Amazon Packages
Julie Clopper/istockphoto

30 Surprisingly Useful Things You Didn't Know You Needed From Amazon

View Slideshow
Amazon Packages
Julie Clopper/istockphoto

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Amazon is full of tons of ingenious things you probably didn't know existed (and, to be fair, plenty of duds that aren't worth your hard-earned money). We've rounded up some well-reviewed gadgets and gizmos that help solve common household problems, all of which happy owners say will win you over and make you wonder how you possibly lived without them.


Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: Top-Rated Products to Shop on Amazon This Month

DishWinkle Clean Dirty Dishwasher Indicator
Amazon

DishWinkle Clean Dirty Dishwasher Indicator

$11

Shop Now


Sure, you could pick up one of those "clean/dirty" magnets, but they only work if someone remembers to flip them, and what if your dishwasher isn't magnetic? The DishWinkle lives inside your dishwasher, and if it's full of water, you know the dishes are clean. Boom.


Reviewer rave: "I have heard excuses from my child and my family for years that they could rinse their dishes and load in the dishwasher because they didn't know if the dishes were clean or dirty. This thing is such a simple but awesome invention! We always know with one glance whether the dishes are clean or dirty." — Kristin Hart


Related: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You'll Actually Use

Sleek Socket Ultra-Thin Outlet Cover and Extension Cord
Amazon

Sleek Socket Ultra-Thin Outlet Cover and Extension Cord

$25 and up

Shop Now


Ever had a bunch of things to plug in but no nearby outlet? The Sleek Socket helps solve that annoying problem by attaching over a standard outlet, then running a sleek, subtle cord to a three-outlet power strip that can be more easily hidden.


Reviewer rave: "So easy to set up. I even bought another one for my family room. Hides all of the ugly cords. I have already recommended this product to my friends. Makes everything look neat and clean." — Connie Wigmore


For more great shopping tips, please sign up for our free newsletters.


Related: Expert Decluttering Tips for Your Pandemic-Inspired Purge

Click & Carry Bag Carrier
Amazon

Click & Carry Bag Carrier

$13

Shop Now


Whether you're schlepping tons of shopping bags or want to carry groceries inside without going back and forth a dozen times, this clever little device can help you out. It distributes up to 80 pounds of weight from bags or other heavy items, and can even sit on your shoulder and keep your hands free.


Reviewer rave: "I live in a condo where the parking area is a good distance from my home. I hated making several trips to the car to unload groceries. ... These grip handles made things so much easier. One trip to the store a week. They are also great for any type of shopping." — kindlefire09-8


Related: Products and Services to Make Seniors' Lives Easier

Mookundy Sofa Buddy
Amazon

Mookundy Sofa Buddy

$45

Shop Now


We get it: Sometimes the coffee table is just too far away, and who wants to futz with a coaster, anyway? This weighted caddy will sit on the couch, the bed, or anywhere else you need a sturdy spot to keep a drink, a snack, your phone, and the all-important remote control.


Reviewer rave: "I have a large sectional and I always sit in the corner. Wanted something that I place next to me to hold a mug of tea or water bottle, without worrying about knocking it over. The sofa buddy is perfect! it's a lot bigger than I thought it would be, but it can hold TV remotes, a Kindle, iPad, glasses cases, phone, drinks, everything." — KT


Related: Weirdest Things Sold on Amazon You'll Still Want

TubShroom Tub Drain Protector
Amazon

TubShroom Tub Drain Protector

$12

Shop Now


The silicone TubShroom will catch hair before it swirls down the drain, clogs pipes, and potentially leads to big plumbing bills. It fits in any standard drain and can be cleaned with a simple swipe of a paper towel.


Reviewer rave: "It fit into my standard drain perfectly, and I don't think a single hair slipped by it. It was pretty gross to see how much hair I lost in just one shower, but it was comforting to know it wasn't clogging my drain." — Lawyer For Justice


Related: Handy Products to Refresh Your Home This Spring

The Spatty Last Drop Beauty Spatula
Amazon

The Spatty Last Drop Beauty Spatula

$5

Shop Now


You can make back the few bucks you spend on The Spatty by using it to get more mileage from a tube of expensive foundation or a jar of some pricey skin-care product. The 6-inch stem can reach the bottom of narrow or awkward containers.


Reviewer rave: "I had reached all I could of my favorite concealer, which isn't exactly cheap. Thanks to my new Spatty, I was able to get a dozen or so additional applications! Spatty reaches all the nooks and crannies." — PhantomLover


Related: Lessons From Your Grandparents to Make Household Essentials Last Longer

Lilly Brush Mini Pet Hair Remover
Amazon

Lilly Brush Mini Pet Hair Remover

$12

Shop Now


This modest little tool is one of Amazon's most-wished-for pet items, and those who own it say it's capable of pet-hair-removal miracles. The durable rubber blade is able to loosen and remove pet hair that even vacuums miss, devotees enthuse.


Reviewer rave: "This little tool ... I have to say is one of the few pleasantries in life. … This thing has enough stickiness to it, it drags hair out of the carpet as you drag the tool across the surface repeatedly. It is rare these days that I find something that works to my satisfaction. This is one of the very few that did it for me." — Michael K.


Related: 25 Hacks to Reclaim Your House From Messy Pets

Lay-n-Go Large Toy Storage Mat
Amazon

Lay-n-Go Large Toy Storage Mat

$50

Shop Now


If there's a little Lego enthusiast in your life, this combination of a play mat and a storage pouch could save your back (and your feet) when it's clean-up time. Ideal for swooping up any small toys or other items, it's made from tear-resistant polyester and has integrated storage pockets.


Reviewer rave: "The grands aren't much inclined to pick up after themselves, and I'm not one to insist on it (Mom and Dad can 'train'), but the children will toss their toys back onto the mat, and it's only one stoop for me to pull it together and then lift or drag it to another spot." — Grandma Hook


Related: Essentials to Keep Your House Organized

Lock Laces Elastic No-Tie Shoelaces
Amazon

Lock Laces Elastic No-Tie Shoelaces

$8

Shop Now


Tired of fussing with shoelaces? You're not alone. Convert any pair of shoes to slip-ons with these nifty elastic laces. They stretch to fit any size foot, and they're adjustable, which means you can keep them as tight or as loose as you want.


Reviewer rave: "It makes the off and on process so much faster, easier and more comfortable every single time. Never too tight, no more stopping to re-tie, no more adjusting, no more tripping over laces! Also, I have a problem with gripping things sometimes so these laces eliminate that problem." — Friday

Kitchen Gizmo Snap N Strain
Amazon

Kitchen Gizmo Snap N Strain

$16

Shop Now


This is one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" kitchen gadgets. Instead of wasting time transferring pasta to a colander, drain it right from the pot using this attachable strainer. It's designed to clip onto just about every round pot and pan.


Reviewer rave: "This worked so well for draining beef grease from my large 12-inch fry pan. There was no leaking whatsoever like I was afraid of. It poured perfectly into a small cup. I also used it to drain hot water from boiling noodles for the same dinner." — Ashley M


Related: Kitchen Accessories You Didn't Know You Needed

Spicy Shelf Under Sink Organizer
Amazon

Spicy Shelf Under Sink Organizer

$25

Shop Now


It's the most infuriating cabinet in the house: The one under the sink that's always a mess thanks to awkward pipes or protruding garbage disposals. This shelf is specially designed to fit around those obstacles, and you can adjust height, width, and depth for a perfect fit.


Reviewer rave: "My kitchen sink has a lot of plumbing and a garbage disposal, and storage was just messy and all my cleaning supplies were getting lost in the cavernous back-of-cabinet behind the pipes. This gives me two levels and I can see everything. I bought a second one for my bathroom, too." — L. Murphy


Related: Decluttering Projects You Can Tackle in Under 30 Minute

Geekey Multitool
Amazon

Geekey Multitool

$25

Shop Now


If you're a gadget lover, you'll geek out indeed with this clever stainless steel multi-tool. Shaped like a key, it's actually a bottle opener, screwdriver, ruler, wrench, box cutter, bit driver, file, and more.


Reviewer rave: "In all honesty, I really didn't expect to find this kind of quality and engineering in a $20 key-ring multi-tool. The cut on the serrated knife edge is clean and precise. Even the bottle opener incorporates a nice little open-end wrench." — Craig Davis

mDesign Bedside Storage Organizer Caddy
Amazon

mDesign Bedside Storage Organizer Caddy

$11

Shop Now


Sometimes, there's just no room for a bedside table, or that precious space is reserved for other items. Keep essentials close with this organizer, held by a frame that slides between your mattress and box spring or bed frame. Its pockets can corral books, magazines, tablets, phones, and even a water bottle.


Reviewer rave: "If you have an RV, then you know storage is at a premium. I did not have any place next to the bed for my phone, water, etc. This is great. It fits well under the mattress and stays in place even after bouncing down the road in transit." — Roaming Reviewer


Related: RV Accessories to Make Road Life More Luxurious

Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray
Amazon

Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray

$11

Shop Now


Let's face it: This is a product just about everyone can use. Effusive reviewers say they especially love it for stopping any bathroom stenches before they start in cramped quarters like office bathrooms. Unlike air fresheners, you spray it directly into the toilet bowl before doing your business, and it traps odors inside.


Reviewer rave: "It is so nice to be able to enter the bathroom right after someone else spent 10 minutes in there and NOT have to gag, turn the fan on, and run to a different bathroom. We have all been there." — Trebeca

Spring Chef Dual-Sided Magnetic Measuring Spoons
Amazon

Spring Chef Dual-Sided Magnetic Measuring Spoons

$15

Shop Now


Who needs another set of measuring spoons? You do, because these will blow your old set out of the water. They're dual-sided, with one side specially designed to get into all those narrow little spice containers, plus they're color-coded and magnetic, so they stay together effortlessly in your drawer.


Reviewer rave: "When I have a recipe that calls for a liquid and a dry teaspoon ingredient, I now have one measuring spoon that serves two purposes. No more washing and drying the wet spoon or digging around for another teaspoon that may already be in the dishwasher. … Love that the narrow side fits better in spice jars and the extra sizes like the 3/4 teaspoon and the 1/2 tablespoon are for me the icing on the cake." — PrimeView


Related: Essential Baking Tools Every Aspiring Pastry Chef Needs

SqueezMe Self-Closing Toothpaste Caps
Amazon

SqueezMe Self-Closing Toothpaste Caps

$11

Shop Now


If someone in your house is incapable of putting the cap back on the toothpaste, or worse, leaves the sink covered in crusty globs of the stuff, this universal cap might help solve your oral-hygiene woes. It allows only a thin ribbon out of the tube, and better yet, it self-seals after you're done squeezing.


Reviewer rave: "I have them in my children's toothpaste as well as ours and it has already given me so much relief from cleaning out the cap and cleaning toothpaste up all over my sink. The best part is even if they do leave toothpaste residue on the outside, you give it a quick rinse and it's gone. No more trying to get toothpaste out from every crevice of the cap." — Ashley Randazzo

Drill Brush Power Scrubber
Amazon

Drill Brush Power Scrubber

$13

Shop Now


It's almost spring cleaning time, so in true Tim "the Tool Man" Taylor fashion, do it with more power. Breeze through a kitchen full of dirty grout or a soap-scummy shower door with these scrubbers that attach to a cordless drill. There are three nylon brushes that won't scratch tile.


Reviewer rave: "I bought this on a whim because my walk-in shower is just a pain to clean. I'm 51 and I guess I've just been old school with how I clean, so hand scrubbing it was for years. The FIRST time I used this to clean my shower it took 5 minutes AND it scrubbed my shower more clean than it has been in years." — Terry


Related: Top-Rated Cleaning Products on Amazon

Tidy Cup Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener Gadget
Amazon

Tidy Cup Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener Gadget

$17

Shop Now


We all know that buying the giant jugs of laundry detergent means cost savings in the end, but those beasts can be hard to manage without making a mess. These clever plastic attachments catch any drips before they dribble everywhere, and let you keep the detergent on the shelf where it belongs.


Reviewer rave: "Finally something to keep the laundry detergent drips off the floor and washing machine. … This keeps the cup right where it needs to be and protects your equipment walls and floors from drips." — D. Fox

Nite Ize Original GearTie, 4 ct.
Amazon

Nite Ize Original GearTie, 4 ct.

$5

Shop Now


If charging cords and headphones are threatening to take over your house, tame the mess with these ingenious reusable rubber ties. They even come in different lengths, from 3 inches all the way up to 64 inches, making them a go-to for all sorts of tasks.


Reviewer rave: "So much less rage, tangle, and frustration in my life now. These are slightly tacky, not shiny or slippery. Their rubber ribbing lets them lightly grip the cords, making the binding feel very secure. They are thicker and sturdier feeling than I expected." — LJC


Related: 100 Tech Products That Will Make Your Life Easier

Better Living Products Spa Seat
Amazon

Better Living Products Spa Seat

$25

Shop Now


Walk-in showers are all the rage, but they often come without any place to sit or prop up a leg to shave. This sleek, rust-proof spa seat satisfies both needs, but it won't take up too much room in smaller shower stalls.


Reviewer rave: "We have a small walk-in shower and needed a little place to sit from time to time but didn't want to crowd it. This item arrived fully assembled and I was amazed at how light and yet sturdy it is. It does not crowd you out — has a very compact footprint." — alienfreak

Surpahs Roll-Up Dish Rack
Amazon

Surpahs Roll-Up Dish Rack

$24

Shop Now


If the dishwasher is overloaded (or non-existent), your dish drainer is probably constantly packed. Add a little extra drying space with this over-the-sink rack that will save space, and possibly your sanity, while getting the job done.


Reviewer rave: "Greatest thing ever! I bought this for an over the laundry room sink (depicted) place to lay out sopping wet swimsuits — but it's the coolest. Heavy, durable, shockingly attractive, and rolls up to nothing for storage. I will get a second for my kitchen and ditch the drain rack that never gets emptied." — E. Cannaday

Pecula Body Measuring Tape
Amazon

Pecula Body Measuring Tape

$6

Shop Now


Here's a thought: Instead of torturing yourself with the scale while trying to eat better and exercise, keep track of what really matters: measurements. This smart measuring tape makes the process easier than ever, with a pin lock to make it usable with one hand.


Reviewer rave: "As a bonus, the tape is black, so it won't yellow over time like a white tape could (I actually had this happen on a previous white body tape measure from another company, so I do suggest you go with the black tape). Since some people are probably interested in the accuracy, I went ahead and verified it as accurate against a yard stick I had lying around. It was dead accurate, so no worries there.' — S. Siemonsa

YouCopia StoraLid Food Container Lid Organizer
Amazon

YouCopia StoraLid Food Container Lid Organizer

$16 and up

Shop Now


If your messy cabinet full of food storage containers is your secret shame, join the club. Tame that unruly collection of lids with this container with adjustable slats, and that disorganized cabinet can become a thing of beauty.


Reviewer rave: "This product does exactly what it is supposed to and does it well. In under 15 minutes I took my nightmare lid drawer and turned it into a functional, convenient storage space. The dividers were simple to install and provided flexibility." — S. Hawthorn


Related: The Best Food Storage Containers You Can Buy

Cat Guru Cat Litter Scoop Holder
Amazon

Cat Guru Cat Litter Scoop Holder

$15

Shop Now


Cats can be wonderfully low-maintenance pets, but scooping the litter box isn't exactly a job anyone fights over. Remove a little of the gross-out factors with this scoop holder, which provides a stable place for storage that's more hygienic and a lot more attractive than a plastic grocery bag.


Reviewer rave: "I was hesitant to pay for what seemed like an indulgent and superfluous accessory that no one would notice but myself — and certainly not the cat. But man, the amount of inexplicable joy I have in this thing's existence, as it's now sitting in the corner neatly holding the scoop ... absolutely worth the purchase." — sevenonseven

iPrimio Hook & Loop Rug Gripper
Amazon

iPrimio Hook & Loop Rug Gripper

$11

Shop Now


Area rugs and runners are an easy way to make a house feel like a home, but it sure is annoying when they slip and slide everywhere. These rug grippers not only keep rug corners from curling, they stick to the floor using hook & loop fasteners


Reviewer rave: "So easy to install — just set the rug where you want it, lift up each corner, stick the corner piece to the rug, and stick the disc to the floor. No measuring required. So far, it is holding up very well and the rug has not moved at all, even with heavy traffic and a dog running across it." — Anna M Morrison

Cutequeen Steering Wheel Desk
Amazon

Cutequeen Steering Wheel Desk

$13

Shop Now


If you find yourself eating or working in your car more than ever thanks to the pandemic, we understand. Hooking this clever, lightweight desk attachment onto your steering wheel can make the experience significantly less awkward.


Reviewer rave: "It's such a great little gadget. Great for lunch breaks, watching videos on a phone or tablet while waiting, working on a laptop, camping, travel, etc ... I keep mine stowed in the mesh panel behind the passenger seat. It fits perfect there, stays out of the way until I need it, and doesn't rattle while driving." — flossy_lala

Ailun Toilet Nightlight
Amazon

Ailun Toilet Nightlight

$14 for 2 ct.

Shop Now


A toilet nightlight might seem like an unnecessary indulgence, but owners sing the praises of having a soft light to beckon them during middle-of-the-night bathroom trips. These are motion-activated, display eight colors, and stay on for long enough to get your business done without the harsh glare of overhead lighting.


Reviewer rave: "I absolutely love this product. Especially because with a husband and a son, they tend to sprinkle on the toilet seat in the middle of the night. With the color set to any bright color ... it illuminates every single sprinkle on the seat! You will no longer have a bottom wet with boy pee in the middle of the night!" — Angela

Ougar8 Refrigerator Door Handle Covers
Amazon

Ougar8 Refrigerator Door Handle Covers

$12

Shop Now


Stainless steel appliances look sleek, but the constant fingerprints don't. Protect handles from the daily accumulation of grease and grime with these handle covers that will blend right in. Pop them off and toss them in the washer when you need to. Smaller sizes are available for other appliances, too.


Reviewer rave: "They're soft, well-made, look great on stainless and are fairly classy/quality looking (trim has a nice silver sheen). Most importantly, I've gone from having to wipe off my kids' schmutz on an almost daily basis to NO wiping in the over two months we've had them and they still look brand new." — L. Brown

Elypro Mug and Glass Organizer
Amazon

Elypro Mug and Glass Organizer

$25

Shop Now


If you're one of those people who just can't part with any of your beloved coffee cup collection, cabinet space may be running low. Go vertical with these plastic gadgets, which make it possible to stack cups and mugs. They're adjustable for different sizes of mugs, too.


Reviewer rave: "As a tea-addicted mug collector, I've often been frustrated by the lack of space in my kitchen cabinets. … Enter these marvelous inventions. Twice as many mugs in the same space? Shut up and take my money! Not only am I saving space, but I've also been able to space the mug stacks just enough apart that I can actually see them." — J. Kennedy

Eltow Laundry Guard and Silicone Gap Cover
Amazon

Eltow Laundry Guard and Silicone Gap Cover

$33

Shop Now


All that flat space on top of the washer and dryer is only a tease if your laundry or other clutter won't stay stacked on top of it. Stop losing socks and T-shirts behind or between your machines with this magnetic plastic guard and flexible gap cover.


Reviewer rave: "We often pile clean laundry from the dryer on top of our washing machine and dryer ... This laundry guard works great to keep the laundry on top of the machines, especially when the pile gets high. Wish I had purchased these years ago." — Doug F


Related: How to Go as Long as Possible Before Doing Laundry