Whether you’re revamping your household or searching for some of the best home products to make your new space finally feel like yours, it’s important to put both time and care into the things you purchase. Though it’s easy to get caught up in the latest trends and designs, the items you need for your living space must scream ‘you,’ evoke feelings of closeness, love, and fun, and easily fit the space(s) they’ll be put in.
As many of you know, in 2016 I made my big cross-country move, from the Midwest to the West Coast. This was something that had been pulling on my heart for many months, and felt important in starting my career and adult life. I packed everything I had into a U-Haul and took off to a place where I was thousands of miles away from family and most of my friends. It was an amazing, self-building, future-defining moment for me (in fact, I wrote my entire poetry book about this move and the ups, downs, and ways we become who we’re meant to be when we leave all we’ve ever known). Anyways, after living on my own and building my roots, I decided to make another life change—this one including my boyfriend, his nine-year-old, and their dog, Styles.
If you’ve been following my journey, you know there’s been a lot of happy, scary, silly, frustrating, and beautifully messy moments along the way.
Today I bring you the challenges, the lessons, and the best home products that I’ve found and gathered for this space we now share. Regardless of whether you’re living solo, prepping for a big move with a significant other/roommate, or just looking to change your space for the better, I hope these products will encourage and celebrate you and the place you call yours.
1. These pillowcases that are both classy and low-maintenance.
These high-end pillowcases by Gryphon have taken my bedroom game up a notch, while still preserving beautifully against wear and tear.
When it comes to kids, you just can’t possibly prepare for the multitude of messes you’ll encounter. (And you couldn’t dream up some of the crazy shenanigans they get themselves into!) That plus a dog left me struggling to find bedding that could handle the use, but still look good. These pillowcases are perfect. They’re kid and dog-friendly in terms of low-maintenance and wrinkle-resistant fabric, but they’re luxury quality. Plus, Gryphon also makes bed sheets and duvet covers in three different styles: Luxury Suite, Comfort Washed, and Easy Living. You can browse all the styles (and get a free trial!) on their website.
[Here’s where you can purchase them.]
2. This mattress pad/sleeping bag for comfort wherever you are.
Whether you’re in-between houses, having family or friends stay over, or needing to create a makeshift bed for a slumber party or other circumstance, this BetterHabitat memory foam sleeping pad is everything you need.
Stumbling upon this product was the biggest blessing to me and my family. When my boyfriend and I decided to create a home together, his son came as a (wonderful and intimidating! 😂) package deal. Before we found a bed that fit our space (among many other things you need to house little people!) we found this sleeping pad. Not only is it the most comfortable thing in the world, but it can be easily rolled up (like a sleeping bag!) and transported wherever you go.
We used this as a temporary cot, mattress-topper for Austin’s bed, and, of course, as our go-to sleepover item.
[Here’s where you can purchase the sleeping pad. There’s also a kid’s size, available here.]
3. This flip-mop that functions as a broom and wet cloth combined.
Deep cleaning is important before, during, and after moving. You want to have a space that’s clean, but doesn’t require unnecessary effort or hardcore scrubbing. For a versatile broom/mop that allows for wet and dry cleaning, this Clorox Ready Flip Mop is my all-time favorite.
When we moved in, we got brand new floors. They’re the vinyl material that doesn’t work well with soaking or large amounts of water, so this mop is perfect because you can spray problem areas without a giant puddle. Or, you can opt to use the bottom cloth as a dry mop. The cloth removes, too, so that it can be easily cleaned and re-attached. Plus, you can refill with any cleaning liquid you prefer (great, if you’re someone like me who doesn’t like the obligation of buying a specific cleaning product).
[Here’s where you can buy the mop.]
4. This luxury dog bed, because, well, your pooch deserves it.
When it comes to your furry friend, you want comfort. You also want a dog bed that you can easily clean, too. I don’t know how many pet beds I’ve bought over the years—for Styles and my dog back in Illinois, Flash—but this PetFusion dog bed changes the game.
Not only is this bed super soft and lined with a memory foam interior, but it has a zip-cover that can be removed and washed. The zippers are durable, the sides are sturdy, and the bed comes in different sizes, too: S, L, XL, and XXL. You can also get it in chocolate brown, slate grey (shown), or sandstone.
Plus, if you’re really looking to spoil your pooch, you can get a reversible, micro-plush blanket, too.
[Here’s where you can buy the dog bed.]
5. This life-saving blender that allows for big or little drinks.
Whether you’re a small or big family, or ridin’ solo, this Ninja Smart Screen Blender DUO with FreshVac Technology (with individual attachment cups) is a life-saver. You can easily make larger quantities, or just-for-you sizes all in with the same item. Plus, it sticks to the counter-top to prevent spills. The best feature, though? The vacuum technology removes oxygen before blending, leaving you with a tastier, better-blended beverage.
This is a must-have upgrade to my old blender. Not only can I make smoothies and treats for all three of us, but I can also quickly make a protein shake for myself post-workout, or a pick-me-up mid-day when everyone else is out of the house. It works for as little as one, to as many as six. (And you can blend anything from food/pastes/sauces, to smoothies, to margaritas 😛).
[Here’s where you can buy the Ninja blender.]
6. This silly, but super useful tub drain protector.
Okay, before you laugh, this thing is seriously legitimate. Whether you have long hair, kids, dogs, or a crappy drain, this TubShroom will keep unwanted stuff from entering into your pipes (and prevent calls to the plumber, too).
This was gifted to me by my mother when I moved (she must have been trying to tell me something about my hair!) and I’ve used it ever since. It’s so great because it traps everything and can easily be rinsed out and cleaned, then stuck back in the drain. At standard size, it fits in every tub or shower. Though it seems silly, it’s extremely useful for any home—old or new.
[Here’s where you can get the TubShroom.]
7. This super handy filtered water pitcher.
Having clean, filtered water is a must, especially if you live in an area where tap water is less-than-quality. (And even if you aren’t, well, it’s a good and healthy addition for your home). This 18-Cup UltraMax Brita Pitcher is great because it holds so much.
What I love about this pitcher is that it has an easy-pour spout, but it holds more than the traditional small pitchers. You can hold up to 1.13 gallons of water in this bad boy, and the filter replacements are standard size for easily switching out when needed. This has been great for a fresh drink anytime we need it, have people over, or (when we’re feeling extra) spoiling the dog with quality water, too.
[Here’s where you can get the Brita pitcher on Amazon.]
8. This chalkboard calendar which has changed the game when it comes to organization and wall art.
Having a full-size wall calendar is a game-changer. Not only can you easily display your activities, events, and schedule details, but with fun colors (and the ability to erase mistakes!) you can make your home look intentionally decorative, too.
I purchased a slight variation of this (it’s since been discontinued) but what I love is the ability to write and erase. I have each of us in different colors and Austin (and James, too! 😂) love to write and keep track of where we’re going, what we’re doing, and what their color is. It’s been a fun and super simple way to stay organized.
[Here’s where you can purchase your own chalkboard wall calendar.]
9. And these air fresheners that actually do the job (pets, kids, and men in all).
When it comes to having a nice-smelling home, these Air Wick plug-in air fresheners (the best scent is lavender, fyi!) are my go-to because not only do they smell great and last long, but they come in a variety of different scents for every season.
Living with a boy, a man, and a dog…well, it’s been less-than-ideal smell-wise. I’ve used these air fresheners for years, but they’ve come super in handy with this move. I love how there are so many different scent options, and all the refills are reasonably priced. When it comes to our home, these are must-haves. (PS: I love the apple cinnamon flavor for fall/winter!)
[Here’s where you can get fresheners of your own.]
Whether you’re upgrading your space, getting ready to move in with someone you care about, or starting a whole new house adventure, I hope these products help you in your search! Feel free to comment your ideas and thoughts below.
Featured Image Credit: Omurden Cengiz
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