Kitchen Design

The Collapsible Storage Shelf That Organized My Kitchen in a Snap

It's my kitchen's MVP.

July 16, 2020
Photo by Rocky Luten

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).

But of all the handy products that keep my kitchen tidy, none is more beloved—or useful—than my collapsible storage shelf.

Photo by Amazon

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.

More Kitchen Must-Haves

What's your favorite kitchen-organizing tool? Tell us in the comments below!

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.

1 Comment

mdelgatty July 26, 2020
My favourite kitchen organizing tool is big cardboard boxes in my lower cupboards. They are the most space efficient containers I know: thin, strong material with straight sides, so there's no wasted space, and with not much effort you can usually find one the exact size you need. If I can't, I cut and tape one to the size I want. I cut a hand-hold in the front - or sometimes install a handle if I happen to have salvaged one - and they work like drawers, so you can easily get at stuff in the back.

Why pay tons of money for something less efficient purely for appearances in something behind doors which you hardly ever see?