10 great gifts for your apartment dwelling friends (or apartment dwelling self)

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Happy Black Friday! If you’re reading this from your phone in a checkout line, congratulations on your bravery and tolerance. If you’re reading this while relaxing in your pajamas at home, congratulations on helping make the world a more tranquil place.

Today I would like to talk about good gifts for apartment dwellers. Of course the best gift for any Chicago apartment resident is a RentConfident gift certificate. However, I know that a lot of renters don’t live in Chicago, so until we can expand to other cities, here are some other suggestions.

When I shop for one of these gifts, I follow two rules. 1) I try to make sure that it’s either beautiful or useful. 2) Because this person may not share my ideas on beauty and usefulness, I try to make sure that it’s not too big – maybe less than one quarter of the volume of those medium-sized plastic storage tubs. That way I know that it’s not taking up too much space in the back of their closet.

I’ve spent the last few days browsing online shops and Apartment Gift Top Ten Lists and jotted down some items that caught my eye.  Mostly they are things that I have and enjoy having or things that I’d like to have. So yes, I did create a gift list for me, and I am calling it a list for everyone who lives in an apartment. That’s just how I shop. Are you ready to see what I’ve found?

Grobal Self-watering Planter ($25)

grobal plant pot
Image via houzz.com – click to shop

I own one like this. Self-watering is overselling a bit. Unless you’re in the Little Shop of Horrors, plants are typically not very motivated to get food and drink for themselves. It’s more like I pre-water my plants by filling up a reservoir on the bottom of the pot, into which the plant then sticks its roots when it’s thirsty. I find it slightly more convenient than regular watering.

Speakstick Waterproof Shower Speaker ($35)

Image via Amazon
Image via Amazon – click to shop

Very few things go better with a hot shower than music. Depending on the thickness of bathroom walls, floors, and ceilings, the neighbors might not appreciate it. But seriously, who are they to criticize your shower singing? They’ve have a full trash bag on the porch for the past week.

Brave Space “Tetrad” Modular Shelving (from $1425)

Image via bravespacedesign.com
Image via Brave Space Design – click to shop

This is easily the least sexy gift on the list until you start thinking about it. Then you begin to imagine which of your belongings goes where and how clean your flat surfaces will be and all the shapes you can make! (Note: the link above will not work if you have an ad-blocker installed.)

“Threshold” by Target Storage Ottoman (from $112.50)

Image via target.com - click to shop
Image via Target – click to shop

Keeping with the storage theme, if you’ve ever been sitting with your feet up wondering why everything seems so disorganized, this is the perfect gift. One part relaxing, one part knowing where your stuff is.

Kidde Mini Fire Extinguisher ($24.49)

Image via kidde.com - click to shop
Image via kidde.com – click to shop

This is one gift that you definitely know is useful but you hope will never have to be used. I think it makes a great gift even if the person you got it for already has one. They now have a great gift for their neighbor – like the aspiring chef who’s always bragging about his Bananas Foster and also trips on the stairs a lot.

Rabbit Vertical Corkscrew ($44.99)

Image via Bed Bath & Beyond - click to shop
Image via Bed Bath & Beyond – click to shop

Everyone’s favorite gift to bring when they have no idea what gift to bring is a bottle of wine. Although many of them have screw tops these days, it helps to have a corkscrew that is not attached to a keychain or a Swiss Army knife. In the days before I got a good corkscrew, I’d struggle and sweat just trying to open a simple bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner – as my friends looked on sadly.

LED Lightbulbs (Prices vary, wide availability)

They use less energy. They nearly never have to be changed. They don’t give off that weird creepy light that some fluorescent bulbs do. What’s not to like?

Jumbo Stacking coffee mugs ($13.29)

Image via World Market - click to shop
Image via World Market – click to shop

This one I can personally vouch for. It just baffles me why I lived for so long with a bunch of mismatched, dangerously balanced coffee mugs taking up my limited cabinet space. As I like to say, if I can stack it, I can back it.

Lego brick keychain ($4.99)

Image via Lego.com - click to shop
Image via Lego.com – click to shop

The fun part about this is not really the keychain itself. It’s when you walk through your front door and – get this – mounted right on the wall is one of those square flat Lego base pieces. You can just stick you keys right on it. If you have enough keys and keychains, you can make hanging key sculptures. You can even have little sideways key men.  It’s a little bit of childhood every time you come home.

Do you have any other suggestions? Share them in the comments. Don’t forget, RentConfident Gift Certificates are available year round and are a great way to show you care about your loved ones’ safety!

RentConfident does not accept payment, services or sponsorship from outside vendors. The above items are just suggestions, not paid advertisements.

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Published by

Jon Hoferle

Jon Hoferle was one of the two founders of RentConfident from 2015-16, serving as content creator and CFO. He has been involved in the Chicago rental industry for over a decade.