what’s in that storage tub in the basement or which device that little remote controls.
Simply label each one, and voila – problem solved. Not to mention, it’s strangely satisfying to see something neatly tucked away in its own spot with a crisp, new label. Everything looks neater and more organized…and it only takes a few seconds to slap a label on. So go ahead and give in to the urge to label everything in sight – your home will thank you for it. 😊
17. Wax melt warmers
I love candles. They make any room feel cozy and inviting.
But I’m not a fan of having an open flame in my house if I’m not sitting right there. Especially since we have 4 cats running around. Zoomies and fire don’t mix.
Solution: Wax melt warmers!
You put a little wax cube on the top, and it melts and releases the scent into the room just like a candle. Plus, they’re usually made of ceramic or glass, so they’ll last forever – they just need an occasional lightbulb replacement.
18. Absorbent coasters
I hate it when glasses sweat and run all over the place. It’s the worst. Especially during the summer, when it’s hot and humid.
I got tired of wiping down tabletops, so I picked up some absorbent coasters.
They work like a charm! And they come in so many cute patterns and colors.
(Funny story: I did recently find my hubby turning them upside down to soak up a small spill…surprisingly, it worked, but I had to laugh at that one.)
19. Instant pot
I know, I know. Everyone has been obsessed with the Instant Pot for a few years now. But for good reason!
It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, and more all in one. Plus, it has a sauté function, so you can brown your meat or vegetables before cooking them. It cuts way down on cooking time compared to a slow cooker. (I still love my slow cooker, but I find myself using it less and less.)
It’s seriously one of our most used kitchen gadgets…homemade Instant Pot Greek yogurt is a regular thing around here now! (This is my go-to Greek yogurt recipe👈)
20. Spice rack
On a related note, we like to cook around here. And that led to lots of spices. But they were all packaged differently, and the “storage system” of pilling them in bins on a shelf hurt my little overly-organized soul.
So, I finally bought a nice big spice rack with matching jars. It looks so nice in my pantry, takes up much less space, and it’s so easy to find what I’m looking for – no more time wasted digging through jars while we’re cooking or double buying something we already have because we didn’t see it.
(It did take most of an afternoon to wash the new jars and switch everything over…hours. But now that it’s done, it’ll just be refilling occasionally as we restock things. I can sacrifice an afternoon for this kind of impact!)
21. Milk frother
So, we bought a milk frother a while back for those few times a year that we decide we want to make fancy coffee.
But I’ve discovered all sorts of uses for it since then! It’s basically a tiny immersion blender – now hot cocoa mix doesn’t have chunks anymore–just smoothness. (I’m looking at you, stubborn hot cocoa packets). Collagen supplement or protein powder? Mixed!
22. Laundry bags
This one will save you money! My husband has been an appliance tech for well over a decade. And you would not believe how many service calls happen because of a washing machine with a no-show sock, baby onesie, or *ahem* very small undergarment sucked into the drain pump. (If you have found yourself making one of those “my washer won’t drain, help!” calls, maybe you WOULD believe it.)
Save yourself the service charge – not to mention the whole scheduling a repair/day off work part – and throw all those tiny things into a laundry bag.
23. Freezer temperature sensor
One day, a couple of years ago, our deep freezer didn’t close all the way. It’s in the basement, so we didn’t notice…for a few days. All that food, lost!
But then I got smart and bought a freezer temperature sensor. It attaches to the freezer door, and an alarm sounds if the temperature goes above the set level.
Now I can rest easy knowing that my food is fine down there, and I never have to worry about another unfrozen food catastrophe.
24. Kindle Paperwhite
I love to read. But physical books take up space. I had a Kindle Fire for a while, but I found myself spending more time on Pinterest and checking email than actually reading books.
So, I got a Kindle Paperwhite…and it’s wonderful. There is nothing to distract me, no glare on the screen, and I can read for hours without having to charge it.
Plus, there are SO many books available for free or cheap on Amazon – and you can even borrow ebooks from your local library!
25. Subscription services
I didn’t realize how much subscription services would simplify my life until I started using them regularly. Now, I don’t have to worry about running out of things because they’re automatically delivered to my door. And, of course, there’s the added bonus of never having to go to the store for these things!
Some subscriptions I’m currently using:
Overall, subscription services have made my life much easier and more convenient. I would definitely recommend them to anyone who is looking for a way to simplify their life. Thanks, subscription services!
These are just a few of the products that have made my life simpler. Obviously, everyone’s situation is different, and what works for me might not work for you. But if you’re looking for ways to simplify your life and lighten your mental load, these products might be worth a try. Thanks for reading!