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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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7 Must-Have Household Items You Didn’t Know You Needed

Areva Martin Continues To Advocate For Those With Special Needs And Those Facing Discrimination And Injustice
Photo: Vadim Ginzburg via 123RF

Home Sweet Home is presented by The Washington State Housing Finance Commission

Who knew there were so many things you didn’t know you needed for your home? You can never have too many things to make your life easier! From life-savers to time-savers, these random household items are must-haves.

Silicon ice trays  

Simply as an ice tray, silicone trays are superior to plastic ones. They are more flexible, making it easier to pop cubes out, especially if you only need one. Use the trays to make individual pesto sauce, baby food, or cookie dough servings. 

Not sure what to do with leftover ingredients you won’t use before they spoil? Freeze that broth, tomato paste, coconut milk, or wine. You can even freeze fresh herbs in oil to use later. But, the fun doesn’t stop there because silicone is heat resistant and great for cooking all kinds of mini desserts or eggy breakfast treats. 

Item locator

Remember when you wished there was a device that told you where you left your keys? Or wallet? Or phone? Or remote? Now there is! So maybe you did know you needed this. But, you may not be aware of the variety of available options. 

When selecting the right item finder, compare ranges, battery life, alarm sounds, and capacity to track multiple devices. Also, consider whether you need the option to locate a device’s last location by map when out of blue tooth range. 

Over the Sink and Handle Strainer Set

Sometimes, the most life-changing items are simple solutions to common problems. Anyone who has tried to empty a large pot of pasta into a regular strainer knows there are two options. 1) Scald yourself with hot water while holding the strainer over the sink, or 2) Put the strainer in the sink and cringe at all the germs touching your food as the water comes back into the strainer. 

This set will take all that worry away. Use the handled strainer for draining small quantities and the over-the-sink one to handle large amounts of heavy pasta. Plus, it is collapsible for easy storage. 

Shelf Liners

A shelf liner roll has more benefits and uses than you probably knew. They protect shelves from damage, make cleaning easier, cover up old stains with a fresh look, and keep organizing containers or household items in place. Some key areas to put liners include where messes frequently happen, such as under the sink, pet bowls, shoe shelves, and refrigerator and freezer shelves. 

Patterned shelf liners can spruce up a small wall, back of a shelving unit, or serving tray. They can also be cut smaller and used as a dish or pan liner. Or use pieces as placemats.

Wet/Dry Vac

Maybe you have been hesitant to buy a wet/dry vac, thinking you won’t use it very often. There are many helpful ways to use one, making it a purchase worth the money. The wet vacs design enables it to clean up liquid, and dry vacs can handle more considerable, heavier material than a regular vacuum. These vacuums are suitable for cleaning grills, fireplaces, aquariums, and post-construction debris. You can even use it to pick up those pesky, tiny lego pieces, glitter, or confetti. 

The wet vac is also handy if there are large spills or flooding in a basement or due to a broken appliance. Or use it to clean up the snowy mess after everyone discards their winter clothing.  

Photo: Inna Dodor via 123RF


A squeegee is another versatile tool you may want to add to your household items. Professional window cleaners use it as their preferred tool. It’s also handy for other cleaning tasks such as removing pet hair from the floor, furniture, or car upholstery. Squeegees also efficiently clean shower glass, mirrors, and tile or linoleum floors. 

A squeegee will clean up spills quickly, including any glass breakage. Plus, it can smooth out wallpaper or draw liners. 

Tube Squeezer

Are you ever frustrated trying to eke out the last bit of toothpaste or cream from a tube? Tube squeezers to the rescue! No more wasting expensive creams, cosmetics, or medicines. They are also handy for craft and artist projects to squeeze out paint, glues, calk, and other adhesives. Look for one wide enough for various tube sizes and professional grade to handle even the most rigid container materials. 

How many of these items are currently in your home? Are you using them to their fullest potential? Or is it time to run to the store or open up those drawers to put these ideas to good use?

Home Sweet Home is brought to you by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s Washington Homeowner Assistance Fund. The Homeowners Assistance Fund helps homeowners who have fallen on hard times because of the pandemic. Call 1-877-894-4663 for more information on how they can help.