Once upon a time, several years ago, I discovered a very clever thing: a double shower curtain rod. One rod holds up your shower curtain, and the other runs parallel to it, outside the shower. You can hang on it some towels, drying laundry, or a shoe organizer filled with cotton balls and other items if you have a small bathroom and not enough room to store things – and not have to move them to take a shower. I paid well over $40 for this item, thinking it would be terrifically handy.
Then I got home and tried to install it. It was one of the most difficult pieces of hardware I’ve ever dealt with. I extended one of the rods a bit too far, and there was no way to get it back in (the directions had a solution, but I couldn’t get it to work). As I wrestled with it, a worrying question started to form in my mind: if I did finally get it installed, how would I get it back down when the time came to move?
The $24 solution
That’s when it hit me: all I needed were two inexpensive tension rods. Bingo!
I just installed two shower curtain tension rods, putting one a couple of inches in front of the other. You can buy single shower curtain rods for under $10, or you can go for prettier ones and still spend less than the cost of a double rod. And you get more flexibility in where and how you want to install it. It was the simplest thing in the world, and a trick I could repeat in future homes easily, just by taking the rods down and bringing them with me.
One of the handiest uses for the extra rod is when you have guests sharing a bathroom and not enough towel racks for everyone to hang their towels. The second rod does the job – everything gets dry like it should, and there’s room for all. Here it is, in use with a towel hanging over the outer rod.
You can also set up something like this if you have a glass shower/tub enclosure: just run a single tension rod alongside the glass enclosure, at the same height.