My five favorite household gadgets!

June 07, 2017

Hello! Today I'm joining as the host of a monthly blogging series with some of my favorite bloggers -- Pam from Simple Details, Lisa from Shine Your Light, Kris from Driven by Decor and Jennifer from Dimples and Tangles

This month the theme is top five favorite home gadgets and it's right up my alley! I LOVE this stuff! I've shared some of these with you over the years but some are new. ALL are items we use nearly every day or at the very least every week. 

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First favorite plug. Yes, I have a favorite plug. It's in our kitchen island:
USB plug for charging electronics

We were always using that plug to charge our electronics and the adapters were always disappearing around the house. Now we keep a charging cord in the junk drawer nearby and it plugs directly into the outlet. 

This is the brand we use and I found it at Lowe's. You can always find it online here too:
Plug with USB adaptor

You do have to change out the plug -- if you've done it before it will take a few minutes to replace! (And if you haven't -- it isn't a hard project and they give you instructions.) 

The junk drawer I mentioned is right around the corner and you can see how I keep that organized here
How to organize junk drawer

My all time favorite gadget is in that drawer -- those odd looking green scissors are the BOMB. 

I've talked about these over the years (they are called the Zibra Open It scissors and I get them online here) and will keep sharing until every one of you has one. ;) 

These are made to open up hard plastic packaging. They cut that and zip ties wrapped around toys and other items easily. They also have a small blade that we use to open boxes and a small screwdriver that is perfect for those tiny screws on toys and electronics: 

I use them every day -- even for cutting flowers from the garden. They are a perfect gift idea for all ages. :) 

I get asked about how I keep our hardwood floors clean quite a bit. I've only found one item that works consistently over the years:
Jacobean hardwood floors

I'm obsessed with this Bissell steam mop! I've had other steam mops over the years and they didn''t hold up well. This one is still ticking and is SO easy to use: 
Bissell PowerFresh steam mop

It's the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop and you can find it both online and in stores all over like Walmart and Target.

It comes with two mopping pads -- you just plug it in, fill up the water reservoir and let it heat up. It only takes a minute or two and there are three different levels. I always use the highest one and the water still seems to last forever.

We've had more messes than usual lately with the bathroom renovation upstairs and I just pull this out and wipe down the floors really quick. You toss the pad in the washer when you're done. LOVE IT. And they don't take forever to dry -- that's one of my favorite parts.

If you have tile, vinyl or sealed hardwoods it will work so well for you!

This next gadget is small buy mighty -- I blogged about how we use the Amazon Dash buttons in this post. They make me feel like we're totally hip and on the cutting edge of technology. ;) It seriously cracks me up that we now can hit a button and stuff just comes to our house:
Amazon Dash buttons

My favorites are for toilet paper and laundry stuff -- both items I used to find myself realizing we needed when they were gone or close to gone. Now we hit a button and one or two days later they arrive on our doorstep. 

You can read more about the cost and how to use them at the post I linked to above. They have buttons available for TONS of different items. Even Nerf bullets! 😂 And I love that you can hang them in closets or cabinets. When I open the laundry cabinet and notice we're low, I just push the button: 
Laundry with floating wood shelves

And finally, this is a favorite of mine we've had around for years. I think we've had this one for nearly ten years. It's a remote plug and switch. Basically you plug in a light or any other electronic into the device and then plug it into the wall. Then you can hang or keep the switch anywhere you want and use it to turn the light or item on:
Remote plug and switch
The one pictured is the exact one we have and I've used it for as long as I can remember in this house.  It's awesome for hard to reach spots like a table behind a sofa, something up high on a shelf or even Christmas lights (inside). 

I used to use it for Christmas lights on a high plant shelf years ago. Now I use it for a lamp so I don't have to walk across the room. ;) But I'm considering another one for our cabinet lighting: 
DIY cabinet lighting tutorial

We have this connected to a switch but that switch turns on both our sconces in the kitchen and these lights. I may see if I can just use this instead, so I can turn on either our sconces or the cabinet lighting independently. It's just a cool gadget! 

There you go! My five favorite household gadgets -- I love them all! Have you used any of these in your home? 

Now be sure to go check out what five home gadgets the other ladies recommend as well! I love these types of posts -- I always like hearing what works for someone else.

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  1. The remote plug and switch sounds convenient - I've never heard of a gadget like it before!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. we have a couple outlets we hope to switch to usb- so wonderful!

  3. Great suggestions! Those green scissors are totally coming to our house soon! Steam mops are amazing! After I bought my first one several years ago, I couldn't imagine ever cleaning my floors with anything else. And it's completely non-toxic to boot!

  4. Sarah, these are such a great tips! I need to get some of those USB outlets! With three teenagers in this house, chargers are always getting "borrowed", mostly from me!! Thank you so much for sharing your favorites today, we loved having you join us!

  5. I love the remote plug idea and I agree with you on the green scissors. I have a pair and I don't know what I would do without them when I have to open hard plastic. Why do they have to make things so difficult to get into?!!

  6. I have been trying to motivate myself to install my under cabinet lighting (I bought all of the LED strips/ribbons already but the switch/plug has been a sticking point I haven't been able to figure out). The "mobile switch" is PERFECT! I also used your under cabinet lighting project posts to help when buying my lights. Thank you :)

  7. These smart plugs can be turned on by voice using Alexa or by phone. No switch needed. I like that I can tell Alexa on or off and not get up or if my hands are full.

  8. Love the Amazon Dash Buttons. I am going to try this.

  9. The Open It scissors make a great gift. I gave them one year to my son and sons-in-law at Christmas. (used 20% off Bed Bath Beyond coupon too for all of them) Made a hit with them and they STILL use them. Told a friend and she did the same for her son & sons-in-law with the same response.

  10. Some great gadgets here I'm definitely going to look into! Question for you about the whole first floor is engineered wood and tile. I have had two steamers at this point, and neither has worked for me. They leave the floors too damp and look smeary when they dry. And the worst part is if I wipe the floors with a rag to dry them quicker, the rag is filthy! Which means it's not actually cleaning the floors at all. Am I just buying the wrong ones? Or am I doing something wrong? Thanks for any input!

  11. I got a Smart Things Hub and some GE zwave switches & outlets. Now I turn lamps, lights & fans on and off with my phone or I tell Alexa to do it. I can also set up schedules! It's awesome!

  12. I had a family member who had to replace her wood floors because steaming them ruined them. I asked the floor guy a ton my Lowe's and he said NO STEAMING. Keep wood floors as dry as possible.

    1. It depends on your floors. I would never use the on laminate. But hardwoods that are sealed (with a poly) are fine. Our installer recommended a steam mop and we've used one for six years. :) Onsite finished hardwoods are actually incredibly durable.

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