6 Clever Items to Simplify Your Life
Real Simple’s mission, through its 19 years, has been to simplify your life with smart finds like these. Pair a water-sensing, floor-saving sensor with a smell-stopping splatter screen and you’ve got a recipe for success. Add a carry-all tote and a self-extinguishing candlestick, and we’re ready to bring home every problem-solving item here.
Farberware Splatter Screen
Messes—and cooking smells—tend to linger in the kitchen. This stainless steel screen helps prevent both. Simply rest the screen (11- and 13-inch options are available) over pans while cooking; the screen will block oil and sauce splatters, and an activated carbon filter inside the screen will absorb cooking odors and still release steam.
To buy: From $12; amazon.com.
Tracksmith Camp Tote
Made of durable canvas with a sturdy leather base, this water-repellant tote can take a beating. Use it as a carry-all for errand days, a gym-to-work bag, or a supply holder for days in the park or at the beach—you’ll feel pulled together and efficient at the same time.
To buy: $228; tracksmith.com.
For those with a passion for taper candles but a fear of falling asleep while the flame is still burning, enter this clever candlestick. The cast-iron holder has a mechanism that will snuff the flame out once the wick burns down to a certain point, so the candle can burn with minimal supervision.
To buy: $40; uncommongoods.com.
George Foreman Open Grate Smokeless Grill
Get grill-quality sears indoors (or without the hassle of a full-sized grill) with this griddle-style cooker, which releases up to 80 percent less smoke than a standard grill thanks to a smart open-grate design. The grate is nonstick, pieces are removable and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, and the 172-square-inch surface offers enough cooking space for a full cookout spread, just made indoors or on a small terrace or balcony.
To buy: $80; walmart.com.
Kangaroo Water + Climate Sensor
For peace-of-mind without the price tag, turn to Kangaroo’s suite of simple home security devices. This one detects water, extreme changes in temperature, and humidity, and will send alerts to your phone should anything happen. It’ll keep an eye on that leaky sink or your prone-to-flooding basement, so you’ll know the instant something goes wrong—no more wet surprises.
To buy: $30; heykangaroo.com.
Circle Home Plus
Managing screen time—for yourself and for kids or teens—gets a different approach with Circle Home Plus, which combines a router-attaching device and an app to connect to devices at home and on the road. Determine what apps, sites, and more family members can access and track usage or set time limits; you can even pause WiFi connectivity to devices when it’s time for dinner or homework. The Circle Home Plus device comes with a 1-year membership to premium features, and membership is $10 per month after that.