Real Simple’s mission, through its 20 years, has been to simplify your life with smart finds like these. Here, some items for our new normal, from a bag that helps you go hands-free to a new service to make running errands without a car a little easier.

By Lauren Phillips
July 02, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.


Our new normal means being conscious of how often you touch potentially contaminated surfaces and then touch your possessions. Help stop the spread of illness—and keep you and those close to you healthy—with this sling bag, which keeps the essentials close to you. You won’t have to dig through a large bag to find your keys, wallet, or sunglasses thanks to the smart, quick-access pockets, which keep the things you touch the most close-at-hand and apart from the other items in your bag.

To buy: $99;


Hang-dry delicates and other small laundry items without taking up valuable floor space—necessary if you’re spending most of your time in a small apartment—thanks to this compact drying rack, which settles over your door to hold items and folds flat for storage.

To buy: $40;


Give little ones top-notch manicures—or let them practice painting their own nails, with some supervision—with this set of non-toxic nail polishes. The polish washes off with soap and water, so removal is easy.

To buy: $32;


Simplify home painting projects: This reusable shield fits around gallon paint cans to eliminate drips and spills, even if you’re pouring into a tray. An attached magnet holds your brush in place when you’re taking a break, too.

To buy: $15 for two;


Dry, smooth, and straighten hair with just one tool with this multi-tasking find. The brush offers three settings, so you can find the temperature or air speed that works for you, and the thick barrel works wonders for hair of nearly all lengths.

To buy: $150;


When leaving the house feels a little more precarious than it used to, you want to both be efficient with your time and limit your interaction with different people and places. In the interest of helping with both of those goals, Uber launched Hourly, a new service available in 12 major U.S. cities starting in June. Users can “rent” a car and driver for $50 per hour (with extra fees for mileage overages) for running errands, checking in on loved ones, and more. You can set multiple stops at different stores, for example, and the driver will wait with the car while you shop. You can keep purchases in the car and get dropped off at your destination at the end of your booking, limiting the number of different cars and drivers you come into contact with and limiting the number of different passengers the driver sees without leading to loss of business.