The $28 Rental Hack That Instantly Added More Storage Space in My Tiny Studio Apartment

updated Jan 22, 2024
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At the beginning of this year, I finally checked off a long-awaited bucket-list item and moved into my first studio apartment in New York City. Spoiler alert: It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Yes, it’s been a blast decorating my space, but at the same time, it’s been a total challenge to find aesthetically pleasing ways to get my teeny-tiny abode organized with the less-than-generous real estate I’ve got to work with. Unlike most city dwellers, I actually lucked out on closet space (I have three!), but other areas are a bit of a struggle when it comes to storage. The trickiest spot to tackle? No doubt, the kitchen. Like 99 percent of all NYC kitchens, I don’t have a ton of counter space to work with, so I had to think vertically for storing spices, oils, and other cooking necessities I need to have at the ready.

Because I have a tile backsplash, my storage installation options are limited — but thanks to my weekly Amazon deep dive, I discovered these genius adhesive floating shelves that have seriously taken my kitchen to the next level. The set of three shelves (each a different size) costs just $28, and installation requires zero tools or drilling. As a pro shopper, it takes a super-innovative product to blow me away, so when I say I’ve never seen a product like this, I’m not joking around.

I use the two largest shelves above my stovetop — one for my spices and the other for my oils. Before I enlisted these renter-friendly shelves, I had everything stored in the cabinet above, and cooking dinner meant constant chaos. Now, everything is within arm’s reach, and I can spot what I need in just a few seconds. I use the smallest size to display my favorite vase of dried flowers in my equally small bathroom.

Credit: Tamara Kraus

So, how in the world do these chic floating shelves stick to the wall? And do they actually hold heavier items? These were some of the questions running through my head, and honestly, I was a bit skeptical when adding these to my cart. To my surprise, putting them up was a breeze. Each shelf comes with a set of super-sticky adhesive squares that slide into the back of the shelves (essentially very sticky Command Strips that won’t come off the wall with a gentle tug). Then just place them on the wall, press down for around 30 seconds, and voila! You have super-stylish floating shelves that look way more expensive than they actually are.

An important note: You’ll only want to use these shelves on surfaces like ceramic and tile, as they’ll rip off paint and wallpaper. But if you avoid painted walls, you can have peace of mind that you’ll likely get your full security deposit back when you move out and take these shelves with you.

Credit: Tamara Kraus

Now that I’ve had them up for almost three months, I can report back that these floating shelves are made with some seriously magical adhesive, because they’ve totally stayed put. Truth be told, I’ve had nightmares of my precious Brightland olive oils crashing down in the middle of the night, but so far, so good.

And when you’re ready to take these shelves with you to your next rental, just buy a set of four replacement adhesives for just under $7. The Laigoo shelves are available to purchase a la carte, too, so you can mix and match to create the custom wall of your dreams. They’re such a game changer for renters that I’m thinking of buying another set for my living/bedroom area. At less than $10 a piece, they’re the ultimate budget-friendly find.

Buy: Laigoo Adhesive Floating Shelves, $25.99