If you’ve been to my apartment, you may have noticed: I fucking love 3M Command products (those hooks & hangers with adhesive strips that are easy to remove without damaging the wall). They’re perfect for the renter who wants to personalize their home, particularly if you’re like me and redecorate constantly. I use them for all kinds of stuff, including a few pretty creative uses, so I’m gonna document them all here before I move out of this apartment later this month.
(no, I am not getting compensated for this post – but if 3M wants to pay me in product, I will 100% accept)
1. Under-Cabinet Lighting
A temporary solution for illuminating your kitchen workspaces when you don’t own your place but like it to be lux anyways. :)
The medium cord clips are the perfect size to hold standard rope lights in place:
I coiled the lights around under the cabinets and spliced a lamp switch in to the power cord so I wasn’t constantly plugging/unplugging things close to the sink.
2. Scrubbing Brushes
An aesthetically pleasing way to keep your scrubbing options close at hand (they also air-dry cleanly when you’re done with them!)
3. Tablet Holder
Keep your online recipes close at hand but don’t lose any counter space or risk getting splatters on your precious electronics.
No matter what size of device you want to use, it only takes 4 small wire hooks to attach it to a cupboard door.
Easily insert the tablet by sliding it up into the top hooks first then resting it down into the bottom ones. It stays stable even when you quickly open and close the cupboard.
Continue to make use of that cupboard-front real estate by hanging coupons where you won’t forget them when you go to the store.
Or hang whatever else you want! I don’t judge.
The straight-vertical hook of the ‘mini hooks’ make them really stable for holding things that are slidey and you don’t want to fall off when the mounting surface moves. Throw on a binder clip and you’ve got a ready-made, easy-to-remove hanger for whatever. (I’ve also used this combo for hanging calendars that don’t have holes punched in them)
5. Measuring Spoons
I bake a lot and find it very convenient to keep all my measuring spoons close at hand.
The wire hooks on these are hinged, which is nice in many contexts but is super annoying when you’re constantly pulling small light objects on and off them, so I used a few dabs of super glue to permanently hold them down to the base.
I suppose I could have used hooks that aren’t hinged, but I like the clear+metal aesthetic, plus there aren’t that many options with hooks small enough to fit through the spoon holes.
6. Pizza Peel Rack
Pizza peels can warp if left to dry horizontally, plus they’re quite fancy looking, so why not hang them vertically on your wall?
All it takes is two standard-size hooks. I used the ‘designer’ ones because I thought the curves looked nice with the shape of my peel, but anything this size would probably be fine.
7. Apron Hook
It’s a hook to hang your apron.
What? These can’t all be super clever.
8. Oven Mitt Hook
Just as simple but way more useful, keep your oven mitts out in the open and within easy grabbing distance of your oven.
9. String Lights
…otherwise known as ‘christmas lights’ but I like to use them all the damn time.
My place doesn’t have overhead lighting in the living room but it does have one of those outlets tied to the primary switch, so I lined the entirety of 3 walls with white string lights and use them as a very diffuse main overhead.
There are lots of different hooks that would work for this, but I prefer the outdoor light clips that are specifically designed for string lights. They’re sturdy, easy to fit multiple wires into, take up minimal space, and best of all come in a whopping 32-clip value pack.
Uh. Maybe don’t take my advice on this one, actually. The hooks came away clean, but the lights (which had been up in my apartment for ~3 years with daily use) left this behind:
No I don’t have art made with 3M hooks (yet…) but I do like their picture hanging strips.
They’re essentially pieces of homogenous velcro – no hooks vs loops, all the same thing, but stick two of ’em together and you’ve got a pretty good hold. Great for mounting small or light pieces.
It’s a key hanger. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
12. Bread Reminder
That little purple bag hanging above my keys is an omamori I use as a bread reminder. When there’s something bread-related I need to do in the morning before I leave for work (feed my starter, move something to a proofing container, etc) I hang it on the door on a mini hook so I see it before I leave and remember to do the bread thing.
I suppose I could have also used a 3M hook to hang it in it’s non-reminder place, but… I didn’t.
13. Coats, Bags, & Umbrellas
The most classic use of hooks possible. 3 high designer hooks for bags and coats, one low one with an open wire hook to fit a thick umbrella handle.
14. Cat Toy Holder
- 1 mini hook
- 1 small binder clip
- 1 cardboard tube or long thin box
A slight twist on the ‘mini hook and binder clip’ trick – attach a cardboard mailing tube to the clip and you’ve got a holder for those long thin cat toys. If I leave mine lying around in places the cats can get to they get bored with it, so this keeps them accessible for me and rare/interesting to them.
15. Phone Charging Rack
Charge your phone but keep it easy to see and access any messages or music controls.
The actual phone mount is a very specific iRing hook, but I use an outdoor light clip to catch the charging cable when it’s not plugged in. The bread twistie tie adds some bulk to the charger so it doesn’t slip through.
The black triangle there is just a pad of cardboard wrapped in electrical tape which keeps the phone resting at a stable vertical angle – otherwise the bottom gets pushed back against the wall when you tap it.
Honestly I’m not thrilled with this solution. I love having my phone turn into a wall-mounted music control panel when I’m home, but getting it plugged in and hanging is kind of a fiddly process, and the twistie tie tends to get mangled and loose. (plus I just ugpraded to an iPhone X and the iRing doesn’t adhere well to the backing material) I’ll be figuring something else out at my next place.
16. TV Input Cable
For those times when all of your wireless computer->TV devices are failing you, I like to have a good ol’ VGA cable ready as backup. What I don’t like is to have unused cables lying around messily, so I loop it up and hang it hidden behind the TV itself.
17. Temperature/Humidity Monitor
My thermostat is somewhat unsophisticated, but I can’t actually replace it because of that whole “can’t afford to actually buy my own place” issue, so I supplement buy attaching a better temperature and humidity monitor on top.
Just one set of picture hanging strips is enough to hold it in place while still letting me take it down and use it in other rooms on occasion.
18. Overhead Wiring
I mentioned I’m not a fan of messy unused cables lying around – well I’m even less a fan of cables running across the floor, even if they’re taped down.
These are the ethernet cables for my media systems, held up by more of the outdoor light clips. (remember that value pack?)
I barely have any in the bathroom actually. It’s not for any functional reason, like humidity being a problem for the strips or whatever, I just… don’t have many ideas for using them here.
It’s a hanger for your towel. Way more convenient than the awkwardly placed rod hanger that came with the bathroom.
20. Rope Lighting
Same story as the undercabinet lighting in the kitchen, but now running underneath my ‘cat stairs’ and framing the window. Provides a nice softer eye-friendly alternative to the glaring overhead lighting that came with the place.
I always start running rope lighting from where I want the end to be. It’s usually way better to fall short on the plug-in end than the decorative end.
This runs up each cat stair then down and around the big window, ending with a switch right next to the head of the bed for easy night-time access. Each stair has at least two clips to fully secure the lights from drooping and cat pawing.
21. Robe Hanger
It’s a hanger for my robe and occasional other items. Particularly nice for 3M strips because I have it on my closet door (which is hollow) so I wouldn’t be able to screw hooks in anyway.
That’s all, folks! It’s all starting to come down now as I prepare to move to DC. I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to get crafty in a new apartment, I must say. If you have any other nifty ideas for ways to use these temporary hangers, let me know!
Here’s every single one of the above pieces, after taking them (cleanly!) off the walls of my old apartment:
So much possibility in such a small pile of plastic.