Since Real Simple was founded in 2000, our mission has been to simplify all facets of your life. Most of the time, that involves quick tips using items you already have around the house, such as using rubber gloves to clean up pet hair or attaching a key ring to keep a broken zipper in place.
But sometimes even the smartest tip can’t replace the satisfaction that comes from discovering a new product you’re not sure how you ever lived without. It could be a $4 gadget that makes you actually enjoy cleaning. Or it might be a cult-favorite blanket with built-in stakes that makes impromptu picnics easier. Or maybe it’s an inexpensive wallet that sorts every last card, bill, and receipt. These brilliant products enter our lives and end up saving us time, energy, and maybe even money.
To celebrate how useful these “little helpers” have been, we’ve rounded up 18 reader favorites from the past year. Check them out below, and sign up for the Daily Finds email newsletter to get six more problem-solving products delivered to your inbox every Friday.