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10 Home Improvement Products All Renters Should Have On Hand

Removing all the things you've hung on the wall on move-out day can be a sobering experience. Whose job is it to patch all those holes? Chances are, yours. But there's hope. Rather than losing your damage deposit and risking a tirade from the landlord, use these low-impact home improvement products to improve your space without leaving a huge mark.

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Adhesive Hangers

For framed items, 3M adhesive hangers make a great substitute for a nail. These damage-free, easy-to-install hangers come in many different weight capacities—you determine the weight of what you want to hang and choose the hanger to match. When moving day comes, pull them off the wall and there will likely be no adhesive residue, making them very landlord-friendly.

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Adhesive Putty

Well-loved Loctite Mounting Putty can be used for hanging posters and kids’ artwork because it leaves no residue when removed. It also works great to keep framed pictures hanging straight. Just put a small piece of putty on the two bottom corners of the frame, hang the picture, get it straight and press the bottom corners to the wall.

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Suction Towel Bar

When you can’t drill holes and a tension rod won’t do the trick, perhaps a Genexice Suction Towel Bar is the solution. Make sure the surface you’re mounting on is completely flat or the suction cups won’t work. Wash the area to remove any dirt or grit and then follow the simple directions to hang up the bar. When you’re ready to move, just release the suction and the wall will be unharmed.

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Switch and Outlet Covers

Add a splash of color to your home with unique switch and outlet covers. There are hundreds of styles available and all you need is a screwdriver to remove the existing covers and install the new ones. Just make sure you keep the old ones in a place you can remember so you can replace them when you move.

This useful outlet cover tip will save you from trial and error.

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Vinyl Decals and “Wallpaper”

Wallpaper doesn’t appear in many rented spaces because it’s a pain to install and remove.

Here’s a solution that’s both the mounting medium and the final product. Removable vinyl decals and wallpaper, give you the freedom to add character to a room, without permanently changing it, because they are completely removable.

There are countless options including accent decals and rolls of ceiling-to-floor “wallpaper.”

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Double-Sided Tape

This double-sided acrylic mounting tape is rated to hold 5 to 20 pounds of mass weight per square inch. And that’s not all—this tape is also completely removable! Amazon reviewers rave about its ability to hold framed pictures and canvas-mounted art. One reviewer said, “I used this tape to hang pictures on the tile backsplash in the kitchen and it works very well. I am completely pleased!” Can’t figure out the storage in your apartment? We’ve curated a list of renter-friendly storage ideas.

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Floating Shelves

Need to add some shelves but don’t want to damage a wall? As long as there’s no need to support more than 10 to 15 pounds, you can mount a High and Mighty Floating Shelf. These selves don’t require screws or nails and will leave only two tiny holes when they are removed. Note that these shelves only work on drywall, not plaster walls.

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Hook-and-Loop Hooks

One problem with renting is not being able to customize. You want a hook for your keys right near the door, but you don’t want to damage the wall. Solution? Velcro Removable Hooks! These small but strong, easy-to-install hooks are perfect for jewelry, pet leashes, pot holders and more. When it’s time to move, they peel off without leaving any residue behind. Want to take leverage of the booming rental market? Here are a few tips for renting out your house.

Plus: Here’s how to remove a stubborn Command hook.

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Tension Rods

Basic tension rods have a wide variety of uses. They’re perfect for putting up shower and window curtains without drilling holes. Have a doorway with no door? Use a tension rod and install a decorative curtain-door. This also works for blocking off a hallway or ugly closet. There are no tools required, just twist to tighten.

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Blue Painter’s Tape

Blue painter’s tape is a great product for hanging lightweight decorations. This tape can also be used to mark where you need to hang hooks or a level line to work from for a gallery wall. This tape peels off easily, without harming the surface, for at least 21 days.

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Scott Huntington
Scott Huntington is a writer and blogger. He's writen for Business Insider, The Oxford University Press, the Chicago Tribune, and dozens of other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @SMHuntington.