We all have those unassuming, everyday things we buy that become game changers for our homes, right? They might not be the flashiest most stylish finds, but they are products that just make adult life easier (or at the very least, more bearable). These are the items we tell our friends/family/anyone that will listen about. (For instance, a really good hair unclogging tool.)
I reached out to a handful of Apartment Therapy staffers to pick their brains about their own favorite mundane-but-awesome purchases they made in the last year from the mundane-but-awesome Amazon, because where else do you buy the humdrums of home?
"This Cuisinart pot rack is by far the most complimented thing in my kitchen —and probably the entire loft. Even after moving, we've been able to find a spot for it in every apartment because it's so versatile. It's like the small-space version of those hanging racks from the Nancy Meyers movies, but uses three screws and costs $35." –Taryn Williford, Lifestyle Editor
Drain Weasel Hair Clog Tool, $18.73
"I bought this drain clogging tool after watching a viral video about it a year or so ago (sucker, I know). But it seriously works: it was insanely, disgustingly satisfying, and super effective. You don't have to use chemical drain openers, and you don't have to touch months of accumulated sink hair (sorry) after—you just remove the disposable wand and toss it." — Laura Schocker, Editor-in-Chief
"I bought this recycling/garbage can that I think many people are obsessed with but I'll jump on the proverbial bandwagon. I love that it has a liner pocket, so changing the trash bag is really easy, and it's tall enough/the lid is secure enough that it's safe from our dog. Plus, it's the first thing you see upon entering our apartment, so I love that the design is sleek and discreet." — Caroline Ammarell, Senior Editor, Content Strategy
"This spiralizer might just be the George Foreman grill of this decade, but I'm still all about it. Vegetable noodles give you all the texture, without the carbs, of regular pasta. (The zucchini industry should send me dividend checks for all my support this year.) This little device is affordable at $25, and although I don't generally like single-purpose kitchen gadgets, so far, this is a lot of bang for the buck." — Dabney Frake, Projects Editor
"My very sweet cat apparently also had very poor aim, so whenever she used the litter box she would um, miss, and wind up peeing all over the floor. Cleaning up a litter box with a puddle of cat pee underneath is one of the most horrifying things. I kept buying boxes with progressively higher walls, but nothing worked until I got this one, which completely eliminated the pee problem and cut down significantly on the cat litter on the floor of my bathroom. I tell everyone I know who has a cat that they need one of these." — Nancy Mitchell, Contributing Writer
"I love this tub and tile scrubber so much I wrote an entire essay on it. In short, I don't have to climb in my tub to clean it anymore, it's the cleanest its ever been, and it takes 50% less time." –Liz Steelman, Real Estate Editor
"Last year, my husband and I moved into our very first home (and cried when we saw our first electric bill). Our house is old, we have no idea what we're doing and we travel A LOT. These lightbulbs are everything, they slightly decreased our electric bill and make us look like we're at home. Now, don't burglarize my house." — Andrew Forcier, Manager of Email and Acquisitions
"After using a super flimsy, smaller drying rack for the past two years, my roommate and I decided to splurge a bit on this one – and we have no regrets. It's super easy to fold and store away (it currently lives behind our couch when not in use), has plenty of space (no more hang drying the clothes that don't fit), and is actually durable (we could immediately feel the difference in quality). Plus, we've even noticed that it dries our clothes much quicker - maybe it's the extra space? Overall, it's made our lives a million times easier and I recommend it to everyone trying to up their laundry game!" –Nicole Lund, Assistant Commerce Editor
"I had a vintage rattan pendant that I scored on eBay, but as a renter, was hesitant to hardwire anything. Enter this cute fabric covered cord, which can be conveniently plugged in, and swags nicely over my dining table." — Tara Bellucci, News & Culture Editor
"I just moved into a new apartment in New York and the air is dryer than burnt toast. Luckily, my first humidifier purchase has turned into my best. It's sleek, quiet and makes my whole studio breathable again!" — Chris Mainenti, Executive Director of Commerce
This post was originally published on January 5, 2018. It has since been updated.