46 Practical Things You Don’t Realize You Need Until You Buy A House
Popular items from this list include:
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An automatic cleaning toilet bowl cartridge
Promising review: “This works absolutely phenomenal. I would clean the bowl area every weekend like clock work to remove mold or something…Our municipal water system may not inject enough chlorine to prohibit? But toilet cleaning is a breeze now!!! Works on the Koehler new low flush systems…amazing. No chlorine damage to rubber parts either like other devices! Pretty simple instructions to install.” — CdrW
A pet hair remover with a unique patented brush design
Promising reviews: “The ChomChom Roller really works. I have two German Shepherds who shed SO much, so this was necessary. The ChomChom Roller picked up SO much fur the vacuum couldn’t.” — Ezra Gordon
“I’ve had it in my possession for like two hours and I’ve cleaned everything. The couch, the blinds, the cat tree pad, the chair; I’m obsessed. I feel like this thing should win an award for being so awesome. I feel like it should be in raffle baskets and giveaways and silent auctions for every event that highlights ‘things cat people need.’ It’s better than those sticky rollers, it’s better than the one-directional velvet wand thing that I always use the wrong way. It’s the best.” — Meowser
A SwitchBot Smart Switch button pusher
Reviewers love this because it doesn’t require you to “smart enable” other parts of your home. I need to get one of these for my husband who drags himself out of bed every morning to turn on his espresso machine.
Promising review: “This is exactly what I was looking for and had no idea it existed until I saw someone mention it on TikTok! Our front walkway gets pretty dark at night, and I was frustrated with trying to remember to turn on the light every evening and off every morning. I looked into those light sensors you can plug in, but our front porch light is under an awning with enough shade that it would have kept the light on 24/7. This little Switchbot solved the problem. I applied it to the indoor light switch and set the time on my phone. It has worked perfectly ever since.” — Alecia McLochlin
A mini Keurig machine
I have this machine in evergreen, and it flawlessly matches my kitchen — which absolutely sparks joy. I was admittedly a little confused at first on how to use it (surprisingly), but once I figured it out, it was smooth sailing. Since it’s a single-serve machine, you’ll need to add your pod, close the hatch, pour the exact amount of water you’d like to be dispensed in the top, then click the button once, and wait for the water to heat and pour out. Don’t hit the button over and over like I thought I had to…oops. Anyways, it’s a fabulous lil’ machine and looks super cute on my counter.
Promising review: “I love the convenience of this machine, and the color makes me so happy! Such an attractive design that doesn’t take up too much space on my counter. It even matches my favorite coffee mug!” — Jen F.
A bagless, touchless stationary vacuum
Promising review: “Saw it on TikTok and knew I had to have one. I hate cleaning but get annoyed with the clumps of dog hair and bits of things on my kitchen floor. I usually just vacuum my tile with the vacuum which is a pain. This thing is so easy to just sweep things into and it sucks them right up. Sure, it’s more expensive than my actual vacuum, but I’ve only had it three days and have used it two times.” — Amazon customer
A toothbrush holder and dispenser
Promising review: “I love this item! I saw it originally on TikTok and thought it would be perfect for our bathroom! We have one bathroom upstairs and five people who use it. This cleared up so much counter space for us! There are ventilation holes where the cups go to help make sure they dry properly. The toothpaste dispenser has really been working to get every last drop out of the tube. Would definitely recommend for a family or kids bathroom. There is also a little storage compartment behind the toothpaste that is great for extra brushes, cotton swabs, or flossers.” — Sariyah J
A cup rinser
Check out a TikTok of the cup washer in action. To install, you can use the instructions and materials provided to easily hook it up to the hot water line. Note that this won’t install on sinks without a flat edge!
Promising review: “Never knew I needed one until I saw it on TikTok, and with water bottles and toddler cups it is essential to my household!” — Gayla Brink
A wireless endoscope gadget
My husband found this online and was absolutely blown away by the technology. This tool connects to an app on your phone, allowing you to problem-solve without having to spend an exorbitant amount of money. He’s used it multiple times throughout our first year as homeowners to look into heat ducts, down drains, inside walls, etc.
Promising review: “This camera works so well it’s almost a joke. An overhead light in my boat’s cabin had severed wire. The hole to access the wire is not even 1/2” in diameter, and the gap in the ceiling is only 2” tall. Adjusted the semi-rigid cable, located the severed wire, went back in with the hook attached, and voila!” — the family cook
A flexible cleaning brush
Promising review: “Works perfectly for scrubbing the stuck lint out of the insides of your dryer. Everyone who owns a dryer should have these, they’re basic safety equipment. Clean that lint, and reduce the fire hazard and make the machine more efficient. They’re long enough, strong enough, and just flexible enough without being too flexible.” — Winged Wolf
A wet/dry vacuum
My husband and I bought our first home two years ago and it has been quite the learning experience. Luckily my father-in-law has a plethora of tools, such as this vacuum, that made most of our DIYs a breeze. After ripping up a carpet and removing all the staples that had been holding it down, I was amazed we were able to use this machine to clean all the debris up in one swipe.
Promising review: “I had a 40-year-old Craftsman shop vacuum that finally broke, I was not expecting a modern one to perform as well as the old one however this new one is better in every way. The hose holds its shape under the vacuum, the wheels turn easily allowing it to move freely. It’s so much quieter than the old model, I like the cart especially as it gives a handle to allow you to move the vacuum around without bending down which for someone with low back pain, this is a great relief” — Silver
A shelf liner that’ll provide a nonslip padding inside
You can cut these for a perfect fit, so no worries about the exact sizing. It’s also machine washable, so any crumbs or stains can be easily removed.
Promising review: “I have recently moved into an apartment with some pretty gross cupboards, drawers, and kitchen shelves that I can do almost nothing about. I didn’t want to put down adhesive shelf liner and traditional mesh type cushioning shelf liner doesn’t really protect my dishes from touching the ancient stained wood. This stuff is a great solution for me. It’s a nice thick padding that’s textured on the bottom so it doesn’t slide around. The top is slick and smooth and easy to clean. I don’t really bother to trim this stuff, instead I place it in the cupboard and let the excess bend up around the edges creating a little bumper around the edge of the cabinet. Makes me feel so much better about my kitchen and the bright white look says ‘clean’ in a place that desperately needs something to say ‘clean.’ I’ve used a couple different types of this style of liner in this kitchen and this brand is by far my favorite. Go ahead and buy the larger rolls. Ten feet seems like a lot of material until you’re filling cupboards and drawers you’ll use more than you think.” — Taylor Whitney
Felt pads to place under all of your furniture
Promising review: “Just got a new house with all new wood floors. Every piece of furniture needed felt ‘feet.’ I found this package on Amazon and hoped it would do the trick for all of my furniture. When I received it (quickly no less) I thought it was too small of a package to get the job done, but once I started with the dining room table and six chairs I realized there was plenty in the package to add a dot to every bit of furniture I needed to ‘shoe.’ It was easy to adhere and now everything scoots like a dream.” —Robyn Restel
Jennifer Tonti / BuzzFeed
A bamboo burner cover
BuzzFeeder Jennifer Tonti credits this burner cover for helping her cook with ease: “OK so I bought this for my own tiny apartment (pictured above) and OMG you guys. Life = changed. Food = chopped. Counter space = doubled. I mean the math is all there.”
Promising review: “This is so perfect for extra space. It covers the top of my apartment-sized stove so I can then use my stove space for my Instant Pot and food prep. The best space-saving and cosmetic thing I have ever gotten for this tiny apartment.” — Talyn Amber Skye
A wireless remote kit
Promising review: “I have three sets of these and use them at home and at my cabin in the Rockies. They work great and power through walls. I use one to turn on and off a painting light that otherwise could only be turned on by climbing onto the fireplace and carefully reaching up and behind the painting to turn on. Why get up and stumble around to turn on a light?” — Lee
A 64-piece iFixit kit
My husband is admittedly a “gadget guy” and has had one of these kits for as long as I can remember. He’s a big fan of the brand and loves that every set comes with a lifetime warranty.
Promising review: “Seriously, I have been repairing small electronics for decades now, over 30 dang years, and I will say this is probably the best deal and collection you can get for simple to even complicated repairs. It has a crapload of bits, but essentially everything you will need as opposed to the next larger offering, though I am still considering getting that for my dungeon downstairs. I keep this upstairs literally in the kitchen since a lot of impromptu repairs occur at the dining room table, but I have not been let down. This is top notch/quality material and manufacturing. It not only feels comfortable but is very strong and bits do not let go of screws. It has a great deal of bits too, 64 in fact. It pretty much covers all the phone and laptop screws you will encounter and even has some socket ones too. Nice touch.” — Riboild
A classic handheld OXO can opener with cushioned handles
I have this can opener and bought it for my parents when their old electric one died. It may not seem like the most essential purchase but when you’ve watched your dad try to open a can of tuna with a butcher knife, you’ll realize it’s best to have one on hand.
Promising review: “This is a top-notch can opener. Gone through several other cheap brands that have broken and left me nearly cutting a finger off trying to finish opening the half mutilated can, but this guy knows how to get the job done and the handle is much more ergonomic in my opinion. Do yourself a favor and buy five, one for yourself and four for people in your life because this guy will change their life.” — AK
A garage door opener you can control from your phone
Neither my husband nor I have ever had a garage, but this is a new worry that seems to plague us now that we DO have one. He immediately ordered this in an attempt to qualm his fears about forgetting to close the garage, which is filled with pretty much everything we own right now. We even drove 20 minutes away recently only to turn around to ensure the garage was, in fact, closed. Don’t be like us. Order this product.
Promising review: “Bought this for my parents — my dad always forgets to close the garage when he leaves and it makes my mom feel unsafe. I installed it and got the app working on all three of our phones in under 20 minutes even with not-great Wi-Fi in the garage. Set up a schedule to automatically try to close the door every hour if it’s open. It gives my mom peace of mind that she can check and see the garage is closed from anywhere. Overall: easy to install, working great, and I would definitely recommend this product.” — LG
A pack of oven liners
Promising review: “These liners are life-changing! I never thought I needed them until a friend raved about them. Clean up is so simple, no more melted cheese or sauces burnt to the bottom of my ovens. I love that I can cut them down to size to fit my toaster oven. My husband enjoys grilling with the liners now, he doesn’t have to line the grill with aluminum foil which he found so annoying, deterring him to grill. This product really has simplified my life in the kitchen and I love it.” — Kindle custommer
A garbage guard
Promising review: “Got an outdoor can, the kind the mechanical arm on the garbage truck picks up and tips over, with the lid opening by gravity. Placed this on the inside of the lid, near the hinge to lessen the chances of it being scraped off during emptying and no flies/maggots! No apparent odor, just seems to put a big hurt on the fly party that used to be my trash can (litter box contents, remnants of meat, etc.) ” — Michael E. Bradley
A plant-based walnut scrubber sponge
Public Goods is a small business based in New York.
Promising review: “I love that these are natural cellulose and are less polluting to our environment. They work like a charm and look beautiful in our kitchen!” — Sheryl K.
A garbage-disposal foaming cleaner
Look at that foam go!
Promising review: “It seems counterintuitive to put a little packet down your garbage disposal to clean it, but this does actually seem to work, at least for getting out weird smells that baking soda and vinegar don’t really touch. I scrub the sink down first, especially around the garbage disposal area, rinse it down, and then just follow the directions on the package. I have used it with single, large-size sinks and with double sinks — only difference is that the double sink will have blue cleaning foam rise up the drain, which you rinse away when the disposal sounds clear again. I have tried the foaming cleaner in a can, but unfortunately it stopped coming out of the can about 10% of the way through. Went back to this tried-and-true.” — KS
An electric pressure washer
Promising review: “Power washer was delivered Monday, it’s Wednesday and I have washed two cars, cleaned the driveway and sidewalks, cleaned the back fence, and the work keeps piling up, everything I see now needs to be cleaned! This little dude does not back down, plenty of power and it’s surprisingly not too loud. Soap dispensers work great, and the tips are easy to change.” — Mar
A Clorox ToiletWand
I own and cherish this product. It’s a dream knowing the “brush” is fresh and hasn’t been intimate with the inside of my toilet prior to my picking it up again. This set comes with the wand and 16 refills.
Promising review: “The primary reason I decided to purchase the Clorox Toilet Wand was so I could clean under my toilet rims, which I noticed was definitely getting neglected via using the standard toilet brushes to clean. Initially, I was looking for a toilet brush that had the shape needed to actually GET under the rim, and that’s how I found out about it. Now that I’ve used it… I can say without a doubt that’ll I’ll never go back to a regular brush. I like the cleanliness of the disposable brushes as opposed to a regular toilet brush. And I especially like that I don’t have to purchase a second brush with a shape capable of cleaning under the rim, which not only takes up more space, but also would take more time given I’d have to switch back and forth and apply product. With this, I can just clean the entire pot in less than five minutes with the same tool.” — Brittney Nelson
Heather Braga / BuzzFeed
A rechargeable lighter
I’m obsessed with candles, so it was a no-brainer for my husband to gift me this surprisingly super fun gadget. It’s really simple to use and charge, and it really works! I’ll never have to buy another lighter again.
Promising review: “This is seriously the coolest device of my winter holiday. It makes lighting candles a breeze. Yes, there is a weird crackling noise, but that’s a super minor annoyance. It’s a super intuitive device. Plus the lighter with the USB (included), charge for a bit, then pop it open and light ALL THE THINGS; well, candles. I don’t know how well it lights cigarettes or whatever. However, for my personal intended use, it’s awesome!” — Jee W
An aesthetically pleasing cutting board
Material Kitchen is an Asian-owned small business that sells lovely kitchen products — they were even featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things 2021! Additionally, 50% of profits from the colors “To Pó-Po with Love” and “Reimagine Justice” go to Heart of Dinner and Drive Change.
Promising review: “In addition to the size of the ReBoard, I like the variety of color choices and the fact that the boards are made of recycled materials. Plus, they’re light in weight. I have given them as gifts to several people and everyone has liked them!” — Reshma S.
A double extension cord
Each cord is six feet long and has three available plugs.
Promising review: “I have no idea why these are not sold everywhere. PERFECT for my room! I ended up getting this due to my king size bed being against a wall with only one outlet. I needed a way to connect my two lamps on my nightstand and this is absolutely, without a doubt, the very best solution to connecting my lamps and also not having all my outlets taken up. I recommend this to everyone! Also perfect for outlets connected to a switch to turn on and off both lights at the same time.” — Ryan
A Nest thermostat
The Nest thermostat learns your schedule and the temperatures you prefer and shifts into Eco Temperature mode when you leave to conserve energy. This smart thermostat will do all the work for you — and when you do actually have to make any updates to the temp in your home you can do it all from your phone, tablet, or laptop. I just installed two into my new home and am still really impressed. It was been super convenient to be able to put the heat up from my phone before heading over when we were still somewhat under construction.
Promising review: “We have had our Nest thermostat for a little over a year now and I have to say we love it. I would give 10 stars if I could!!! The features are amazing. I like that. You can adjust the temperature when you’re not home, plus it syncs with the weather and knows when to adjust the temperature. It knows when you’re home or away and learns your routine. We keep it set to a temperature range where in the winter it won’t go below a set temperature and in the summer it won’t go above a set temperature. No more switching back and forth between heat and AC in our crazy Texas weather. Our electric bill is significantly lower. It takes a couple weeks for it to learn your routine. We don’t ever even have to touch the thermostat.” — geogg arvesen
A utility sink
My parents have one specifically for my mom to dye her hair (sorry for, uh, publicizing that, Mom) in so she doesn’t stain their nice, new sinks. I’m planning to get one for my laundry room to soak stained clothing and whatnot before tossing it into the washing machine.
Promising review: “I purchased this as a replacement for an old but nearly exact sink that is the only sink in my garage/auto shop. This is plenty sturdy for filling pails and cleaning heavy parts. As noted by others, the faucet is especially nice. Along with the faucet, this unit would be ideal for washing dogs up to a medium size. An excellent piece for not much money. As is usual with Amazon, it was delivered in just two days.” — D OC
A solar-powered, motion sensor-activated lights
Promising review: “I purchased these to cover the side of my house. Installation was easy and I left them outside for two days to charge. The light coverage was about what I expected from them and do the job well. The motion sensitivity covers all the side and lights turn on. It has rained about three times and still work great and hoping they last for a long time.” — J. Argueta
Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed
Rubbermaid’s power scrubbing brush
Promising review: “Last night I was reborn. What is the cause of this renewed zest for life, you might ask? It was the use of the Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber on my shower grout. It elevated a simple baking soda-and-water solution to alchemical proportions. My pink-tiled shower, the one that came with my scummy apartment, the one that never looks clean no matter how many hours of backbreaking labor I put in, now looks bright, clean, and full of promise. An otherwise disgusting and dated purely utilitarian part of my home is now art. TL;DR: This this is absolutely incredible.” — Amazon customer
There is NOTHING more irritating than gnats or any other tiny insects invading your home. I have these Sticky Stakes in every potted plant I own and they actually really work! Each pack comes with seven traps, so feel free to stock up.
Promising review: “Holy cow these suckers work! I’m so grossed out by the result, but at the same time I have a sick sense of satisfaction. I used these in my house plants that are breeding fungus gnats like crazy. I used them in conjunction with beneficial nematodes, and they definitely cut down on the number of gnats in our house. Unfortunately I added a new house plant, plus repotted one that had outgrown its prior home, and we are wrapped up in them again. I’m buying another package of sticky traps as soon as I finish this review!” — Megan
A Samsung TV that’ll disguise itself as an elegant picture frame
This is the number one thing on my wish list right now — it’s so cool and I’m constantly staring at it in stores. I love that it has the ability to transform into a piece of art but also act as a room’s main source of entertainment.
Promising review: “This TV is badass! It’s more expensive, but that’s because it’s so much different than other TVs. If you hate the way normal TVs look, get one of these. It mounts flat against the wall and will look like a picture frame. The one connect box is great too. Just one cord comes down to a box you can stash somewhere that you connect all your inputs into. Definitely spend the extra money to get one of the other bezel covers. It really will look like a picture on the wall.” — Chris Fulmer
An all-natural tile and tub cleaner
Promising review: “I have an old shower/bathtub. I tried name brand shower cleaners and bleach to try and clean the soap scum off the tiles and tub. I had no luck and I would cough and get sick because of how strong the smell was. I thought I would try this to save my lungs. I sprayed my entire shower and left it for about 15 minutes. I came back and rinsed off the walls and they were shiny! I’ve never had such a clean shower. The smell is amazing and subtle. All I smell is tea tree and it didn’t affect me at all. The price is also a good deal since the bottle is pretty large. It came with the sprayer separate and the bottle sealed so it wouldn’t leak in the box. I highly recommend this.” — Amber Erwin
Heather Braga / BuzzFeed
A SinkShroom strainer
I bought this for myself and OMG. This thing REALLY works. Usually when my husband makes sauce from scratch I’m left with chunks of tomatoes throughout my sink and water that WILL NOT drain — that was until I bought the SinkShroom. My mom was so impressed she bought one, too. It’s a serious game-changer.
Promising review: “I’ve been a fan of the SinkShroom and TubShroom, and this is the best product from the line so far. My kitchen sinks simply do not clog any more, so there’s no more reaching into a bunch of water to unclog anything with my hand.” — Brady Amerson
A standing weeder
Made with a bamboo handle and powder-coated steel, it uses a simple lever system to made weeding easy. Added bonus? Grampa’s Weeder is a small business!
Promising review: “Oh my god, I friggin’ love this tool. I bought this on a whim given we bought our first house and know nothing about caring for a yard. Boy has it come in handy. Our new house had a ton of weeds in the front yard and this tool helped me get most of them out in no time. In fact, the process of yanking out the weed was strangely satisfying! I don’t think anyone can say that weeding is fun but this tool made it as close to fun as you can get, especially when you see a long root along with the weed you pulled.” — JG
Comma Home Goods
Super soft Egyptian cotton sheets
Comma Home Goods is a small business based out of Oceanside, New York that sells delightful linens and bedding.
A bidet attachment
Promising review: “I bought this because I was very curious. I was initially worried the cold water would be an issue but so far it is not. I am worried about the winter months though as I think the tap water may be a little cooler. This thing cleans up your butt like you just got out of shower. I wish these were in every public toilet everywhere. I won’t poop anywhere in my house except the master bath now. I am excited to poop so I can flush it and then clean up using the Tushy so I can see in the toilet how much it cleaned my butt. You will be amazed.” — Ryan
Heather Braga / BuzzFeed
A “life-proof” dining room table
I have this table and it’s been great! It’s not super heavy (which is nice, since we did have to lug it up some stairs) but you can tell it’s nice quality wood. It fit seamlessly in with my decor and I’m looking forward to putting the “life-proof” claims to the test! The table also comes with the option to include a leaf so you can easily expand it to fit eight people.
Promising review: “We received the oak colored table and 6 chairs for our kitchen several weeks ago. Couldn’t be happier, so happy, in fact, that we just ordered another table in the darker color for our dining room! Product and service outstanding. Highly recommend.” — Gloria J
A stainless-steel cleaner
This plant-based cleaner will remove streaks, smudges, and fingerprints from all stainless steel surfaces — sounds very therapeutic to me!
Promising review: “THIS Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner is AMAZING. New dishwasher and and a hungry dog are NOT compatible! Our small dog, 12 pounds, had a habit of stretching up her front paws and scratching her nails on the dishwasher while her food was prepared. Not even days had gone by and the new dishwasher had little thin claw scratches all down the front. I had stopped her by placing a footstool to block her, but other family members had not, despite my instructions. I tried several cleaners and had resigned to having a scratched appliance. But ONE try with the Therapy cleaner — yes, a *miracle*. The scratches cannot be seen at all — polished right out of sight. The dishwasher looks even better than when fresh out of the box — it is gleaming. I eagerly shared the success with my kitchen remodeler, who installs many appliances, and I hope others can restore their stainless products. Try it!” — L. Peterson
A critter catcher
Promising review: “This thing is awesome! Initially I was hesitant that it would squish the little guys or they would fall out in transport but it’s great! Highly recommend! Sorry little guy your GPS brought you into my house, I will help you find your way back outside :)” — Crystal R
SheetKeeper / Etsy
Sheet keeper bands
SheetKeeper is a woman-owned small business based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Promising review: “Great product. Came quickly and they work great! Such a great idea to keep sheets organized and together while being able to tell what size bedding it is. Will order again for sure!” — devonhansen1
A box of washing machine cleaning tablets
You can use this product on both front-load and top-load washing machines. There’s also a version you can use to clean your dishwasher!
Promising review: “My washing machine instructions said to buy this product specifically to clean out the washer. It definitely helped with odor and the washer seems to be working more efficiently now. Great price, would buy again.” — Fred
A Command hook railing
Promising review: “So easy to hang on the wall, smaller than I thought it would be and that ended up being perfect! I love that it comes with extra Command strips if relocation is needed.” — Caden
A soap dispensing brush
Promising review: “I’m loving this little brush. I had purchased another dish brush a while back from the grocery store and the bristles were so stiff that it often splattered soap everywhere. This one isn’t like that. The bristles are stiff, but soft enough that they tend to cling to what you’re brushing, so they don’t cause that splatter effect. I also like that you can open the whole thing up by taking its top off to refill it, giving you plenty of room to pour in the dish soap. The ability to easily remove and replace the brush is another very handy feature. Both are easy to do and it’s well made, so they’re not likely to come open or undone unexpectedly.” — Elliria
A grout pen to help you restore your tile floor and bathroom walls
Promising review: “These things are awesome! I cleaned my bathroom tile grout first because the lady that lived there before me really let it go. A few places stayed stained and I was worried it wouldn’t cover them, but all grout areas are bright white and look new now!” — Donna K Cook
Promising review: “This product is great in my opinion. Installing it wasn’t too bad. Though make sure you have the right measurement tools, and you’re doing the measurements with another person. It makes time go by way quicker. What I also love about this product is that my garage looks way less cluttered. We don’t have bikes to hang, but we just have a lot of decorations that need to be stored away and it just makes our lives way easier. We also store my husband’s tools on top of it. I was skeptical about the weight capacity and it proved me wrong.” — HelloKiwii