40 Things You Don't Realize You're Doing That Make Your Home Look Bad
And what to do instead.
When you spend day after day in the same space — i.e., your home — it's easy to stop seeing the things that are making it look bad. The cables snaking around your TV? You’ll start to ignore them after a few weeks. The same goes for all the bottles living on your shower floor; you’ll eventually just resign yourself to the clutter. But paying a little attention to those small messes will do wonders in making your place look polished. Ready to make your space into a sanctuary? Check out these things that make your home look so much better — they’ll help you do it on the cheap.
Solution: This box that conceals a power strip and cables
Whether you have cords pouring out of your entertainment center, or curling around the legs of your desk, they’re a trip-and-fall hazard in addition to being unsightly. It's easy to deal with both problems at once with this cable management box. Just drop a power strip right inside the box, and the cords can be routed through the notches on the sides. A convenient wooden lid hides everything from view.
Solution: The laser level that makes hanging artwork a no-brainer
When you hang stuff up on your wall just by guess-timating measurements, you’re likely to get a haphazard result. This laser level eliminates that headache. It features two backlit bubble vials and a projecting laser that creates a straight line on your wall. Plus, it rotates 360 degrees, so you can hang other items accurately, too. Gallery wall, here you come.
Solution: These Turkish towels that are chic and fast-drying
Replacing towels that are threadbare or marred with makeup stains can do wonders when it comes to upgrading your bathroom. These Turkish towels are a fantastic swap, and boast a subtle striped design and fringe. Plus, they’re fast-drying and the thin profile means they take up minimal space in your storage closet. They’re pre-washed to maximize softness, and are available in both hand towel and bath towel sizes.
Solution: This cult-favorite pet hair remover that's ridiculously effective
If you have four-legged friends at home, you’ll love this pet hair remover that's racked up 138,000 reviews and a 4.5-star overall rating. With just a few motions, it traps all that excess fur and stores it away in an attached compartment for easy disposal. It's more eco-friendly than one-use sticky tape, and cheaper in the long run, too — you can use it again and again.
Solution: These grippers that prevent curled corners and sliding
Area rugs can add warmth and style to your home — or they can make it look chaotic if they slide out of position or have corners that are curling up. These rug grippers secure your rug in place and also keep the corners tacked down to the floor. They’re suitable for use on all hard-surface floors, and won't leave residue behind.
Solution: This wall-mounted caddy in sleek black or silver finishes
Your bathroom might look amazing... until you pull back the shower curtain and are greeted with a small army of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bottles. This shower caddy is a fan-favorite fix that's earned an impressive 4.8-star overall rating after 30,000 reviews. Made of rust-resistant stainless steel, it mounts with simple adhesive backing and can handle up to 15 pounds.
Solution: These matching rope baskets that store all your stuff in style
Piles of mail, dog toys, the stuff scattered across your coffee table that you’ll "deal with later" — all those things can find a home in these matching rope baskets. Made from natural cotton, the three-piece set comes in earth tones like brown, charcoal, and creamy white. Each bin has side handles that make it easy to move from room to room. Put these to work and you’ll feel organized — even if you’re not.
Solution: Storing it in this holder where it has a chance to properly dry
Your sponge can get all kinds of gross when you leave it at the bottom of the sink — without the chance to air out, it can start harboring germs and start smelling. This sponge holder gives your scrubber a dedicated space, elevating it off the counter so it dries quickly and won't grow germs. The holder is made from embossed porcelain for an elegant, farmhouse look
Solution: This highly rated comforter with 5-star hotel vibes
It goes without saying that the bed is the focal point of any bedroom, so if your comforter has seen better days, a simple swap can do wonders. This fluffy comforter boasts a 4.6-star overall rating from reviewers, but won't break the bank. The smooth box-stitched design keeps the microfiber fill in place, so you don't have to worry about shifting at night. It's hypoallergenic, machine-washable, and dryer-safe.
Solution: A shower squeegee that helps prevent soap scum and mildew buildup
If you want to keep soap scum, mildew, and mold growth at bay (and clean the shower less frequently as a result), this shower squeegee is key. It has an ergonomic handle and durable rubber blade that whisks away water fast — just a few swipes after showering, and you’re done. It's available in sleek finishes like gold and bronze, and comes with a wall-mounted holder so you can grab and go.
Solution: This three-tier rack that keeps everything in order
Kicking your shoes off the minute you come in the door feels amazing, but the aftermath can look a little chaotic. This shoe rack fits neatly in your entryway, giving you an automatic place for storing 12 to 20 pairs. And if you’re a boot aficionado, you’re in luck: The shelves are height-adjustable. While this is perfect for the front hall, it works equally well to straighten up the pile of shoes in your closet.
Solution: These vacuum storage bags that compress items by up to 80%
If your closet is overflowing, I’m willing to bet there's a chair in your bedroom with a pile of pants and shirts draped across it. Store your out-of-season items in these vacuum storage bags, then put those "chair clothes" back in the closet. The bags compress items by up to 80%, so you can squeeze them in any nook or cranny for storage. You can even opt for a hanging version if you want to store your compressed items on the closet rod.
Solution: Lining your fridge with these easy-to-clean mats
Scrubbing sticky teriyaki sauce or ketchup off of cold refrigerator shelves is near impossible, but these refrigerator liners are easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth. The waterproof and oil-resistant mats can be trimmed to fit your shelves, and the nonslip surface helps keep them from sliding around. Plus, the pop of color just might cheer you up every time you open the fridge door for a snack.
Solution: This slim storage cart that can be squeezed in anywhere
Running out of space for your stuff? You might have more storage options than you realize — this rolling storage cart measures just 5 inches wide, so you can tuck it between your washer and dryer, set it next to your bathroom counter, or squeeze it between the fridge and the kitchen wall. When you need something, the heavy-duty casters make it easy to roll out.
Solution: These self-sealing caps that reduce the sticky blue mess
Look, even if you do manage to put the toothpaste cap back on when you’re barely awake, there's just something inherently messy about toothpaste — and it can get everywhere fast. These toothpaste caps have a self-sealing design that keeps the toothpaste well away from your counter, sink, and the toothpaste tube itself. They’re made from food-grade silicone, and you get three in a pack.
Solution: These airtight pantry containers that create a streamlined look
There's obviously nothing wrong with keeping your food in the store packaging, but if you’re after pure zen in your pantry, these food storage containers can get you there. Instead of a mishmash of boxes and labels, you get a clear design with chalkboard labels, so you can tell your flour from your powdered sugar. The airtight lids lock in freshness and keep pests at bay.
Solution: These self-watering stakes that keep plants hydrated
Can't keep a plant alive? With these self-watering stakes, you might actually be able to. The bulbs are made from hand-blown glass — just fill them with water and stake them in the soil; they’ll slowly release the water at just the right rate, so your plants won't dry out and they won't drown, either. Plus, these come in clutch when you leave town and don't want to pay someone to water your plants for you.
Solution: This budget-friendly cheese board that pulls out all the stops
Being an impressive host takes less effort than you might think. Just swap out your standard dinner plate for this cheese board, and you’re basically in business. Made from bamboo wood, the board has grooves along the side for crackers and olives, and there's a hidden drawer that stores serving utensils (magic!). It's perfect for a cheese and charcuterie, but works just as well for veggies and dip, deviled eggs, or whatever else you’re cooking up.
Solution: This mail holder that corrals envelopes and catalogs
If you’re guilty of ditching your mail on any old surface (I am), this mail holder is a simple, streamlined fix. Sleek but understated, it has three slots that are sized to accommodate everything from your monthly power bill to a few catalogs. Made from metal, it comes in three finishes — gold, rose gold, and dark gray — and features rounded corners for a soft, modern design.
Solution: A bamboo hamper that doubles as a design piece
Your utilitarian items don't have to look utilitarian, and this hamper is proof of that fact. It's made from durable but lightweight bamboo and has a low-key, natural aesthetic that would blend in with any decor. It's generously sized and has a washable interior liner. The convenient flip-top lid conceals the dirty clothes inside.
Solution: These colanders that collapse nearly flat for storage
When your cabinets are packed to the gills, items inevitably end up being stored on top of the fridge or on the countertop. Free up a little room by swapping out your existing strainer for these silicone colanders that collapse flat for storage. The two-pack includes an 8-inch and 9.5-inch colander, and they’re both heat-resistant, so you can strain that piping hot pot of pasta and be on your way.
Solution: This dry-erase calendar that magnetizes to your fridge
Dentist appointment reminders, grocery lists, to-dos — see them all at a glance on this dry-erase calendar instead of relying on dozens of fluttery sticky notes all over your house. It magnetizes directly to your fridge and gives you entries for every day of the week, as well as empty space you can do with as you please. You’ll also get markers, so you can start getting organized ASAP.
Solution: These door bumpers that protect the walls from damage
If your doorknob keeps hitting the wall, you need these transparent doorknob bumpers (no one wants to repair denting and scuffing down the line). The bumpers create a barrier between the wall and knob, and applying them is easy with the adhesive backing. They come in three sizes, and — bonus — they dampen sound, too.
Solution: This wall-mounted holder for brooms, mops, and rakes
If your cleaning and gardening tools are leaning haphazardly against your garage wall, you’ll be surprised what a massive difference this mop and broom holder makes. It mounts to the wall with the included hardware and has five slots for handled tools, along with six hooks for gloves, baseball caps, dustpans, and whatever else you can throw at it. With a 35-pound capacity, it's sturdy, too.
Solution: The smart light bulb that lets you adjust the brightness (and so much more)
Sometimes you need the lights to be all the way on — but more often than not, dimming them can create a more relaxed feel and a softer look. This smart light bulb makes it easy to get the best of all worlds, allowing you to adjust the brightness via the compatible phone app or voice commands (if you have an Alexa or Google assistant). You can also set schedules and timers, or control the bulb when you’re away from home.
Solution: These door seals that keep water inside the shower
If your shower has a gap below the frameless door, you know the struggle of water puddling up on the bathroom floor. These door seals fix that issue. They slide right onto the bottom of the door and feature a "fin" that blocks water but slides easily over the doorframe. They’re ultra-durable and can be trimmed to size with a utility knife.
Solution: A wood repair kit that conceals imperfections fast
Wood furniture (and cabinets and doorframes and baseboards) are bound to see some wear and tear — and it's easy to stop seeing it after a while. Instead of a full refinishing project, put this cheap wood furniture repair kit to work. It comes with six markers and six wax crayons that fill in imperfections, so they’re virtually invisible. The kit includes various shades like oak, walnut, and maple.
Solution: This 4-slot utensil rest that can be rinsed clean
A stovetop covered in sauce or oil drips from last night's cooking can majorly downgrade the look of your kitchen. To prevent that scenario, set your spoon or spatula on this nonslip utensil rest to catch any runoff. With room for four kitchen tools, it's made from heat-resistant silicone and can be thrown in the dishwasher or rinsed clean in a flash — so much easier than scrubbing your stovetop. Choose from neutrals like ash gray and black, or opt for a pop of color with shades like aqua and cardinal red.
Solution: The broom and dustpan set that's perfect for grab-and-go cleaning
Don't wait for cleaning day to sweep up the kitty litter and post-dinner crumbs from your floors — this broom and dustpan set makes it the matter of seconds. The two pieces snap together and stand upright for storage, so you can stash the set out of the way and grab it whenever you need it. The broom extends from 39 to 51 inches (so you can reach under the fridge), and the dustpan features cleaning nubs that whisk away debris from the broom bristles.
Solution: A corner-mounted shelf with space for all your tchotchkes
If you have treasures you like to keep on display — but they’re all crowded together on a bookshelf or your bedroom dresser — you might want to give them a better home. This floating corner shelf is a great option, offering five tiers for showing off framed photos, keepsakes, or small potted plants. Not to mention, the corner-mounted design makes for an interesting visual feature in and of itself.
Solution: This hard water stain remover that renews your tile and fixtures
Nothing will make your bathroom look older than hard water stains taking over. This hard water stain remover does a bang-up job of eliminating the calcium, lime scale, and phosphorous, so your shower and faucets will look brand spankin’ new — and you can also try it on windows, brick, fixtures, and pool tiles. One reviewer raved, "Wow…. It really worked for a rust stain that nothing else was removing. No damage to the fixture finish either."
Solution: An effective stain remover formulated with safe ingredients
You knock your wine glass over or flip the plate with ketchup smeared across it — it happens, but the quicker you get to blotting up the stain, the easier it’ll be to lift. Reviewers call this biodegradable stain remover a "miracle solution" that "works on everything." Plus, the formula is Safer Choice-certified — that means the Environmental Protection Agency approved it as a product that's better for human health and the planet than other alternatives.
Solution: A 10-pack of cord organizers that attach to appliances
These cord organizers are a small upgrade that make a surprisingly big difference in your kitchen — or wherever you choose to use them. Each organizer attaches to the back of your appliance with double-sided adhesive and features two hooks for wrapping the cord. A clip in the middle holds the plug securely in place. Use this with stand mixers, toasters, air fryers, food processors, and more.
Solution: A cute doormat made with sturdy coconut coir fibers that catch debris
The best way to keep your entryway clean? Place a doormat constructed from durable coconut coir on the front step. The natural coir fibers are super sturdy, and trap dust, debris, mud, and leaves easily. The mat is fast-drying and water-resistant, and features a nonslip rubber backing. Choose from a dozen styles.
Solution: This organizer that corrals toothpaste, toothbrushes, and more
This toiletry organizer gives you the best of both worlds: You can keep your must-have items out on the counter for easy access while also avoiding a cluttered look. The four-compartment organizer can be used for your dental hygiene supplies, but it's also perfect for moisturizer, lip balms, and makeup brushes (or you can store office supplies in it on your desk). This clear option is a sure bet, but there are gorgeous rose gold and brass shades available, too.
Solution: The grill scraper that cleans the grates (and has a built-in bottle opener)
It's a small thing, but letting burnt food linger on your grill grates can downgrade the look of your patio (and make your next barbecue session more unpleasant). This budget-friendly scraper features a variety of notches to fit grill grates of any sizes — just a few back-and-forth motions and you’re set. The best part: The other end of the scraper has a bottle opener, so you can crack open a cold drink while you work.
Solution: The stainless cleaning kit that reviewers swear by
Boasting a 4.7-star overall rating after 17,000 reviews, this stainless steel cleaning kit is a fan favorite for bringing the shine back to your fridge, dishwasher, and other appliances. Use the spray and microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints and smudges, then blend to a streak-free sheen — the formula will even guard against future marring. The included wipes are perfect for quick touch-ups.
Solution: This multi-blade duster that makes quick work of the job
Attempting to clean the blinds can be a pain, but this multi-blade duster actually makes it kind of fun. It not only cleans two blind panels at once — it cleans both sides of each blind, too. The set comes with five microfiber dusting pads, so you can clean all the blinds in your house, then throw the pads in the wash for later reuse.
Solution: The collapsible cover that prevents microwave splatter
Put a lid on splatter (literally) with this microwave cover that saves you from having to scrub your microwave on cleaning day. The BPA-free cover is vented to let steam escape and features a handle for easy control. When you’re done using it? It collapses to a height of just 1 inch for storage.
Solution: This remote control holder that spins for easy access
Your living room will look instantly better once you corral all your remote controls in this rotating holder — not to mention, you won't have to deal with searching between the couch cushions every time you want to turn the volume up. Available in more than 15 colors and styles, it has five interior compartments, including one that's big enough for a tablet or book.BDG Commerce Solution: This box that conceals a power strip and cables Solution: The laser level that makes hanging artwork a no-brainer Solution: These Turkish towels that are chic and fast-drying Solution: This cult-favorite pet hair remover that's ridiculously effective Solution: These grippers that prevent curled corners and sliding Solution: This wall-mounted caddy in sleek black or silver finishes Solution: These matching rope baskets that store all your stuff in style Solution: Storing it in this holder where it has a chance to properly dry Solution: This highly rated comforter with 5-star hotel vibes Solution: A shower squeegee that helps prevent soap scum and mildew buildup Solution: This three-tier rack that keeps everything in order Solution: These vacuum storage bags that compress items by up to 80% Solution: Lining your fridge with these easy-to-clean mats Solution: This slim storage cart that can be squeezed in anywhere Solution: These self-sealing caps that reduce the sticky blue mess Solution: These airtight pantry containers that create a streamlined look Solution: These self-watering stakes that keep plants hydrated Solution: This budget-friendly cheese board that pulls out all the stops Solution: This mail holder that corrals envelopes and catalogs Solution: A bamboo hamper that doubles as a design piece Solution: These colanders that collapse nearly flat for storage Solution: This dry-erase calendar that magnetizes to your fridge Solution: These door bumpers that protect the walls from damage Solution: This wall-mounted holder for brooms, mops, and rakes Solution: The smart light bulb that lets you adjust the brightness (and so much more) Solution: These door seals that keep water inside the shower Solution: A wood repair kit that conceals imperfections fast Solution: This 4-slot utensil rest that can be rinsed clean Solution: The broom and dustpan set that's perfect for grab-and-go cleaning Solution: A corner-mounted shelf with space for all your tchotchkes Solution: This hard water stain remover that renews your tile and fixtures Solution: An effective stain remover formulated with safe ingredients Solution: A 10-pack of cord organizers that attach to appliances Solution: A cute doormat made with sturdy coconut coir fibers that catch debris Solution: This organizer that corrals toothpaste, toothbrushes, and more Solution: The grill scraper that cleans the grates (and has a built-in bottle opener) Solution: The stainless cleaning kit that reviewers swear by Solution: This multi-blade duster that makes quick work of the job Solution: The collapsible cover that prevents microwave splatter Solution: This remote control holder that spins for easy access