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.




Keep one of these convertible totes around for those times when “just a few items” turns into your monthly haul. With just a single tug, this cotton and nylon bag converts into a backpack—perfect for when you need to free up a hand (or two).

To buy: $22, notabag.com.

Photo by notabag.com

Solar Powered Mason Jar


Turn your camping trip into a glamping retreat with these chic, battery-free lanterns. Topped with a solar panel, each jar provides 12 hours of cord-free lighting.

To buy: $25, uncommongoods.com.

Photo by uncommongoods.com

Pie Crust Shields


Make your pie picture-perfect this holiday season with these reusable crust shields. Just slide the nonstick silicone over the perimeter to prevent the delicate edges from burning.

To buy: $7 for five, jet.com.

Photo by casabella.com


Silicone Toaster Oven Baking Sheet


Your toaster oven is good for so much more than toast. Unleash its full potential with this petite baking sheet. Cook pizzas, frozen meals, or even pork kebabs on the silicone surface for a mess-, stick-, and crumb-free meal.

To buy: $15, amazon.com.

Photo by kuhnrikonshop.com

GiftWrap Dispenser


This gift wrap station puts everything you need to prepare the perfect present right at your fingertips. Not only does it hold and cut your wrapping paper in a clean line, but it also has designated compartments for tape, pens, and scissors.

To buy: $30, chicwrap.com.

Photo by chicwrap.com

Google Trips


Let Google’s new app be your personal tour guide. Pick either a half day or a full day, and the free app will create an itinerary with recommended places to shop, play, eat, and see. It even pulls your hotel and flight reservation information from your email, so you don’t have to switch between apps and e-mails. The best part? All information and maps are usable, even when you’re not connected to the internet.

Photo by googleblog.blogspot.com