Renters! No more skimping on storage as I've found a bunch of cute renter-friendly shelves

Keep on your landlord's good side

Green shelves on light green background
(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

Ahhhh apartments with skimpy storage… the bane of every renter’s life. Does anyone else go to a viewing with a firm list of non-negotiables and end up falling in love with an apartment with no single place to put urm, ANYTHING? I mean, no matter how insistently I promise myself that my next home will come equipped with storage, I always fold at the first glimpse of natural light and wooden floorboards. But, worry not, as I've found the perfect solution to your storage woes if you're a renter — renter-friendly shelves. This genius small space storage idea won't annoy your landlord, finally!

Quick Menu:
1. Bathroom shelves
2. Bookshelves
3. Closet shelves

Yes, such a thing does exist. And it's the perfect way to keep your mind clear, your space organized, your landlord happy and your safety deposit healthy. They're a damage-free solution to skimpy storage that doubles up as décor. What's not to love? Paired with our fave organization products for your home, your space will be clutter-free in no time.

Whether it’s a perch to place your books or some bathroom shelving to ensure your partner doesn’t “confuse” your shampoos, these are Real Homes' approved shelves you’re going to want to add to your basket ASAP to transform your home overnight. So, without further ado, it’s time to give your clothes, books, and toiletries the respect they deserve with some stylish shelving solutions, safe for those of us renting. 

The best renter-friendly shelves to spruce your space

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The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article.

The best renter friendly bathroom shelves

Bathroom shelving is easy to overlook until your most valued possession (your $20 shampoo) unexpectedly runs out and you see your partner’s locks, glistening in the sunlight (not bitter, obvs). What I'm trying to say is, everything can't just be everywhere in your bathroom — or someone might get "confused". Keep your space tidy with a bathroom organizer, and eradicate mess and mold by elevating your bathroom toiletries on renter-friendly shelves. 

The best renter-friendly bookshelves

Bookshelves are my kryptonite and something I quite simply cannot live without. Transforming stale spaces and plain walls into enchanting, eye-catching feature walls, bookshelves strike the perfect balance between practicality and performance. Whether yours are styled meticulously with a cool color-scheme and pristine hardbacks or haphazardly (like mine) with lovingly thumbed novels you’ve had since childhood, stacked below a wild (but beautiful) potted plant, you can’t deny the character bookshelves bring to a space. We've already listed all our fave living room bookshelf ideas for you to ponder, but here's how to make your dreams a reality... without annoying your landlord.

The best renter-friendly closet shelves

I am a long-standing member of the "no closet is big enough" club and, as you're here on the hunt for closet storage solutions, I'm betting you're looking into your closet and seeing very little surface area and a lottttttt of clothes. Yes, maybe I do wear Levis and a tank top almost every single day without fail... but I own a lot of jeans and tank tops!! Anyway, as it seems that landlords are obsessed with strangely structure-less closets, I've become very familiar with all kinds of closet organizers and shelves. These are the best. How are you supposed to Marie Kondo your closet when it’s got the same structure as Narnia?


What makes shelves rental friendly?

I asked the experts what makes shelving rental-friendly and Teri Simone, Head of Design & Marketing for Nieu Cabinet Doors explained how important it is to balance form and function: “If you're looking for renter-friendly kitchen shelves, it's important to choose ones that are easy to install and remove, sturdy, spacious, and easy to clean. These features give you the flexibility to customize your storage space without damaging your rental unit!” says Teri. 

When choosing your shelves for your rental, it's important to shop within your budget (I'm not mad at bagging a bargain) but don't save cents only to have them collapse and break a couple of months in.

How we chose these renter-friendly shelves

I handpicked these renter-friendly shelves from a tight list of the best buys online. I trawled all of the popular stores to buy shelves from, and only considered the shelves with the highest rating by customers. Ones that needed to be drilled into the wall weren't even thought about, everything featured was given a four star rating (or higher) from real shoppers.

Niamh is a freelance journalist and the Head of Content at Raft Furniture. She is obsessed with all things interior design, with a particular focus on sustainability and city-dweller style. The wooden floorboards and built-in bookcase in Niamh’s rented North London home occupy her daydreams between writing, and after work, she has a knack for finding cheap plane tickets.