40 Expensive Mistakes You Don't Realize You're Making Around Your House

Easy ways to upgrade your home and save money.

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A few good DIY projects and cosmetic fixes can transform your so-so home into the home of your dreams for a fraction of the price — they can also cleverly hide mistakes that are really simple to make in your day-to-day living. And there’s no better DIY partner than Amazon. I’ve included a list of products that will take your home from drab to fab while staying under budget. Watch out for these 40 expensive mistakes you don’t realize you’re making around your house — and find out how to easily avoid them or fix current problems.

Your dream home probably has beautiful fixtures, sleek floors, and a chef’s kitchen. I’ve added a handful of products that will help the aesthetic of your home without hurting your wallet, like peel-and-stick wallpaper that makes a beautiful impact in any room or furniture markers to hide imperfections. Maybe you’re imagining functional details that would make your life easier — like bumpers for cabinets that prevent them from slamming shut or rug grippers that ensure you don’t slip on that polished wood floor.

I’ve also added products that will save you a ton of money like reusable paper towels and an energy-saving outlet adapter. Saving on everyday costs like these can add up and that’s money you can spend elsewhere to create your dream home. Read on to find amazing and affordable products that can keep you from making common mistakes at home and will elevate the look and feel of your space.


Mistake: Letting Hair Clog Your Drains

Solution: A Drain Protector That Helps Prevent Gnarly Bathtub Clogs

Built-up gunk in drains can wreak havoc on your pipes and may eventually require a plumber. Save money and time with this TubShroom drain protector that traps hair and stops it from clogging your tub. Place the protector inside your drain, letting it collect hair around its stainless-steel body. When it’s time to clean, just wipe the hair off into the trash. Over 36,600 reviewers have given the TubShroom a five-star rating, with one writing, “It was well worth the money to save our drains.”


Mistake: Scratching Floors With Furniture

Solution: These Silicone Furniture Leg Covers That Protect Your Floors

These stretchy transparent furniture leg covers are an easy way to protect your floors from scratches. They’re available in three sizes and a few other colors to blend the best with your furniture. The set includes 16 covers that can stretch over a variety of leg shapes to keep your home looking brand new.


Mistake: Running Up Your Energy Bill

Solution: The Surge Protector That Saves Energy

This smart strip surge protector has a 15-amp circuit breaker to save energy and protect your devices. You can plug in up to seven devices, and if, for example, your computer is plugged in and you shut it down for the day, that outlet will automatically turn off to save energy. Over time these energy savings add up — plus you can rest easy knowing that your appliances are safer with this surge protector.


Mistake: Spending A Lot Of Money On Produce

Solution: A Pack Of Fridge Liners That Will Extend Life Of Your Produce

You can potentially save a ton of money on groceries with these special fridge liners that extend the life of your produce. They're made with a special anti-mold material that protects fruits and veggies from spoiling, odors, and bruising, plus it absorbs moisture. The foam layer circulates air throughout the fridge, helping to keep your fruits and veggies fresher for longer.


Mistake: Replacing Furniture When You Can Repair It

Solution: These Wood Markers That Fix Scratches And Keep Furniture Looking Like New

It's only a matter of time before wood furniture and floors show some wear and tear, but these wood repair markers can help revitalize worn-out pieces. Instead of throwing furniture away, use this set, which comes with 12 markers and wax sticks, as well as a sharpener, to fill in holes and imperfections on wood. Just color in the imperfections with the matching color or combination of colors. The pack features eight wood colors, including white, gray, dark mahogany, and black.


Mistake: Wasting Money On Paper Products

Solution: An Eco-Friendly Reusable Paper Towel Alternative

Stop throwing paper towels away and spending a small fortune on paper goods — this pack of reusable sheets of bamboo paper towels is better for the environment, your wallet, and it will last you up to six months. The sheets can be washed and reused up to 120 times. They're made of sustainable bamboo material that is absorbent, tough, and conveniently machine washable.


Mistake: Letting Your Cat Ruin Your Couch

Solution: The Furniture Shields That Deter Scratching Cats

If you have a pet that loves to scratch the side of your furniture, you need these scratch deterrent couch shields. The extra-large shields come in a pack of six and are transparent and self-adhesive so all you have to do is cut them to size and stick them onto the side of your couch, table legs, or other places your cat likes to scratch. The protective layer is strong enough to protect your furniture yet flexible enough to wrap around the edges and blend into your home decor. Overtime (with hope), your cat may learn that they cannot scratch there and you can take them off.


Mistake: Calling A Plumber For Every Clogged Drain

Solution: This Snake-Style Cleaning Tool For Removing Clogs (No Plumber Required)

Get a handle on the plumbing in your home before you need to call in a professional with this pack of drain clog removers, which are made to go deep into sinks or showers to clear drains of gunk, debris, and hair. It comes with six snake-style clog removers that are nearly 20 inches long and one stainless steel cleaner that measures 24 inches long. Safely clear your drains in just minutes.


Mistake: Letting A Door Crack Run Up Your Bill

Solution: This Draft Stopper That Will Save You Money On Your Energy Bills

Cut down on energy costs with a simple solution that takes seconds to install. This door draft stopper keeps warm air in and cold air out. It slides under the door to create a barrier that blocks airflow, noise, critters, moisture, and even light. It’s made of thick cotton and can be machine washed between uses. Choose among 10 colors.


Mistake: Constantly Using Paper Towels

Solution: These Swedish Clothes That Will Replace Your Paper Towels

Looking for a paper towel substitute that is reusable, washable, and will save you money? These Swedish dishcloths are super versatile to clean spills, wash dishes, or even scrub the bathroom. They’re made of compostable wood pulp cloth and cotton, so they’re natural, biodegradable, and chemical-free. These clothes are super absorbent to clean up any messes that come your way. The best part is that one of these cloths can be used for up to eight weeks without picking up odors. And when it’s time to clean — just toss them in the washing machine. You can wash them up to 200 times — saving money and the environment.


Mistake: Always Having To Throw Away Avocados

Solution: A Stretch Pod That Keeps Avocado From Turning Brown

Is there anything worse than an avocado that turns brown after a day and has to be thrown out? Keep this from happening with this simple and effective stretch pod. It’s shaped to perfectly fit an avocado and stretches around the skin to lock it into place. Not only will it keep your avocados fresh, but it also reduces the amount of plastic or aluminum wrap you have to use — perfect for both the environment and your wallet.


Mistake: Having A Dryer That’s Not Working Its Best

Solution: A Vacuum Attachment That Cleans Your Dryer Vent So Your Clothes Dry Faster

Keep your dryer working its best with this hose attachment for your vacuum that’s designed to clean vents. The hose is 33 inches long and flexible to reach between appliances, especially your dryer vent. It attaches to most vacuum hoses to make cleaning a breeze. Plus, not only will cleaning the lint out of your dyer help dry your clothes faster, lint can also be a serious fire hazard.


Mistake: Leaving Unused Appliances Plugged In

Solution: An Outlet Switch That Conserves Energy

Conserve energy with this power-saving outlet. When appliances and devices are not in use, they won’t draw any power for maximum energy efficiency and savings. Then, when you want to use the device, simply flip the switch on the side of the outlet to “on” and you’re up and running without ever having to hassle with plugging and unplugging cords. The switch has earned more than 3,500 Amazon ratings to date.


Mistake: Having A Curling Rug Be A Tripping Hazard

Solution: A Set Of Ultra-Thin Rug Grippers

Protect your rugs and yourself from slipping and falling with these rug grippers. They use vacuum tech design to grip to any type of floor, and measuring less than 1/10-inch, you’ll forget they are even there. Just stick these adhesive grippers to any rug that’s always slipping or curling at the corners. These grippers come in a pack of four and have more than 18,000 reviews and a 4.2-star rating.


Mistake: Leaving Your Video Doorbell Exposed

Solution: A Video Doorbell Mount That Prevents Your Video Doorbell From Being Stolen

A video doorbell is a genius home security device to protect your home and valuables — but what’s protecting your expensive video doorbell? Enter: this anti-theft doorbell mount. The mount slides onto your door (no tools required to install) and can only be removed if the door is open.


Mistake: Letting Your Leather Items Become Dingy

Solution: This Repair Kit For Your Leather And Vinyl

This leather and vinyl repair kit will transform your favorite shoes, furniture, and more, allowing you to repair what you already own instead of spending money on new items. It can fix scratches, pipes, tears, peeling, and even burn holes in vinyl and leather. This kit comes with a variety of colored compounds that can be mixed to match your leather or vinyl piece perfectly, and it also includes backing fabric, a spatula, an application brush, and a mixing jar. It offers a quick, easy, and affordable way to restore leather or vinyl, saving you money and the need to replace items.


Mistake: Replacing A Boring Garage Door

Solution: These Faux Magnetic Windows To Add Curb Appeal To Your Home

Update your garage door by adding these faux magnetic windows, which will spruce up your garage so well you won’t feel the need for a costly replacement. You won't need any tools to set up this 32-piece kit since these magnetic windows simply adhere to metal doors. Consider this one of the easiest and most affordable ways to add character to your home and improve your curb appeal. If you change your mind about this look, they're a cinch to remove.


Mistake: Replacing Every Broken Tile

Solution: This Tile Repair Kit For Cracks And Scratches

Over time, tile can get scratched, cracked, or chipped — but instead of replacing tiles and splurging on a bathroom or kitchen renovation project, opt for this tile repair kit. It comes with several color mixtures so you can get the exact color of your tile. Add the color to the included buddy and apply it to the damaged area. You can use it on toilets, granite countertops, bathtubs, vases, sinks, floors or wall tiles. Now you can easily repair your home without breaking the bank.


Mistake: Not Getting Your Deposit Back

Solution: This Spackle For Repairing Holes In Your Wall (So You Can Get Your Deposit Back)

Before you call in an expert (and shell out money), quickly fill in any small holes or nicks in your walls with this high-strength spackle. The lightweight spackle compound is enhanced with primer so once it dries, it's ready to be painted over. Plus it won't cause any shrinking, cracking, or sagging in the wall. The formula can be used on interior walls and outside walls that have been painted or sealed.


Mistake: Buying Bottled Water

Solution: This Faucet Filter That Will Replace Your Bottled Water Habit

You can finally stop buying bottled water because this faucet filtration system makes drinking safer water at home an (expensive and less wasteful) reality. It attaches to your faucet to eliminate lead, mercury, and other contaminants from water. It’s easy to attach and fits most standard faucets. This system also includes a Mineral Clear filter, which filters water over minerals for a crisp, clean taste. Each filter lasts up to three months before needing to be replaced.


Mistake: Having A Sky-High Energy Bill

Solution: These Blackout Shades That Will Save You Money

If your electricity bill has been sky-high lately, this pack of pleated blackout shades is the easiest solution to instantly block out 99% of light and keep rooms naturally cooler in hot temperatures and warmer in cold temps. Just trim the shades to fit your window, then peel off the adhesive backing and stick them into place. They go on so easily, without any tools — plus they won’t have any annoying cords that can look messy or be a safety hazard for kids.


Mistake: Worrying About Damaging Your Cabinets

Solution: These Cabinet Bumpers To Protect Surfaces

No need to invest in expensive, custom cabinets for that “soft close” feel or to worry that every time you shut a cabinet door you are slowly destroying its surface. Instead, grab a pack of these rubber bumpers that eliminate slamming sounds when you close your cabinet doors. Each pack comes with 200 bumpers that can be used on toilet seats, drawers, and even doorknobs. The transparent design makes them nearly invisible. Just stick them on to your cabinet using the self-adhesive on the back of the bumper.


Mistake: Buying Expensive Motion-Sensor Bulbs

Solution: An Adapter That Makes *Any* Light Motion Activated

Motion-activated light bulbs tend to be expensive, but you can turn any light into a motion-activated light for just $11 with this bulb adapter. Connect the adapters into the wall and screw in your lightbulb. Adjust the settings to control time and brightness. It’s perfect in closets, pantries, hallways, or other corners that can get dark. These bulbs will turn on when you’re within 16 feet of it and allow you to custom your home’s lighting without spending a fortune.


Mistake: Thinking You Have To Spend A Lot To Upgrade

Solution: This Faux Marble Contact Paper For A DIY Upgrade

If you’ve been staring at the same old counters and walls in your home, dreaming of the day you can renovate everything, this peel-and-stick marble wallpaper will instead afford you an opportunity to upcycle what you already have and add instant gratification for just a few dollars, saving you the expense and waste of buying new items. Add it to countertops, cabinets, drawers, doors, and, of course, walls for a luxurious and expensive look. The PVC material is self-adhesive and is smooth and easy to clean. It’s easy to trim the wallpaper to any size, it goes on easily, according to reviewers, and it makes a much smaller dent in your wallet.


Mistake: Letting Weak Wi-Fi Spoil Your Afternoon

Solution: The Compact Wi-Fi Extender That Makes The Most Of Your Connection

Get even more out of your Wi-Fi connection with this Wi-Fi range extender, which makes working from anywhere in your home possible. Don’t worry about your Wi-Fi not reaching a certain room or not having a strong enough signal. This extender boosts and repeats the signal for up to 800 additional square feet and works for up to 8 devices. It’s super fast and works with any wireless router, gateway, or cable modem with Wi-Fi. Plus, it’s compact and plugs into the wall — you’ll forget it is even there.


Mistake: Replacing Your Entire Backsplash

Solution: The Peel-And-Stick Tiles For A Modern Backsplash

Give your kitchen or bathroom a quick, easy, and affordable upgrade with these peel-and-stick subway tiles, which saves you the enormous expense of a kitchen or bathroom renovation. They're three-dimensional and mimic real tile laid in a subway-style pattern. They have an adhesive back, so you can peel and stick on any flat surface. You don't have to worry about them getting damaged because they're resistant to heat and moisture and are easily cleaned.


Mistake: Not Keeping Track Of Your Utilities

Solution: An Energy Saving Box That Cuts Your Electric Bill By 30%

This electricity-saving box eliminates wasted energy — which saves you money. It stabilizes the voltage, balances the current and offers surge protection to conserve power. The manufacturer says that most people can save up to 35% on their electricity bill just by implementing this power box. It’s ideal for places like your kitchen with appliances or your bedroom with AC units. Plug your devices into this box to optimize how much power they use.


Mistake: Constantly Throwing Away Produce

Solution: These Produce Containers Designed To Keep Food Fresh

These produce containers will keep your fruits and vegetables fresher for longer. The FreshVent in the lid regulates airflow while the elevated base keeps produce away from moisture. The containers are made of BPA-free plastic that is dishwasher-safe. They’re available in a variety of sizes to fit your needs and nest together to save space. This six-piece set includes one medium and two large containers plus their lids.


Mistake: Letting Your Floors Become Stained & Dirty

Solution: A Steam Mop That You Can Use On Any Surface

This multipurpose steam mop will extend the life of your carpet and make cleaning your house so much easier. It’s safe to use on floors, sealed stone or tile, glass and mirrors, furniture, clothing, and even carpet. It uses super-hot steam to clean without chemicals — so it's safe for your family and pets. This set comes with a built-in handheld steam cleaner, mop cleaning pads, and four additional heads: a squeeze head, straight nozzle, brush, and bent nozzle. With more than 30,000 reviews, plenty of fans vouch for how effective it is at tackling tough cleaning jobs.


Mistake: Not Realizing That Moisture Is Ruining Your Stuff

Solution: This Mini Dehumidifier That Helps Prevent Closets, Cabinets, And Cars From Getting Musty And Mildewy

Neglecting to dehumidify rooms can actually ruin some of your belongings (think: musty clothes in your closet or mildewy food in a humid pantry). Luckily, this renewable dehumidifier absorbs moisture in spaces up to 333 cubic feet, and is ideal for cars, pantries, under sinks, and in closets. It doesn’t require any batteries or cords and has an outlet plug that collapses into the humidifier when you’re not using it. Instead, it uses non-toxic crystallized silica gel technology to absorb up to 6 ounces of moisture from the air without any spills. The color indicator will tell you when it’s time for a recharge.


Mistake: Allowing Your Headboard To Bang Against Your Wall

Solution: These Headboard Stabilizers That Protect Your Walls

Keep your headboard from bumping and scratching your wall with these headboard stoppers. Just attach the adhesive side on the back of your headboard and use the cushioned end to stabilize your bed against the wall. The screw is adjustable so you can customize the distance between the wall and your bed. You can also use it to stabilize tables with wobbly legs or doors that open too wide.


Mistake: Drilling Into Your Bathroom Walls

Solution: A Convenient Shower Shelf For Added Storage Without Drilling

If you want extra storage in your bathroom without the commitment or hassle of drilling damaging holes in the wall, this shower shelf is the best solution. It comes with two shelves and fits in a corner to occupy as little space as possible, while still giving you enough storage for shampoo and conditioner bottles, shaving supplies, and soap. To install the sturdy, rust-proof caddy, just clean the area and let it fully dry before applying the adhesive stickers that keep the shelf mounted. It holds up to 11 pounds, so feel confident that you can use it to stash your toiletries.


Mistake: Dropping A Lot Of Cash To Update Lighting

Solution: A Strip Of Motion-Activated Lights To Update Your Lighting On A Budget

The cost of professionally installing lights in your home is prohibitive for many people. But these battery-powered, slim lights have a genius magnetic back, as well as an adhesive option, so you can stick them anywhere for a little extra light — for hundreds less than you’d spend with professionals. The lights are motion-activated, so they’re ideal for under cabinets, closets, and pantries. They can be turned on continuously but will need to be charged after 10 hours. On motion-activated mode, they can last up to two months.


Mistake: Not Protecting Your Stove Top

Solution: A Set Of Stove Burner Covers That Protect Your Cooktop And Keep It Clean

Your stove is an investment, one you won’t want to have to replace anytime soon. Protect stove surfaces with these stove burner covers, which will also obviate the need to scrub your stovetop and get into those hard-to-reach burners. They can be cut to fit around your burner and act as a shield, catching any debris or grease. They’re completely washable — you can even toss them in the dishwasher. Then place them back on the burners to keep your oven clean and protect surfaces.


Mistake: Giving Your Plants Too Much Water

Solution: These Self-Watering Pots To Keep You From Over Watering

If you haven’t quite mastered the art of taking care of plants, these self-watering pots will basically save the life of your lovely plants and make your life as a plant caretaker a lot easier. Overwatering is a common mistake and these durable pots take out all of the guesswork. There are two nesting pots: The inner one holds the plant and its roots, while the outside pot holds water for the plants to draw from. They will take as much water as they need. It also includes a water level indicator so you will never have to guess if your plant is thirsty again.


Mistake: Showering With Unfiltered Water

Solution: A Showerhead That Filters The Water So It’s Not So Harsh On Your Skin And Hair

Unfiltered water that contains an abundance of minerals can create buildup and residue on your skin and hair. Remove impurities from water and make every day a spa day with this showerhead, which has a multi-layer filtration system that removes excess minerals and softens hard water, as well as three pressure modes: rainfall, massage, and jetting. It attaches to most standard showers and comes in a variety of colors to match your bathroom.


Mistake: Having To Scrub Old Grime In Your Oven

Solution: These Liners That Protect The Inside Of Your Oven And Keep It Clean

Extend the life of your oven and ensure you rarely have to scrape stubborn stains from the bottom of your oven with these non-stick oven liners, which have more than 11,000 reviews and a 4.6-star rating. These large-sized liners, which are eco-friendly and free of BPAs and other toxins, go on the lowest rack of your over to catch any drips or spills from your dish up above. You can hand wash or put them in the dishwasher to clean them, which is a lot easier than scrubbing the inside of your oven. They’re safe to use on any gas or electric oven. This pack includes three mats.


Mistake: Feeling Unsafe In Your Vacation Rental

Solution: A Portable Door Lock That Makes You Feel Safe

Add an extra level of security to your hotel room or B&B space with this portable door lock. You don’t need any tools to install it. It’s made of durable stainless steel and plastic to keep unwanted guests out. This portable lock fits most doors and won’t cause any damage.


Mistake: Not Fixing A Slippery Tub Bottom

Solution: These Anti-Slip Strips For Your Shower To Prevent Falls

These anti-slip strips will keep you and your family safe by preventing you from slipping in the shower. The adhesive strips stick to any surfaces to provide a safe, skid-free environment, such as in the shower or a tiled bathroom floor. This package includes 24 strips as well a silicone scraper that helps to eliminate air pockets in the stripes, creating a secure seal. They’re available in a variety of colors.


Mistake: Having A Car That’s Messy With Dirt, Trash & Debris

Solution: The Lightweight Vacuum To Keep Your Car Spotless

In no time at all, all of the wrappers, sand from the beach, dirt from the outside world, and other debris pile up in your car — and make a huge mess. This portable vacuum is designed to clean your car with ease. It has a powerful suction that gets any dust, crumbs, pet hair, and even liquids. This vacuum comes with four interchangeable heads: a brush, slot pipette, extended hose, and long tube. It's lightweight and has a 14-foot cord that's long enough to get to every nook and cranny of your car. It makes keeping your car clean a breeze.

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