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.


Car Seat Gap Filler


If you’ve ever dropped your phone between the seats while driving, you know it can be both annoying and dangerous. Stick these pockets between the car seats and the center console to catch any stray items. Or, use them to keep kids’ activity books, important papers, and other items organized and within reach.

To buy: $24 for two, amazon.com.

Photo by amazon.com

Tea Drops


Love loose leaf tea, but hate toting (and cleaning) the filter? You’ll love these tea drops—the leaves dissolve while steeping in hot water.

To buy: $12, myteadrop.com.

Photo by myteadrop.com

Over the Sink Cutting Board


A savior for anyone short on counter space, this expandable cutting board rests over the sink to maximize available surface area. Wash produce in the built-in collapsible silicon colander before chopping.

To buy: $30, amazon.com.

Photo by amazon.com


’Snot Tape Barrier


With this painter’s tape in your toolkit, your paint job—even a striped wall—will always look professionally done. The reusable tape is lined with a gel polyurethane adhesive that molds to even the tiniest grooves in your walls to prevent bleeding. Choose from two types: the multi-surface for glossy or eggshell finishes or the specialty surface for unfinished, primed, or matte walls.

To buy: $12, thegrommet.com.

Photo by thegrommet.com

DIY Fermentation Crock


Extend the life of your garden haul by pickling any excess of veggies. This sleek glass pot holds up to five liters of produce, brine, and seasonings. An included wax pencil makes labeling (and erasing) a breeze.

To buy: $59, uncommongoods.com.

Photo by uncommongoods.com

Teen Safe


Concerned parents can rest easy knowing they can monitor their child’s smartphone usage—texts, calls, Instagram activity, and even their location—with this free app.

Photo by teensafe.com