35 things you're accidentally neglecting in your home & it's going to cost you later

Keeping an eye on these things will save you money down the line.

ByClaire Epting
Originally Published: 
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Your home is always going to be a work in progress, and knowing which mistakes will cost you down the line is just a part of adulting. And luckily, there are plenty of clever home products that will keep you from having to spend unnecessary cash on problems that are easy to fix now.

If you’re constantly tossing out spoiled fruits and veggies, you can get these biodegradable produce sheets that extend the life of your food. Or, if you have a slow-draining sink, don’t wait until it’s bad enough to call a plumber — use this clog-dissolving solution to get things flowing ASAP. Keep reading to find more wallet-friendly home upgrades that will save you in the long run.


The lint in your dryer vent

Fix: The brushes that clean out dryer lint & maximize dryer efficiency

Not only does a lint-filled dryer vent prevent your dryer from running at maximum efficiency, it can also become a fire hazard over time. These long, narrow brushes easily dislodge built-up debris from deep within your dryer vent and exhaust port. Plus, you can also use them to sweep up dust and pet hair from underneath your furniture, making this a versatile, cost-effective buy.


Your slow-draining sink or shower drain

Fix: The drain clog remover that dissolves hair, grease & soap

Before you spend the money on a plumber visit, try treating your clogged shower and sink pipes with Green Gobbler. The odorless, biodegradable formula promptly dissolves hair, soap scum, grease, toilet paper, and any other organic matter that’s causing blockage. Each bottle comes with two pre-measured applications for added convenience.


The last bit of toothpaste in the toothpaste tube

Fix: These nifty toothpaste tube squeezers that get every last drop

The clever tools you never knew you needed, these tube squeezers allow you to use every last drop of toothpaste before tossing the tube away. You won’t have to replace your toothpaste nearly as often, which saves you money. You get four squeezers in a pack, so you can even keep one in your travel bag.


Fruits & veggies that go bad before you use them

Fix: These biodegradable sheets that extend the life of your produce

Made with organic, food-safe botanicals, these paper sheets can extend the life of your produce — giving you a better chance to eat it before it goes bad. Place a sheet in your fruit basket, refrigerator drawer, or even your bag of salad, and let it work its magic. “It has saved so much $$ out of our grocery budget and is the most simple and convenient solution,” wrote one reviewer. Each biodegradable sheet is reusable for up to one month.


Laundry loads that are drying slowly

Fix: These reusable wool dryer balls that speed drying time & save energy

It may seem like a small thing, but switching out your disposable dryer sheets for these wool dryer balls will save you money in the long run. Even better, the reusable wool balls separate your laundry as it tumbles; this promotes better airflow and reduces the amount of time you have to run your dryer — resulting in a lower energy bill at the end of the month.

  • Available multipacks: 3


Residue that’s built up in your washing machine

Fix: These cleaning tablets that remove residue & odors

Since your washing machine is the appliance that’s doing the cleaning, it’s easy to forget that it needs to be cleaned, as well. These cleaning tablets work to remove residue and grime from your washing machine — just pop one in the drum and run a cycle without clothes. Use a tablet once per month for best results. (You’ll notice your clothes come out of the machine smelling a lot, well, cleaner.)


The draft sneaking in through the gap under the door

Fix: These door draft stoppers that have an insulating effect

Sealing the gap between your door and floorboards keeps chilly drafts from entering your home — which, in turn, can lower the amount of heat you need to stay warm. Simply apply these insulating draft stoppers to the bottoms of your doors using the self-adhesive strips. Each stopper also works to keep out dust, block ambient light, and dampen any loud noises, as well.

  • Available colors: 4


The curled corners of your rugs

Fix: These grippers that tack your rug down

Not only can curled rug corners make your place look a bit unruly, they can also create a tripping hazard. (And who wants an expensive visit to urgent care for a twisted ankle?) These adhesive grippers fasten to the corners of any rug — the stiff plastic holds the edges flat. A layer of rubber on the bottom protects your floors from any scuffs.


Scuffs & marks on your walls that might cost you a rental deposit

Fix: Some melamine cleaning sponges that erase marks like magic

Tough yet gentle, these melamine foam sponges remove marks and scuffs from your walls without the need for abrasive chemical cleaners — and they can also be used to lift tough stains and dirt, too. Just add water to the sponge, then wipe it across just about any household surface — including delicate surfaces like marble, leather, and steel. “The handle on my fridge and oven have never felt cleaner! These are amazing for getting the oil-based grime that accumulates in places that we touch a lot,” wrote one reviewer.


Upholstery & clothing that's riddled with pilling

If your favorite sweater starts to pill, there’s no need to toss it in the donation bin — this fabric shaver restores it to a like-new appearance. Also effective on upholstery, the rechargeable device gently removes fuzz and lint from a wide variety of fabrics, including delicates. “I took 2 pairs of pants and revived them in just 20 minutes. I 100% recommend this item,” one reviewer raved.


The sweaters & delicates you’re drying in the machine

Fix: An over-door drying rack that lets you lay items flat

While it’s tempting to toss your nice sweaters and delicates into the dryer, all that hot air can do a number on them. To keep your items in pristine condition, lay them flat to dry on this drying rack that can be hooked over any door. The space-saving contraption features three tiers made from mesh, which allows air to circulate for fast drying.


A jumbled drawer of batteries

Fix: This organizer case that keeps you from doubling up on batteries

It’s easy to accidentally buy an excess of batteries when you don’t know how many of each type you have on hand. This battery organizer case has 93 slots for batteries of various sizes, plus a tester that allows you to see which ones are still fresh. Thanks to this case, you’ll no longer have to sift through a jumbled drawer of batteries — they’re all right there.

  • Available colors: 7


Wood surfaces that are drying out & cracking

Fix: This conditioning wood polish that adds a sheen

Breathe new life into your wooden furniture pieces with this conditioning wood polish made with hydrating beeswax and orange oil. Ideal for antique dining tables, kitchen cabinets, and doors, the polish keeps your wood from drying and cracking. Plus, the orange oil leaves behind a pleasant, natural fragrance in your home.


The water pooling on your bathroom floor that could lead to water damage

Fix: A frameless shower door seal that stops unnecessary leaks

Completely transparent, this PVC seal for frameless shower doors is hardly noticeable in your bathroom — but it does the important job of keeping water from leaking onto the floor. That means you won’t have to deal with floor warping or worse — mold — later on. It measures 36 inches long, but you can cut it down using scissors to fit your glass door perfectly. “This is a very sturdy and great door seal,” wrote one reviewer. “It fits tightly and snug and does a great job at keeping water from leaking out of the gap.”


The baked-on food in your oven

Fix: These oven liners that catch food overflow

While it may not cost you dollars, scrubbing off the baked-on residue in your oven can cost you a lot of time and effort. Make it easy on yourself and use these nonstick oven liners instead. Each mat can easily be cut down to the size of your oven — just place one underneath your rack to catch spills and drips from your food. To clean, just place the mat in the dishwasher.


The pet stains on your carpet & furniture

Fix: This enzymatic spray that dissolves smells & stains

When allowed to dry, pet urine stains can cause lingering smells that are notoriously stubborn to remove. That’s where Angry Orange’s deodorizing spray comes in. The powerful enzymatic formula breaks down the toughest of stains on your carpet and furniture. Plus, it has an invigorating scent that makes your home smell like fresh oranges.


Herbs that go bad before you use them

Fix: A basket that hydrates & protects your herbs

Using up all of your herbs before they wilt can be tricky, but this basket from OXO Good Grips actually makes it doable. Just put your rosemary, thyme, cilantro, or mint inside the hinged basket, add a layer of water to the outer container, and place the lid on top. The basket allows for air to circulate around the herbs, while keeping them hydrated inside your refrigerator.


The fact that your wheeled bed frame is damaging the floor

Fix: Some bed frame stoppers that protect your floors

The shifting of a wheeled bed frame can potentially damage your hardwood floor over time — and cause wall scuffs, too — but not if you add these furniture stoppers to the wheels. The solid rubber surrounds each wheel, keeping it firmly in place, and protecting your floors and walls from scuff marks. Just squeeze each stopper around the wheel — no need to lift the heavy bed frame.

  • Available colors: 2


Stored clothes that could be vulnerable to moths

Fix: A set of vacuum-sealed storage bags that are highly protective

A closet shelf of sweaters or linens may become a target for moths, which is why it’s a good idea to place your most cherished pieces inside these vacuum-sealed storage bags. Using the included hand pump, you can get every last bit of air out of each bag — so your clothing or linens are fully protected until you’re ready to use them. Not to mention, the vacuum-seal design shrinks contents by up to 80%, giving you back some storage space.


An unprotected mattress that’s vulnerable to spills

Fix: A mattress protector that’s fully waterproof

This mattress protector shields your mattress from liquid spills, dust mites, and bacteria, without changing the feel of your bed at all. Made out of ultra-thin, waterproof polyester, the cover is easy to take on and off for regular cleaning in the washing machine. Not only will your mattress last longer, but it’ll also block allergens that could could keep you up with sniffling and sneezing.

  • Available sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king


Lights & appliances that are draining energy

Fix: This smart plug that monitors your energy usage

One way to significantly lower your monthly energy bill is to invest in this smart plug that tracks the amount of power your device or appliance is using at any given time. Plus, the Alexa-compatible gadget comes with an accompanying mobile app that allows you to set timers and schedules for your household appliances, so you’re not wasting energy while you’re away.


A disorganized fridge that makes it hard to find what you have

Fix: These stackable organizer bins that help you keep track of items

One reason you’re constantly throwing away expired produce, cheese, and condiments? They’ve been hiding in the back of your refrigerator. Use these transparent organizer bins to better keep stock of the food you have in your fridge — you’ll be more likely to use items if they’re in plain sight. The six bins are not only stackable, but they’re also designed with handles for easy access.


Shoes that are piled on top of each other in your closet

Fix: This over-the-door organizer that keeps your shoes clean & in shape

Shoes that are piled up in a heap on your closet floor are bound to become dirty and misshapen over time, which means you’ll have to re-up on your sneakers or boots sooner. With enough space for up to 12 pairs of shoes, this over-the-door pocket organizer keeps your kicks up and off the floor while they’re not in use. Each pouch is made of breathable, semi-transparent mesh, which allows you to see every shoe at once. A pair of durable chrome hooks fit securely over your closet or bedroom door.

  • Available colors: 3


Windows that are letting heat or cold in

Fix: These thermal-insulating curtains that cut down on energy bills

Running your furnace or air conditioner can be a costly affair to begin with, and bare windows can actually leak all that expensive air. These thick blackout curtains are thermal-insulated, so your room will stay warmer on a chilly day and cooler on a hot day. There are over two dozen shades to pick from — note that the darker colors do a better job of keeping sunlight out (perfect if you want to sleep in).

  • Available sizes: 17
  • Available colors: 26


Leaking pipes that go unnoticed

Fix: A water sensor that detects leaks & drips

Stop a leaky pipe in its tracks with this Wi-Fi-enabled water sensor. It sends notifications to your smartphone any time there’s unusual leakage at home — even when you’re not there. If Wi-Fi isn’t available, the sensor will set off an alarm to alert you until you can locate the leak. This is a cheap and effective way to prevent any expensive water damage repairs down the line.


The way chair legs scrape across delicate wood floors

Fix: These furniture pads that protect your hardwood

Don’t let your chairs or tables potentially damage your hardwood floors — these felt furniture pads prevent any scraping or scuffing. Designed with nonslip rubber bottoms, the pads grip your floor without the need for any adhesive. Each pad is pre-scored, so you can easily cut it into different-sized pieces.


Coffee that's stored in a non-airtight container

Fix: An airtight canister that keeps coffee beans fresh

Made of rust-resistant stainless steel, this airtight canister keeps your coffee beans fresh and full of flavor — and it’s a must if you’ve dropped a pretty penny on the good stuff. The top of the lid even includes a date tracker, so you can easily make note of how long you’ve been storing this particular batch. Not a caffeine fan? The canister and scoop can also be used for flour, sugar, and tea.

  • Available colors: 4


The one-use plastic bags you're using to store food

Fix: These zip-top food storage bags you can use again & again

Instead of going through box after box of disposable plastic baggies, you can store your produce and snacks in these reusable zip-top pouches. Made of food-grade, freezer-safe PEVA material, the bags are reusable. Just rinse them off and allow them to air dry in between uses. You get 10 bags in a set, complete with three different sizes. The best part: You’ll be doing the planet a favor by using these over one-use plastic.


Mud & dirt that's getting embedded in your entryway floor

Fix: This nonslip door mat that traps dirt & liquids

This anti-slip doormat keeps dirt and mud from getting tracked into your home. The tough, textured surface works to trap residue from your shoes, so it doesn’t embed itself into the wood fibers of your floor (or the grout of your tile). There are multiple ways to clean and refresh the mat — toss it in the washing machine, shake it off outside, or spray it down with a hose.

  • Available colors: 7


Shirt collars that are being stretched out by hangers

Fix: These rubber-coated hangers with cutouts for collars

Conventional hangers can stretch out your shirt collars over time, which is why you’ll want to use these rubberized hangers instead. Each hanger features a cutout underneath the hook that keeps garments from slipping, without stretching out the neckline. Not to mention, you’ll find two small hooks for delicate spaghetti straps, as well as a bar to hang accessories and pants from.


Tears in your leather or vinyl furniture

Fix: A leather repair kit for small scratches & rips

Before you swap out your damaged leather furniture for something new, you can try repairing small cracks, scratches, and tears with this leather repair kit. Complete with 10 mixable compound shades, an applicator brush, and backing fabric, the kit helps you restore your leather and vinyl surfaces to a like-new appearance.


The grocery bags under the sink that are going unused

Fix: This bag dispenser you can mount to the wall

Don’t forget your reusable plastic bags on the way to the grocery store — this stainless steel dispenser makes it easy to grab a few on the way out. The sleek, streamlined storage unit looks great on the countertop, fastened to a wall, or attached to a cabinet door. This way, your bags will actually get used, instead of collecting dust underneath your sink. (Bonus: You can store plastic bags here, too — then use them to line small trash cans.)


The holes in your walls from hanging pictures

Fix: The repair kit that seals small holes in the wall

When it’s time to redecorate, you might find that your walls are dotted with small holes from picture frames. Luckily, this hole repair kit makes it easy to seal them up without having to bring in a professional. Complete with spackle, a sanding pad, and a self-adhesive patch, the kit includes all the tools necessary to get a smooth finish.


The fact that you're drinking out of delicate glasses on the patio

Fix: These insulated wine tumblers that are virtually unbreakable

While conventional wine glasses may shatter when accidentally dropped, these stainless steel tumblers won’t — which is why they’re great for sipping outside on your patio. The stemless cups are also insulated, so they’ll keep your glass of white or rosé perfectly chilled. Choose from a variety of hues, as well as marble, ombré, and wood-grain patterns.

  • Available multipacks: 24


The one-use paper towels you're still using

Fix: Some dishcloths that are reusable & absorbent

You could be saving so much money by replacing your disposable paper towels with these highly absorbent Swedish dishcloths. Made of biodegradable materials that can be reused up to 100 times, the machine-washable dishcloths soak up all sorts of household messes from glass, wood, tile, marble, and stainless steel. The textured surface is especially helpful in removing tough dirt from surfaces.

  • Available multipacks: 9