Living in a small space will teach you how to take one great idea and utilize it in as many ways —and in as many rooms—as possible. This is especially true for renters who have limited options for what we can do to our homes since, technically, they belong to someone else. Would I love to blow out the wall between my kitchen and living room to make one big, cohesive space? Of course I do. But how can I justify spending major cash on making a space more beautiful and functional if I’m going to move out in a few years? That’s why I rely on $25 SimpleHuman cabinet organizers in my 450-square-foot Manhattan apartment—five, to be exact.
After moving into my current apartment five years ago and combining all of our things, my now-fiancé and I quickly filled all five upper kitchen cabinets with glasses, dishes, frequently used pots and pans, and all of our pantry items. We had one cabinet underneath the sink that could house our bakeware and cleaning products, but it was so deep that it felt like a cavernous crawl space from which our possessions could be stored but never retrieved.
The top shelf gives us a place to stack cake pans and baking sheets while the basket on the bottom holds extra packs of sponges, dishwasher pods, and cleaning sprays all within arm’s reach. The organizer was affordable and so easy to assemble—it didn’t lead to any arguments when my fiancé and I put it together (which is more than I can say for any other piece of furniture we own).
We liked the convenient, sturdy organizer so much that after three months, I ordered three more for our bathroom, bedroom, and living room. The basket that lives under the sink in our bathroom houses hair styling products, two brushes, and a makeup bag full of samples, while the shelf supports the weight of four full-sized bottles of conditioner, a hair dryer, and a curling iron. The living and bedroom closet organizers hold flip flops, umbrellas, socks, gloves, scarves, hats, and wrapping paper (there truly is nowhere else to keep it!). These shelves prevent everything from being haphazardly tossed into the closet only to fall out every time the door is opened.
To say that these cabinet shelves have brought me some serious joy would not be an overstatement. As someone who believes that everything has and should be in its place, I appreciate the level of neatness these shelves have brought to literally every room of my little apartment. There's nothing strewn about or sticking out from all angles in our cozy, hyper-organized home—well, for the most part.
It's here: Our game-changing guide to everyone's favorite room in the house. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks—from our community, test kitchen, and cooks we love—to help transform your space into its best self.