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.


Evercare Lint Flip Travel Roller


Keep this pint-sized roller in your bag to catch flyaway lint when it inevitably lands on your new sweater. Its flip top design means the sheets stay sticky—and won't become magnets for all of the dirt in your purse.

To buy: $7; walmart.com.

Photo by walmart.com

Play Mat Bag


They might be too little to clean up by themselves—but that doesn’t mean that tidying up after playtime always has to fall on mom or dad. With this genius play mat, all they have to do is fold it up, and it instantly becomes a portable, hanging storage bag.

To buy: $25; containerstore.com.

Photo by containerstore.com

Stanley Pocket Laser Distance Measurer


Laser measurers are so much easier to use than your standard tape measurers, but they’re also much more expensive. This USB-charged pocket-size model gives you the efficiency of measuring up to 30 feet with one button—without the hefty price tag.

To buy: $20; amazon.com.

Photo by amazon.com


OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Night-Light


Kids can’t sleep in on the weekends as much as you’d like? Score some more z’s by outfitting your tot’s nightstand with this cute and clever alarm clock. Set the time that you want to sleep until; when that time comes, the display will glow green, letting your child know they can come wake you up. It features a night-light, and also can be used as a full-functioning alarm clock (with a snooze button), fitting their (and your) needs as they grow older.

To buy: $17; amazon.com.

Photo by amazon.com

Gas Range Protectors


Even when you try your best to cook cleanly, the area around the burners always ends up filthy. Instead of scrubbing your stovetop, surround the burners with these fire-resistant, non-stick sheets. Once they get gunky, just rinse them in the sink or stick them in the dishwasher.

To buy: $10 for four pieces; amazon.com.

Photo by amazon.com

ThredUp Goody Boxes


If you’ve wanted to try out an online styling service, but hate paying full-price for anything, take a look at Goody Boxes, a new service from the online thrift store ThredUp. Pick what you’re looking for—cold weather essentials, office styles, night out clothes—and they’ll send you a box of 12 to 15 gently worn items from their inventory of over 25,000 brands that are picked to match your size, style, and budget. Keep what you want and send back what you don’t. There’s a $20 styling fee, but it’s applied toward your purchase, and many pieces are priced under $50.

To buy: $20 styling fee; thredup.com

Photo by ThredUp