If I had a dime for every minute I’ve spent searching for things on Amazon that I don’t need, I would probably still spend those dimes on things on Amazon that I don’t need. I’ve always enjoyed shopping, but once I became an adult and realized that buying mundane, everyday “useful” things was sometimes as satisfying (and often, more so) than browsing for shoes or bags, Amazon became my favorite place. After all, ordering a snazzy set of mason jars never can never be as stressful as, say, a pair of jeans that is supposed to fit like one size but fits like another size because clothing sizing is a conspiracy to make us all question our entire lives!!! Plus, even if you’re into the torture which is purchasing denim, Amazon has that too. It’s a virtual cornucopia.
I get a lot of requests for recommendations for small space living, Whole30/Paleo products, and just about everything in between. My starting point for decorating a super small apartment? Meal planning? Organization? All of the above? Always Amazon. So I went through all my purchases from the past five years (yes, really) and picked the 11 most life-changing products I’ve gotten from Amazon. And, to be clear, these aren’t just products I’ve gotten that I like that also happen to be available on Amazon. These are actual things I bought through Amazon for one purpose (or no purpose at all) that ended up, surprisingly making my life better. These range from the ultra practical (space-saving dish hanging rack, anyone?) to the… well, less practical. But no matter what you’re looking for, these are safe bets to make your life easier, more organized, or just a little brighter — at least, that was my experience. And if you’re wondering, yes, Amazon Prime is worth it.
When I owned this little tiny washing machine, I got more questions about it than anything else in my entire life. Ever. Dog? Who cares! Boyfriend? Doesn’t matter! General life happenings? Not important! All anyone wanted to know about was this damn washing machine, in all of its tiny, powerful glory. So here’s the deal: This bad boy is a game-changer. For almost two years, I lived alone and, for two years, I didn’t go to the laundromat once. In New York, this is a big deal. Sure, it cost a good chunk of change, but ultimately I saved money because I could do laundry whenever I wanted. So how much does it fit? It depends. I once fit an entire duvet cover, a towel, and five pairs of underwear in it. Alternatively, you could wash like 30 pairs of socks or four pairs of jeans. You get the idea. From start to finish, the entire process takes about an hour — maybe less. There are videos on YouTube that show you exactly how it works, if you’re interested. Is it as simple as pressing a button? No. Is it easier than going to a laundromat? Yes, absolutely. And you can do laundry in your pajamas. As it is meant to be done.
The cons? This is not a dryer so, yes, you have to air dry your clothes. But it does spin dry them, which makes air drying via drying racks a relatively painless process. I spend many a Saturday doing a load or three of laundry in this bad boy while watching entire seasons of Luther. By Sunday afternoon, all the clothes were dry. I gave my washing machine to a friend who lives alone because I live with my boyfriend now, but all in all this is hands down the most life-changing thing I ever got on Amazon.
I’m not really sure whether this is the most or least practical purchase I’ve ever made on Amazon. Is there a word for something that is both super informative, but also totally unnecessary? Well, this dog DNA test is that. Having adopted our dog with zero idea what breed she was, I was of course extremely curious to figure out what the heck she was. We were pretty convinced she was at least part spaniel. After receiving the kit in the mail, swabbing Winnie’s mouth, dropping it off, and waiting a month to get our results back, we found out she was, in fact, none of those things. Instead, she is actually part pit bull, maltese, beagle, and unidentified herding breed. A true mutt. Unnecessary? Yes. Worth every penny? Absolutely.
OK, so, admittedly this is not quite as cool as the mini washing machine or the dog DNA test. It looks a little lame, I know. Like a less cute fanny pack. But, I promise, it is helpful AF. I first got this before I went on a two-week trip to Europe with nothing but a tiny carry-on suitcase and a tote. I kept this organizer in my tote to separate everything I needed to have easy access to and it saved my life. Not only did it organize books, documents, chargers, etc., but it also divided space within the tote itself. Sure, you can spend a lot of money on those fancy bags that come with a thousand compartments… but this works just as well.
Ever lived in a super tiny kitchen? Annoying. Ever lived in a kitchen at all and tried to get a pan only to realize it is buried underneath 243 other pans in a cabinet that is annoying to reach? Also annoying. I, somehow, have both of those problems at the same time. Enter: convenient pot-hanging rack. This thing is cheap, easy to assemble/hang, and makes my life easier every single day. Coming from someone who’s kitchen is quite literally 25 square feet, this thing is worth it. Trust me.
I am describing these as “thingies” mostly because I am not totally sure what they actually are. Last summer, I spotted a terrifying bug here and there in my new apartment. I also had a new puppy. Not wanting to harm the pup with chemicals or sprays, but also get rid of any pests had me stumped. So I did what any good millennial does. I cried in frustrating, read hundreds of reviews on Amazon, and ordered what was probably the least practical thing AKA these non-chemical anti-pest things. But they worked! Or it’s just a coincidence that the bugs also stopped showing up after I plugged it in. That is also possible. But, I like to think it was these things.
6. A 6-Foot Long iPhone Charger Cord
I don’t even have to explain this one, because odds are you understand just by reading the description. It’s a six-foot long iPhone charger. I can reach it from anywhere. It’s a beautiful purchase I am thankful for every day. That is all.
Going from spending what seems like every day of your life searching for no-show socks to having an endless supply of them after spending less than $20 is the best feeling in the world. Hence, these socks being on the list. They are the thing you never have, never remember to buy, and are always looking for. But no more, thanks to Amazon and the time I thought buying socks would make me feel less stressed (it actually worked, too). Also don’t ask me why they’re advertised on Barbie feet.
I put off getting end tables for months. I’m not sure why looking back, but for the first six months I lived in my new apartment I just was using a stool to hold my lotion, light, books, and glasses of water. Eventually, I got so frustrated with constantly knocking over glasses of water and books and my phone that I just went on Amazon and ordered the most highly rated end tables. These were $200 total, solid wood, and all the assembly that was required was screwing on the legs. All in all, they took about 10 minutes to set up and are super high quality, nice-looking pieces. And now I don’t knock over any of my glasses of water or books. Much more relaxing.
Yes, RX bars really chewy. Some people hate them. However, I think they’re the most tasty, filling snacks I’ve tried that are full of straight-forward, simple ingredients. I especially love the pumpkin ones in the fall, and if I buy the 24-pack they’ll pretty much last me months. I especially love heating them up and slathering them with cashew butter. Nom.
I have a rack above my dining table I use to store coffee cups, tea, and flour (among other things). For a while, the shelves were cluttered with tons of different cups, bowls, and containers. Eventually the clutter starting bothering so much that I just bought these mason jars and transferred everything into them. Now everything is organized, uniform, and is much more pleasant to look at. When things are organized, I feel a little less anxious, so these are pretty life-changing in my book.
11. Drunk Elephant Umbra Sunscreen
A day comes in every person’s life when they finally find an everyday sunscreen that they don’t hate. This is a big deal. This Drunk Elephant sunscreen is that for me. I’ve mentioned it in my stories and got questions about it before, so here it is. While it is still noticeably sunscreen (there’s a faint smell and it takes a few seconds to sink into the skin), it feels nice on my face and the rest of my body. Enjoying wearing sunscreen? Yes, that is life-changing.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links which may result in personal financial gain.