Everyone has a shower curtain rod in their home. After all, how else would you hang a curtain to keep your bathroom puddle-free when you’re taking a shower?

If keeping your shower curtains up is all you’re using them for, though, then you are clearly missing out. There are plenty of handy ways to use them in and around your home other than the bathroom!

These nifty tools, also known as “tension rods” by those in the know, are far more useful than you realize…

1. Use them to hang cleaning products: The last time you looked under your kitchen sink, you probably noticed a cluttered mess of different cleaning solutions. To deal with this annoying issue, place a tension rod across the cupboard beneath your sink to hang the cleaning supplies. Voila!

01-tension-rod-usesMartha Stewart

2. Use them as a table skirt for a supply area: If you have children, then you now that keeping all of their art supplies and different toys hidden from guests is essential, but difficult. Here’s how you can make an easy table skirt to conceal all of those unsightly items around your home.

02-tension-rod-usesThe Borrowed Abode

3. Use them to organize your shower supplies: Have you ever noticed that when you’re taking a shower, your family’s washing supplies and bath toys have a way of becoming a jumbled mess? No problem! Just mount a tension rod and hanging baskets to the shower wall to add extra storage in the bathroom.

03-tension-rod-usesFrugal Freebies

4. Use them to make a kitchen awning: It’s always nice to prep your meals in front of the kitchen window, but if you’re doing it early enough in the afternoon, there’s a good chance that the sun is shining in your face. To avoid squinting the entire time, make this super-stylish kitchen awning!

04-tension-rod-usesMusings From A French Cottage

5. Use them to hang your plants: If you love to garden (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), then why not bring your garden inside your home? You can mount a tension rod across a window that gets lots of sunlight so you can grow your fresh herbs inside. You’ll be basking in the scent of fresh mint and basil in no time!

05-tension-rod-usesJill M

6. Use them to build a pillow fort entrance: Are you tired of using all of your nice throw pillows to build forts with your children every weekend? Take this opportunity to build a luxury fortress for them instead. Use the tension rods to make an awesome fort entrance and let them feel like royalty for the day.

06-tension-rod-usesApartment Therapy

7. Use them to organize crafts: What about all those crafting supplies that you have lying on your dining room table all the time? You don’t have to let your house become so cluttered. To easily store your craft supplies, fit a few tension rods inside your cabinet or closet.

07-tension-rod-usesSew Many Ways

8. Use them as paper towel holders: It’s always annoying when you have to grab a paper towel with your wet hands. When you don’t have a holder to keep the roll in place, you can end up making the rest of it pretty soggy. How about using rods to hold your paper towels? Best of all, they’ll be hidden from plain sight in one of your cupboards.

08-tension-rod-usesDIY Inspired

9. Use them as shoe racks: Do you dread looking for a pair of shoes to wear in the morning because you have so many, but you never organized them? Why not make an easy-to-navigate shoe rack in your own closet? This sure looks like it’ll put an extra pep in your step!

09-tension-rod-usesA Loyal Love

10. Use them to hold your scarves: If you’ve amassed a lovely collection of winter accessories, you should try this makeshift rack made entirely from tension rods. That way, you won’t have to rush your winter commute all because you spent time sifting for the perfect scarf to wear!

10-tension-rod-usesApartment Therapy

11. Use them to hang your pots: No one likes having to go through all of their pots and pans to find the right size when they want to start cooking. To cut your prep time in half, use a tension rod to make your own pan and pot holder. You’ll be happy you did when you’re eating your meal much sooner than you would’ve been otherwise.

11-tension-rod-usesDIY HSHP

12. Use them as child or pet gates: There’s no sense in spending a ton of money on a child or pet gate from an expensive retail store! You can easily create your own using a series of spare tension rods. This way, you can also adjust the heights accordingly.

12-tension-rod-usesOne Good Thing By Jillee

We’ve been wasting all these years only using tension rods for shower curtains. What else have we been missing out on?

Share these awesome ideas with your friends below!