15 Boring-But-Useful Items You Should Definitely Have At Home

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In a world obsessed with the latest gadgets and trends, it’s easy to overlook the simple, practical items that make our lives easier. While they may not be flashy or exciting, these boring but useful items are essential for any well-organized, efficient, and comfortable home.

Say goodbye to clutter, chaos, and inconvenience with these 15 must-have essentials.

Fire Extinguisher

Image provided by:Yan Krukau

A kitchen fire that starts from an unattended pan can be quickly subdued. The National Fire Protection Association notes that the local fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 353,100 home structure fires in 2020 alone, with cooking as the leading cause of home fires (49 percent).

This handy device can be your first line of defense against small fires, potentially saving your home and loved ones from disaster. They’ve also become more user-friendly over the years. Look for models like the Kidde FA110 or the First Alert HOME1, which are known for their reliability and ease of use.

Adjustable Measuring Spoons

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Say goodbye to cluttered drawers full of various sizes of measuring spoons, and say hello to one streamlined solution! You can measure multiple quantities with just one tool, usually ranging from 1/8 teaspoon to one full tablespoon.

This means no more fumbling around for the right size and less clean-up afterward! You can measure anything from a pinch of salt to a tablespoon of sugar. These spoons are often made from durable, dishwasher-safe materials like high-quality plastic or stainless steel , ensuring they last a long time.

First Aid Kit

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You might think, “A First Aid Kit? Really?” Imagine You’re slicing veggies for dinner, and—oops!—you nick your finger. No problem; your trusty First Aid Kit has bandages, antiseptic wipes, and more at your fingertips!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends including adhesive bandages, sterile gauze pads, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, and an emergency blanket. The more comprehensive, the better. Plus, don’t forget any personal medications and emergency phone numbers!

Reusable Silicone Food Bags

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These bags are made from food-grade silicone, ensuring safe storage for snacks, leftovers, and even liquids. They are heat-resistant and can be used in the microwave, oven, or dishwasher, making them a practical choice for busy households.

Their airtight seal keeps food fresher for longer, reducing food waste—an important consideration given that the USDA reports Americans waste about 40% of the food they purchase annually. Many brands offer BPA-free options, ensuring your food remains safe from harmful chemicals.

Compact Tool Kits

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Every homeowner knows the value of being prepared for those little fixes around the house, and that’s where a compact tool kit becomes your best friend. Compact tool kits come equipped with essential tools like screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer, a tape measure, and even a utility knife, all neatly organized in a portable case.

Plus, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction and confidence boost of completing your repairs. So, whether hanging a picture, assembling furniture, or fixing a loose doorknob, a compact tool kit is your go-to solution.

Non-Slip Hangers

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Non-slip hangers are coated with a velvet or rubber surface that grips even the silkiest fabrics, ensuring your favorite blouse or dress stays put. Additionally, these hangers often feature ultra-thin designs, allowing more efficient use of closet space than bulky plastic or wooden options.

Not just for adults, non-slip hangers are also great for children’s clothing, ensuring that tiny outfits stay organized and off the floor. Imagine how much time you’ll save in the morning, not having to re-hang fallen clothes or iron out unexpected wrinkles!

Lint Rollers

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A study published by the American Pet Products Association highlights that 67% of U.S. households (86.9 million families) own a pet, which means there’s a high chance you’ve experienced the joys of pet hair sticking to every fabric surface imaginable.

Say hello to your new best friend in the battle against lint, pet hair, and dust: the humble lint roller! In fact, a single lint roller sheet can pick up an impressive amount of debris, making it perfect for quick clean-ups before heading out the door. Lint rollers are a game-changer for anyone looking to maintain a crisp, polished appearance.

Power Banks

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Imagine you’re in the middle of streaming your favorite show or an important video call, and suddenly, your device’s battery is running on fumes. That’s where the magic of power banks comes into play! These nifty gadgets are compact, portable, and incredibly handy, ensuring your devices stay juiced wherever you are.

NerdWallet highlights that the best power banks offer multiple charges for your devices, with some high-capacity models juicing up your smartphone up to 8 times on a single charge. Moreover, power banks are invaluable during power outages or when you’re on the move.

Over-the-Sink Cutting Boards

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Efficient space utilization is a vital factor in creating a functional kitchen. Designed to sit snugly on your sink, an over-the-sink cutting board caters precisely to this need by offering an extended workspace right over your sink.

These cutting boards often come with built-in strainers, allowing you to chop and rinse vegetables in one seamless motion. Imagine all the extra time you’ll have for other activities—or just relaxing! Moreover, many over-the-sink cutting boards are made from durable, eco-friendly materials such as bamboo or high-quality plastic.

High-Quality Flashlights

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You might not think much about flashlights until you’re caught in a power outage or need to navigate the dark. A high-quality flashlight can offer up to 1000 lumens of bright light, helping you see clearly and safely during emergencies or nighttime activities.

Brands like Maglite and Fenix offer durable, long-lasting flashlights that are water- and impact-resistant. Moreover, modern flashlights have LED technology, which uses significantly less power than traditional bulbs and can last up to 50,000 hours! That means you won’t be scrambling for spare batteries during a crisis.

Drawer Organizers

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These handy inserts keep small items like utensils, stationery, and accessories neatly separated and easy to find. Drawer organizers can transform your chaotic catch-all drawers into streamlined storage spaces, making it a breeze to find what you need precisely when you need it.

Physical clutter competes for your attention, causing a decrease in performance and an increase in stress. By tidying up your drawers with organizers, you’ll save time and create a calming environment.

Water Filter Pitchers

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Over 85% of the U.S. population has tap water containing over 320 contaminants. A water filter pitcher can efficiently remove many impurities, including lead, chlorine, and other harmful substances, making your water safer and tastier.

No more lugging heavy cases of water from the store or running out when you need it most. Water filter pitchers are incredibly convenient, fitting in your fridge, and always ready to provide chilled, fresh-tasting water. Easy to refill and maintain, they make staying hydrated a breeze.

Digital Tire Pressure Gauges

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Why? Maintaining the proper tire pressure can extend the lifespan of your tires, enhance safety, and save you money. Properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by up to 3.3%, which translates to actual savings at the pump, says the U.S. Department of Energy.

Moreover, underinflated tires can lead to blowouts and accidents. Digital tire pressure gauges provide precise readings, ensuring your tires are always at optimal pressure. With a clear LED display and simple operation, even the least tech-savvy can use it confidently. They are incredibly compact and portable—perfect for stashing in your glove compartment!

Reusable Shopping Bags

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These durable bags are perfect for grocery shopping, running errands, and even carrying gym gear. They’re easy to clean, come in various sizes, and help cut down on single-use plastic waste. Reusable bags can save up to 1,000 plastic bags per year per household.  

These bags are often more durable and carry more weight than flimsy plastic ones, which means fewer trips from the car to your home. In addition, many stores now offer discounts or incentives for customers who bring their reusable bags. For example, Whole Foods Market offers a 10-cent discount per bag, which can add to noticeable savings over time.

Surge Protectors

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They work by diverting excess electricity from connected devices, protecting them from damage during power surges caused by lightning strikes, power outages, or short circuits. Studies have shown that using surge protectors can extend the lifespan of your electronic devices by up to 30%.

A higher joule rating indicates better protection against bigger surges. Look for protectors with at least 1,000 joules.

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