6 Clever Items to Simplify Your Life

Real Simple’s mission, through its 17 years, has been to simplify your life with smart finds like these.




Keep lint-free, wherever you are, by carrying this handy retractable roller in your purse. It's not only super sticky, but it also comes with an integrated protective cover that comes in glam designs (marble print, anyone?) and funky colors.

To buy: From $8; amazon.com.

Photo by amazon.com

Techie Apron


When you’re using your phone when cooking, things are bound to get messy. Protect your screen from spills and smears with this clever apron’s see-through, touch-friendly pocket. It hangs next to four pockets that are perfectly sized for utensils or other cooking necessities, like parchment paper or plastic wrap.

To buy: $25; greatusefulstuff.com.

Photo by greatusefulstuff.com

Throat Scope


When kids get a sore throat, it can be hard to get them to sit still long enough to get a good look. This tongue depressor’s powerful built-in light illuminates the entire mouth and throat, so exams can be quick, accurate, and easy.

To buy: $25; amazon.com.

Photo by amazon.com




Picking a paint color for your house can be a surprisingly overwhelming experience, but these innovative swatches let you choose shades confidently. Just paint the clear adhesive sheets with your paint color, let dry, and stick to your wall. Keep them up to test how the hue looks during different times of the day—the strong tack is long-lasting. When you’ve decided on the right shade, just peel the sheets off—they’ll come off clean with no residue.

To buy: $3 for a pack of three; homedepot.com.

Photo by homedepot.com



Simplify (and save money!) while cleaning up after kitty with this genius three-tray sifting system. When it’s time to tidy up the litter box, just remove the top, lift the first tray, and shake until all that is left is clumps. Dispose of the waste, rotate the tray, and restack.

To buy: $50; luup.com.

Photo by luup.com



Walk with Brooklyn Bridge guided by Ken Burns or tour Marcus Samuelsson’s Harlem with Detour, a new travel app. The app offers more than 150 immersive walking tours in 17 different cities, and features the voices and expertise of noted travelers, historians, and residents. Have a great story to tell about your hometown? Create and upload your own audio experience to share with the community.

Photo by Detour