Home and Garden

Upgrade your mattress

The centerpiece and most important furnishing in any hotel room is the bed, and the foundation of that is the mattress. If you don’t have a comfortable mattress that finds the perfect balance between firmness and softness, chances are you won’t be getting a restful night’s sleep. Given that mattresses last for several years, they’re worth the investment. Although Westin has their signature Heavenly Beds and Hilton uses Serta mattresses, we’re hard-pressed to find a mattress better than the TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt by Tempur-Pedic ($4,499, amazon.com). The luxurious Hotel on Rivington also uses Tempur-Pedic brand mattresses, and this model has multiple layers with comfort and cooling ability in mind, plus a memory-foam mattress that adapts to your body shape.

Switch out your bedding

Hotel sheets are renowned for being soft, crisp and durable. Luxury linen brands such as Frette and Sferra are popular choices for many hotel brands, but their high price point puts them out of reach for many buyers. Looking for a good dupe? Since Brooklinen was founded in 2014, it’s been a major supplier of hotel-quality sheets at a fraction of the price of competitors, thanks to its direct-to-consumer model. The chic-looking 100% linens keep sleepers warm on cold nights and cool on warm nights. We recommend purchasing the Linen Move-In Bundle ($714, brooklinen.com) for the most bang for your buck. It includes one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, one down comforter and four pillowcases, plus laundry detergent.

Old sports equipment

“Toss out balls if they don’t hold air anymore,” says Gordon. Same goes for broken tennis rackets, skis, helmets and more. If one of your kids no longer plays a sport, donate the used gear to a thrift store that accepts sports equipment.

Old paint cans

Face it: You’re not going to use that hideous color of paint anywhere in your house. If you think you might need to touch up any of the rooms in your house, figure out which can of paint goes with which room, and label it with the room (dining room) and color (linen white). Remember that you can’t throw away full (or partially full) paint cans, so you’ll either need to find a hazardous-waste collection site or pour clean kitty litter in the can to dry up any remaining paint before disposing of the kitty litter and paint, and recycling the can.

Broken or duplicate tools

You probably don’t need five hammers, and that broken drill is just collecting dust on a shelf. Take stock of your tool collection, and consolidate so you don’t have an overflowing toolbox (or too many bulky bins filled with tools).

Laptop stand

For comfort and posture, consider getting a portable, adjustable laptop stand, which also helps prevent the laptop from overheating.

Surge protector

Extend the life of your devices; shield them from power outages or lightning strikes.

Cord organizers

A cable clip or adhesive cord hooks can help keep wires from getting tangled.

External hard drive

All computers have storage limitations when it comes to internal storage, and it’s important to back up your files.

Noise-canceling headphones

Whether you want to block out noise or want to listen to music while you work, noise-canceling headphones are the answer.

Desk lamp‌

Well-placed office lamps can provides extra light and help eliminate eye strain.


Clutter across a desk can make the entire space feel unorganized. Storage options range from desk organizers to stackable boxes to drawer units.

Adjustable desk

Your desk should be set up for optimal efficiency and comfort. Orient the space to reduce reaching and strain in the body.

Ergonomic chair‌

The right office chair can boost your comfort while improving your posture. When choosing a chair, look for something that provides lumbar (lower back) support with adjustable height and armrests to reduce tension in the shoulders, arms and neck.

Customize your lighting with color smart bulbs

Smart bulbs that can change color are fun for everyone, no matter what age. You can use them to turn a room haunted-house red for Halloween or bring a party to life with active patterns that continually change. There’s really no limit to the number of scenes you can create, and they’re also perfect for scheduled routines.

Make life easier with a smart assistant

Smart speakers are great, but if you like to cook, or you need a dead-simple, hands-free way to have video calls with friends and family, you’ll want to get one with a screen.

Close curtains from anywhere with a smart curtain motor

 ‌While you can already buy motorized curtains, most are incredibly expensive, require their own remote controls and must be purchased with window coverings themselves. Now, smart curtain motors are changing everything: They’re affordable, easy to set up from your smartphone and work with your existing curtains so you don’t have to completely redecorate.

Get a robot vacuum‌

This one is a no-brainer: Smart vacuums are affordable and handle everything from mopping to animal hair on their own. There are dozens of different models available, many designed for specific use cases, so even if you’ve got an unusual layout or pets that shed a ton, there’s a robot vacuum out there for you.

Use a smart garage door opener‌

A smart garage door opener might not sound like a big deal, but there’s nothing quite like the feeling of your garage door automatically opening up to greet you when you get home. Sure, the added security is nice: You can set your garage to automatically close if you accidentally leave it open, or even open it from your smartphone if you need to let someone in while you’re away.

Upgrade to smart plugs

If you’re interested in setting your lamps up with some smart lighting but you’re not keen on smart light bulbs, you can use smart plugs and control your lighting from your phone or use voice commands with a digital assistant. Smart plugs are the perfect way to make sure your lamps are included in your lighting scenes, and they make it easy to set up voice-activated routines. Our favorite starter routine: setting it up so when you say, “Alexa, I’m home!” all of your lights turn on.

Simplify cooking with a smart oven‌

This is one of our favorite new tech developments: smart gadgets that take the hassle out of cooking and deliver high-end meals at the perfect temperature.