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#1 Posted by redcream (900 posts) -

Hello folks! Happy Holidays! I am looking to buy something special or nice for myself this season and would like to hear your thoughts on stuff in your home that is maybe uncommon to other people or is often overlooked or underappreciated as a household item that enhances your quality of life. Something that you now cannot do without or at least choose not to do without.

What is/are your essential basic/luxury item/set that you never thought you needed until you actually got to use/experience it? A nice duvet? A silk potholder? Grandma's favorite frying pan? Share something personal! It might enhance the life of other people too!

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#2 Posted by SethMode (2019 posts) -

This is maybe not too unique, but I do find in my experience most people don't splurge on this item: a nice set of high quality kitchen knives. I used to just use either use hand me down knives or cheap ones thinking "whatever, who cares" and then one year for Christmas my mother in law bought us a nice set of knives and now it is something I could never go back from. Maybe most people consider it a necessity already, but I never did and now I absolutely do.

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#3 Posted by vinone (327 posts) -

I recently bought a rapid egg cooker. It cooks hard boiled eggs in like 15 minutes prep time included. It also makes omelettes and poached eggs while I'm doing other cooking. I thought it was dumb and completely unnecessary but after getting it and using it it's been kind of life changing.

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#4 Posted by fledeye (260 posts) -

A good pair of black out curtains in the bedroom.

We had a lovely pair of curtains that my mum bought me as a teenager. We always hung them in the bedroom and even decorated the bedroom when we moved to match the curtains. But this year when I washed them I noticed they had reached the end of their life (they were nearly 20 years old), so we went out and had a get new ones.

Our bedroom is south facing, so we always used to get woken up by the sun, so the MIL suggested black out blinds. I’m not a huge fan of blinds, but we did like the black out idea so we got a pair of black out curtains. They are amazing. They keep the heat in, block the sun out and we had the choice of any colour under the sun. They weren’t even hideously expensive. We don’t get woken up my the sun any more. We still get woken up by the toddler and the cats, but there isn’t a person alive that can keep a toddler in bed and asleep, especially at this time of year!

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#5 Posted by theuprightman (221 posts) -

Two frying Pans! Makes things much easier to plan and cook, also two nice thick wooden chopping boards.

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#6 Posted by Yesiamaduck (2554 posts) -

Gold kbjvesm youd be amazed how many people think chopping things is a hassle and thats just the way it is.

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#7 Posted by bmccann42 (407 posts) -

A Cresuset dutch oven - you can cook anything in it

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#8 Posted by gerrid (699 posts) -

For the bedroom: A nice memory foam pillow has helped me sleep so much better. Better neck support means less need to wake up because I have to shift position.

Kitchen: A stand mixer. If you like baking, or want to get into it, one of these makes bread/pizza/dough making so much quicker, and cakes/cookies as well.

Personal: Finding the right cologne is fun, and I think having a familiar and pleasant scent associated with you is a good thing. A nice strong business musk will help you do deals and buy low/sell high. Take some time to choose one you really like, it's worth it.

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#9 Posted by Deo_Brando (54 posts) -

@redcream: I recently bought a humidifier. I think this is a good thing. It became easier for me to breathe and the skin became more hydrated. Only you need to choose a quality and not very cheap.

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#10 Posted by Ben_H (4196 posts) -

@deo_brando: Yeah, I just started using a humidifier too. It makes a big difference! I don't wake up with my nose clogged up and the skin on my hands isn't cracking anymore.

@sethmode said:

This is maybe not too unique, but I do find in my experience most people don't splurge on this item: a nice set of high quality kitchen knives. I used to just use either use hand me down knives or cheap ones thinking "whatever, who cares" and then one year for Christmas my mother in law bought us a nice set of knives and now it is something I could never go back from. Maybe most people consider it a necessity already, but I never did and now I absolutely do.

This is what I came here to post. Good kitchen knives will not only save you a significant amount of time with cutting things up, but they are also so much safer to use than cheap knives. Not to mention they'll last forever. Once you're used to good knives, you'll start to realize just how dangerous cheap, dull knives are. Just be sure to take the time to learn how to hone knives with a sharpening steel. It's not difficult to do and once you get used to doing it, it becomes a "riding a bike" type skill where you just kinda always can do it.

A good meat thermometer is another great household item to get someone. Once you get used to using them, you'll never want to go back to just guessing. You can also cook things much more reliably. I haven't accidentally overcooked a chicken breast or pork chop in years thanks to my thermometer. It takes all the guesswork out of cooking meat and removes the risk of food poisoning. I use my thermometer everyday.

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#11 Posted by Alias (47 posts) -

I thought this was going to one of those "didn't know I needed it until emergency X occurred" and just assumed most people would say a plunger

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#12 Posted by Toxin066 (3541 posts) -

Piggybacking on the humidifier, I'd like to add air purifiers as well. Helps a ton as a pet owner who has allergies.

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#13 Posted by Thursday1977 (126 posts) -

Double edge razors. I started using these a short while ago, and never realized what I was missing when it came to shaving. While you certainly have to be more careful (I use feather blades, which are incredibly sharp) I find there to be far less skin irritation, a much closer shave, and a long term much less expensive option in spite of the blades being significantly higher quality. Merkur or Viking for the razor. for which I recommend Viking as a starter thanks to their easy-to-open style, buy a pack of blades (a pack of 100 will run you about $25-$30), a proper shaving cream in a bowl and a brush. Suddenly shaving is more of a process, and a joy, than the more commercial available monstrosities that are sold in grocery stores.

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#14 Posted by redcream (900 posts) -
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#15 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (7587 posts) -

If you have hardwood, laminate, or linoleum floors without a lot of rugs a robot mop is nice. I bought a iRobot/Mint Braava robot mop a few years ago. Its a handy device that goes around wet or dry mopping your floors. The type I have can use generic Swiffer wet or dry cloths, and I think the modern model is the iRobot Braava 380t. I think if you have flat hard floors the robot mops are super useful. If you have rugs and a are willing to pay a bit more than robot vacuum is nice (reviews).

UPDATE: My four year old mopping robot died this week. Not sure what si wrong, but ist keep trying to back up into objects and even a brand new battery does not allow it to work for more than 15 min. Oh, well. I guess I will be doing some shopping.

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#16 Posted by WasabiCurry (529 posts) -

I do a lot of cooking for my family but having a chopper for cutting onions, carrots, and the likes was a literal improvement on the speed of meal preparations. Having a measuring cup was something that I never though I needed until I got one. Following recipes and using the cup has become a staple of my cooking habits now.

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#17 Posted by Damenco (62 posts) -

Buy yourself a large pillow on which to sleep, which you can get into, which you can hide

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#18 Posted by bizmarkiefader (42 posts) -

Get a good shower head, even if the one you have is just OK.

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#19 Posted by Ben_H (4196 posts) -

@toxin066 said:

Piggybacking on the humidifier, I'd like to add air purifiers as well. Helps a ton as a pet owner who has allergies.

Air purifiers are so good! I got one for Christmas. I did a super thorough cleaning of my bedroom, and have had the purifier running since and not a speck of dust has shown up on any tables or anything yet. When I had my lamp on at night I used to see dust floating in the air. Not anymore! It's great. Now I want a bigger one for the main living areas.