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13 "Life Hacks" Every Home Needs

Updated: May 18, 2021

As a homeowner, I'm about to do you a favor & tell you about some products you need to get RIGHT NOW to keep around your home. Trust me, these are game changers!

Wood-Colored Paint Markers: These are GREAT to have around the house. I like to keep a couple shades of "wood" colors along with a black one & a white one. We don't even have kids or pets, yet somehow nicks & scratches appear on our wall corners, door frames, cabinets, etc. One quick go-over with one of our paint markets & you'd never know it's there.

Magic Erasers- These. Are. Life. I keep regular Magic Erasers & the special bathroom versions on hand at all times. I probably use the regular ones most on the cabinet underneath our bar area where jeans & other pants/shoes rub on our white cabinets while people are sitting on our stools. I also use these near the garage door frequently for scuffs from bringing in the groceries & other bags. The bathroom magic eraser is a MUST HAVE especially if you have a white tub or shower bottom. It makes soap scum & impossible-to-remove discoloration disappear from the white porcelain & fiberglass like nothing else I've ever seen. SPARKLING!

Pop-up Step Stool (for all my short friends out there): I'm only 5ft tall & I am extremely independent. I will do everything in my power to do something myself before asking for help...especially when it's a height related issue. Basically the top half of our kitchen cabinets & closet shelves are "out of range" for someone like me. Yeah, I could go out to the garage to get the 3 step ladder, but ain't nobody got time for that. I like to keep fold up step ladders in the crack next to the fridge, leaning against the wall in closets & any other small space I can fit them in for easy access. Without struggling too much, going out of my way, or God-forbid...asking for help, I can reach that dip sized crockpot in the top cabinet above the microwave with my handy-dandy pop-up step ladder! (I usually find them at Marshall's or Homegoods for like $10 BTW)

Schlage Keypad: If you don't have keypads on your doors buckle up. I'm about to change your life forever! If you walk the dog, go for runs or bike rides, or just enjoy straight up convenience, then keypads on your exterior doors are a MUST. I prefer any hardware from the Schlage line (which you can find at any hardware store including my fav...Menards), but there are lots of brands out there. I find Schlage is pretty easy to install, lasts a long time & is the most dependable. You will never need to carry a key on you again. Game changer!

Nest Thermostat: Okay, for those of us that travel frequently, this is another "Smart Home" game changer. Having a Nest thermostat may seem like an unnecessary upgrade to some, but having the power to update your heat/air from an app on your phone is so pleasant. When we travel, I turn the heat down & the air up as to not waste energy at our home. When we are a couple hours out from home, I can go into the app & adjust the heat/air to our liking so the house is ready when we arrive! It's amazing. I can also track our energy bill & kick in "eco" status to help us save on our utilities. The best part of all is that when you go to sell your home, it has been proven that us millennials will pay more for a home with simple little upgrades like a Nest thermostat & Ring doorbell! Check our your local electric/gas company for promos & rebates to help pay for an upgraded thermostat. We got our last one for under $70 thanks to our gas company!!!

Pampered Chef Meat Browner- Mix 'N Chop: Okay, most people have probably never seen one of these before & let me tell you, for anyone that eats ground beef/chicken/turkey, this is about to make your life so much easier! One of my biggest pet-peeves when making ground beef tacos or sausage for our homemade biscuits & gravy is not being able to get the meat ground small enough for even displacement of seasonings! This handy little tool will completely change your kitchen game. It's an odd looking utensil. It has the handle of a hammer & the bottom is sort of a heavy star-shaped rubber blade thing. It's bizarre & I don't really know how it works but it grinds your ground meat like nothing I've ever seen! (you can find other brand's version of this, too)

Repels-All Animal Repellant Spray: Okay, this is only for those of us with deer-eating-our-garden & woodpecker-making-holes-in-our-cedar type of problems. This all natural spray can be found at any hardware store (again at my fav...Menards) & doesn't hurt or kill the animals. Spraying a generous amount on the affected area around your home slightly irritates the animal's nose so that they don't have interest in coming back to bother the area. It smells like bacon vomit but just plug your nose because it's worth it. We had a woodpecker issue at our old house & I sort of had this ongoing war with Woody...ya know, the woodpecker? We name things. He was THE WORST & this spray definitely helped scare him away so he stopped destroying our front porch!

Threshold Signature Bath Rugs from Target: Now everyone has their opinions....but these are THE BEST bag rugs in the world & you should probably go buy 8 right now LOL. They are soooo soft & wash up very nicely. They have great colors & different sizes to fit your bathroom needs. I highly suggest these rugs.

Microwave Splatter Cover: So this is something we sort of stumbled upon walking around Menards one day "pricing out projects"...I'm telling you we love that place & can't get enough of it. In a random isle $5 bin we came across this plastic almost lid thing that was called a "Splatter Cover". We thought it looked interesting so we pounced. Something that reeeeeally irritates me is when he reheats something in the microwave & "forgets" to cover it with a paper towel & makes a huge gross mess from the splatters. If I have to scrub pasta sauce off the microwave ceiling one more time I'm going to scream! Now that we have a splatter cover, it's not an issue! The coolest part is that the cover has a magnetic top so it stays in your microwave at all times, attached to the ceiling for easy storage & then no one has the excuse of "I couldn't find it" or "I didn't feel like getting it out" because it's always in there, ready to use! It's also extremely easy to clean & can be put in the dishwasher. Do yourself a favor with this one.

UPLIFT Adjustable Standing Desk: So this was an investment we didn't make until April of 2020 when he began working from home full time for the unforeseeable future. I work from home year round, but I'm in & out all day & can't sit or stand still anyways so I'm always moving around the house working from different areas like a nomad. He, on the other hand, has to have multiple screens & a stationary desk set up in the office. He was sitting for so long it became painful so we bought an UPLIFT standing desk. It's so cool! They have a bunch of different types & colors, & you can save different sitting & standing heights. Since he's a foot taller than I am, we have his standing height, my standing height, & a desk chair height all saved. It was extremely easy to put together & is very high quality. We both swear by UPLIFT.

Alexa WiFi Smart Plug Outlets: So these are another thing, like your Alexa dot, that you don't think you need until you have one & then you invest in one in every room. These are little tiny round things that you plug into an outlet & you link them to your Alexa. Since one of my biggest fears in life is stubbing my toe (I know, I'm ridiculous), I always want a light on when I get in bed. We have a nightstand lamp hooked up to one of these so once I'm in bed I can say "Alexa, turn off the bedroom lamp!" & of course our robot friend obliges. We also have one hooked up to our patio lights & our Christmas tree lights during the holidays for easy access. I know I keep saying this, game changer & again very easy to set up & wouldn't you know, you can order them straight from Amazon!

Extendable Ladder- Ascent Mighty Multi from Menards: This ladder is so cool. You can push these side buttons, flip it around & use this ladder in like 80 different ways. You can make it super tall to lean against the house & get on the roof or fold it in half to put the star on your 8ft Christmas tree. Because it folds easy, you can store it in a convenient spot in the garage & get it in & out efficiently. You need one.

Tremco Vulkem Caulk: So we are BIG caulk people. I get this from my builder dad, who literally caulks everything & is a total snob about what brand is the "best". This is another item that you can stock up on at any hardware store (emphasis on Menards). Nearly every time we go to Menards we pick up another tube of caulk "just to have around". You can use this if you have cracks in your garage drywall, or cracks in your brick & mortar, or space between your shingles & gutters & so much more. Caulk is a total life hack around the house because it is slightly elastic in nature which means unlike other substances, it can slightly move over time with colder & hotter months when things shift, shrink & expand.

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