This is the time of year when shoppers are out in force, and stores are staying open longer, in the hopes of appealing to all the busy and frenzied holiday shoppers. When your gift shopping list includes a renter who lives in a small space, you may be wracking your brain, trying to figure out what to get this person. You want to give them something they’ll enjoy, and something they can use.
Ask any renter about what they dislike most about being a tenant, and the likely response you will get is the lack of storage. Rental properties never seem to have enough storage space, and while some places have larger than average closets, one of the biggest places where space is at a premium is in the common living areas. Before you risk getting something your renter friend or family member has to return, take a look at these suggestions that are sure to be a renter’s favorite gift this season.
Kitchen Gift Ideas
Finding places to put things in an apartment or rental property-sized kitchen is challenging for any renter – even those who pride themselves on organizational skills. Think about some of the basic things that everyone needs to have in their kitchen, or things that might help your gift recipient use their limited space more efficiently.
Collapsible Silicone Kitchen Gadgets
Things like collapsible silicone measuring cups, colanders, stacking baking pans dishes are fantastic gifts for a renter. When frequently used kitchen gadgets collapse for storage, they take up less room in drawers or cabinets – the very places where the shortage of storage space is most inconvenient.
Stacking Reusable Food Storage Containers
Whether the person you are shopping for lives alone, with roommates, or with a partner or spouse, you can be sure that they are always busy. Busy people don’t want to have to cook every night, so they often cook in bulk and freeze or refrigerate extra portions for leftover meals. Having stacking containers to put the extra food in is a thoughtful and practical gift. If you can find the kind of food storage containers that preserve freshness and can stack on top of themselves in the refrigerator, that’s even better.
Storage Ideas for Dishes
In typical rental units, cabinet space is limited. Unless the property has a pantry or other storage area for dishes, glasses or cups, an ordinary set of dishes can take up a lot of room in the cabinets. Corner wire stacking shelves for dishes is a fantastic way to add storage in a small space. It also allows the renter to get dishes they need without having to take everything out of the cabinet to get a single plate or bowl.
Under shelving mug holders are practical for freeing up shelf space for things that don’t have handles or hooks from which to hang.
Food-Storage Pantry, Freezer and Refrigerator Bins and Containers
Unless your renter recipient lives in a high end place with newer and better appliances, they probably don’t have proper storage in their refrigerator, so everything takes up extra room. The shelves on the door are too small to hold a lot, and there probably aren’t separate humidity controlled areas for different types of produce, meat, cheese and other things. There probably isn’t a place to store eggs either.
Refrigerator, Pantry and Freezer bins come in different sizes and shapes. Because they can be stacked, they can double the amount of space there is in the refrigerator, freezer or wherever else the renter keeps non-perishable staples. There are also clear plastic can dispensers that are ideal for soft drinks in the refrigerator, or for storing cans of tomatoes, tomato sauce, soup or beans that are all the same size.
Storage Solutions for Living and Sleeping Areas
Space Bags for Storing Bedding, Towels and Clothing
Many rental units lack linen closets or adequate bedroom closet storage solutions. They may have nothing more than inexpensive wire shelves with built-in hanging rods or wooden rods for hanging clothing. Space bags will help the renter store extra linens, towels, out of season clothing, or other bedding. All it takes is a vacuum cleaner hose to suck the air out of the bag, reducing the size of the contents by half or more. The contents of the bags can either be stored under the bed, or on a wire rack above the clothing hanger in the closet.
Double Duty Storage Solutions
Things like ottoman cubes that can double as storage and extra seating space in a small rental unit make great gifts. They can be placed next to chairs where they can be used as makeshift end tables, or pushed together as a temporary coffee table. In really small places where floor space is lacking, pushing them under another table will conserve space. Long rectangular ottoman-like boxes are ideal at the end of a bed because they can store extra shoes, out-of-season boots, or extra bedding.
If you’re shopping for holiday gifts for someone who lives in a small rental property, think of gifts that are both practical and multi-functional. While sliding inside cabinet baskets aren’t the most glamorous gift you can give, they are very practical, thoughtful and useful. Helping a renter solve storage problems in a small space is a thoughtful and generous thing to do, and they are sure to appreciate your kindness.