6 Things Every Renter Should Have Under Their Kitchen Sink

published Dec 10, 2019
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Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Even though you’re not responsible for making any major repairs when you’re a renter, there are a few things you should keep in under your kitchen sink or in the pantry to solve common home maintenance problems that may pop up — just when your super has left town. Here’s what home experts, from inspectors to landlords, recommend every renter have close at hand in case something goes wrong:

Essential oils

“If mice and bugs are a constant bother, try placing essential oils (such as lavender and cedar) or bug-repelling plants (such as strong mint) around the house to discourage these annoying pests from entering your space. Sure, vinegar helps, too, but it doesn’t smell nearly as good.” —John Mease, a home inspector in Atlanta

Extra air filters

“If you’re feeling like the air in your home seems smelly or not as fresh as you’d like, putting in new air filters every month is not only good for the environment in your home, but will ensure that you work efficiently. I suggest setting a calendar reminder so that you don’t forget to change them.” —Jenna Passaro, a landlord in Portland, Oregon

Vodka

“Not only can vodka be used to clean glass, but it can also disinfect a bathroom and remove grease stains from a carpet, which, for a renter who intends to get his or her rental deposit back, might be an essential item.” —Craig Russell, founder and CEO, The English Contractor in Cincinnati, Ohio

A way to keep your drains running smoothly

“I always recommend that my renters keep the Drain Weasel in their pantry, especially if you notice that the water is going down very slowly on a Saturday and your landlord won’t be able to send a maintenance person to your place until Monday. You’d be amazed at what comes out of a shower drain with these!” —Domenick Tiziano, editor of Accidental Rental, an advice blog for new landlords

A good ol’ plastic bucket

“A plastic bucket is multi-use and will save your belongings from a leak above. It is your landlord’s responsibility to fix the leak but a bucket will save your belongings until the leak is fixed. Keep in mind: Most leaks aren’t catastrophic; they’re usually ongoing drips — and the bucket will catch most of it and help protect your stuff.” —John Mease