50 Smart, Cheap Ways To Upgrade Your Home You'll Wish You Knew About Sooner

And you’ll wonder how you ever did without.

Written by BDG Commerce
Originally Published: 
50 Smart, Cheap Ways To Upgrade Your Home You'll Wish You Knew About Sooner
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The term “home upgrade” may conjure images of electricians, plumbers, and contractors holding court in your home for months at a time, but now, in the golden age of DIY projects, that’s simply not the case — especially not with with Amazon leading the charge. The online retailer has become a destination for amateurs and professionals alike seeking low-cost, high-impact solutions for common problems and projects around the home, whether that’s smart devices that streamline your daily routines, or simply great-looking furniture at unreal prices.

From marble contact paper that cheats a full kitchen reno to a set of lightbulbs you can control with your voice, scroll on to discover 50 smart, cheap ways to upgrade your home you’ll wish you knew about sooner — and wonder how you ever did without.


A Desktop Organizer That Looks Surprisingly Stylish

Organize and decorate your desk at once with this stylish desktop organizer. It’s equipped with both vertical and horizontal spaces for papers, files, slim books, and even an iPad, as well as a drawer with four variously sized sections. Plus, the gleaming gold finish and architectural, Art Deco-inspired details make it look like an intentional piece of decor.

  • Available colors: 5


A Strip Of Affordable LED Lights That Couldn’t Be Easier To Install

This strip of sleek, wireless, peel-and-stick LED lights is one of the easiest and cleverest ways to upgrade your home — and, at under $10 for a strip, one of the cheapest, too. They’re particularly well-suited toward under-cabinet lighting, but you can install them anywhere that could benefit from better lighting, like your closet, staircase, or around your bathroom mirror.


These Genius Wood Markers That Conceal Scuffs, Stains, & Marks

If you have wood floors, or wood furniture, these genius wood markers and crayons are a must-have. They can be used to conceal scratches, scuffs, and other types of damage on all sorts of wood, both new and old, and according to over 9,000 Amazon reviewers and our own editors, they really do work. Included in this set are both wax sticks and markers in six different colors. “Works great on my wood floors,” one Amazon reviewer commented. “Easy to use and you get a lot of markers and crayons for the money. Very impressed. Made the scratches on my wood floor disappear.”


These Luxurious Velvet Curtains That Block Out Up To 95% Of Light

Not only will these luxe velvet curtains make your bedroom or living room look so much more expensive, but they also work to block up to 95% of light (depending on the color you choose), so they virtually function like blackout shades — at a much lower price point than most. Take your pick from 40 lush shades, like gray-blue, soft beige, and muted gold.

  • Available colors: 40


A Simple, But Game-Changing Solution To Increase The Warmth In Your Home

This small-but-impactful upgrade will make it easier for you to retain the heat in your home — but that’s not all this door draft stopper does. It’s also great for soundproofing, and it can help keep out unwanted visitors (i.e., mice and the like), too. “Something so simple and inexpensive does an amazing job stopping the draft,” commented one Amazon shopper. Another person wrote, “Easy to trim and install. Works great for keeping out drafts. Reduces noise. One of the least painful ‘home improvement’ tasks for a less-than-handy person.”

  • Available colors: 4


These Acrylic Bins To Give Your Fridge An Aesthetic *And* Functional Upgrade

These clear organizer bins will make your fridge look professionally organized — but they’re also super practical. Not only do they allow you group like things together (condiments in one, cans in another), but they’ll help increase your fridge space, and many can be stacked to maximize your vertical storage space, too. Of course, you can use these for other organizational purposes — not just for the fridge.


These Self-Adhesive Tiles For A DIY Kitchen Or Bathroom Makeover

Yes, even if you rent, you can give your kitchen or bathroom a complete makeover. Ideal for both backsplashes and floors, these self-adhesive tiles are super easy to install — no mess or glue required — and really do look like the real thing. You’ve got over 30 unique designs to choose from, including black and white checks, parquet “Oak,” green marble, and mosaic (pictured).

  • Available designs: 36


A TP Holder That’s Actually Pretty — & Has A Handy Shelf

Who knew a toilet paper holder could be so chic? Featuring brass accents and a marble shelf, which can be used to hold baby wipes, a candle, plant, or diffuser, it’s an easy (and cheap) bathroom upgrade that will make a surprisingly big difference. The same style is also available with a nickel or matte black TP hook, if you prefer.


This Gorgeously Scented Soy Candle With A Clean-Burning Wick

Give any room in your home a soothing ambience with this soy candle from Benevolence LA. They are highly scented with essential oils for quality aromatherapy, and have a wooden wick that promises to burn clean for up to 45 hours — offering lots of ambience.


The Floating Shelves That Amazon Reviewers Are Obsessed With

If you have bare walls, these floating shelves will make a big difference — and allow you to put your favorite pictures, plants, and decorative objects on full display. But they’re also a super functional upgrade for small spaces, as they’ll increase your storage space tenfold (they’re particularly great for bathrooms and kitchens). Over 10,000 Amazon shoppers have given these best-selling shelves a perfect five-star rating, and report that they’re “easy to assemble and install” and “[come] with all the hardware.”

  • Available colors: 7


This Genius Wall-Mounted Organizer For Your Brooms, Mops, & More

This cleaning tool organizer is pure genius. It can be mounted to a door or wall, and can hold all your cleaning supplies and then some — rakes, brooms, mops, mitts, brushes, and a dustpan. It’s the brilliant home (or garage, or shed) upgrade you never knew you needed — but once you have it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.


A Set Of Bamboo-Lidded Apothecary Jars With A Matching Tray

Oftentimes, the most subtle upgrades wind up making the biggest difference. Case in point? This cute little set of apothecary jars, which come with bamboo lids and a matching bamboo tray. Simply by decanting your Q-tips, cotton balls, floss picks, or hair ties into these, your bathroom will look so much more intentional and stylish. They’re an absolute must if you have a guest bathroom, too — guests will feel like they’re at a five-star hotel.


These Smart Plugs For A More Impressively Functioning Home

With these Kasa smart plugs, you can add voice control to any outlet in your home, so they’re a major technological upgrade that’ll make your home function a lot more efficiently. That means, using the accompanying Kasa app, you can also control your electronics from your phone, so even if you’re not at home, you can turn on the lights, for example. They’re compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and are sold in a pack of two for just $20.


These Stylish Garden Lights That Are Powered By The Sun

Upgrading your outdoor lighting situation doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Just invest in these solar lights, which are also energy efficient as they’re powered by the sun. Stick them along your pathway, or in your garden, to add ambience and warmth. Just be sure to stick them somewhere that gets sun during the day, as that’s how they recharge.


The Genius Lid Organizer That You Never Knew You Needed

File this Tupperware lid organizer under “weird but genius products you never knew you needed.” Once you own it, though, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. It offers a solution to the age-old problem of where, and how, to store all those mismatched food storage container lids. Over 20,000 Amazon reviewers will agree that it may just be the best $20 you’ve ever spent.


These Easy-To-Install Puck Lights That’ll Make Your Home Look So Much More Impressive

Add custom lighting to any dark nook or cranny in your home with these best-selling puck lights. They’re great for putting under your cabinets or shelves, and they can be easily installed using either adhesive or screws (both included). Plus, they’re touch-sensitive, so turning them on and off couldn’t be any simpler.


This Sumptuous Duvet Cover Set For A Refreshed Bed-scape

Give your bedroom a boost by outfitting your bed with a new duvet set. This duvet cover, along with two shams, boasts a 1,500 threadcount and still manages to be lightweight and ideal for year-round use. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “The quality of this duvet set [is] absolutely amazing. [...] It is very thick, very high quality for the price.”


This Charging Station For All Your Household’s Devices

Finally, not only a place to store all of your devices, but a place to charge them all (at once!), too. Perfect for households with multiple members, this charging station has six USB ports, illuminated dividers, and light indicators that will let you know when your device is fully powered up. One Amazon reviewer summed up its appeal: “Easy to assemble. Looks good, does not take up much room. Holds up to 6 devices and charges them at the same time. Great way to keep electronics out of the kids room at night and not lose them by storing them on the charger. Comes with 6 iphone charge cords.”


These Cooling Gel Pillows Filled With Cushy Down-Alternative

Sleeping well makes everything better, and replacing pillows that are past their prime can make a big impact. These cooling pillows are lightweight and luxurious, with a firm, bounce-back plush design. Even better, they can be popped into the washer and dryer to be refreshed. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “I tried these & INSTANTLY fell in love! I wake up without aches & pains in my back or neck. I've been using them for a couple years now (late review) & will continue buying these as long as they are available.”


This Cute Set Of Matching Bottles For Your Hand & Dish Soap

Another great example of a small touch that’ll make a big difference, these hand and dish soap bottles are a must for any organized kitchen. Sold in black, white, or black and white, they come with a bamboo tray and matching bamboo-accented pumps. Since nobody will see what type of soap is inside, you can get away with using “supermarket soaps,” instead of buying bougie soaps, so these dispensers may even wind up saving you money.


This Peel & Stick Wallpaper That Looks So Expensive

Giving your room a complete makeover doesn’t have to cost a ton — not when peel and stick wallpaper exists. A genius hack adored by those in-the-know, the wallpaper can be easily removed without leaving a sticky residue behind, which is clutch if you rent. This particular wallpaper is so elegant and timeless, but you can find all sorts of different designs on Amazon. Plus, reviewers swear it’s super easy to install.


These Rug Corner Grippers That Make A Big Difference

If you have a rug that slips and slides around, you need these corner grippers from Gorilla Grip ASAP. The extra-strong adhesive will stay in place on all types of fabric, preventing your rug from curling up at the corners, too. Sold in a pack of eight for less than $15, Amazon reviewers have called them “life changing” and a “must have.”


The Best-Selling Shower Head That’s Surprisingly Easy To Install

No, you don’t have to hire a plumber to upgrade your shower. Simply invest in this best-selling rainfall shower head that doesn’t require any tools (or skills) to install. It’s sold in tons of colors, from matte black to brass, to fit in with any style of decor, and it’ll make your shower feel worthy of a hotel with its high pressure courtesy of 90 rubber-tipped jets. “This is the greatest shower head I have ever had in my home,” raved one Amazon reviewer. “If you have really thick hair like I do, it can take a long time to rinse your hair out. Not anymore! Amazing pressure and pure luxury! I love this showerhead and highly recommend!!”


The “Smart” Doorbell That Everyone Should Own

There’s a reason why Blink doorbells are so popular — and if you don’t have one yet, what are you waiting for? The smart doorbell allows you to “answer” your door (and view who’s there) from your phone, and it also allows you to speak to your visitors from afar. There’s also night video mode to make you feel extra secure, and a motion sensor you can activate, too (you’ll get alerts right to your phone). “My Blink video doorbell gives the peace of mind that I need,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I feel safe as it records everything that happens within range. The app is very easy to use and I can control my camera from anywhere using my phone.”


These Clever Magnets That Display Whether The Dishwasher Is Dirty Or Clean

If you have other people in your household, you need this genius dishwasher magnet. You can slide it from clean to dirty so family members and roomies always know whether the dishes inside are ready to be emptied, or whether they’re safe to put their dirty dishes inside. It’s a small, simple upgrade that may make a big difference in your day-to-day life.


A Bamboo Bath Mat That’s Both An Attractive *And* Practical Upgrade

Bamboo bath mats dry much more quickly than fabric ones, and they won’t harbor bacteria, mildew, or mold. But beyond being more hygienic and more practical, they also happen to look amazing. Give your bathroom a spa-like upgrade with this chic bath mat, which is made of natural, waterproof bamboo with smoothed edges. Nine antislip gaskets on the bottom help ensure you won’t slide around, even when your feet are wet.


A Set Of Airtight Pantry Containers That Keep Food Fresh

Another great example of a practical and aesthetic upgrade, these clear food storage containers will make your pantry look professionally organized, but they’ll also keep your food fresh for a long time. This set of seven comes with airtight locking lids, black labels, and a white marker to make a note of what’s inside. Plus, since you’ll be able to visualize exactly how much you have — whether it’s flour or pasta — you’re less likely to overbuy and waste food.


These Slim Velvet Hangers To Streamline Your Closet

This sizeable set of 50 slim velvet hangers not only enhances the look of a closet because they match — they also help maximize space as they’re narrower than traditional hangers. The velvet finish grips onto even lightweight camis to prevent slippage. One reviewer wrote, “If you're looking for a way to organize your closet and keep your clothes looking neat and tidy, then these [...] are definitely worth considering. These hangers are an absolute game-changer and have completely transformed my closet space.”


A Foam Strip For Your Door That Seals In Warm Air

These draft stoppers for your doors can be useful year-round. Depending on the season, they work to keep cold/warm air sealed in your living space — and you may even notice a drop in your energy bill. Other than sealing off drafts, these stoppers can also block odors, noise, and light from entering your area. They’re suitable for most doors, but be sure to measure that yours has a width between 30 to 36 inches and a gap from 0.25 inches to 1.5 inches high.


These Genius Bamboo Drawer Dividers That Can Fit Inside Most Drawers

These bamboo drawer dividers make organizing your drawers a cinch. The adjustable design can be expanded or compressed to fit most drawer sizes, and the soft felt caps on either end ensure the dividers won’t scratch the sides of your drawers. The naturally waterproof, easy-to-clean bamboo material makes these a great solution for kitchen and bathroom drawers, but they also work for organizing your socks, underwear, and bras (or any other dresser drawers).


A $30 Side Table With A Vintage-Inspired Magazine Holder

Here’s a little-known secret you’ll wish you knew about sooner: Amazon is an amazing destination for expensive-looking, well-priced furniture. They particularly excel in decorative pieces, like this neat little side table that looks like it was sourced from a vintage boutique. The size is slim enough to fit in tight spots beside your couch, and the clean, geometric lines, gleaming brass finish, and tempered glass top feel both modern and retro at once. The canvas magazine rack is a special, vintage-inspired touch.


This Fan-Favorite Outlet Concealer That Hides Unsightly Cords

With over 45,000 ratings to date (and a near-perfect 4.7-star rating overall), this outlet concealer is a favorite among home enthusiasts on Amazon. The ultra-thin cover completely conceals unsightly outlets, while also allowing you to push TVs and other plug-in devices flush to the wall to streamline your entire space. “I hate cords showing because it takes away the beauty of the decor. I have mine hidden so perfectly, you won't even notice it. I wish I had this years ago,” one customer shared.


An Adjustable Metal Rack That Fits Perfectly Underneath Your Kitchen Or Bathroom Sink

Another cult-favorite organizer with thousands of rave reviews, this expandable metal shelf is a no-brainer way to organize cleaning supplies, sponges, lotions, and any other odds and ends underneath your kitchen or bathroom sink. It can be adjusted both height- and width-wise to work around pipes, and two tiers provide plenty of space for your things. “So glad I bought this expandable under-the-sink-shelf!” one customer raved. “What a difference this shelf makes in my bathroom. Wish I had taken a "before picture". I can fit so much more in the bathroom cabinet now and the products are easier to find and grab.”


This Gorgeous Velvet Ottoman With Hidden Storage

On the surface, this looks like a luxe velvet ottoman — but lift the lid, and you’ll find plenty of storage space for things like remotes, magazines, off-season decorations, or even a folded-up throw blanket. Clever, right? Between the gorgeous jewel-toned upholstery and of-the-moment hairpin legs, it’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional.

  • Available colors: 10


A 4-Pack Of Handy Storage Bins That’ll Instantly Streamline Your Space

These simple storage bins will make an outsized difference in how your storage space functions. The clear construction makes it easy to see exactly what you’re reaching for, the handles help you slide them out from a closet or cabinet, and since they come in a pack of four for just about $40, you’ll be stocked in one fell swoop. This is a no-brainer purchase.


The Chic Rope Basket You’ll Want To Buy For Every Room

There’s no wrong way to put this chic rope basket to use: Use it for stashing laundry, toys, workout gear, throws and pillows, off-season clothes… the options are endless. You might want to follow the advice of several Amazon reviewers (there are over 30,000 of them in total) and get one for every room.

  • Available colors: 10


This Best-Selling Organizer Rack For Tricky Pots & Pans

A neat solution for notoriously hard-to-store pots and pans, this adjustable rack can be outfitted in three ways — horizontal, or vertical with racks on one or both sides — and the racks themselves can be moved around to accommodate any size pots and pans, as well as their lids. (You can use it to store baking sheets, pan, and cutting boards, too.) This best-selling organizer has earned over 5,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, with customers calling it “easy to set up,” “sturdy,” and “exactly what I needed.”


A Hanging Macrame Basket That Keeps Produce Fresh — & Saves Space

Rather than your usual fruit bowl, why not opt for this three-tiered hanging macrame basket? It’ll save surface space and function as decor, all while keeping produce fresh. With a 4.6-star rating, it’s earned a small but loyal following on Amazon. “Not only is this hanging basket pretty but so sturdy as well! I would definitely recommend!” one shopper shared.


This Clever Pen That Makes Tile Grout Look Sparkling Clean

You’re not the only one who dreads the prospect of painstakingly cleaning tile grout, hence why this clever grout pen has earned best-seller status and over 25,000 ratings to date. It’s technically not for cleaning grout, but the soft white shade will make grout look like it’s sparkling clean (and it’s so much easier than scrubbing). At under $10, why not try it out yourself?


These All-Natural Wool Dryer Balls For Your Laundry

These extra-large laundry balls made of 100% wool are a natural alternative to liquid fabric softeners. They are safe to use with all of your laundry — including your most expensive and delicate clothing — and because they’re fragrance-free, they’re also suitable for those with sensitive skin. Shoppers love the fact they can use these dryer balls over and over again, saving them money in the long run.


A Genius Solution For Organizing Your Bath & Body Products

If you have more shower products than you know what to do with, these waterproof floating shelves are for you. They easily stick to your wall, thanks to a super-strong adhesive backing, and they’re equipped with drainage holes to prevent mold and grime build-up. This set of three comes with two full-sized shelves, complete with rounded edges so slippery products won’t fall off, plus a smaller one for a bar of soap. Finally, the minimalist design won’t interfere with whatever aesthetic you’ve got going on in your bathroom.


This Bidet Attachment That’s Both Hygenic And Luxurious

If you’re looking for a truly “life-changing” way to upgrade your home, add this bidet attachment to your toilet. After every flush, you’ll be left feeling refreshed with a clean bum. Plus, your guests will be impressed by the luxuriousness of the whole idea. This bidet is universal and fits all types of toilets. Better yet, it’s easy to install and comes with everything you need to get started.


A Set Of Coton Rope Storage Baskets That Are Chic Enough To Show Off

Chic organizational solutions are the definition of smart and easy ways to upgrade your home. Case in point: These beachy-chic cotton rope baskets. They’re perfect for tucking away things like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, but they’re stylish enough to keep on display, too — consider using them to hold your blankets or pets’ toys.


This Luxurious Bath Pillow That’s Designed For Total Relaxation

When you want to slow down and unwind, this cloud-like pillow is the perfect bath accessory. With elegant satin edging, the soft pillow has a 3-D mesh design that helps it dry fast, and six suction cups on the back help keep it from slipping around. Reviewers especially loved that it comes with its own laundry bag and can be tossed right in the wash whenever it needs a refresh.


This Tiered Hanger Set That Helps You Make The Most Of Your Closet

This four-tier hanger is a clever way to maximize your closet space while, and it comes in a handy three-pack. Each hanger can hold up to four items, and the adjustable clips have rubber tips to keep garments secure and undamaged. “The 4-tier hangers are excellent quality, each tier’s hanger will not make any indentations or marks on the the skirts and pants, so that alleviated my concern there,” one reviewer shared.


This Space-Saving Bamboo Hamper That Folds Flat When Empty

This lightweight bamboo hamper has a brilliant design that allows you to fold it flat and stash it out of sight between uses. Designed for ease, it has a flip-top lid to keep clothes concealed, handles for easy transport, and two compartments for sorting items. The removable fabric liner is machine washable, and the hamper itself comes in a pretty espresso finish that will complement any area of your home.


A Sleek Bamboo Box For Organizing Tea Bags, Sugar Packets, & More

If you’re a tea lover, you need this tea bag organizer in your life. A simple way to streamline your daily routine, it has eight sections for storing a variety of tea bags, plus a clean bamboo design with a clear top that’ll work with any kitchen aesthetic. No need to limit this to tea, though — the wells are just the right size for sugar packets, or even odds and ends like hair ties or paper clips.


This Automatic Soap Dispenser That’s Just Under $30

This automatic soap dispenser is an inexpensive way to make your bathroom or kitchen feel so much more luxurious. The brushed stainless steel exterior lends it an elegant look, and the transparent soap compartment makes it easy to know when its needs a refill. This dispenser has a generous 17-ounce capacity, and the brand promises up to 1,400 hand-washes on a single fill. Best of all, it’s compatible with any liquid soap (but not foam).


These Sleek Shoe Organizers That Can Be Stashed Under Your Bed

Perfect for keeping your shoes orderly and dust-free, this under-bed shoe storage has won over 11,000 fans on Amazon. Reviewers especially loved the sturdy design and transparent top that makes it easy to see what’s inside. Each set includes a four-compartment bin for boots and a 15-compartment bin for sneakers, heels, sandals, and flats.


These Turkish Cotton Towels That Will Make You Feel Like You’re At A Spa

For something both indulgent and functional, this set of cotton towels is a worthy purchase. The popular towels are made of soft Turkish cotton, and they come in your choice of 15 colors. “These towels are so soft and hold their softness for a very long time,” wrote one fan.

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