Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
supalong52
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by supalong52 »

Haiku fan -- smart fan that automatically turns on based on motion, temperature, humidity, etc.
Smart thermostat
USB-C monitor. One cord to my laptop for power, video, audio, data, etc.
USB-PD outlets in strategic spots around the house. Easily charge devices when lounging.
Sennheiser HD58x headphones + amp/DAC -- makes listening to music more enjoyable
Rogue power rack + barbells + bumper plates in garage -- can work out with 90% of the functionality of a commercial gym

I'm sure there are others, but that's all my brain can squeeze out for now.
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ray.james
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by ray.james »

After spending 10 years in the old and cheapest apartments on the block to save money we bought house recently. While my spouse loves/desires for all those new and fancy schmancy stuff, these things made my life easy/appreciate

1) Double panel windows- winters are much warn and they block UV light during day in summers. Large windows keep ventilation up and bright in the house all day. I enjoy this over my old cold, dark apartments.
2) Access to garage via mobile/keypad + bike racks/hooks: I bike/take kids biking and we can enter house easy.
3) A Cordless 18v drill with drill set + screw set solves 90% of things - People buy a lot of tools that just sit and accumulate dust. A drill solves 90% of things. Unless one has passion/experience/ hobbies like woodwork, I would not buy more than that. Ask those kind neighbors who accumulate. :happy
Other tools I have and use are just the basic set from ikea (hammer, pliers, wrench, screw driver - $9 Fixa), a long screw driver, noncontact/contact voltage tester, wire stripper.
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JediMisty
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Location: Central NJ

Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by JediMisty »

jkushne1 wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:49 am My wife and I are in the process of buying our first home. I know the data that experiences > material items in terms of happiness but that's not the topic for this particular post. I'm curious as to what particular material items people have found that the cost/purchase has actually made their life better - either purely happier, more convenient, less maintenance, etc... I'm not talking necessarily about services (lawn care, pool maintenance, etc...) but physical items.

Some items come to mind immediately for me as example...
-Wifi: we are paying for more ethernet drops, currently have mesh network, and faster internet speed --> I never have to worry about slow internet.
-Nest thermostat: we use it all the time to adjust temperatures when we're driving home or to regulate the house. 
-Energy efficient LED lightbulbs: save energy but they last much longer so I have to replace them much less frequently.
​​​​​​​-Programmable coffee maker: prepare the night before and ready to go in the morning

Along a similar vane, what items did you THINK would make life better and actually DIDN'T live up to expectations?
-Such as other "smart home" items just didn't work out as you planned. For instance, I've heard many people say WiFi enabled locks on the door (not necessarily keypads) were more of a nuisance (having to change batteries a couple times a year) than they were worth (rarely use front door - garage opener for instance) while other people swear by them.


We are essentially trying to figure out where to put some of our money over the next several years and expectations are often different than reality.
I didn't see your location. But my fireplace is very enjoyable and usable usually 4 months each year here in central NJ. Came in handy after super storm sandy when we lost power for a week. Later, I installed a transfer switch to use with the generator I got just before the storm.
egrets
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by egrets »

HawkeyePierce wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:00 am
4) UV film on west-facing windows. Now my place doesn't bake in the afternoon. I've gone from the AC barely keeping up on hot days to sometimes not even needing it.
Can you say more about brand, installation, etc.? How does this affect things in the winter? Thank you.

My happy purchases are dishwasher, washer, dryer, microwave. Use kindle for pc and saved storage space for over 1000 books. Got rid of television. Tiny item, I bought screw-in motion sensor sockets for garage lights.
Kennedy
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:47 pm

Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by Kennedy »

All-Clad 13 inch stainless french skillet with lid- I use this several nights a week https://www.all-clad.com/Cookware/Skill ... 8701004403

Robotic mop https://www.amazon.com/iRobot-Braava-je ... ref=sr_1_3?
dchild=1&keywords=robotic+mop&qid=1594853853&sr=8-3

Roomba

4 inch mattress topper from Costco

Black-out curtains for light control and keeping room cooler

Costco Kirkland brand laundry and dishwasher pods

A well-stocked pantry (spices, canned tomato and bean products, baking supplies)

Herbs grown in pots on patio
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Matahari
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by Matahari »

OP, you don't indicate how many are in your household, but...

When we replaced our washer/dryer, we upgraded to one of those large-capacity washers (I forget the cubic feet capacity) but it's very large and capacious enough to accommodate a king-sized comforter easily. At the bottom is a drawer that is a washer for small loads that I use for doing those and for delicates. Our laundry room is spacious enough to handle the wider and taller W/D units and they've been a great purchase.
backpacker61
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by backpacker61 »

I've really enjoyed having a bread machine.

I bought mine in 2000, and have used it almost weekly, and it still runs fine. There was a "run" on yeast when Covid-19 was starting, and I was only recently able to replenish my supply.

They are out of print, but the bread machine recipe books by Norman A Garrett have a nice selection of recipes that I've found to be pretty consistent. You should be able to find them inexpensively on the second hand market.
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AllMostThere
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by AllMostThere »

Instant Pot! BAM, Mike Drop :D
redstar
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by redstar »

AllMostThere wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:30 pm Instant Pot! BAM, Mike Drop :D
I loved using the instant pot for a long time after buying it, but recently we've been eating less meat and I'm struggling to find recipes that necessitate it. Maybe it's just because I tend to use it for cold-weather stuff like chili.
poundwise
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by poundwise »

Cherry pitter.

https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Cherry ... B008FWD4HQ

Some up front work, but then uninterrupted pit-free cherishing of those delicious fruits. Kind of a metaphor for the Boglehead financial plan, actually.
almostretired1965
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by almostretired1965 »

6qt Instant Pot
4qt+ Air Fryer
Robovacuum
Standing desk
Good quality office chair
Portable air conditioner
Kitchen Aid Mixer
runner3081
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by runner3081 »

Fuzzy logic Rice cooker and infrared toaster oven.
Eowyn
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by Eowyn »

I second the comment about bath towels from Restoration Hardware. Ours are 18 years old and still going strong (though we have extra sets that we rotate).

White dishes --- they go with everything.

A good vacuum (ours is Miele).
MathWizard
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by MathWizard »

Mr.Chlorine wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:44 pm
aceoperations wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:06 am A good light cordless vacuum. We have the Dyson V11 torque drive. Expensive, but it is easy to clean, and it cleans well. Light enough that our 3 year old is able to vacuum the living room. He loves doing it! :D
Does anyone have experience with robot vacuums? i.e. Roombas, iRobots, etc

If those clean well enough, I would find that very convenient!

*Edit - Seeing posts on both sides. Thanks!
I thought we'd use ours more, but we don't seem to.
It does a decent job of light cleaning, but we need to move a lot of stuff out if the way.

The biggest use is once a week in the bedroom with everything off the floor. Much easier than trying to get under the bed.
martiansteeler
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Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by martiansteeler »

egrets wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:48 pm
HawkeyePierce wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:00 am
4) UV film on west-facing windows. Now my place doesn't bake in the afternoon. I've gone from the AC barely keeping up on hot days to sometimes not even needing it.
Can you say more about brand, installation, etc.? How does this affect things in the winter? Thank you.

My happy purchases are dishwasher, washer, dryer, microwave. Use kindle for pc and saved storage space for over 1000 books. Got rid of television. Tiny item, I bought screw-in motion sensor sockets for garage lights.
The film is nice, but the external solar shade is the way to go if you want to protect the view and keep the heat down. Had them on my apartment in Switzerland with a view of the Alps...and installed on my new place in San Francisco. East, West, and Southern Windows. Up and down based on sunlight intensity. (https://www.ersshading.com/retractable-solar-screens)
02nz
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by 02nz »

- Zojirushi rice cooker
- Bread maker (also Zojirushi)
- Nespresso machine
- Vitamix blender
- Dyson V10 cordless vac
- iRobot Braava mop robot
- Sonos One speakers (best in a pair)
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by jabberwockOG »

- Ring Doorbell
- Simplisafe alarm system
- A very quiet dishwasher
- 2700k led lighting in all fixtures
- dimmers on almost every light switch
- Weber Genisys gas grill
- Lifetime Tivo and OTA attic antenna
- high end 28cf french door frig
- Samsung 36 inch 5 burner gas range with 22k btu central burner
- All-clad skillets, pots and pans
- Leesa bed
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sandi_k
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by Sandi_k »

Lots of things have really made a difference in the Time of Covid:

• A deck furnished with chairs for enjoying cocktail hour.
• Outdoor speakers for music (ripped all our CDs to a lossless FLAC format).
• High quality indoor Sonus-Faber Cremona speakers, playing all those FLAC files
• Ceiling fans in the living room and bedroom.
• Pets. Our cats amuse us daily. ;)
• TiVo
• High quality kitchenware
• My $20 Ninja chopper – I use it for salads and recipes without hand fatigue
• Our Big Green Egg charcoal smoker/grill
• Our natural gas grill – useful when the power is out.
• Beverage fridge, separate from the regular kitchen fridge
• Dimmer switches on all the light switches. Mood lighting matters.
• A quiet dishwasher
• A dishwasher-safe cutting board, so we no longer have to wash them by hand.
• Laptops for each of us.
• Headphones for the endless Zoom calls for work, or other audio work/social media
• Outlets that have both AC power and USB slots
• Wall outlets that have embedded night lights – we use this throughout the halls for guests.
• Blackout curtains in the master bedroom, much to DH’s chagrin
• Artwork

Hmm. I think we like our house, and have become very spoiled. :beer
bluesky50
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by bluesky50 »

Bogle7 wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:20 am + UV heat-reducing film on east-facing 18x6 foot window wall.
HawkeyePierce wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:00 am 4) UV film on west-facing windows. Now my place doesn't bake in the afternoon. I've gone from the AC barely keeping up on hot days to sometimes not even needing it.
Could you please provide more information which UV films you use on your windows?

I have several west-facing windows and my house is getting really hot during late afternoon.

Thank you!
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ray.james
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by ray.james »

redstar wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:32 pm
AllMostThere wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:30 pm Instant Pot! BAM, Mike Drop :D
I loved using the instant pot for a long time after buying it, but recently we've been eating less meat and I'm struggling to find recipes that necessitate it. Maybe it's just because I tend to use it for cold-weather stuff like chili.
We use it for beans, pasta(https://whatsinthepan.com/category/instant-pot/ - love her website!), jambalaya( this comes a little soft but is so easy process to make), soups, cooking rice/yoghurt.( this is outside meat dishes).
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Wannaretireearly
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

ScubaHogg wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:16 am I think lots of ceiling fans are underrated, fwiw
We have modern fans. Recommend them.
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hudson
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by hudson »

Internet, computer/phone stuff, and home automation
Air bed with controls
Lawn Mower that takes one hour to mow rather than three hours
Rus In Urbe
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by Rus In Urbe »

Bought my spouse A ROOMBA (actually it's a Eufy) for a recent Birthday.
Game-changer. :thumbsup

This little robotic vacuum lives in the bedroom. "He" (spouse began to call it a he) made us re-think extraneous furniture and rugs, much of which we decided we could live without. The Eufy cleans the bedroom every few days (under the bed, no more dust bunnies) and is taken to the hallways, living room, library, dining room, kitchen, etc once a week or so. Even a few days after these areas have been conventionally vacuumed, it will pick up a lot of stuff.

Some of these devices connect to the internet. Aside from our computers and iPhones, we absolutely refuse to buy any appliances that connect that way in order to mine our data. And who needs a smart robotic vacuum...it works just fine as is.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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daheld
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by daheld »

We moved our washer and dryer upstairs and made a previously unusable space into a laundry room/office. It was right around $3k to do plumbing and electric, but that expense has been so, so worth it. Particularly with a toddler.
runner3081
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by runner3081 »

Correlle dishes.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by cheese_breath »

Spoons. Make eating a bowl of soup or ice cream so much easier, and prevent me from burning a finger stirring my coffee.
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Bogle7
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3M window film

Post by Bogle7 »

bluesky50 wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:50 pmCould you please provide more information which UV films you use on your windows?
3M
They have a "million".
I researched and chose one.
Then, the installation company (https://www.coloradosolarvision.com) (this is not DIY) salesrep said: "No, you want this one and here is why." I took his advice.
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Cubicle
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by Cubicle »

Tons of electrical outlets.
Lots of additional room lights on dimmers.
220/240 volt 100 amp outlet near the back door for either heavy equipment use or connecting a portable generator to power the house.
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Djiachartist
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by Djiachartist »

Google video doorbell - never guess who is at the door, never miss Amazon deliveries.

Google mesh wifi extender. No more dead spots in my house. Tried less expensive brands before this, doesn’t come close.

Wyze Cameras ($20@). Helps me monitor what my special needs kid is doing.
poker27
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by poker27 »

I recently bought an EERO wireless router, I first heard about it on this forum.

our wireless internet speeds were horrible, but I always blamed the internet, because our router wasnt that old, and supported speeds much quicker. My speeds increased by 5x after I installed the new router, and the reach is greater.
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AerialWombat
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by AerialWombat »

A living room recliner.

I move so often that I have avoided purchasing furniture. I’ve literally used folding camp chairs for years as my only living room furniture.

It’s so nice to actually have something comfortable to sit on.
JPM
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Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Post by JPM »

Agree with shell 921 who probably also lives in a cold climate. Not much to add to that excellent list.

Second the heated tile floors in bath and shower, really nice in colder parts of the country. Heated towel rack a luxe touch for the winters too. Tile bench in the shower if you are older or if you might be in the home until you are ready for assisted living etc.
Tankless water heaters too, never run out of hot water. Learn as much as you can to troubleshoot it yourself.
Convection microwave can double as a second oven, very handy for entertaining.
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