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johnny0313x's avatar

What are some uncommon household items you have that made your life easier or you can't live without?

Asked by johnny0313x (1855points) July 8th, 2009

Is there anything that you bought for your house/car(maybe?) that most people don’t have but you find makes your life considerably easier or just something you couldn’t live without?

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30 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Good question but kind of a tall order.

Maybe letter-P-shaped dental floss things – I never learned to floss my teeth but those are entirely usable by me, which makes a big difference for my dental health.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Several years ago, my daughter gave me one of those Black & Decker electric jar lid openers. Man, that thing is worth its weight in gold! Couldn’t be without it.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Zaku I love those. I have them everywhere. In my purse, here by the computer, by my chair in the living room…..whereever I might be eating or snacking, that’s where you’ll find one.

johnny0313x's avatar

@zaku I have those as well and I love them because the string dental floss is annoying and gross because it sticks to everything like the garbage can or if it finds its way to the floor and then its just everywhere and nobody likes used(or unused) dental floss. Only thing I don’t like about the P shaped ones is that I guess you are suppose to use it for all your teeth but it kinda grosses me out doing that so I usually end up using alot of them for one cleaning.

brettvdb's avatar

How about one of those dish brushes where you can put soap into the handle?

johnny0313x's avatar

I have a dish brush that has a suction cup on the end of the handle that sticks to the sink so it doesn’t lay in dirty dishes, it’s enjoyable…but I could live without it ha.

filmfann's avatar

I thought this was pretty common, until recently, when I realized almost no one I knew had a waffle maker. I grew up with one in the house, so I thought everyone had it.
They are so much better than pancakes, and easier to make!
Or, are my friends all odd, and everyone has one?

jca's avatar

apple corer is very convenient for baking.

i would buy a waffle maker except all this stuff takes up cabinet space. i have an ice cream maker, a bread maker, george foreman grill – they all take up major space.

johnny0313x's avatar

@filmfann – I don’t have one, to much work…however now that I think about it, I’d love a good home made waffle, maybe you can make me one…and while you at it…I want some fresh Maple Syrup too :-D but seriously I don’t think you are weird for having one, I’d call it lucky heh

augustlan's avatar

Pie crust shields
Mind you, I bake pies about twice a year, but what a time (and crust) saver these things are! I also use a small canister in the bathroom to hold all the toothbrushes and toothpastes for my family of 5. It works much better than any toothbrush holder I’ve ever had, especially for the brushes with thick handles.

JLeslie's avatar

Not exactly common household item, but a great tip…I bought some plastic bins, not too large, that are easy to carry from home depot and keep them in my trunk for when I shop at the supermarket. Things don’t roll around and I can carry in a bunch of bags at once easily in the bin.

Jeruba's avatar

A flexible pick-up tool, something like this . You squeeze the plunger at one end, and the little claws open at the other. They close when you release the pressure.

Ours, which we call the grabber, is not quite as flexible as this one, so it is easy to guide for a horizontal reach. It is a magnificent device for recovering earrings that fall into drains, for getting the coin out from under the bureau, for retrieving all those things that fall down behind other things, from greeting cards to water bottles, and much, much more.

The “reach” tools that you can get in drugstores are great, too, and I do use them for things on high shelves, but the grabber is just too wonderful to live without.

GQ, Johnny.

juwhite1's avatar

My husband… he installs dishwashers, remodels bathrooms, paints rooms, fixes cars, mows the lawn, repairs electrical work, puts in new floors, and brings home bacon. He is definitely uncommon, and while I suppose I could literally live without him, I hope I never have to!

filmfann's avatar

@juwhite1 Ya, but can he make waffles?

juwhite1's avatar

@filmfann – Yep, and the best mixed drinks you’ve ever had!

juwhite1's avatar

Oh yeah… and he does all the ironing!

JLeslie's avatar

@juwhite1 my husband irons too, no one ever believes me.

SirBailey's avatar

I have something (and I forget what it’s called) that extends and acts like an extension of one’s arm. It’s seen on TV. There’s a squeeze handle on one end and “grabbers” on the other. It allows me to pick up things that fall behind furniture, reach stuff on high shelves, it’s great. It’s meant for larger items then what @Jeruba mentioned.

whatthefluther's avatar

If everyone in your home loves brownies but fight to get one of the corner pieces, or at least a piece with an edge, you need to get one of these (@augustlan…thanks for the link…I borrowed yours)
@Jeruba & @SirBailey….I have the grabbers that you both describe, in several styles, as well as countless other gadgets that aid/provide assistance to disabled folks, all which are invaluable (short grabbers, buttoners, specials clamps, spring loaded tools, etc.).

augustlan's avatar

@juwhite1 Do you rent out that husband of yours? ;)

juwhite1's avatar

He’d probably let me if the price was right, but I’m not too sure I’d get him back, so I avoid it.

JLeslie's avatar

@whatthefluther That brownie thingy is awesome—thanks.

jrpowell's avatar

I have a long metal rod with a magnet at the end that is useful for picking up screws, nuts, or bolts that fall into hard to reach places. I love the damn thing.

That sounded dirty.

whatthefluther's avatar

We’re so fond of the Aerogarden, we have two of them. They grow all kinds of very interesting herbs and salad greens, very well!

Darwin's avatar

My Foley Food Fork is indispensible, but this link only has a description, not a picture. This is a modern, not-so-nice version. Mine was my grandmother’s originally. I also have her cast iron fry pans.

I also have the magnet-on-a-stick that @johnpowell mentions. As I have gotten older and my eyes and fingers have gotten less precise I have found this thing to be an excellent way to retrieve steel dressmaker’s pins.

johnny0313x's avatar

@whatthefluther, that is the pricest garden i’ve ever seen…$150 for a plant is to rich for my blood haha

jca's avatar

i saw this in a car parked next to mine and decided to try it: take a pop up hamper (about $6 in walmart) and keep in the car for mail (my mail was all over the car floor). i also did the pop up hamper thing for my daughter’s toys that were also scattered all over the car. while in a pop up frenzy, i bought the pop up over the door smaller hamper, which i use hanging on the back of the car seat, for garbage (also used to be scattered all over the car). these pop up things are mesh, and flexible, so if you have to squish them to make room for other things, you can, easily. they’re almost weightless, and they have handles on them, and whatever works to keep the car neat is useful to me.

ckinyc's avatar

Microwave rice cooker! Best 10 dollars I ever spent!

JLeslie's avatar

I love my toaster oven! Black and Decker is my favorite. I have bought ones with fancier buttons and better brand names and always regret it. I have a larger one so I can bake a mini lasagna or cake in an 8” square. Less energy than using a large oven and in teh summer it doesn’t heat up the whole kitchen. I also use it to toast and do open face sandwiches so I can brown the cheese on top.

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