How to Design an Excel Spreadsheet to Track Rentals

Updated February 21, 2017

Loaning items out can be both charitable and profitable, but losing track of where your things are may be disastrous. Instead of maintaining multiple slips of paper with notations about who has what and when it is due, work up a quick rental spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. Excel's grid provides an ideal home base to keep track of rental items, with space for noting the who, when, where and what of each transaction. Excel's rental spreadsheet gives you an instant glance at not only where things are, but it will also show you where they've been.

Open Microsoft Excel. Click into the first cell, "A1". Type the name of the organisation, such as "Mom's Movie Rentals." Highlight the words and click the "B" button under the "Font" section of the ribbon to boldface the spreadsheet's title. Click the "Text Color" button, the "A" with a red line under it, to choose a new colour for the title.

Click into the third cell in the first column, "A3." Type "Borrower." Double-click the line separating column "A" and "B" to adjust the column size to fit the text.

Press the "Tab" button to move to B3, the next column and cell. Type "Loan Date." Adjust the column size as required.

Move into cell "C3." Type "Description" or "Item Rented." Tab into D4. Type "Due Date." Tab into "E4" and type "Fee" or "Payment." Tab into "F4" and type "Received Back?" Add additional tracking column headers as desired, resizing the columns to fit as necessary.

Highlight the column headers. Right-click the highlights and select "Format Cells." Click the "Fill" tab. Click a small coloured box to fill in the column headers to separate them from the rest of the spreadsheet.

Click the "File" tab. Click "Save As." Type the name of the rental spreadsheet file. Click the "Save" button.

Type renter information into the spreadsheet. To preserve the original as a template, always save updated spreadsheets with a new name or a version number. To maintain a single sheet, simply save over the original each time.


These rental descriptions are just a guideline. Substitute them for any kind of rentals requiring tracking, such as vehicles, clothing, books and other equipment.

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About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.