These Genius Things Fix All Sorts Of Mistakes You Don't Realize You're Making Around Your House

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Written by Anna Anderson
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If you spend a lot of time at home, it’s easy to stop seeing what’s really there — and equally easy to miss what might be going wrong. We get so used to the day-to-day, that small mistakes around the house simply disappear from our minds — until, that is, they turn into big mistakes because they weren’t addressed sooner. (Uh-oh.)

One mistake you might be making a few times a week? Not measuring the temperature of your meat. Obviously this is very bad if you’re roasting chicken, but it can also be a bit tragic if you overcook steaks when you’re trying to impress your in-laws. Do yourself a favor and pick up this highly rated digital meat thermometer to prevent any mishaps. And while you’re at it, why not snag a plasma candle lighter to set the mood for that aforementioned dinner with the in-laws? It’s USB-rechargeable, so you’ll never have to stress about running out of lighter fluid.

Read on for more common home mistakes and their cheap, foolproof fixes.


Mistake: Sleeping On Unsupportive Pillows

Fix: These Plush Pillows That Are So Comfy

If you’re waking up with a crick in your neck, it may be worth investing in this set of super comfy pillows. Filled with down alternative, they have a plush, bounce-back feel to provide soft support all night long. And unlike memory foam, these pillows are breathable and machine-washable. One reviewer raved, “I am in LOVE with this pillow! Seriously! Fluffy but not too soft. Supportive but not too firm. Moldable and shapeable.”


Mistake: Undercooking Or Overcooking Your Food

Fix: This Highly Rated Meat Thermometer

The only thing worse than an overcooked steak is undercooked chicken. Avoid both scenarios with the help of this digital meat thermometer that’s earned a 4.7-star overall rating after 10,000 reviews. The backlit display delivers a reading within three seconds, and the internal magnet lets you attach it to the fridge or oven for easy access.


Mistake: Taking A Bath Without Proper Support

Fix: This Luxe Bath Pillow That Upgrades Comfort

Bath nights are supposed be all about relaxation, so getting a stiff neck shouldn’t be part of the deal. With this bath pillow, you can unwind in a lot more comfort. The ergonomically contoured pillow is designed to support your neck, head, and upper back, and six suction cups keep it firmly in place. When your fingers have turned to prunes, you can hang it up — the breathable mesh fabric dries quickly.


Mistake: Reaching For The Toolbox Every Time You Need A Screw

Fix: This Magnetic Wristband That Keeps Hardware Close By

DIY enthusiasts, listen up: This magnetic wristband lets you keep screws, nails, nuts, and bolts right on your wrist, so you don’t have to pause what you’re doing to reach into your toolbox. Made from ballistic nylon, it’s tear-resistant and the Velcro closure adjusts to fit wrists of most sizes. With a 4.7-star overall rating, reviewers reported this “clever invention” is “very handy.”


Mistake: Standing For Long Periods On Bare Floors

Fix: This Anti-Fatigue Mat For Cushioned Support

Whether you work at a standing desk or spend long hours food prepping or folding laundry, this anti-fatigue mat can add lots of support to tired feet. Made from dense foam, it also works to cushion joints, so your knees and hips might just be a little happier, too. It’s nonslip, easy to clean, and has no-curl edges to prevent tripping.

  • Available sizes: 4
  • Available colors and styles: 15


Mistake: Neglecting To Clean Your Washing Machine

Fix: These Cleaning Tablets That Freshen It Up

Over time, your washing machine is bound to have grime and soap residue buildup. Whisk the grossness away with one of these washing machine tablets — simply drop one in and run a cycle. The tablets tackle all the interior workings, like the pump, agitator, valve, and filter, leaving things clean as a whistle and odor-free.


Mistake: Allowing Your Fruits & Veggies To Go Bad

Fix: These Produce Freshness Sheets

If your farmers market haul goes bad before you even begin to think about cooking, use these produce sheets to keep things fresh. The paper sheets are infused with natural botanicals that help extend the life of fruits and vegetables, and each one is reusable for up to a month.


Mistake: Letting Minerals Build Up In Your Coffee Maker

Fix: A Descaling Solution That Cleans The Brewer

If your morning cup of joe has taken on a slight metallic taste, it may be time to put this descaling solution to work. It gets rid of mineral buildup in the heating coils and reservoir tank, restoring the coffee maker to good-as-new. It’s simple to use and works with most coffee setups, from single-serve brewers to drip makers.


Mistake: Not Tracking Down Pet Stains

Fix: A UV Flashlight That Hunts Down The Source Of The Smell

If your carpet has a bit of a funny odor — and you suspect your cat or dog may have something to do with it — this UV flashlight can help you track down the source. The purple light illuminates hidden stains, so you can use a good stain remover and odor eliminator on them. Just turn the lights out, fire up the flashlight, and hunt down that smell.


Mistake: Letting Closet Space Go To Waste

Fix: The Hanging Closet Rods That Double Storage

Just think of the all the unused closet space you have underneath your shirts. Put these hanging closet rods rods to use, and you’ll double the amount of storage you have. They’re extendable in width from 17 to 29 inches and hook right over your existing rod. Made from sturdy metal, they can hold up to 22 pounds of shorts, skirts, and pants.


Mistake: Leaving Your Mattress Vulnerable To Spills & Stains

Fix: A Mattress Protector That’s Waterproof

Mattresses cost a pretty penny and it’s worth spending a few bucks to protect them. This waterproof mattress protector guards against spills, sweat, and stains, keeping your investment in good condition for years. Suitable for mattresses up to 18 inches deep, it has a terry cotton surface that’s noise-free, breathable, and soft.

  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King


Mistake: Using A Standard Sink Strainer

Fix: This Inverted Strainer That’s Easier To Empty

Ditch your standard sink strainer for this OXO sink strainer with an upgraded design. Featuring a flexible silicone basket, it won’t scratch sinks and can be turned inside out for easy removal of food scraps. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. One reviewer wrote, “They keep a lot from going down the drain over the disposal and are easily emptied and cleaned. I wash them weekly so they are still looking good after a year.”


Mistake: Draining Your Electricity With Appliances

Fix: These Smart Plugs That Let You Set Schedules

Leaving lights and appliances on or plugged in can drain energy, but with these smart plugs, you can set schedules and even cut the power to each one with a simple app on your smartphone. They’re smart assistant-compatible, so you can sync them to your Alexa or Google Home for voice commands. Not to mention, they track energy and usage, so you can keep an eye on things and lower your monthly electricity bill.


Mistake: Using A Lighter That Will Run Out Of Fluid

Fix: This Plasma Lighter That’s Rechargeable

There’s nothing more frustrating than a lighter that’s out of lighter fluid, but with this USB-rechargeable plasma lighter, you’ll never have that problem again. Just as good, it uses flameless technology, so you won’t have to struggle to light things in the wind. Use it for lighting candles, grills, fire pits, and more.


Mistake: Taking Flimsy Bags To The Grocery Store

Fix: These Sturdy Bags That Hold Up To 65 Pounds

Ditch your flimsy canvas bags for these reusable grocery bags that can hold up to 65 pounds each. Featuring rigid sides and reinforced bottoms, they’re designed for lots of wear and tear, and each one can hold the equivalent of four paper bags’ worth of groceries. The long straps let you sling them over your shoulder, and the side handles make them easy to remove from your trunk.


Mistake: Storing Your Shower Supplies On The Tub Floor

Fix: These Shower Shelves That Adhere To The Wall

If you have to step over a small army of shampoos, conditioners, and body washes when you hit the shower, it may be time to invest in a good set of shower shelves. These shelves are made from rustproof stainless steel and boast a near-perfect 4.9-star overall rating — and installation is as easy as peeling back some adhesive. Choose from finishes like matte black, matte white, and polished silver.

  • Available colors: 5


Mistake: Keeping Coffee Beans In Store Packaging

Fix: This Airtight Canister That Preserves Freshness

The little sticky tabs on coffee bags don’t do a great job of sealing out air, which means your coffee beans will go bad tragically fast. This coffee canister, though, creates an airtight seal that keeps beans and grounds fresh for weeks. Constructed from rust-resistant stainless steel, it features a date tracker on the lid and comes with a handy measuring scoop.

  • Available colors: 4


Mistake: Using A Power Strip To Plug In Bulky Chargers

Fix: This Pivoting Outlet Extender With Room For Everything

When you use a standard power strip, you can lose precious plug-in space since bulky phone and computer chargers tend to cover more than one outlet. This on-wall outlet extender solves that problem with its pivoting sockets that create more space for plugging in. Not to mention, it’s a lot more convenient than having a power strip lying around on the floor.


Mistake: Neglecting To Carve Out Extra Storage Space

Fix: This Slim-Profile Storage Cart That Fits Anywhere

Think your space is too small to work in any extra storage? Think again. This slim storage cart is a mere 5.1 inches wide, allowing you to place it next to your desk, between the washer and dryer, and next to your kitchen counter (I could go on). The rolling cart has four tiers that are height-adjustable for maximum storage efficiency.

  • Available colors: 4


Mistake: Storing Your Spices So That They’re Hard To Find

Fix: This Lazy Susan That Rotates For Easy Viewing

Whipping up a paella but can’t find the saffron because it’s all the way at the back of the cupboard? Frustrating. This lazy Susan rotates, so you can find whatever spice or condiment you need just by spinning it. Made from stainless steel, the two-tier design helps you maximize kitchen cabinet storage space.


Mistake: Using Multiple Outlets To Charge Your Devices

Fix: This Charging Station That Doesn’t Hog Space

Get some outlet space back by powering up your phones and tablets on this charging station. With space for up to six devices, the station has clear dividers that keep everything upright and orderly and short cords for a neat, uncluttered appearance. The power bank automatically detect the device plugged in to deliver the appropriate charge.


Mistake: Crowding Your Bathroom With A Countertop Toothbrush Holder

Fix: This Holder That Mounts To A Wall Or Mirror

Whether you have a pedestal sink or a bathroom counter that’s crowded with toiletries, this toothbrush holder can help. It mounts to any smooth-surface wall or mirror with a vacuum-powered suction cup and features drain holes in the bottom to keep water (and mildew) from building up.


Mistake: Letting Laundry Detergent Make A Soggy Mess

Fix: These Drip Trays That Catch Every Last Drop

Dispensing laundry detergent into the little cups is a messy affair, but these detergent drip trays keep liquid from reaching the machine or worse — the floor. They hook right onto the detergent container and feature built-in platforms, so you can set the cup down as you dispense. When detergent builds up, simply remove the top tray and rinse clean.


Mistake: Storing Your Shoes In A Pile

Fix: This Over-Door Organizer That Holds 12 Pairs

Piling your shoes on top of each other is a fast way to ruin your footwear and can make your closet feel like it’s in total disarray. Here’s an easy fix: this over-the-door shoe organizer. It has 24 pockets for storing up to 12 pairs of shoes and hangs over any standard door. Plus, when you can actually see your entire collection, you might rediscover a favorite (but long-forgotten) pair of kicks.


Mistake: Cluttering Your Counter With Dishwashing Supplies

Fix: This Combo Sponge Holder & Soap Dispenser

This clever sponge holder moonlights as a soap dispenser, which means you can keep one less bottle on your kitchen counter. When you’re ready to wash, simply press down on the tray to dispense some soap directly onto the sponge. The container holds up to 13 ounces, so you won’t have to refill too often.


Mistake: Forgetting To Water Your Plants

Fix: These Self-Watering Planters That Do it For You

Remembering to water houseplants can be a challenge, but luckily, these self-watering planter pots help you out in the green thumb department. The 6-inch planters feature water reservoirs with cotton ropes — fill the reservoirs and the ropes will slowly hydrate the soil at just the right rate. A handy cutout on the side makes it easy to add more water after a week or two.


Mistake: Prepping Food With A Dull Knife

Fix: This 2-Stage Knife Sharpener

Cutting with a dull knife not only makes food prep more difficult, but it’s actually riskier for your fingers. Speed up cooking and protect your digits with this budget-friendly knife sharpener. It features two slots: one for bringing dull, damaged blades back to life and another for putting a fine edge on already-sharp blades. Use it on a flat surface, or position the angled underside on the corner of your kitchen counter for a secure, leveraged hold.


Mistake: Retrieving Food From The Oven With Regular Oven Mitts

Fix: These Long Oven Mitts That Protect Your Forearms

If you’re anything like me, you’ve burned your forearm on a hot oven rack when reaching in for a sheet of cookies or a Thanksgiving turkey. Give your skin a little extra protection with these extra-long oven mitts that provide more coverage. Measuring 14.7 inches, they reach nearly to the elbows and are covered in heat-resistant silicone that’s a breeze to wipe clean.


Mistake: Using Elbow Grease To Scrub Surfaces

Fix: This Power Scrubber That Does The Dirty Work For You

Scrubbing by hand can leave you with a sore arm and a cramp in your fingers, which is why this power scrubber is a such a great ally to have around. With a compact construction, it reaches into tight spaces to clean grout, sink fixtures, and even car wheels. The brush rotates 60 times per second and features both pulse and continuous scrubbing modes. All you have to do is press the button.


Mistake: Frying Foods & Getting Grease On The Walls

Fix: A Splatter Screen That Traps Oil Droplets

The worst thing about frying and sautéing is the oil that inevitably ends up all over your stove and on the wall. Keep that mess at bay with this handy splatter screen. Made from fine mesh stainless steel, it traps oil but still allows steam to escape. It’s available in four sizes to fit a variety of pans.

  • Available sizes: 4


Mistake: Losing Heat & A/C Through The Gap Under Your Door

Fix: This Door Draft Stopper That Creates A Seal

A lot of money can go out the door (literally) when heating and air conditioning sneak through the gap between the door and floor. To stay comfortable — and keep your energy bills reasonable — spend a few bucks on this door draft stopper. It adheres directly to the door to close that gap and prevent drafts, but won’t leave sticky residue behind if you choose to remove it.

  • Available colors: 4


Mistake: Keeping Your Batteries In A Junk Drawer Where You Can’t Find Them

Fix: An Organizer That Makes Them Easy To Locate

Raise your hand if you’ve ever doubled up on batteries because you didn’t realize you had a pack hiding in the bottom of your junk drawer. (Yep, that’s everybody.) Keep your batteries neat and easy to find with this battery organizer. It has space for batteries of all sizes and includes a built-in tester, so you know which ones are good before you bother to pop them into the remote.


Mistake: Chopping Your Herbs With A Knife

Fix: These 5-Blade Herb Scissors That Work Fast

Mincing chives, cilantro, and dill is a time-consuming chore when you do it with a knife, but these herb scissors speed up the process. The five blades work five times as fast, so you can finish prepping herbs and move on to the next thing. The shears come with a cleaning comb to remove any plant residue.


Mistake: Putting Dirty Dishes Into A Clean Dishwasher

Fix: This Magnet That Gives You A Heads Up

You’ve just put several dirty dishes into the dishwasher after dinner and then you notice — the silverware seems suspiciously clean... as does everything else. Prevent this small mishap with this dishwasher magnet that has a sliding mechanism to indicate whether the load is clean or dirty.


Mistake: Letting Cables Dangle Behind Your TV Or Computer

Fix: This Cord Sleeve That Groups Them Together

If the area behind your computer or TV is a hot mess of cables, you’ll want to check out this cord sleeve that easily streamlines the situation. The self-wrapping sleeve groups the cords together and opens up easily any time you want to add another. It can be trimmed to size to fit a variety of setups.


Mistake: Using Hangers That Don’t Grip Your Clothes

Fix: These Nonslip Velvet Hangers

If your clothes constantly slide off your hangers and end up crumpled on the closet floor, these velvet hangers will be a huge upgrade. The soft material grips even the most slippery garments (hello, satin), so your clothes stay where you want them. Each hanger boasts a slim profile that saves you room on your closet rod.


Mistake: Storing Canned Goods In A Disorganized Way

Fix: This Rack That Keeps Them In Order

Stacking cans on top of each other in a hodgepodge in your pantry can make it hard to locate what you need, which is why this can rack is so genius. The three-tier rack has space for large and standard-size cans, and the angled design means the cans in back will roll forward when you remove one in front.


Mistake: Not Keeping Spare Rolls Of T.P. Nearby

Fix: This Holder That Keeps 2 Extra Rolls At Hand

Never be caught in the bathroom empty-handed again when you have this over-tank toilet paper holder. With space for up to two rolls, it hooks right onto the tank, so you always have a spare within reach. It’s finished with chrome for a look that’ll blend in easily with your bathroom.


Mistake: Ignoring Unpleasant Odors

Fix: These Charcoal Bags That Freshen Up The Air

Whether there’s a musty odor in the closet, a whiff of garlic in the kitchen, or a downright bad smell near the litter box, these air-purifying charcoal bags can help. Each one naturally absorbs moisture and neutralizes odors to freshen the air — without the use of fragrances. They last for up to two years — just set them in the sun once a month to reactivate them.


Mistake: Scrubbing The Floor Of Your Oven

Fix: These Oven Liners That Are Washable

Scrubbing the oven has got to be one of the most dreaded kitchen chores. Save yourself the trouble and place these oven liners on the floor of the oven below the racks, where they’ll catch drips and runoff. BPA-free and PFOA-free, they’re heat-resistant to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and can be hand-washed or cleaned in the dishwasher.