When you live in a tiny space, maximizing every square inch is the key to keeping clutter—and ensuing chaos—at bay.
That's why my narrow galley kitchen is filled with all sorts of organizational tools—from lazy Susans and Ikea storage containers to spice racks and lots of glass canisters. They not only help keep everything tucked away and looking neat, but also ensure I can find exactly what I'm looking for (like when I've got veggies sautéing on the brink of burning and need red pepper flakes stat).
Naturally, it was my mom who pointed me in the direction of this organizational wonder when I first moved into my apartment three years ago (she does have impeccable taste, and a knack for online shopping). In about 15 minutes, it transformed my kitchen from a mess into a totally streamlined space.
Clocking in at six tiers, this metal shelving unit—technically a bookcase, but why limit its uses?—holds up to 60 pounds per shelf, more than enough to carry the weight of my microwave and other small kitchen appliances. (There's also a near-identical version of this unit available on QVC and a wider, heavy-duty storage rack on HSN).
I've reserved the top three tiers for said small kitchen appliances and storage boxes, as well as that lazy Susan I mentioned earlier (on it you'll find my most-grabbed spices, along with salt, pepper, and olive oil). The bottom tiers house less-reached-for items, like my favorite leak-proof food storage containers, strainers and colanders, stacks of lids for my pots and pans, and other odds and ends.
It's sleek, with an industrial, durable finish that gives my cooking space the air of a professional kitchen (it most definitely is not). Even better, it unfolds right out of the box, zero tools or headaches required for assembly.
Even even better, it'll fold right back up when you're ready to move, which I haven't been ready to do quite yet. Maybe because I love the way it works in this space, small though it may be.
Erin Alexander is the Associate Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.