Some people might argue that upgrading your rental is a waste of money — but not me. I’m the one living in it, so why not enjoy my time while I’m there? That’s why I’m always on the lookout for little improvements that I can take with me after I move out. So if your home could use a little sprucing up, make sure to check out this list of clever home upgrades you didn’t even know you needed.
What exactly do I mean by “clever?” For starters, nearly everything on this list is suitable for renters — there are only a few items that require you to drill into your walls. And for two, even though there are tons of renter-friendly products here, not a single one looks like a cheap alternative to more permanent options. Case in point? The
peel-and-stick backsplash I’ve made sure to include. Not only does it install like a sticker, but the white subway tile design is a great way to lighten up dark kitchens.
But if that isn’t enough, there are also miniature air purifiers, bamboo bath mats, as well as a gorgeous pair of linen curtains. So what are you waiting for? With so many clever home upgrades in one list, don’t be surprised if you wind up adding more than one to your cart.
This Shower Filter That Can Help Improve Your Hair & Skin
By removing chlorine and other drying chemicals from your shower water,
this filter can help improve your skin and hair — even if you deal with dandruff or eczema. It’s designed to work with all types of showers, and installation only takes a few short minutes without any tools required.
The Kit That Turns Plain Mirrors Into Hollywood Vanities
this kit twice, and both times it’s turned a plain, boring mirror into a gorgeous Hollywood-style vanity. Each LED bulb is backed with sticky adhesive, making it easy to place them directly onto glass. And since they’re also dimmable, you can easily adjust their brightness to suit your makeup needs.
These Baskets That Add Storage Underneath Shelves
Keep things on top,
and underneath your shelves using these baskets. They’re designed to slide onto any standard-sized shelf that isn’t overly thick — and they work particularly great in cramped kitchens. Use them to hold food wrap boxes, towels, paper plates, and more.
An Outdoor Security Light That’s Energy-Efficient
this outdoor light is made with energy-efficient LED bulbs, it can help save you money on your utility bill — all while adding security to your home. The built-in motion sensor prevents it from turning on when no one is around. Plus, it’s even waterproof against the rain and snow.
A Soap Dispenser That Mounts To Your Shower Wall
Tired of cluttering up your tub with bottles and tubes? Just transfer your shampoo, body wash, or conditioner into
this dispenser. It mounts to your shower wall using the included waterproof adhesive — and the body is even shatter-resistant, just in case you drop it.
The Floating Shelves Made From Solid Wood
Not only are
these floating shelves made from solid Paulownia wood, but the curved metal brackets give them a rustic touch that complements nearly any style. Each order comes with all the necessary mounting hardware included — and they’re the perfect size for toiletries, spices, and more.
A Pair Of Towel Hooks That Won’t Rip Fabric
Unlike some towel hooks,
these holders are made with soft grippers that hold onto your towels without any risk of tearing them. You can mount them to walls using the included adhesive, or screws — and the chrome-plated body makes them look way fancier than they are.
These Shelves That Fit Neatly Into Corners
Made from organic bamboo,
these shelves are cut so that they fit neatly into corners. They’re great for kitchen counters, desks, or even your bathroom vanity — and each order comes with all the tools needed to put them together. Plus, one reviewer wrote that “it’s big enough and strong enough to hold three different size skillets.”
These Curtains That Let A Little Light Through
Even if your home is lacking in natural light, you can still dress your windows up with
these curtains. They’re made from lightweight linen, allowing light to filter through while still giving you some privacy. Choose from seven soft shades, ranging from stone blue to pure white.
These Puck Lights That You Can Stick Almost Anywhere
these puck lights underneath your kitchen cabinets for a chic upgrade that won’t break the bank. Each one provides up to 50 hours of light using three AAA batteries, which means there’s no need to deal with any complicated wiring. Plus, you can also use them to illuminate dark hallways, work benches, and more.
The Sliding Drawer That Makes It Easy To Reach Your Stuff
I have these sliding drawers in my cabinets — and I can’t stress enough how much they’ve upgraded my kitchen. Now it’s easy to reach any items stashed away in the back, and they glide just as smoothly as reviewers rave about. Plus, they’re even made from high-quality steel.
A Draft Stopper That Can Help Lower Your Utility Bills
this draft stopper at the bottom of any door, and it can help lower your utility bills by insulating your home against the weather outside. You can trim it to fit if needed — and the adhesive backing is waterproof for added staying power.
These Mats That Help Keep Your Fridge Clean
these mats into whatever dimensions you like, then place them down on your refrigerator shelves. They’ll help keep them clean from all sorts of spills — and if they ever get dirty, the non-stick surface allows you to easily wipe them down with a damp cloth.
This Coat Rack That Hangs Over Your Door
With enough hooks for up to nine coats,
this rack is an easy way to add storage to your mudroom. It also works great with towels in the bathroom, or belts in your closet — and the over-the-door hooks are coated with soft foam to help prevent scratches.
These Airtight Containers That Just Look Plain Good
Organize your pantry,
and make it Instagram-worthy by storing dry foods inside of these containers. The lids are airtight, helping to keep everything inside fresh — and each one even comes with an attached scoop for ingredients like sugar or flour. Plus, they’re also BPA-free.
A Table Runner Made From 100% Cotton
Dining table looking a little plain? Lay
this runner down the center for some quick-and-easy decor. It’s made from 100% cotton, while the length is suitable for tables that can seat up to six people. Choose from three colors: grey, brown/white, or colorful check.
A Bathmat Made From Chic Bamboo
Even if your bathroom is a little outdated,
this chic mat can help give it a spa-like feel. It’s made from sleek bamboo that can withstand frequent exposure to water, while the lattice design also helps it dry quickly when wet. And since the back is non-slip, there’s no need to worry about it shifting out from underneath you.
The Dishcloths You Can Use All Over Your Home
These dishcloths aren’t just great for pots and pans — you can also use them to dust dirty shelves, polish varnished jewelry, or even wash the car. Not only are they versatile, but each one is also made from soft cotton that won’t leave behind any scratches.
These Curtain Tiebacks Made From Heavy Rope
Some curtains are too heavy for weak tiebacks — that’s why
these ones are made from thick rope. The knotted ball at the end gives them a chic touch, and you don’t need a hook in order for them to keep your curtains held shut.
An Adjustable Stand That Keeps Plants Off The Ground
You could continue to let your potted plants sit directly on the floor —
or, you could pop them into one of these stands. They’ll help keep your hardwood looking pristine, and each one is made from 100% handmade bamboo. Plus, the height is even adjustable.
The Placemats Made From Eco-friendly Vinyl
Not only are
these placemats made from eco-friendly vinyl, but they’re also easy to wash — just run them underneath hot water to get rid of any crumbs. Plus, they even come in 10 shades: beige, yellow, black, blue, and more.
The Coasters That Look Like Sleek Marble
Made from tough ceramic with sleek marble patterns,
these coasters are a cute addition to any table. They come with a handy little metal stand to keep them looking tidy when you’re not using them — and the cork backing helps prevent scratches to your surfaces.
A Shower Curtain With A High-Quality Waffle Weave
Soft to the touch — yet heavy enough that it won’t billow out —
this shower curtain is a definite upgrade to the cheap nylon one you’ve been using for ages. The high-quality waffle weave makes it look more expensive than it is, while the rustproof grommets are made to stay shiny for years to come.
This Decorative Towel Holder That Reviewers Adore
Large enough for a fingertip towel,
this rack adds a touch of class to any vanity. It’s made from tough steel with a satin nickel finish — and the base is also weighted to help keep it from tipping over. “This adds a touch of sophistication to my bathroom,” wrote one reviewer. “I’ve received tons of compliments on how fancy it is.”
A Rope Basket That’s Perfect For Blankets & Throws
Need somewhere to stash all those throw blankets? Look no further than
this giant rope basket. It’s perfect for bedrooms, closets, or even your living room — and the durable handles on either side make it easy to transport around the house. Choose from six different shades.
The Backsplash That’s Almost Too Easy To Install
Regardless of whether you own or rent,
this peel-and-stick backsplash is a total must-have if you don’t have one already in your kitchen. The adhesive backing makes it easy to put up, and it’s even heat- as well as moisture-resistant. The best part? You can easily peel it off if you have to move out.
A Miniature Air Purifier That’s Perfect For Your Home Office
Powerful enough to remove up to 99.7% of airbone particles, yet small enough to fit on your desk,
this miniature air filter is a total gamechanger. It’s powered via USB — though each order also comes with a wall adapter — and the built-in LED light even lets you use it as a nightlight when dark.
This Grinder You Can Use For Coffee, Spices, & More
Even though it’s advertised as a coffee grinder,
this little gadget can also be used to mince up spices, nuts, and more. Each order comes with a brush you can use to scoop out any remnants stuck inside — and you even have the choice of four finishes: copper, black, stainless, or white.
A Box That Hides All Those Messy Computer Cables
With slots on either end that let you thread cables through,
these boxes are the perfect place to tuck away bulky power bricks and wires. The faux wood top helps it blend into your home — and each order also comes with a set of cable ties, as well as six clips.
The Hanging Basket For Plants, Mail, & More
this basket next to your front door if you need somewhere to stash mail — or, you can even put a potted plant inside. It’s made from 100% premium cotton, while the macrame design gives it a fun bohemian vibe. “We are using it to put the bills as we sometimes seem to misplace them,” wrote one reviewer. “Would definitely recommend!”
These Pillow Inserts That Come In A Ton Of Sizes
Not only do they come in seven different sizes, but
these throw pillow inserts also have a fiber filling that won’t fall flat over time. The brushed fabric cover gives them a little more durability than some — and many reviewers wrote about how they “hold their shape.”
The Pillow Cases Made With Soft Corduroy
Add some texture,
and a pop of color to any room with one of these throw pillow covers. The invisible zipper keeps the insert from falling out, while the soft corduroy material is absolutely lounge-worthy. The best part? They come in dozens of colors — including a gorgeous shade of coral.
A Rug That’s Resistant To Stains
Unlike some rugs,
this one won’t shed its fibers all over your floors after a few months of use — and it’s even stain-resistant against spills. You have the choice of more than 15 shapes and sizes, making it easy to fit in any room. Plus, the low pile is unlikely to snag on your heels.
This Throw Blanket That’s Soft & Lightweight
this throw blanket across your couch for a stylish little touch — or even snuggle underneath it for an afternoon nap. The soft acrylic has a wool-like feel, yet is still lightweight enough for warmer weather. One reviewer even wrote that “they’re actually super soft and warm for when you want a blanket, but don’t want to mess up the whole bed to cover up!”
A Pair Of Bottles That Are Perfect For Oil & Vinegar
Looking for a classy way to store your oil and vinegar? Search no further than
these sleek glass bottles. The pour spouts at the top allow for easy drizzling, while the bottles are large enough to hold almost a full bottle. Plus, each order also comes with a stainless steel storage caddy.
A Rolling Cart That Fits Into Tight Spaces
Need a little extra storage space, but don’t have enough room to put up shelves? Try out
this rolling cart. Its narrow design allows it to fit into tight spaces, while the wheels on the bottom make it easy to move around your bathroom or kitchen. Many reviewers also noted how it only “took five minutes” to put it together.
A Food Scale That’s Easy To Store
Whereas some food scales can be on the bulkier side,
this one has an ultra-slim profile that allows it to fit into drawers, cabinets, and more. The straightforward design makes it easy to use — and it even has a high-contrast LCD screen to help you see exactly what it says.
The Pitcher That’s Sleek & Stylish
Whether you’re in the mood for cucumber water or fresh lemonade,
this pitcher is a gorgeous way to serve it to guests — or even just yourself. It’s made from high-quality glass, making it just as decorative as it is functional. And unlike some glass pitchers, this one is safe to put in the top rack of your dishwasher.
A Set Of Hangers Coated In Soft Velvet
Clothes can easily slide off of plastic hangers, whereas
these ones are coated in soft velvet to give them a little extra gripping power. The smooth edges prevent them from creating bumps or creases in your clothes — and you have the choice of three colors: black, grey, or ivory.
The Apothecary Jars That Look Like Real Glass
Perfect for Q-tips, cotton rounds, swabs, and more,
these apothecary jars are a cute way to add some storage to any vanity. They’re made from high-quality plastic that looks just like real glass — and the lids have a tight fit in order to keep everything inside safe from dust.
A Bathroom Organizer That Looks Just Like White Marble
Help tidy up your bathroom,
and give it a chic little touch with this organizer. The faux white marble exterior is undeniably stylish, while the toothbrush holder is large enough to accommodate most electric brushes. Choose from three colors: white marble, orb, or faux wood.
A Ventilated Dish That Helps Extend The Life Of Your Soap
Leaving your bars of soap to sit in their own puddle will only cause them to deteriorate faster — so grab
this dish. The slats allow air to flow through, which in turn helps your soap dry quickly. And unlike other dishes, this one is made from real pine wood.
This Shrink Film That Helps Insulate Your Windows
Utility bills a little too high? Try putting
this shrink film on your windows. Not only does it help insulate your home, but it also installs easily using just a hair dryer. “We can reduce the thermostat a bit and the furnace won’t run so much,” wrote one reviewer. “I think these things just paid for themselves – exponentially!”
A Set Of Candles That Are Completely Flameless
Able to provide 300 hours of light using just two AA batteries,
these candles add a soothing, calm mood to any room. They’re completely flameless — so don’t even worry about knocking one over. And since each order comes with two remotes, it’s easy to turn them on or off without getting up from the couch.
These Small Woven Baskets Made From 100% Cotton
Fruits, toiletries, keys, loose change —
these small woven baskets are the perfect place for all of them and more. They’re made from 100% natural cotton rope, while the reinforced walls won’t let them fall flat when empty. Choose from three colors: gray, off-white, or jute.
A Soap Dispenser Made From Sleek Stainless Steel
Not only is
this soap dispenser made from rust-resistant stainless steel, but the transparent window in the base makes it easy to see when it’s time for a refill. The exterior is also fingerprint-resistant — and the large pump head lets you press down with your wrist when your hands are wet.
These Shelves That Work Great Anywhere
Whether you put
these shelves in your mudroom or your closet, they’ll work as the perfect place to stash shoes, blankets, and more. They’re made from natural wood — not plastic — and reviewers raved about the affordable price. “It’s exactly what you paid for, and it’s worth it,” explained one. “I was looking for something to just organize my shoes in my foyer…exactly what I was looking for.”
The Tiered Serving Platter That’s Undeniably Chic
this tiered serving platter to put your desserts on display the next time you have guests over — or even use it to showcase morning pastries. Each platter is made from high-quality ceramic, while the frame comes in two colors: white or gold.
A Collapsible Dish Rack Made From Bamboo
Tired of that bulky dish rack taking up half of your counter? Upgrade to
this collapsible one. It’s made from sleek bamboo that easily wipes clean with a damp cloth — and there’s even enough space for up to 14 full-sized dinner plates, as well as smaller cups and mugs.
This End Table With Extra Storage Underneath
Made from tough carbon steel,
this end table is a must-have if you’re looking for furniture that’s functional, and fashionable. The basket on the bottom is the perfect place to stash books and magazines, while the raised lip around the top helps prevent spills. Choose from three colors: dark gray, cream, or light grey.