The Best Shelves For Renters That Won't Damage Your Walls

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While sometimes overlooked as a meaningless task, decorating your apartment or rented space is very important. Fresh Scents says that decorating can help welcome guests, allow you to express your unique personality, and make your space truly feel like a home. It can also significantly affect your mood: a boring home may make life seem dull, while a well-designed space can uplift your spirits and even make you more productive.

However, it can be difficult to find ways to hang décor pieces on the walls when renting. Sometimes, landlords prohibit the use of drills — or maybe it seems like a waste of time to create nail holes that you'll have to fill when you move out in a couple of years or less. If either of these scenarios are the case, you may be wondering how you could hang a shelf on your wall without damaging it. Luckily, there is a way, and it's extremely easy. 

The best renter-friendly shelf

The best shelves for rented spaces are those hung with Command Strips. In fact, Command sells its own floating shelves (that come with a pack of Command Strips) at stores like Amazon and Target. They have two basic models — one is a small square meant to hold one small item. The other looks like a typical shelf; it's long and skinny and would be perfect for displaying artwork or small knick-knacks.

If you didn't want to use the shelves made by the Command brand, you could choose your own and hang them with strips bought separately. However, when doing this, Home Decor Bliss has a few tips. They say to choose a shelf that's lightweight — one that's hollow would be best. Additionally, purchase Command Strips that can hold up to 16 pounds. As the Command Brand points out, this means that they can hold the equivalent of the heaviest bowling ball in the alley. Finally, consider what you will be placing on the shelves and make sure the combined weight of the shelf and the items does not exceed the strips' weight limit. 

How to use command strips

To make this renter-friendly solution work, you'll need to know how to use Command Strips correctly. The Command Brand says to begin by cleaning the wall with rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth, as the strips may not adhere to a dirty surface. Then, take two Command Strips and place their velcro sides together. Remove one of the plastic linings and adhere the strips to the shelf. Next, remove the other side of the lining and press the shelf into the wall, holding it for 30 seconds. To ensure the Command Strips are attached to the wall, carefully peel off the shelf, then press the strips into the wall for 30 seconds. After an hour, you can rehang the shelf.

One Good Thing has some additional tips for how to make Command Strips perform well. They say that those who live in humid climates may need to use a dehumidifier, as the adhesive may not attach as well. Additionally, if your walls are freshly painted (perhaps you're moving into a newly built or renovated apartment or home), wait a week before hanging. Finally, when removing the strips, make sure you pull them down against the wall and not out towards you.