44 USEFUL HOUSEWARMING GIFTS FOR PRACTICAL PEOPLE

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Gift giving is much more art than science, and like any art, you have to know your audience. Practical people speak the language of economy; they dance to the solemn music of efficient solutions. So save the first edition leather-bound poetry volume and the postmodern wall art installation for your sister-in-law who works at the liberal arts college in Vermont. Homo Practicalis wants a bucket full of batteries or a robot vacuum. That’s the kind of thing that’s really going to make their hair stand on end.

When he needed to find out where a pipe was, your uncle Len used to punch through the wall and feel around with his hand. No, that wasn’t a dream, he really did that. The man was a neanderthal. These days even neanderthals have smart phones, and this android app lets them find out where pipes, studs, and wires are with no brute force at all. Huzzah.

We really like to pretend that all the things we don’t like or need can just go away. You might even say our whole society is built on this illusion. But I’m not about to go all Dick Gregory on you. Just pointing out that a built-in vacuum that eliminates debris with minimal effort will probably make someone you know feel a lot better about everything.

The government has been working for years to create light bulbs that will burn eternally, by entrapping the souls of orphans in small glass domes. Until they have the glitches ironed out, a set of 20-year light bulbs should bridge the gap just fine. Don’t worry, they’re still working on it.

Covering your losses is a forgotten skill in today’s world. You can buy them all kinds of fancy stuff, but without one of these there’s a small but non-negligible chance you’re just providing kindling. Here’s the antidote.

Moving into a new home means jumping into an endless sea of home repairs, contractors and service providers. This is a practical housewarming gift that will help them keep it all recorded and organized. Are we do for a water test? Did the leak start before or after that plumber was here? Who was that guy we used to trim the trees? All the answers and more can be found in their new home journal.

Everyone likes a housewarming gift, but there is a limit to how hot a new homeowner wants their house to get. Enter Fire Avert. When the smoke alarm comes on, Fire Avert turns the stove and oven off. This simple kitchen gadget should be standard safety equipment in every home.

This is meant to be a one-stop home control unit for pretty much your whole life, and comes startlingly close. Messaging, news, weather, music, light switch operation, and more. A lot more. And no, you don’t need to own a motorcycle and sidecar or play ping-pong with Alec Baldwin to use it.

Hanging a row of pictures straight seems like an easy enough thing to do, but if you’ve ever tried you know it’s easier said than done. New homeowners will have lots of opportunities to use this handy tool that really puts things in their place. The Hang-o-matic marks the exact spot on the wall that the nail needs to go and includes a tape measure and built-in level.

Sure, we lived for hundreds of thousands of years without electricity, but that’s not the point. The next time they’re in the middle of baking a casserole and a squirrel falls in the wires at the power plant, don’t make them resort to eating lettuce and raw cookie dough for dinner. Every house needs one of these.

A home safe is often one of those after-the-fact purchases. That is, people wait until after their first burglary to buy one, when they don’t have anything to put in it anymore. Save them from their own silliness and make the smart investment for them.

Offering to vacuum your friend’s house every day would be an insane (and insanely good) housewarming present that nobody would ever give. And yet, if you think about it, that’s exactly what giving them a robot vacuum amounts to. Give the gift of clean floors every day with this amazing invention.

The first time they filled the basement with batteries was just before the Y2k crisis. Or if they’re old enough, perhaps during the cold war. In both cases, nothing really happened. But maybe three times is a charm. Even if the modern world doesn’t collapse on itself, you’ll be giving them peace of mind knowing that their 84 remote controls will always be well fed.

No longer just the province of fancy schmancy chefs in the big city, sous vide cooking is now available for the home cook as well. Give your friends the gift of perfectly cooked, melt-in-the-mouth meats at a fraction of the cost of dining out. Just make sure they invite you over!

Few household hobbies have the potential to be as hard on the joints as gardening, unless you like playing “Army Men” and parachuting off the roof with umbrellas, like some of us did as kids. This waterproof nylon stool does double duty as a knee/ankle saver and a tool bag, so the right implement is always within reach.

Remember when the rich family on the block had a riding lawnmower? This thing makes them look like the Flintstones. A robot lawnmower is the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it landscaping device. Way smarter than any lawnmower you ever expected to see. Thankfully, they had the foresight not to give these things arms, in order to avoid a Terminator situation.

There aren’t many aspects of a public restroom that you would like to bring inside your home. In fact, this is probably the only one. The toilet is going to be the dirtiest thing in any house (we hope), so why would anyone want to be putting their hands all over it? A motion sensor activated flushing unit takes care of this problem.

Coffee beans, roasted or unroasted, confer a distinctive buzz when consumed that’s characterized by heightened mental function and increased energy. Studies show, however, that many people prefer to brew them in hot water instead of eating them. To do this, they must be ground first. We think this fancy, compact, and handsome grinder is a great way to do that.

The natural cycle of life involves death, decay, and rebirth. A really good compost bin allows you to speed this process up, almost like you had the hands of God. Actually, don’t tell them that. They’ve got a big enough ego already. Just tell them it “makes stuff grow faster”.

You take drinking water for granted because it’s always been there. But no amount of planning can stave off certain emergencies, like natural disasters, zombie infestations, and other end-of-the-world scenarios. This giant water bladder will get them through the first several weeks.

If you’re looking for a practical gift you might consider a drywall repair kit. Drywall takes a lot of abuse from daily life, especially if they have kids. With this kit they can repair small holes without any special skills or tools.

They may know the best recipe for every major Northern Italian, French, and Thai dish ever invented and be able to whip up a soufflé blindfolded, but can they cut a tennis ball in half in mid-air? The truth is, these knives do all the work for you. Or so we’re told. They certainly look better than that Walmart set.

A video doorbell should come standard in every home, but since it doesn’t, you’ve found a great gift idea. They’ll be able to see who is at the door, and make that critical judgement about whether or not to get up and open it, by simply checking their smart phone. Ignoring unwanted guests has never been easier. Just hope they come to the door next time you ring.

Why have someone else “smell this and tell me if it’s OK” when you can have science do it instead? The Food Freshness Detector can sniff meat, fish, and poultry to tell you when you need to cook it a little more thoroughly or throw it right out. Give it to that friend who loves to throw dinner parties and eat the food without worry.

If they have screens in their windows or a screened in porch, those screens are going to get torn. They can be a hassle to replace and, for most people, it’s the kind of thing that sits on a to-do list for 3 years.But that’s only because they don’t have this handy patch kit that can repair the damage in minutes.

One of the hidden costs of home ownership is that you have to do everything yourself. They’ll really enjoy a one day reprieve in the form of free yard work. If you want to make your money back on this, offer to let them kick back, get drunk, and hurl insults at you while you manicure their lawn - for a small fee, of course.

Every new home should be protected from the elements, including those some careless soul drags in with their boots. Unlike you, this doormat can absorb 12 pints without making strange accusations or bringing up the past. One of the few home additions that makes a better houseguest out of everyone.

Why is it so hard to judge the correct amount of spaghetti noodles to cook? It’s not like we haven’t done this a million times. For whatever reason, the human mind cannot solve this equation. Luckily there’s no need with this handy tool that can measure standard portions for people and even those who are so hungry they could eat a horse.

You probably know someone who would like their own personal supply of organic produce but doesn’t have the time to manage a multi-acre farm. Or go to the grocery store for that matter. This is also a great gift for the healthy eater who’s too busy to garden or who tends to kill everything they lay their hands on.

They not only own that newly-bought house, they also own every disaster that occurs within. Give them the means to go to war with broken door hinges, leaking pipes, faulty appliances, and whatever else Murphy’s Law drops in their lap.

Chances are you know someone who still patches up their household items using duct tape. Probably while listening to their favorite Bee Gees 8-track. If that person is a new homeowner, bring them out of the DIY dark ages with a roll of Fiberfix. Then maybe go to work on their music collection.

It’s a fact: the world is full of stuff, and most of it isn’t ours yet. Amazon Prime helps us to fix that problem a little faster, with free two day shipping, among many other benefits. Whatever their addiction, they can feed it on Amazon. Help them feed it faster and better.

When it comes to personal security, technology is a game changer. Google knows the location of every criminal in the world, and they know what they’re going to do before the criminals even know. That doesn’t mean they’re going to do anything about it; they’ve got a business to run. You can’t expect Big Brother to do everything for you. Time to take things into your own hands for once.

Propane tanks are convenient and useful, but the last thing you need is to have the damn thing run out at your next barbecue and everyone ends up eating raw chicken. It used to be the manliest man in the group picked up the tank, said how many hours were left, and then by the time the tank was empty everyone was too drunk to remember how wrong he was. Boy we’ve come a long way.

This natural, biodegradable treatment stops snow and ice from accumulating on sidewalks, driveways, walkways, porches, and any other concrete/asphalt surface you spray it on. It’s really a no-brainer. The only decision will be: be a good samaritan and spray the neighbors’ walkways, or grab a cup of coffee and have a good chuckle.

It’s a simple, ingenious tool. But you have to understand that in giving them this gift, you’re removing a set of excuses: “Oh, my arms aren’t long enough”; “I’m afraid of heights”; “I don’t know how to use a mop upside down,” etc. Now they’ve gotta own the clean.

A conventional peephole is better than nothing, but has its limitations. They can see who’s on the other side of the door, but what if that person comes in and kills them? Wouldn’t it be better to have a permanent photo? Also, it’s just nicer to see things on a big screen without squinting.

Manly men (and women) wear big, dirty boots. The problem is, those entryway mats are designed for dainty folk who need to remove maybe a pebble or two from their penny loafers or whatever. That’s not gonna cut it here. Don’t let them mess up their brand new floors because they didn’t have the right tools. No brainer.

So many housewarming gifts are dedicated to improving or preserving the house itself. Well, people can sometimes use some improving too, and like objects they’re also breakable. Luckily, we know how to put them back together when things go wrong, up to a point. You just need the right tools. Like these.

Some people like to prove their mad skills by tapping the wall to find a stud. Some people also go dowsing in their spare time. Save a new homeowner the embarrassment of putting useless holes in the wall just to prove how awesome they are.

So this maybe doesn’t have the wow factor of, say, a MENSA membership, but that’s not the point. You can buy a lifetime supply of Frosted Flakes for $.99. We’re not sure what MENSA does for you, but we know it can’t deliver like that. Who’s the genius now?

You’ve heard the old saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” Let’s be honest, the real reason you measure twice is because you forgot the first measurement. This digital tape measure lets you save multiple measurements for easy recall, so you can stop playing games and get the work done.

If the new homeowner is a little clumsy in the kitchen, these cut resistant gloves may help them from accidentally adding unplanned ingredients to their meal (fingers in the coleslaw are never good). Now you won’t need to be suspicious of that red sauce when they invite you over for dinner.

Having a rain barrel to collect water for the garden is a great idea, and really should be mandatory in places where water is in high demand from drought. The problem is most rain barrels are pretty ugly, designed to be utilitarian but not beautiful. Here’s one they won’t want to hide!

In case you haven’t noticed, Mother Nature could use some help. Old plants and leaves will eventually rot enough that you can use them as mulch, but Jesus does it take a long time, and nobody’s got all day to wait. Like they say, if you want something done right, do it yourself. An electric leaf mulcher is a great way to speed up that slow old woman’s work.