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40 Impressive Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $35 on Amazon

Nifty improvements at nifty prices.

by Christina X. Wood
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Originally Published: 
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I know only too well how easy it is for a house to turn into a money pit. You start with something trivial and the next thing you know, there are no walls, the plumber is delivering a shocking estimate, and you are buying a faucet that costs more than your wardrobe — as you discover roof repairs and tropical vacations are about the same price. You choose the roof. But not all home updates have to be like that. Sometimes you can make a terrific fix for so little money that you find yourself bragging about it at parties. (Yes, I have done this.)

People don’t always take it well when you brag about how little money you spent to make your house stunning, but it feels amazing anyway. (And it tends to inspire copycat upgrades.) These 40 impressive home upgrades that cost less than $35 on Amazon are a great place to start.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

01

This peel-and-stick strip light so you can install lighting anywhere

If you have a dark closet, corner, or shelf and wish it was better lit, this string light with a manual switch is the perfect solution. Just peel and stick both the mechanical switch and the three-foot strip of LEDs to any surface and you are done. Turn it on with a click. Turn it off with a click. It doesn’t require an outlet because the low-power LEDs are powered by batteries.

02

The supportive yet plush pillows with over 10,000 5-star reviews

Designed to work for all kinds of sleepers including those who prefer to rest on their side, back, and stomach, this set of queen-sized pillows features both gel and a down alternative for a soft yet supportive feel. No-shift construction ensures these luxurious pillows don’t go flat and they’re also machine washable. The cover has durable reinforced stitching and a breathable, cooling fabric for those who sleep warm.

03

This cozy set of deep-pocket sheets that let you sleep comfortably all year

Upgrade your bedroom with a fresh set of soft microfiber sheets that keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This set has deep pockets to accommodate taller mattresses and pillow-top mattress covers and unlike many sets that come with just two pillowcases, it comes with four pillowcases. This set is available in all sizes including twin XL and California king and comes in seven colors.

04

This set of two-sided scrubbing sponges that are machine-washable

An easy way to upgrade your home is to keep it clean. This set of six Scrub-It Multi-Purpose Scrub Sponges helps you scour a variety of places around the house including the toilet, sink, dishes, kitchen counters, and stovetop. The blue side offers a microfiber fabric for polishing and wiping and the gray side allows you to scrub away stubborn stains and build-up. These sponges are eco-friendly and economical because they are machine washable and reusable.

05

This UV flashlight for seeing everything from bugs to pet accidents

Want to freak yourself out? Go camping in the desert and whip out this UV flashlight. You will be able to see all the scorpions that run around at night. Use it when you crash at that roadside motel on the way home, too, and it will tell you if there are bedbugs. And when you get home and the dog looks guilty, wave it around to find the location of that “accident.” It’s a great, packable size and runs on AAA batteries.

06

A wireless doorbell because it’s so easy to install

Sure, you’re capable of pulling wires to install a new doorbell system but that would take all day and be so boring. This wireless doorbell system takes five minutes and is more convenient to use. Just stick the ringer where your guests will see it. Then plug the receiver in where the people inside will hear it. Easy. And when you want to sit by the pool or lounge in your mancave — but the pizza delivery is on the way — unplug the receiver and bring it with you so you can hear the doorbell from wherever you are. It comes in 10 colors.

07

This multi-use dryer vent cleaner that works with your vacuum

Save money, extend the life of your dryer, and prevent house fires with this adjustable dryer vent cleaner kit that attaches to your vacuum. The included guide wire lets you ensure a thorough job by deep cleaning around bends in the pipe. It can also be used to remove lint clogs on your outdoor vent, as well as a vacuum attachment for hard-to-reach places around your home.

08

This surge protector that powers nine items and has two kinds of USB ports

Solve your phone-, iPad-, and laptop-charging issues with this smart buy that will (hopefully) keep the kids from unplugging a lamp to charge their devices. This three-sided surge protector offers five standard AC outlets and adds three USB A ports and one USB C port to power a total of nine items. The outlet extended has an optional screw-in system to secure it to the wall and eliminate the risk of it falling off.

09

This weird bib so you don’t have to clean up after shaving

If you are prone to shaving and then walking away from a bathroom covered in shaved whiskers, prevention is the better part of valor here. You might look like a dork for a minute but you won’t have to spend an hour cleaning, which is a fair trade. Just snap this bib beard apron behind your neck and suction the corners to the mirror. Now you are sporting a garment that works a little like a horse diaper. Don’t think too hard about that. Just shave. And when you are done, gather the corners and empty the mess into the trash.

10

A set of five charging cables with interchangeable connections so you always have the right cord at hand

Finding the correct-length charging cable with the right connections is always a hunt in all the junk drawers. This set of five charging cables comes with two three-foot cords, two six-foot cords, and one extra-long 10-foot cord to offer a variety of lengths, and here’s the clever bit: They are magnetic, so the charging tips are interchangeable and can rotate a full 360 degrees. You can swap out a micro-USB for a USB-C or lightning plug with ease. The plugs can also rotate 180 degrees, making holding a charging device more comfortable.

11

The magnetic trick to knowing if the dishes are clean or dirty

End the eternal interrogation about the status of the dishes in the dishwasher with this simple, and decorative, trick. Just stick on this two-sided dishwasher magnet. When you run the dishwasher, flip it around to clean. When you fill it again with dirty dishes, flip it back to dirty. If everyone gets into the habit of signaling, there will be no confusion. It even comes with a magnetic pad you can stick to the dishwasher so it will work on non-magnetized machines.

12

This over-the-bed mosquito net for an alluring tropical vibe

Even if you don’t have a problem with mosquitos in your bedroom you can evoke a tropical feel — or alternately dreams of Apocalypse Now — by hanging this mosquito netting over the bed. It will create a cozy nest in there, let you pretend you are on a tropical vacation and give the bedroom a camp vibe. Or sure, use it when camping. Since it is a functional mosquito net with super-fine mesh that even comes with a storage bag, it will keep the bugs off and you can take it with you, quickly, if you get that call about a mysterious ark that needs locating.

13

An LED-lit, waterproof meat thermometer that works in seconds

Check the doneness level of steaks, frying oil, roast poultry, or even baking bread in two to three seconds with this waterproof meat thermometer. The thermometer has a handy food temperature safety chart printed directly on the handle, as well as buttons for controlling settings including brightness and the unit of measurement. The slim, compact size means it will fit well in a drawer, a hole in the handle allows you to hang it for storage, and it’s conveniently magnetic for storing on your fridge between uses.

14

The handy battery organizer that also tests for power

Organize that messy battery drawer — and stop throwing out perfectly good batteries because you think they are spent — by putting your collection into this battery storage container with a built-in tester. It holds 95 batteries of a variety of sizes. You can store it in a drawer or mount it to the wall. And the clear lid makes it easy to see when you have a battery you need or are running low. Have doubts about a battery? Touch it to the tester to see how much juice it has.

15

This kitchen-friendly box organizer that holds 20 pounds per shelf

Free up critical space in your kitchen with the handy box organizer for Ziplock bags, foil, plastic wrap, and more. The high-quality plastic and strong steel construction can hold up to 20 pounds per shelf and it can be snapped together without tools in one minute. Need even more space? It’s available in two larger sizes as well.

16

A set of 6 rustic Mason jar mugs with straws

Give your parties — or summer outdoor beverages — a farm-in-the-country vibe while making sure no one spills with these six 16-ounce, handled Mason jar mugs that come with tin lids with holes for straws. They are charming, kid-proof, sustainable, and fun. They even come with BPA-free reusable straws.

17

This dry erase calendar to get clarity on everyone’s schedule

Missed meetings, forgotten soccer games, and the unmanageable mess of managing several schedules are forever sorted when you stick this dry-erase calendar to the fridge and make everyone responsible for putting their events on it. It comes with six colored erasable markers so you can color code to your heart’s content. There is even a bonus shopping list you can stick to the fridge, too, so everyone can note what they want from the store.

18

This set of floating shelves for decorative storage anywhere

Turn the bathroom wall into useful storage for personal care items and supplies. Create a place at the entry for dropping keys and wallets. Or make a fun display from your collection of action figures or collectibles. Just mount these three floating shelves — in whichever of the nine colors best suits your room — and get creative.

19

A variety pack of silicone lids that fits any container in your kitchen

Reduce waste and save money with the variety pack of seven stretch-to-fit silicone lids. The lids are designed to fit containers from four inches to 12 inches across and everything in between. The food-safe silicone is oven safe to 350 degrees, freezer-, microwave-, and fridge-safe. They’re warp-resistant and easily cleaned in the dishwasher.

20

This charging stand that lets you tidily get control of your devices

Give everyone in the house a place to charge their gear and eliminate the constant clutter and chaos of charging cables by setting this small-footprint charging station in a central location. It gathers six devices into one space, standing on end, and provides a tidy, short charging cable for each device. Just plug the whole unit into one plug and solve for everyone. The LED light for each device turns off when that phone is charged.

21

The simple-but-brilliant stove gap cover that stops spills

Tired of cleaning spills out of that tiny space between the stove and the counter? Prevention is the ticket. Install this silicone gap cover that’s designed to perfectly cover that space so nothing can slide down in there. It’s easy to install. Just cut it to fit and slide it into place. It won’t burn if you set a hot pan on it. It’s easy to clean. And you will forget that it — and that gap — is there because it blends right in.

22

These storage bins that bring order to your pantry, cleaning closet, or fridge

Create easy order in cupboards, the pantry, under the sink, and inside the fridge by storing like items in clear bins. Once you sort everything into bins, all you have to do is grab the one with snacks, cleaning supplies, or rags to start your task. You can quickly see what’s in these two clear plastic storage bins, they are sized perfectly for household items, and they have easy-grab handles on each end.

23

A tiny security camera so you can put eyes on your pet or home

If you ever want to keep an eye on your pet when you are away, or maybe you want to see that the kids got home safely and aren’t throwing a party, that can be so easy. Just install this Blink Mini by plugging it in and following the in-app directions. You will be able to see what’s happening, get alerted when there’s movement in your home, and be able to talk to anyone there through the two-way audio in the camera. It can even connect to your Amazon Alexa to make a great baby monitor.

24

These rug corner grippers keep rugs from curling or sliding around

Upgrade your current rugs and bath mats by ensuring they never curl at the corners or slide around the room again with these rug corner grippers. A foam piece in the corner of the rug grippers makes them easy to lift for cleaning beneath the rug, while sticky panels keep your rug or mat securely in place. The sticky material can be renewed with a simple wipe down with rubbing alcohol.

25

This dimmable touch lamp that’s customizable with 10 colors and 3 brightness levels

This customizable touch lamp blends in with any decor and is right at home in a bedroom or anywhere else you need a small lamp. Touch this useful lamp from any angle to choose from 10 colors and three brightness levels of up to 300 lumens to set the perfect vibe. It has a color-cycling mode for allowing you to choose your hue and the non-slip base will keep it in place on your end table.

26

The hands-free light that offers incredibly bright light anywhere you need it

From working under the sink to emergency lighting, the Ontel Handy Brite Ultra-Bright Cordless Work Light offers 500 lumens anywhere you need it. The work light can be used hands-free in a variety of ways: It can stand on its own, be hung on a swivel hook, or be attached to metal with a magnetic base. It only takes three AA batteries to power and has a solid 4.6-star rating on Amazon.

27

This custom-fit draft stopper that has over 28,000 5-star reviews on Amazon

Insulate, soundproof, and keep weather and pests out with the Suptikes Door Draft Stopper, which has over 28,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. This door sweep adheres to any interior or exterior door for a custom fit, fitting gaps up to one inch high. It’s available in four colors to match your door and is 39 inches wide so it can be cut to fit your door.

28

These clever outlet shelves so you have a place for that gadget

Looking for a spot to put your new Echo Dot or that new little Bluetooth speaker you got? These two outlet shelves have the answer: Right over the plug. But they are even better than that. Just plug them in and they give you a shelf for charging gear (with two USB ports and one standard plug) complete with cord channels to minimize mess. They are also a motion-activated light that comes on when it’s dark. Excellent for the bathroom or kitchen.

29

An expandable shelf that’s designed to fit under the sink

Bring order to that mess under the sink with this purpose-built shelf that expands to fit your needs. It adjusts to fit around your plumbing and to fit into the cupboard you have. It also adjusts in height to accommodate the supplies you want to keep under there. The U shape even lets you slide a trash can in there with your supplies.

30

This manual button pusher to level up your smart home

There is always one light switch or appliance that can’t be added to your smart-home system because it needs to have a button pushed. This button pusher is the solution. Just mount the SwitchBot so that the action hits the button of your appliance and connect it to your smart home. Now when you run a routine or say, “Alexa, turn on the fan!” it pushes the button. It’s clever and very reminiscent of Wallace & Gromit.

31

The drain hair-catcher stickers that limit the need for unclogging

Place one of these stickers on your shower drain to catch hairs that would otherwise clog your drain. Each hair-catching drain sticker lasts two to three weeks and is easily removed when the drain is wet. They can even prevent small items like jewelry from going down the drain. They come in packs of 50 and 100 if you want to buy them in bulk.

32

This set of 4 wall-mounted broom holders to spruce up the closet

Storing long-handled tools like brooms and rakes presents an irritating problem. It requires the better part of a closet to store them and, even then, they constantly fall down and irritate you. These four wall-mounted holders let you keep them in a small space, right where you want them, with none of that hassle. Just stick the mounts to the wall in whatever configuration you like and stick the broom in them.

33

This washable, reusable cleaner puts an end to foggy mirrors when you’re shaving

For less than $10, you can put an end to foggy mirrors while you’re shaving. This washable cleaner won’t scratch glass as it clears condensation with a simple wipe. It can be used wet or dry and also removes dirt, grime, and build-up — perfect for that toothpaste on the bathroom mirror.

34

This sleek, no-drill paper towel holder that frees up counter space

This minimalist, sleek under-counter paper towel holder is easily installed with the included adhesive so there is no worrying about drilling holes in your cabinets. It frees up counter space in the kitchen and also works well in garages, laundry rooms, and craft rooms. It’s also available in black and in a two-pack if you want one for the laundry room or garage too.

35

A water-resistant speaker for music — or calls — in the shower or by the pool

With over 18,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, the SoundBot SB510 Bluetooth Shower Speaker lets you take your favorite tunes into the shower or bath or by the pool. This small, handy Bluetooth speaker attaches to the wall with a suction cup and offers button controls for skipping songs or pausing the music. It also allows you to make and receive calls while keeping your phone safe and dry. It’s available in five colors.

36

A reusable pet fur removal tool that works on tons of surfaces, including the couch

Pet fur on every surface of your home? This reusable pet hair remover tool lets you roll over pet fur (or lint) and easily empty the chamber with the press of a button. It works on carpeting, couches, clothing, car seats, and more. There’s no sticky tape to dispose of either, it uses an electrostatic charge to suck up loose fur and lint with ease.

37

A resistance band set to get in a workout from anywhere

If you ever have trouble getting to the gym, just set up a gym anywhere — the park, the back of a door, your living room — with this set of serious resistance bands. The five bands go from the equivalent of 10 pounds up to 50 pounds and come with attachments so you can use them with the (included) handles, over-the-door hook, or ankle straps to work every muscle. A wall chart guides you through your workout. And they come with their own carry case so you can toss them in a bag and get fit while the kids play in the park.

38

The convenient cell phone stand so you can charge & view at the same time

When you are working at a desk or following a recipe in the kitchen, your phone is a lot more useful if you don’t have to hold it. This simple phone stand lets you set it down, charge it, and still see the screen. This is great for talking on a headset or trying to follow directions in a video. It comes in five colors, has a channel for the charging cord, and is made of aluminum alloy so it’s strong and light.

39

A roll-up puzzle mat to keep your coffee table clean and save your work

This best-selling roll-up puzzle mat cleverly uses an inflatable cylinder so you can gently roll up your current puzzle without losing your work. The felt mat has an adjustable elastic band to secure the puzzle in place, letting you clear the coffee table until the next puzzle session. The mat fits puzzles of up to 1,500 pieces.

40

These eco-friendly (and wallet-friendly) reusable bamboo towels that replace paper towels

Break your paper towel rut with this roll of bamboo towels that replace up to six months’ worth of paper towels. The machine-washable, reusable bamboo-based rayon material is thicker and more absorbent than paper towels but soft enough to be safely used on the skin. Each sheet is reusable over 120 times, saving you cash and keeping waste out of landfills.

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