28 Things That Make Life Easier

Popular products from this list

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

A bottle of Folex instant spot remover

I first discovered Folex thanks to this job — the dozens of amazing before and after photos on Amazon really sold me on it! — and have used it dozens of times over the past four years with great success: on both blueberry smoothie and dog poop on rugs, when I dropped hummus on my sweater, for multiple drink spills on the couch, and, as illustrated above, when I accidentally melted a chocolate chip into my favorite fuzzy pillow and discovered it like, three days later.

The directions ask you to spray it on liberally, gently massage the stain with your fingers to help the liquid grab a bunch of the stain particles, then use a paper towel to soak it up. For the pillow example, I repeated the spray-and-soak process about three times, and now you can’t even find where the stain was in the first place! That’s why I have two after pics here — when I came back after it had dried to take a pic, I literally couldn’t find the spot the pillow had been stained again, so wanted to show y’all both sides for proof.

I will say it’s not the best for pet accidents, because those need an enzyme to help really get rid of the smell (like the popular Rocco & Roxie cleaner), but it definitely works in a pinch. And I still — luckily! — haven’t needed to try it out on red wine, nonfood grease, ink, or makeup stains, all of which it claims to clean. But I couldn’t recommend it more for all the random food and drink spills that are bound to happen in life!

Amazon

A pack of Munchkin snack catchers

Promising review: “We love these snack catchers so much that we ordered more! We’ve had two of these for a couple of years, and we decided that we needed more, so we bought these, and they’ve proven to continue to be as awesome as they ever were! I love that they are dishwasher safe, and that they come in nice colors! I would definitely recommend these!” — CatsNCoffee

Amazon

A pet hair remover brush

I used this a BUNCH in 2020, while living with my boyfriend at his parents (for various pandemic-related reasons) and their two sweet but shed-prone dogs. So I can tell you with resounding certainty: it works! Give it some simple back-and-forth swipes over your upholstered furniture, and it easily picks up TONS of pet hair. Then it’s simple to pop open the back compartment and swoop that unbelievably big pile of collected hair right into the trash or compost.

Promising review: “This is awesome!! I just went back and bought 2 more…I’ve had one for years and it is the best thing to get cat hair off the furniture, clothes, blankets,etc.! I would give this 10 stars if I could!” — Donna LePera

A nonstick microwave pasta cooker

Of course it works for other shapes of pastas too! The lid doubles as a strainer, so you don’t even have to dirty your colander. And it’s dishwasher safe.

Promising review: “I bought my first Fasta Pasta more than 30 years ago. It is by far the easiest way to cook any shape of pasta. No oil needed, just put noodles in the box with water and microwave! Easy peasy. My old Fasta Pasta literally aged to the point it started to crack, but after 30 years, that’s okay. Once you’ve cooked pasta this way, you’ll never return to boiling water in a pot, then adding pasta, then keeping an eye on the pot to ensure it doesn’t overflow when boiling.

Draining is easy due to the lid slots. DO NOT USE THE LID WHILE MICROWAVING! (Could damage lid.) Highly recommend.” — Fish Tattoo

Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

A flame-free electric lighter

Promising review: “I love it! I have had it for about three years and have only charged it one time a year. I just bought my boyfriend one.” — Jessica Springfield

My colleague Emma Lord also owns and loves this: “It comes in other pretty colors, but I am especially partial to this one because I first bought it for my parents (their kitchen is entirely pink and one of my favorite places on Earth), and this is SO EASY to use — not to mention super safe! It worked like a charm on their stove, which needs to be lit by hand. I bought one for myself and have used it for all my candles now for over a year now. I’m a big weenie about fire (LOL, self-preservation) so I’ve always stuck to extended arm gas lighters, but this is much better for the environment (plus cuter), so I feel a lot better about using it.

A pair of Teva Tirra sandals

My colleague Danielle Healy has these and loves them! Here’s what she has to say: “I cannot say enough wonderful things about these sandals. They required ZERO break-in time and were ready for long-term wear right out of the box. For a hiking sandal, I think they still look sleek enough to pair with a casual sundress, and they keep my feet cool while still managing to put an actually supportive sole between my feet and the sidewalk. I’ve worn them constantly for close to three years now and they still look basically perfect.”

Promising review: “Best walking sandals ever! I am now on my 3rd (or 4th) pair of this particular style of Teva. I have worn these for years. They are comfortable for walking and are very durable. I have walked up to 6 miles in them with happy, comfortable feet! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!” — Vickie S.

A weekly shower spray

It could take a few applications to get your shower totally banish the soap scum and hard water buildup, according to some reviewers, but it will! And yes, it works on glass shower doors!

My colleague Abby, an editor here at BuzzFeed, has this and says: “I finally bought this after putting into approximately 7,375 posts, and honestly, I’m mad at myself for not adding it to my cart sooner. I am not the biggest fan of cleaning the bathroom, especially the shower. It’s just so cumbersome to get to everything and really feel like you’ve gotten a good clean. But this spray made it SO easy. I just spritzed my whole shower and let it sit — 24 hours later, I came back and rinsed it. I could tell there was a noticeable difference. I’m super happy with this and will always clean my shower this way from now on.”

Promising review: “I started using this product after my bathroom renovation. Seven years later it still looks like new. I use it as directed. Love it.” — Laura Godfrey

Amazon

A go-to under-makeup daily sunscreen

I have oily, acne-prone skin and use a prescription retinol, which means I MUST use sunscreen on my face everyday. (Even if you don’t use a retinol though, wearing sunscreen everyday is incredibly good for the longevity of your skin.) For the first few years, I stubbornly insisted that I should be able to find a decent, non-greasy sunscreen option at the drugstore. And while I still hold that I shouuuld be able to find such a thing, I tried four or five different formulas — even ones that were supposed to be matte or non-greasy — and all of them left me with an oil-slick face by the end of the day. Finally my mom, who had been using this Supergoop stuff the whole time, got me a bottle of this cult-favorite for Christmas in 2019 (moms do know best sometimes) and have kept buying it ever since.

I couldn’t be happier with it! A dime-size amount covers my entire face, because it’s translucent it leaves absolutely no white cast, and 10 minutes after putting it on, my face just feels like I applied a little bit of a nice moisturizer or makeup primer, not anything that’s grease-central, like sunscreen usually is. It does pill if I put it on too soon after my morning topical acne prescription, but as long as I give that script about five minutes to sink in I have no issues. I’ve worn makeup maybe a grand total of thirty times over the past few years, but every time I have, I’ve been impressed by the way my matte foundation glides over it, looks with it, and lasts with it. I use it daily, so a bottle lasts me about five or six months, but I love it so much I don’t mind rebuying.

A set of vacuum storage bags

I use these myself to store coats, blankets, and other bedding, and they work great! I’ve also used the name brand, and while those work really well too, these are just as good in my opinion. I bought the ones I use now back in 2019, and they’re still good four years later. Each order comes with a screw-in pump you can use to suck out the air, or you can use your vacuum — I’ve tried both ways and both work well! They come in multiple sizes, and you can browse around the set options to get the number and the size varieties that would work for you. The medium’s good for t-shirts, the large is good for coats, sweaters, and sheets, and the jumbo is best for things like queen- and king-sized comforters. Although for a while I had my entire “linen closet” in one of the jumbo ones!

Promising review: “I have so many blankets and linens. I can’t help myself, I love them and my daughter seems to have picked up the habit. We have run out of room in the linen closet. But now we can get twice as many items in the closet. Once all of the air is sucked out they stay that way. After trying many variations in size, I’ve decided that medium bags works best for me. I have purchased the variety pack and there is a use for every size though. The Amazon bags are just as good as the other brands and they cost less. These work with any vacuum cleaner, but they come with a hand pump if you want a work out. And the small bags are good for packing in a suitcase.” — Ela

Amazon

A pack of LED-dimming stickers

One reader has left comments on our posts a couple of times with their review and reasons why they love these stickers:

“I thought I would take a shot on these blackout stickers since they weren’t that expensive. I was SO delighted with my purchase! I couldn’t have imagined. I keep a fan on when I sleep — it has a row of lights that no longer bother me. My power strip for charging my phone/tablet/watch/headphones — completely dark. Every penny of this purchase I consider well spent, and I literally only did two things with it. Cannot recommend enough!” — sitkal

These dim 50%–80% of the light, so the rest of the day you still know that everything’s working the way it’s supposed to! Although if you prefer, you can double ’em to block even more light, or go for the blackout edition. They’re completely removable and leave no residue behind, too! I’ve been using them on my own stuff at home — the microwave, the internet router — and they work exactly the way they say they do, and have stayed put since I got them a couple of years ago. And the sheet comes with so many stickers, I have plenty left and pull it out anytime another annoyingly bright electronic light shows up!

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

Some produce savers

They legit keep produce fresh for up to 10-11 days in my experience. These days, I also refrigerate my bag of sliced bread in my large one, because I can’t make it through a loaf before it gets moldy, and these help keep the fridge from drying out the bread even like, two weeks later. Yay for less waste!!

They’re also 100% top-rack dishwasher safe; when I had a dishwasher in my last place, I ran ’em through all the time.

Promising review: “These things are the best thing since sliced bread. I have a ton of them and am ordering new after using the last batch for about 5 years. The last batch held up, but my house guests loved them also so a few disappeared when they left. No matter. The new ones are just as great as the old ones. I love the fact that my fridge DOES NOT STINK and I eat a lot of onions and fresh garlic. The veggies hold up longer than if left in bags or the bins that come with the fridge. They are well worth the price.” — Kindle Customer

An ergonomically designed click-and-carry grocery bag carrier

Each one can hold up to 80 pounds, so you’ll probably find it useful for tons of things besides groceries like paint cans, sports equipment, and dry cleaning! And you don’t have to put them on your shoulder if you preferred to carry them by hand, although I imagine that for something really heavy, your shoulder would make it easier!

Promising review: “I have had these for a couple of years. They are awesome. I bought a three pack. I keep one in the car at all times. I also keep another one by my nylon totes and my husband keeps one in his car, too. You never know when you are going to need one and how many things you can carry using these. Great product.” — MaryR

A wine-sealing system

My parents have owned one of these for as long as I can remember, and I’ve had mine for nearly a decade now, and both still get used at least several times a month and work pretty darn flawlessly. I’m no sommelier, but I can tell enough to know that, especially for the first few days, the wine still retains its original taste. I love wine but my partner is a cocktail/beer drinker only, so this gizmo keeps me from throwing out so much wine!

Promising review: “It works! It really works! It’s amazing how much longer this product keeps your bottles of wine! And it’s so inexpensive as well. We’ve only tried this up to five days so far, but the wine is still perfect after five days! Our wine never goes to waste anymore!!” — Scott Rose

Some Goo Gone

I bought a bottle of this stuff when I moved in 2021 — it was super useful then, and since that point I’ve used it to clean stubborn grease off of kitchen cabinets and my stove’s hood several times, and pulled it out for several other mystery sticky stains and messes. But the move story is the most compelling:

Back then, my partner had hung up these posters that used big foam adhesive squares (no, they were not Command Strips), and when we pulled them off the wall, they left a bunch of foam and sticky stuff behind. Goo Gone (plus a plastic scraper) came to the rescue! It took a little patience, but the stuff would never have come off without the Goo Gone. It helped break down both the foam stuff and the adhesive, which came off in little bits, leaving nothing behind. We did then wash off the paint with some dish soap and water — Goo Gone is super greasy — but by the end, you couldn’t tell anything had been there at all, and the paint was undamaged.

Promising review: “This stuff is amazing. So far, I have used it to remove heavy adhesive from a tile floor where we had previously had a cover for a wire running across the area. I applied Goo Gone, scraped the majority of the adhesive and fibers off, then wiped off the remaining residue with a paper towel. I also used it to clean grease off of wood veneer cabinets using a paper towel, and it was so effortless! We have a microwave above the stove, and I also used Goo Gone to clean grease from the exhaust vents, which was so much easier than ever before.” —Cass

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

A bottle of Poo-Pourri

Okay, yes, this has been a long time favorite product at BuzzFeed. But in quarantine, my S.O. and I moved in together, which means we also started sharing a bathroom on a much more regular basis than before. After a couple of months, it became clear that we needed something that would actually work to cover up poop odor, and STAT. So I turned to this spray-before-you-go essential oil concoction. And yes! It does exactly what is says it does. Thank goodness. The standard bottle comes with 200 sprays, and you need one spray per go.

Promising review: “I was first introduced to this product a few years ago when my roommate bought some for our place. Tried it once and I was sold, I will never live someplace without this product. It’s especially handy when you’re first dating someone and you’re not into the comfort zone of going number two around your significant other yet. This product is just amazing — spray a few times into the toilet before you go, and when you’re done it’s almost like you were never there.” — Elizabeth D

Amazon

A reusable Stasher silicone bag

I’ve personally had a couple of these since 2016, and they still work exactly the way they did when they were new — which is as a seamless replacement for disposable bags! I’ve bought more since and they work just as well as the old ones. When I had a dishwasher, I ran them through the top rack all the time; now I hand wash them and the silicone means they don’t hold onto anything, which makes that easy too. I recently bought one of their bowl-shaped bags to keep in my purse to use for leftovers at restaurants, and it works like a charm!

Promising review: “I’ve been using Stasher bags for years and love them — so much better than other reusable silicone baggie designs. Easier to clean, stand up better on a rack to try, leak proof, easier “zip” than other brands I’ve tried for opening and closing. I can’t say enough great things about Stasher bags. I haven’t used single use plastic baggies in my kitchen or for travel for years since investing in these!!” — hope

A pair of Bluetooth wireless sleep headphones

The headphones range is 33 feet, so your phone could be across the room and they’d still work. There are forward/reverse and play/pause controls on the forehead, so whether you sleep on your back or side, you can easily access them. And they’re designed to help block ambient noise.

This reviewer talks about how these headphones help their narcolepsy and work with their CPAP machine — and as a person with narcolepsy myself who relies on music at night to help with my hypnogogic hallucinations, I’m thinking I need a pair for myself!

Promising reviews: “This headband fits snugly on my head and the earbuds stay in place. It’s made of a wicking fabric so I’m not sweating in my sleep, AND it fits under my CPAP headgear with no problem whatsoever. My headgear leaves a telltale impression on my face, but the headband does not — #bonus. The battery lasts the entire night to about noon the next day playing continually. I’m going on four years with my gray headband. The headband fits looser, but that’s to be expected considering I wear it nearly every night.” — OldWomanNoShoe

Amazon

A pair of disposable hair catchers

They’ll also let you skip those toxic drain cleaners all together! (Those don’t even really work on hair anyway.)

Promising review: “I have a teen daughter with a ton of hair….I’ve been using these for several years now and will never stop. It’s gross really, how much hair they catch. Very easy to use with no need to remove the drain plate.” — Jean Clarke

Amazon

A ramen cooker

It would even protect a package of uncooked ramen in your work bag from getting crushed, then be the perfect dish to cook it in once you got to work!

Promising review: “Making instant ramen got even easier to use with this microwave cooker. Dishwasher safe. I’ve had same model for more than 5 years and still works like brand-new. I even bought an extra one.” — DC

Amazon

A Bissell multipurpose portable cleaner

Promising reviews: “I’ve had this machine for almost 3 years now and I can honestly say I love it. I’ve used this to shampoo my couch monthly, as well as spot cleaning pet messes on the carpet and cleaning my car floor mats. Despite using this regularly to clean my couch, the water always comes out a murky brown, not sure how my couch gets to be so dirty but I’m glad to see all the dirt and grime getting extracted effectively. Afterwards, all I have to do is rinse the two tanks and leave to dry overnight, then it’s ready for use again. Definitely recommended for those wanting a simple, lightweight upholstery cleaner.” — Sara

Amazon

An under-cabinet lid opener

Promising review: “I’m old, kinda weak and have loved this for 11 years!! I’m in my 70s and over a decade ago realized the healthy young lifeguard I used to be was half a century gone. In 2011 I bought and installed one of these under a kitchen cabinet and it’s never failed to work as advertised with regular use when needed. I’m posting this to hopefully save others who might be on the fence saying it’s just another gadget you’ll never use. Please reconsider. It’ll save you an immense amount of anguish and maybe even a strained ligament or two.” — WSJ

Amazon

A set of bed bands to hold your fitted sheet on your bed

Promising review: “I bought a set of these about five years ago. They still are being used on the bed in our master bedroom, and instead of rearranging the bottom sheet every single morning we now have gone almost five years without having to do it even once. It does take a few minutes clipping them back on after washing the sheets, but they have made me quite happy every morning.” — Builder Guy in Days Gone by

A pack of four smart outlets

There are two versions, one that works with either Apple HomeKit or the Kasa (that’s the manufacturer) app, or one that’s a little cheaper that works just with the Kasa app.

Promising review: “So far, I’ve not found any Kasa product that doesn’t do exactly what it’s supposed to… and these plugs follow this. I have five of them in use now and they simply work. No issues. Great for turning on/off Christmas lights or tree. Have been a user for about 2 years now and recommend them to everyone.” — AmazonReviewer

A moisture meter

I’ve lost enough plants to over- or under-watering that I definitely need to get myself one of these.

Promising reviews: “Works great every time…On our second batch after 6–7 years of use.” — Murray Steeg

Amazon

A Souper Cubes freezer tray

It’s BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and to make it even more genius, it has half- and full-cup fill lines on the sides of the compartments so you know exactly how much you’re putting in.

Promising review: “There are so many good things to say about these little cube trays. I have had these three years and they’re in absolute pristine condition, even with consistent use. They are SO convenient for having frozen things (soups, broth, large ice cubes, etc) in small freezers where bulky containers are wasting space. They stack in each other when not in use; helpful for tiny kitchens with limited storage space. 10/10 would recommend.” — Savanna Brown

A pair of silicone stove-counter gap covers

Promising reviews: “I’ve used this for a few years and it is great. It fits right in, is easy to remove and clean, and keeps the side of the stove clean. I use a black color and it looks sharp.” — Mark

“I’ve been using these for about a week on my new freestanding range. When they removed my old range, I was really surprised to see how much stuff had slipped through! Now when I cook, I can see the splatters and seasonings left on the silicone that would have fallen between the stove and the counter. These gap fillers really do clean up easily, too. Although they are that extra thing to clean, I prefer that to knowing there’s a mess hiding in the cracks.” — JMom

A SockDock

You simply slip each day’s pair of dirty socks through its own secure slot in the cord, then when it’s full, throw the entire thing in the wash as normal. When it comes out of the dryer, every sock will be clean but also secure in its spot!

Promising review: “My husband is a daily runner so between his regular socks and his running socks, the socks were everywhere and getting continually lost in the laundry. The Dock is weathering the high temps of washer and dryer without issue. Cording is strong, with no breakage (socks do dry despite being crimped by cord). The plastic parts are good as new. We have 2 sets and they stay in use constantly! I’ve had these several years and they are worth every penny.” — LK

A set of seat gap fillers

Because it fits over the car’s seat belt holster, it moves along with the seat as they adjust it — which means you can stuff it in and forget about it, at least until it saves a half-eaten lollipop from disappearing into the abyss.

Promising reviews: “I bought a set of these years ago and have never regretted it. It’s such a simple concept, but so useful!” — Letitia Harris

The Fort News