The Unexpected Place I’ve Found So Many Great Renter Solutions (for Under $50!)

published Oct 17, 2019
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It’s tough to be a renter. I know that, you know that—that’s why you’re on Apartment Therapy in the first place! While dealing with landlords and neighbors can be rough, one of the trickiest parts of rental life is finding the right things to put in your unit. It seems that nothing’s really made with renters in mind: Everything that helps make creative use of your space either a) requires wall attachments (whoops, there goes the security deposit!) or b) is super expensive (hello, I am renting for a reason, guys!)

So when we come across super smart resources for renters, we’re wont to share. And I came across a great, unexpected one somewhat recently: Urban Outfitters. Yes, that store you shopped in college (or, if you were me, waltzed in to window shop but rarely bought anything because you were on a work-study budget) is actually worth a second look now that you’re a more established adult. While I thought I had aged out of its aloof loft-boho style, I realized that I’ve actually been looking at the wrong section. Tucked behind the Gen Z-focused wares is super solid rental furniture and storage—and it’s actually pretty affordable, too!

Here’s the trick, though: Many of the best solutions require a bit of searching and reading as their renter friendliness isn’t necessarily advertised. Take for example, this cordless shade. The title doesn’t say it, but when you read the caption you find that these adhere to the top of your window—no additional tools or holes in the wall involved! Can you believe? If you could do without curtains but also doesn’t want ambient street light to interfere with your beauty sleep, the perfect solution is less than $30!

While clever tools like these are hidden, some others are out in the open. For example, this simple this metal kitchen shelf that doubles surface area for counter-strapped renters. Is it cheap? No, but I think it’s well-designed and likely comes with a longer shelf life (cue the drumroll!) that’s much longer than the common plastic or wire ones I’ve seen.

Don’t have drawer space and haven’t convinced your landlord to let you put in a dang pegboard? Here’s a good option: It hangs off your cabinet shelving and allows you to hook on your serving and prep tools, saving your counters from the space-using utensil crock. Don’t have open shelving? No worries—it’s unobtrusive enough that you should have no problems closing your cabinet doors.

Let’s move on from the kitchen to another place we spend a ton of time: the bathroom! For those yearning for more toiletry storage space, there’s this attractive-looking suction cup shower shelf. Again: It’s not the most affordable solution you can find, but for those more aesthetically-minded, it helps maintain a clean, modernist perspective in a landscape where translucent plastic and white shellacked wire is usually the norm.

Okay, but what about those toiletries that aren’t in the shower? UO even has an attractive solution for that, too! Take, for example, this mid-century modern style over-the-door shelving solution that can not only stably house your lotions and potions, but can provide your towel a spot to dry, too.

A common gripe for renters? Minimal non-obtrusive entryway options. Here’s a remarkably affordable one for under $30: Not only does this leaning latter have extended rungs for you to hang your keys and bags, it can support jackets and coats, too, with a few s-hooks.

Have you found any great renter-friendly products at Urban Outfitters? Are there other spots that are your go-tos?

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