Do you recall signing the lease to your first apartment that you rented all by yourself?
Remember the feeling you had of freeing yourself from roommates and sharing your space with others and being able to decorate as you please? I do, almost as if it were just last week.
I was in my early 20’s, feeling independent, however overwhelmed, as I unloaded the last of my belongings from my van, and began staring at the countless boxes in my cozy yet tiny new space.
My biggest question was how to make it all fit while being organized. What would my Mom do in this situation? Where would she start?
I recalled a time when my mom displayed clothing merchandise in her boutiques. She would use tiny dow rods on poles suspended from the ceiling. Brilliant! Tension rods were going to be my solution to a “no holes allowed” apartment clause.
Here’s how I learned to make tension rods work for me to save me space and my sanity:
1. Wrap your scarves or ties on a tension rod as an easy way to display your collection. Not only does it help to organize, but can also make for a fun and colorful decorating idea.
2. Hang one under the sink for cleaning supplies. It adds another layer of storage and keeps all your spray bottles neatly in a line.
3. Handbags are sometimes bulky to store on shelves. Position straps through the rod or place on S-hooks to hang and make use of those bags.
4. If your cutting boards, cookie sheets, and pot lids don't fit in your cupboard or you want to free up more space, separate them with tension rods so they sit vertically. Clever tip courtesy of Martha Stewart.
5. For crafters, the tension rod is a no brainer for hanging ribbon, wrapping paper, or other materials.
6. Another brilliant idea from Martha showcases a neat way to display photos on a desk, instead of on a wall or in a photo frame.
7. Dangle mesh bags from tension rods at the edge of the tub to function as a tub toy rack.
8. Easily conceal storage under a loft bed by installing a tension rod between the posts and hanging a fabric curtain.
9. Let’s not forget the original use for the tension rods to hang up your curtains sheers, drapes and shower curtains.
10. My favorite use however for a tension rod I discovered when heading off to college. Place the rod from end to end in the inside of your vehicle and you can create a mobile closet to transport hanging clothes leaving the Laundromat, Dry Cleaners or on moving days like today, which is where I’m heading next to complete my move.
In summation, don’t be fooled…the versatile, yet humble tension rod is inexpensive, totally removable and adjustable, and perfect for those awkward areas where nothing else fits, and….I didn’t have to break the “no holes” clause!
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