6 Clever Items to Simplify Your Life

Real Simple’s mission, through its 16 years, has been to simplify your life with smart finds like these.


Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner


Disinfect your microwave in a flash with this five-inch, dishwasher-safe doodad. Just fill with vinegar and water, place on the microwave tray, and set the oven timer for five minutes. The heated water steams up the inside of the oven, softening stuck-on gunk so you can wipe clean.

To Buy: $10; bulbhead.com.

Photo by Ralph Smith

BoomStick Portable Audio Enhancer


Improve the sound quality of earbuds (without upgrading to bulky headphones) with this handy rechargeable gadget—the Boomstick. Plug headphones into it and you get better volume, bass, and clarity.

To Buy: $60; amazon.com.

Photo by Ralph Smith



This dentist-developed floss is cylindrical, not flat, and made of hundreds of filaments to scrub between teeth more effectively. It comes in flavors like strawberry, coconut, mint, and Cara Cara orange, and it’s a great motivator for kids (or adults) who need a flossing nudge.

To Buy: $22 for three; amazon.com.

Photo by Ralph Smith


Automatic Handbag Illuminator


Drop this three-inch, 1½-ounce gadget into your bag vortex—it turns on when it senses a hand reaching in

To Buy: $30; uncommongoods.com.

Photo by Ralph Smith

Dinner Winner Kid's Dinner Tray


Replace the “One more bite, please” conversation with this playful plate, which comes in pirate, “supper” hero, and enchanted-forest themes.

To Buy: $15; amazon.com.

Photo by Ralph Smith



Prevent melatonin-suppressing blue light from interfering with your sleep with F.lux. This free, handy app automatically adjusts your screen’s color settings throughout the day to reduce blue light output. Available for Mac and Windows devices.