The Cleverest Items of 2018 to Simplify Your Life
The Cleverest Items of 2018 to Simplify Your Life
Call them clever items, sanity-savers, life-simplifiers, time-savers, or whatever else, but the cool gadgets of 2018 have the power to make life just a tiny bit easier, one pesky problem at a time.
The blades on this compact kitchen tool can mince a peeled garlic clove to perfection in a few quick zooms, keeping sticky (and pungent) garlic juice off your cutting boards and knives. You’ll save quite a chunk of time, too. To buy: $14; amazon.com.
Batiste Dry Conditioner
Give day-two (or even day-three) hair a fresh, smooth look with this spray, which moisturizes dry ends and smooths flyaways without making hair feel greasy. It smells great, too. To buy: $9; ulta.com.
Table + Teaspoon
Order a place setting—complete with dishes, candlesticks, flatware, table runners, and more—for group dinners and holiday gatherings with Table + Teaspoon’s door-to-door service, which will deliver everything you need for a beautiful tablescape in advance of the event and take care of the dirty dishes (no dishwashing needed) afterward. (You just need to pack up the box and send it off.)
Mabel’s Labels Wash Aways
Tag canning jars, leftovers, or covered dishes with these stickers. They dissolve under running water or in the dishwasher and leave no sticky residue. To buy: $9 for 24 labels; mabelslabels.com.
Menu Sweeper and Funnel
For the design-minded cleaner, this sweeper and dustpan duo serves both aesthetic and functional purposes: The sleek dustpan has a funnel at one end, so dumping swept-up debris is spill-proof, and the brush fits inside the hollow handle for storage. To buy: $60; amazon.com.
simplehuman Tension Arm Paper Towel Holder
The tension arm on this stainless steel holder allows one paper towel sheet to be torn off at a time, with just one hand—no more fumbling for paper towels with sticky fingers. To buy: $25; amazon.com.
Spend less time on your phone by downloading this app on it (yes, really). Flipd uses a series of methods—including lock modes, schedules, time trackers, and more—to help you establish a healthier relationship with your phone so you’re only using it when you really need to, not just to procrastinate or scroll the day away.
Aunt Fannie’s Mosquito Repellent Wipes
Swipe this towelette over skin for four-hour protection against flies, ticks, and gnats. The formula is DEET-free and contains peppermint oil, olive oil, and vitamin E. To buy: $10; amazon.com.
With top and bottom UV light sanitizers, this little case can kill 99.99 percent of the bacteria on your phone, effectively sanitizing the filthiest item you use—and even press to your face—every day. The device fits all phones, and it even has a port for your charger, so your phone can power up while it’s cleaned. To buy: $60; amazon.com.
Silpat Silicone Muffin Pan
Turn any sheet pan into a muffin pan—one with a no-greasing-needed silicone surface—with this lightweight and flexible add-on. Plus, the pan is flexible enough that you can easily pop out muffins (or cupcakes or pastry shells) without crumbling them in the process. To buy: $50; williams-sonoma.com.
Make finding the right fit when online shopping easier with Try, an app and Chrome Extension that allows you to try before you buy from a handful of popular online retailers. Simply click Try at checkout after downloading, and Try places the order for you, so you don’t front the money. You have seven days to decide if you want to keep your order or return it—if you choose the latter, you don’t pay a penny.
OXO Good Grips Dish Squeegee
Easily scrape leftover food from plates and bowls with this handy tool. (Bonus: It extends the life of your sponge.) The grip is nonslip, even when wet, and the squeegee stands on end for quick drying. To buy: $5; amazon.com.
EarthKind Stay Away Ants
Keep ants away—sans toxins and harmful chemicals—with these compact pouches, which contain natural repellents that force ants to stay far, far away from your picnic or barbecue. Stay Away Ants can even be used indoors, in kitchens and other problem areas. To buy: $6; amazon.com.
SoleMates Blister Blocker
This pocket-sized, blister-blocking balm glides on feet easily, with no scent and no greasy residue, to reduce friction between your shoes and feet and keep blisters from forming. Re-application throughout the day is simple and can be accomplished subtly, to keep you walking tall all day long. To buy: $26 for a pack of three; amazon.com.
Architec Rectangle Concave Cutting Board
This acacia wood cutting board is pretty enough to hold a place of honor among your kitchen’s open shelving. For the functionalists, it also has a subtle curve at the center of the board, so juices from meats and fruits stay on the cutting board, not on your counters. To buy: $50; thegrommet.com.
Chef’n LooseLeaf Plus
Chef’n’s tried-and-true herb stripper gets a sharp upgrade with stainless steel shears, which allow home chefs and gardeners to cut herbs and trim greens with the same tool they use to strip leaves from the stems. The stripping tool works with everything from kale and collards to oregano and thyme. To buy: $13; amazon.com.