40 Cheap ways to solve the annoying problems around your house

Who knew it could be this easy?

ByChristina Wood
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The stairs are dangerously dark. The closet smells musty. The dryer seems to be getting more feeble by the day. The clutter is overtaking your living space because you have no closets. Oh, and there are bugs — so many bugs. Put down the apartment listings and listen: This is all going to be okay. These problems are common and easy to fix. You don’t have to remodel, move, or burn it all to the ground. You need these 40 cheap ways to solve the annoying problems around your house and you need them STAT.


These hangers that organize your pants

Eliminate the morning fashion crisis and save room in your closet by hanging a week’s worth of pants, skirts, or shorts on one of these five-tier pants hangers. With all your options displayed at a glance, dressing is easy. This is a six-pack of hangers and each one hangs six garments in the space a regular hanger uses for one.


A clever solution for storing bulky items

All that clutter in your closet can be reduced and made easy to stack in a few minutes with these vacuum storage bags that suck all the air out of blankets, winter wardrobes, and other bulky items. Just fill them up, attach the included pump or your own vacuum cleaner, and watch as it shrinks. The tidy package that results is easy to stack on shelves.


The doormat that traps dirt before it gets in

Dress up the front porch while keeping dirt outside instead of letting it track all over your floors with this coir mat. It has thick bristles to get shoes and paws clean, and a rubber backing so it stays put while people can wipe their feet on it. It comes in nine patterns and two sizes to fit your vibe and space.


The vacuum attachment that fixes your dryer

When your dryer seems weak and clothes don’t dry as quickly as they once did, attach this vent cleaner kit to your vacuum cleaner to pull out the lint that is likely gumming up the works. This reaches over 3 feet into the vent to grab accumulation that is otherwise hard to see and is great for cleaning behind the appliance, too.


This tool for cleaning any grill

Hang this clever disk-shaped BBQ scraper on your grill — or tuck it in your wallet — and you will always have an effective way to clear the crud from the grates of any grill you cook on. The cutouts are designed to fit over all sorts of grill shapes, including a flat scraper for the griddle and three notches designed for the grills you will find in parks and campgrounds. There is also a bottle opener because, if you are grilling, you might need one of those.


The smart way to dry hand washables

When the label reads “hand wash and dry flat” you don’t have to transform the kitchen for laundry day. Hang this over-the-door drying rack on a convenient door and lay your garments on the mesh shelves. The airflow through the mesh will dry clothes fast and they won’t be in the way. It folds up easily for storage.


A sign for package deliveries

Don’t tempt porch pirates by letting a pile of boxes sit unattended in your entry all day. Set a decorative box on your porch and hang this clear sign to instruct carriers to leave your deliveries in it. It will survive the elements because it is printed on aluminum and then laminated. Choose from seven sizes and hanging-hardware options. You can also add custom text to your sign.


This slick way to store vinyl

Give your vinyl a place of honor and make it easy to flip through your collection and choose a listen. This record storage holder sits out on a table so you can see all your records or — if you’re a serious collector — a current curation of it. The firm acrylic end pieces hold records upright and the slotted base stops slippage so flipping through a collection is fun, mess-free, and easy.


A hack for sheets that pop off the mattress

If your sheets are constantly popping off the mattress because you toss and turn or have a ridiculously deep mattress, fix that annoying problem by securing the sheets with these bed sheet straps. They clip to the sheet corners, reach under the mattress, and hold the sheets on. Removing the sheets is easy: Unsnap the clips. “I can’t live without these!” said one reviewer. “I toss and turn and tear sheets off the bed in my sleep, not once has my sheet slipped off since using these!”


This broom storage solution you can fit anywhere

Wrangle all the brooms, vacuum parts, and cleaning tools into one easy-to-manage corner or the back of a closet door with this broom holder wall mount. It has five clamps to hold brooms, mops, and other long-handled tools and six retractable hooks for dusters, gloves, and other smaller items. Nearly 41,000 people give this solution five stars.


These lights that make the stairs safer

Fix all your lighting problems with these battery-powered LED stair lights that turn on when they sense motion and off again a few minutes later. They are perfect for stair risers, turning a dangerously dark stairway into a well-lit one in minutes. They also solve under-cabinet lighting problems or light a closet interior.


A clever trick for changing lightbulbs that are out of reach

If you have been hauling out a ladder or calling a handyperson to change lightbulbs that are too high to reach, this light bulb changer will give you the power to change those bulbs easily on your own. A suction cup grabs the face of flat lightbulbs so you can unscrew them from a distance. Just attach it to a long pole and it will only take you and this tool to change a lightbulb.


The shower caddy that creates storage wherever you need it

Create all the storage you need in the shower, bathroom, or kitchen by sticking this shower caddy to the wall with the included adhesive wall mount hooks. It’s easy to do. The two shelves can hold 20 pounds of personal care items, toilet paper, facecloths, spices, or whatever you need to keep handy. The set comes with four hooks you can attach where you want them.


This shoe organizer that stores & displays almost anything

Hang this over-the-door shoe organizer anywhere you need extra storage and use the 24 see-through pockets to create order and get goods off the floor, off your shelves, and where they are easy to see and find. The pockets are each sized for one shoe but will hold everything from toiletry items to snacks. It comes in four colors.


This can organizer for the fridge

This soda can organizer frees up shelf space and makes it easy to grab a cold one out of the fridge. Just load it up with cans and it automatically pushes them to the front. It holds nine standard cans or 14 slim ones in a narrow stretch of fridge shelf.


The blackout curtains that insulate

Not only do these thermal blackout curtains let you close out the sun so you can take a nap during the day, but they also reduce your power bill by insulating the windows so your AC and heat stay inside. They look elegant in the room, too. Choose from five sizes and six colors.


These plastic plates for any large gathering

When the entire neighborhood stops by for a potluck, pull out this 60-pack of disposable plastic plates and you won’t have to clean up afterward. There are 30 salad plates and 30 dinner plates. They look nice and are sturdy enough for whatever casserole your neighbors bring. You can wash them and use them again or recycle them.


The grabber that can do long or short

Cleaning up the yard, picking up pet or child toys, and reaching high places — along with many other tasks — can be made so much easier with this folding grabber tool. The arm extends from 15 inches up to 43 inches while you control the grabber from a trigger in the handle. Magnets on the grabber help you pick up dropped metal parts or batteries.


This traction tape for safer stairs

Make a slippery flight of stairs safe again with this traction tape. It sticks to wood, concrete, steel, tile, and many other surfaces and creates a grippy surface that stops slips. Just measure the length you need and stick it where you need it. “[Used this] on stairs that are very heavily trafficked during parties,” said one reviewer. “People constantly spill their drinks and the stairs become very slippery. After slipping myself, I decided something needed to be done. [...] Not one person has fallen since.”


The dog bowls that contain all the mess

Stop the canine meal mess! This set of dog bowls drops into the molded frame in these bone-shaped silicone mats so the bowls stay where you want them and the mess is contained in a tidy perimeter around the bowls. Just choose the size your best friend eats from and a color you like and meals will not equal mess anymore.


A power strip you need on your desk & bedside table

End the hunt for a place to plug in by setting this power strip on your bedside table, desk, side table, or counter. It brings five standard outlets and three USB ports to a convenient spot so you can plug in whatever needs charging. The cord is 4.5-feet long and the price is hard to beat.


These cord covers that hide wires

It’s easy to conceal the cords that snake away from your computer, projector, or entertainment system with this 6-foot cord cover that comes in four colors. Just peel and stick it to the floor or walls, fitting the cords into the interior channels. No one will trip on the stray wires and your home will look so much neater.


The trick for parking in a crowded garage

Don’t risk an accident in the garage. Peel and stick this parking target to the floor and you will park precisely every time — no matter how tight the tolerances. You will feel the tire bump the target when you need to stop. “After having a motorcycle knocked over and storage shelves hit, I finally bought it,” said one reviewer. “Get it now before you have to replace something.”


This privacy film that lets in the light

Create privacy in your interior spaces without covering up the windows or blocking the light by attaching this window privacy film directly to the glass. It creates a frosted-glass look that is at once minimalist and elegant, letting in light while completely obscuring the outdoor view and blocking anyone from seeing in. It is available in five colors and numerous sizes so you can use it in a range of applications.


This pet camera so you can look in on your fur baby

Do you wonder what sort of antics your pet gets up to when you aren’t home? Set this Petcube camera in a central place and have a look from your phone next time you are away. It lets you check in whenever you like and speak to your pet to calm them down, stop them from chewing your shoes, or say hi. It even alerts you if it senses motion so you are sure to check in when the action is happening.


The easy hack for for a leaky garage door

Stopping the water from seeping in under your garage door is easier than you think. This threshold seal strip is all you need. Glue this flexible rubber strip to the floor and it will keep the water on the outside without any expensive remodeling efforts. “Our driveway isn't sloped right so every time it rained or snowed it made a mess in the garage,” reported one reviewer. “We've had two major rain storms since the install and [are] happy to report no water in the garage!”


This rack that makes cleaning the kitchen easy

That messy pile of pans that faces you every time you cook or clean up the kitchen is not good for your motivation. Set this expandable pot and organizer on a shelf and make your kitchen easier to use. You can set the pans in the slots so it’s easy to find the one you want, easy to put them all away, and to prevent anything from getting lost in the back. The dividers are adjustable and it comes in six colors.


These water monitors so leaks don’t destroy the house

One unattended leak can destroy your floors, costing thousands to repair. So keep an eye on the plumbing and appliances that might leak by setting this Wi-Fi-connected water sensor in the water heater pan, under the kitchen sink, and in the overflow pan for your air conditioning unit. You will get a phone alert if there is too much water where there shouldn’t be — which could save you a fortune in repairs. If Wi-Fi is not available, it will issue a loud, audible alarm.


The colorful iPhone charger that’s long enough

Charge your iPhone, even when the plug is too far for your current charging cable to reach. This colorful Lightning charging cable can reach there and it will look sleek doing it. The braided-nylon-wrapped cord is durable, 10-feet long, and rendered in your favorite color. Choose from nine colors and seven length options.


This rock for hiding a key

Stash a key where only you will be able to find it with this hide-a-key stone. It seals the house or car key into an innocent-looking rock you can hide in the garden so that if you lose your keys, you can still get in your own home or car. “The rock is heavy, like a real rock. Hidden amongst other rocks, it's nearly impossible to tell it's fake,” said one reviewer.


An alarm clock that mimics a sunrise

Instead of jerking awake to the harsh blare of an alarm, gently waken your brain with light. This sunrise alarm clock simulates the slowly increasing glow of the sun coming to tell your sleeping brain — and your circadian rhythms — that it is time to wake up. If you’d like to imagine yourself on an alien planet, you can change the color of the rising sun. It also functions as an FM radio and has dual alarms and a snooze button.


These illuminated house numbers that are powered by the sun

Help delivery drivers and visitors find your address more easily by shining a light on the house number with these solar-powered house numbers. It turns on automatically at dusk and off again when the sun comes up, lights up the big, included numbers (or letters), and will withstand any weather that happens.


The simple fix for noise & drafts

If noise, weather, and insects seem to come into your space, check the seal on your door. If it is missing the insulation in the frame — or if it is disintegrated — your door is letting in (and out) more air and sound than it should. This weather stripping for doors is an easy fix. Cut it to fit and stick it to the frame. It comes in 14 sizes and has nearly 4,000 five-star reviews.


This garden hack for stopping animals from eating the harvest

When the birds, rabbits, deer, and other snack-searching wildlife are chowing down on your berries, lettuce, or herb garden, this garden netting kit will put a stop to that. Wrap it around your bushes, attach it to the branches, or create a frame around the vegetables and attach it to that with the included zip ties. You will be able to eat your own garden instead of watching the rabbits enjoy it.


The flexible molding that’s easy to install

Installing molding once required skills, power tools, and math but this flexible baseboard molding trim makes it easy. It bends so all you have to do is cut it to the right length, peel off the sticky backing, and press it into place. It’s soft enough to cut with scissors or an Xacto knife so even that part is easy. You can use it as ceiling trim, a border, or in many other applications as well.


The easy way to prevent a nasty kitchen mess

When it comes to boil overs and spills that fall into that weird gap between the counters and the stove, the best option is prevention. Press these silicone stove gap covers into that space so nothing goes down there, whatever happens on the stove. They look great, wipe clean easily, and completely seal that gap.


The bathroom storage you can fit anywhere

It might seem like your bathroom is too small to store anything. But have you met this floor cabinet that is designed to fit in that tiny space next to the toilet? It has a tiny footprint and is just about as tall as a toilet so it disappears visually. But it will hold several spare rolls and some supplies. It also dispenses toilet paper and has a handy shelf for setting things down.


This insect trap that stops an infestation

That fruit fly infestation is not going to go away on its own. But this indoor insect trap will get rid of the pests. Just plug it in. It lures the small flying insects close with a fascinating blue light and then pulls them into its vortex with a fan. Once inside, they are trapped on a sticky mat, where they will perish, never to pester you again. It works on gnats and mosquitos, too.


The fast way to get rid of dampness

Set one of these 18-ounce moisture absorber tubs in the damp bathroom, car, garage, or anywhere there is a stale smell or too much water in the air. It is filled with activated charcoal that absorbs and traps the damp for up to 60 days. When it’s full, discard it. This is a three-pack. “Bought [...] these for our musty-smelling basement,” said one reviewer. “After a week I no longer could smell whatever was making our basement a terrible place to be.”


This plug that stops shower clogs

Avoid shower drain clogs and the gross experience of fishing into the drain to pull out wads of hair covered in soap scum by dropping this TubShroom into the drain. It lets the water (and soap scum) through, trapping the hair on the vertical strainer. Just pull it up occasionally and remove the hair. Your shower will flow freely.