23 simple Organizing Ideas for Renters

Sharing is caring!

Organizing and storing your things as a renter has its own unique challenges. Depending on your landlord and rental rules, you may not be able to screw into your walls or risk losing your damage deposit. (Or at least you may need to minimize the number of holes you put in the walls.)

My parents will soon be selling their house, downsizing and moving into a rental apartment. They’ll be facing organization and storage issues they haven’t had to deal with for many years.

To help them out (and you too), I have compiled a list of organizing ideas for renters.

(Update: they have now moved so I have some pictures from their new apartment and the organizers they have started using.)

Which of the ideas will work for you?

This article contains affiliate links. If you click a link and buy something I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information please see the Disclosure page.

Organizing Tips and Ideas for Renters

Being a renter has its advantages (like no repair bills) , but depending on your landlord, it can have its limitations too.

Some landlords don’t want you to screw anything into the walls so it can be tricky to organize your space how you’d want it

But there are ways to make it work for you..

Below are some organizers and storage ideas to help renters.

I initially tried to separate the ideas into distinct rooms in the house, but many of these organizers are super versatile and can be used throughout the home.

1) Hanging Shoe Organizers to store…almost anything

They’re usually marketed as “over the door shoe hangers” but multi-pocket organizers can be used to store WAY more than just shoes.

Ideas on what you can store in an over the door organizer:

  • socks & underwear
  • cleaning supplies
  • art supplies
  • water bottles
  • snacks and small bags of potato chips
  • toiletries
  • and a lot more

These organizers can be used in every room in the house.
Just make sure there is a gap between the top of the door and door frame and you’ll be good to go.

2) Over the Toilet Tension Bar Shelves

ALLZONE Bathroom Organizer, Over The Toilet Storage, 4-Tier Adjustable Wood Shelves for Small Rooms, Saver Space Rack, 92 to 116 Inch Tall, Narrow Cabinet, Rustic Brown

If you’re renting a place with a small bathroom it can be tricky finding room to store your things.

You can make the most of the space above the toilet by getting a freestanding shelving unit, or you can get a tension bar shelving unit like this one from ALLZONE.

It is adjustable in height and you can even mount the shelves with the lip to the back, or to the front. So you’ve got options.

If you want to see more details and the size of this unit, click here.

3) Tension Rod Shelves

Here is what my sister did in her RV. She put up two tension bars above the toilet and then placed some storage baskets on the bars.

She didn’t want to screw into her trailer’s walls which is exactly the same situation most renters are in.

It makes a great place to store toilet paper, towels and extra toiletries.

There are a lot of other ways tension rods can help you organize a house. And they’re particularly helpful for renters who don’t want to drill or screw into the walls.

The picture below shows how you can tidy up your cleaning spray bottles under a sink.

RELATED ARTICLE: Check out my article about other tension rod organization ideas.

4) Shower Caddy Tension Pole

A shower caddy tension pole with storage shelves like this is a good way to store shampoos, body wash, etc..
Tension pole shower organizer

If you don’t have built-in shower shelves then a shower caddy like this is a good option.

The pros include portability and easy installation. (By portability I mean you can bring it with you when you move, or move it to a different corner of your tub or shower if required.)

But just make sure you measure from the floor of your shower, or lip of your bathtub, to the ceiling and buy a suitable tension pole.

I’m not sure which company makes the shower pole above – we got it at Winners in Canada which is like Marshalls in the US.

I did find a well-rated organizer on Amazon that can adjust from 47-inches all the way to 121-inches. It is made by the company HAMITOR. You can see a product picture of it below.

HAMITOR Corner Shower Caddy Tension Pole: Quick Installation 4-Tier Rustproof Bathroom Organizer Shelves for Bathtub Shampoo Storage - 47-121 inch Adjustable Floor Standing Bath Rack Holder - Silver

RELATED ARTICLE: Shower Storage Ideas (get your tub or shower organized today)

5) Bathroom Carts

SPACEKEEPER 3 Tier Acrylic Storage Rolling Cart Clear Bathroom Cart Organizer, Transparency Laundry Room Organization Mobile Shelving Unit Multifunction Rolling Utility Cart for Office Living Room

Bathroom carts are a nice mobile and versatile storage solution IF you have the room for one in your bathroom.

They are a place to store toiletries, bath toys, towels, and other bathroom essentials.

It’s nice that you can roll them out of the way so you can clean behind them.

But keep in mind that they often have a limited weight capacity, and they can get in the way if you’re trying to cram them into a small bathroom.

6) Coffee Table with Storage

Rolanstar Coffee Table, Lift Top Coffee Table with Drawers and Hidden Compartment, Retro Central Table with Wooden Lift Tabletop, for Living Room, Black

Moving into the living room. Most people have a coffee table of some sort in their living room. Why not get a coffee table with built-in storage?

But you don’t want to get one so big that it takes up half your living room (which can be an issue in small apartments).

The table above from Rolanstar features 2 drawers on the bottom and a neat lift-up top with a storage compartment underneath. Plus, it is only about 42-inches wide.

I haven’t personally used this table, but people claim it is easy to put together and it has a good rating.

7) Storage Ottoman

Storage Ottoman by Better Homes & Garden (Photo credit: Walmart.com)

Another “out of sight” storage option is a storage ottoman.

They can work well to store blankets in your living room, or for extra storage at the foot of your bed.

Plus they can serve double-duty as extra seating too.

The downside is they take up floor space so they may not work well in small rooms.

The one shown above is a 30-inch hinged storage ottoman made by Better Homes & Garden that is available on Walmart.com

It is currently rated 4.8 stars out of 5 with thousands of customer-submitted ratings.

8) Adhesive Hooks (like Command Hooks)

Adhesive hooks, such as Command Hooks, are a renter’s dream for hanging lightweight items without damaging walls.

The pros are their ease of application and removal, making them perfect for creating temporary storage or decor.

However, be cautious with heavier items, as the adhesive may not hold well, and I have heard the occasional story of them damaging the wall upon removal.

You can use them in every room in your house and store everything from hair accessories, to coats, to kitchen utensils.

In the picture below you can see that a Command Hook makes a convenient place to hang a hand towel.

COmmand hooks can be used by renters to hang lots of things like hand towels.
Command Hook holding hand towel (Photo credit: LearnAlongWithMe.com)

9) Under-Bed Storage

Platform beds provide a space underneath for renters to store things.

If you need space in your bedroom, don’t forget about under the bed.

The picture above shows our Zinus 16-inch platform bed.

The 16-inches is measured from the floor to the top of the horizontal metal bar. This provides about 14-inches of clearance height under the bed.

In my opinion, the one annoying thing about the bed frame is the three posts along the center of the bed: they tend to get in the way. Of course a bed needs support, but it can make sliding totes under here a bit tricky.

But we still appreciate the extra storage space.

You can see where the middle posts are in the product photo below.

ZINUS Van 16 Inch Metal Platform Bed Frame / Steel Slat Support / No Box Spring Needed / Easy Assembly,Black, Queen

Under the Bed is a Handy Place to Store:

  • seasonal clothes
  • extra bedding
  • kids clothes that are currently too big for your child (we do this with the hand-me downs that we get)
  • guitar cases
  • totes of crafts or art supplies
  • and lots more

I have started experimenting with storing seasonal clothes and extra bedding in vacuum bags then placing them under our beds. So far it has worked well, but if air creeps back into the bag, it swells and makes it hard to remove from under the bed. I’m still looking for a superstar vacuum bag that doesn’t leak.

10) Hanging Sweater Organizer

MAX Houser 6 Tier Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer, Closet Hanging Shelf with 2 Sturdy Hooks for Storage, Foldable (Grey)

These hanging shelf units work well to store everything from bulky sweaters to folded t-shirts to baskets of socks.

They can really come in handy if you don’t have a dresser, or just have a small dresser.

It does require you to have space along your closet rod though, and that can be an issue if you have a small closet.

If you don’t have the space for a 6-shelf hanger like the one above, the company “GRANNY SAYS” makes this really popular 3-shelf organizer. (Pic below.)

GRANNY SAYS 3-Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer and Storage, Collapsible Hanging Closet Shelves, Hanging Organizer for Closet & RV, Gray, 29 ¾" H X 12" W X 12" D, 1-Pack

11) Over the Door Hooks

I love over the door hooks.

They’re handy for hanging towels, bags, coats, and accessories.

Plus, they are easy to install and move to other doors.

But you do need to make sure there is enough room between the top of the door and the door frame so that the door will close.

I find they work well hanging them from bi-fold closet doors.

You can usually find hooks like this at your local dollar store.

You can also get over the door hanging racks. My parents bought the one below when they downsized and moved into their apartment. Sometimes they’re marketed as “over the door towel racks”.

12) Shelf Dividers

Shelf Dividers, 8 Pack Closet Shelf Organizer for Clothes, Metal Closet Shelf Dividers for Wood Shelves, Steel Closet Separator for Shelves Bedroom Wardrobe Kitchen Cabinet Storage Organization

Shelf dividers are great for keeping stacks of sweaters, linens, or items on shelves neat and organized.

The nice thing about them is they’re easy to install and they can be removed without causing damage.

Just make sure the dividers you get are compatible with the type of shelves in your closets.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bedding Storage Ideas (different ways to organize your linens)

13) Get a Wardrobe (if you don’t have enough closet space)

We own our home, but closets are in short supply. So instead of hiring a carpenter to build a closet, we bought this 2-door and 2-drawer wardrobe made by the company Sauder.

The left door covers a storage area that features a closet rod and a shelf. There is more storage space behind the right door and the two drawers slide out nicely.

It isn’t the most bullet-proof design, but it has held up well in the 1/2 year we’ve owned it.

If your rental doesn’t have many closets, perhaps something like this would work in your place.

14) Repurpose Furniture to suit your needs

Sometimes you need to think outside the common use of furniture and repurpose them to suit your needs.

I took this tall, old and narrow book shelf, added a couple extra shelves to it and now we use it to store our shoes and boots.

It isn’t the prettiest thing, but it works.

(Now we just need to go through our footwear because I don’t think we need that many pairs of shoes.)

15) Wooden Crates

Crates are versatile organizers. (Photo credit: TheMerryThought.com)

You can find wooden crates at most hardware stores, and even at Walmart. They’re super versatile and you can use them to store stuff throughout your home.

In the picture above you can see how Manda and Caitlin from TheMerryThought.com used crates to store shoes near their entryway.

I know some people that put these on the floor of their closet for extra shoe storage.

And it’s cool because painting them can instantly change their look from rustic to modern.

16) Pegboard Storage

Many people think of pegboard just for organizing tools in a garage, but you can use them in other rooms in your house too.

For instance, my sister has this metal peg board organizer in the kitchen of her rented condo.

Yes, it is secured to the wall with screws so you may need to ask your landlord if you can install one of these, but once you’ve got it up you can hang lots of different utensils and cookware from it.

Pegboard is a nice customizable storage option.

Once you have the board up you can buy a huge variety of hooks and hangers to put on the board.

17) Bakers Rack (or Microwave Carts)

A kitchen cart like this bakers rack is a handy way for a renter to organize and store stuff in their kitchen
Bestier 5-tier Bakers Rack (Photo credit: Walmart.com)

A Bakers Rack can offer additional storage for small kitchen appliances and a place to put your microwave.

This particular rack is highly-rated rack from the company Bestier that even has a power outlet bar.

Just note this particular product doesn’t have wheels…so it isn’t a true microwave cart… but if you’ve got the room for it in your rental kitchen, it’ll help you organize your stuff.

I haven’t personally seen this rack in real life but it currently has 4.9 stars out of 5 on Walmart.com (and it’s also highly rated on Amazon).

The price on this unit seems to change – and be different between Walmart and Amazon – so I’ve provided links to both Walmart and Amazon. If you’re curious about this product, I suggest you check both places.

18) Magnetic Hooks and Shelves

Aufworld Magnetic Spice Rack for Refrigerator, 3 Pack Magnetic Shelf, Moveable Magnetic Fridge Organizer with 8-Hook Rack for Kitchen Organization and Storage (3 Pack)

Take advantage of the exposed side of a large metal appliance – like the fridge – by getting some magnetic shelves or hooks.

(The product photo above looks Photoshopped but it shows you the intent of the product.)

A magnetic spice rack will free up countertop space and make the most of vertical space.

Magnetic organizers are a versatile and damage-free solution for storing lightweight items.

Along with your fridge, you may be able to use them on your washer or dryer too.

19) Over the Door Organizers

ULG 1 Pack Over Door Organizer with 5 Large Pockets 10 Mesh Side Pockets, 44 lbs Weight Capacity Hanging Storage Organizer with Clear Window Kids Toys, Shoes, Diapers, Dark Grey, 5 Layers

Over-the-door organizers like this with lots of pockets are a convenient solution for maximizing vertical space…without needing screws or nails.

I know these are really popular to hold baby supplies like diapers, wipes and bum cream, but they can be used for so many things.

For instance, you can use this a hanging pantry for lightweight, dry goods like granola bars, pasta, and to store snacks like chips.

But you need to be mindful of door thickness, the gap between the door and the frame, and that you don’t add too much weight to the pockets. (Though this well-rated hanger from ULG claims it can hold 44 pounds total.)

Curious to see what this organizer is rated? Click here to see its current rating out of 5.

20) Nesting Cookware (like Nesting Pots)

Country Kitchen 13 Piece Pots and Pans Set - Safe Nonstick Kitchen Cookware with Removable Handle, RV Cookware Set, Oven Safe (Cream)

Nesting cookware is handy if you have a small kitchen, regardless of whether you rent or own your place.

They’re an efficient way to save cabinet space in the kitchen.

We don’t have nesting pots and pans so our cookware is sprawled all over our corner cabinet.

The set above from the company Country Kitchen has removable handles. I’ve never used cookware with removable handles so I can’t attest to how well it works.
But it’s an interesting idea.

21) Over the Cabinet Door Organizers

2PK - SimpleHouseware Plastic Over The Cabinet Door Organizer Holder, Silver

Over-the-cabinet door organizers are a great place to store cutting boards, cleaning supplies, food wrap, and tin foil.

What’s great about them is they’re easy to install, but make sure the cabinet door will close with the organizer attached. There needs to be adequate space inside your cabinet to accommodate the organizer when the door is closed.

You can also put the organizer on the outside of the cabinet but then you risk smacking it with your knees.

This particular organizer from SimpleHouseware comes as a 2-pack.

If you prefer to mount this to your wall or cabinet – and not use the hanger – some people hang it from 3M Command Hooks.

22) Freestanding Pantry Cabinet

a pantry  cabinet is a good way for renters to add storage to their kitchen if they have the room

A freestanding pantry cabinet like this one is a great way for renters to get extra kitchen storage without permanent modifications. (You will need to screw a security bracket or strap to the wall though to prevent it from tipping over.)

The cabinet in the picture above was actually a wardrobe that was DIY’d to include more shelves and storage for food and small kitchen appliances. (You can see the curtain rod bracket in the top right of the cabinet.)

You may be able to find a wardrobe or pantry cabinet at a second-hand store or on Facebook marketplace.

If you prefer a new cabinet, I found the cabinet below on Walmart.com and it is currently rated 4.6 stars out of 5 with over 180 reviews so far.

Walmart pantry from teh company HOMFA
HOMFA kitchen pantry (Photo credit: Walmart.com)

23) Rolling Plastic Drawer Carts

Plastic drawer dresser carts are versatile (and not just for toys)

Plastic carts with drawers like this can be used throughout the house to store a variety of things.

Of course it is being used to store Barbies in the picture above, but you can store lots of different things in these organizers.

I find that lightweight items are best because when the drawers get heavy they don’t slide as well.

You can find these drawers at most department stores or you can click here to see a popular option on Amazon.

24) Rotating Claw Hooks

We were a bit puzzled on how to store my parents’ reusable shopping bags in their new coat closet.

I suggested S-hooks, but my mom found these rotating claw hooks at a dollar store.

So far they’ve worked well. (Though they are dollar store plastic.)

Thank you and I hope some of these organizing ideas will help you out. My parents were able to use some of these ideas when they moved into their new apartment, so hopefully they’ll help you too.

But before you go, we have other storage and organization articles you may enjoy.


closet organization ideas

Maximize your closet space with these Closet Storage Ideas (many of which are perfect for renters)

entryway organization ideas

Get your foyer organized with these Front Entryway Organization Ideas.

Want to find this article again later? Pin the picture below to one of your Pinterest boards.