The Ingenious $17 Cupboard Organizer That’ll Instantly Triple Your Kitchen Storage

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macy's joseph joseph expandable tiered organizer
Credit: Macy's

I’m pretty skeptical about old sayings including, “one day at a time,” “this too shall pass,” and “everything happens for a reason” — they all seem a little too simple and neatly packaged to be that powerful on their own. But, there is one motto I picked up a few years ago and haven’t been able to shake, mostly because it’s never failed me. The phrase is “think vertically.” You’ve probably heard this before as a piece of organizing advice, and, most likely, you already do this in your own home. The idea is just to identify areas where you can maximize flat storage space on the floor or on shelves by stacking or hanging things vertically — and neatly! (I’m not advocating for messy piles.) One place that is always ripe with up-and-down storage opportunities is your kitchen cupboards, and this customizable multi-level shelf is a particularly ingenious way to make smarter use of that space.

While most tiered shelving inserts and spice racks give you a fixed amount of storage space, the Expandable Tiered Organizer from Joseph Joseph (one of our favorite places to find stylish and functional kitchen gear) lets you decide how much storage you want to have. It does this in a refreshingly simple way — one side slides under the other — so you can change the width of the entire unit to be anywhere from 16.5 inches to 24 inches wide. That means it will work in any sized kitchen and actually adapt to your storage needs as they change from season to season or year to year.

This is an ideal pantry assistant: It lifts up canned goods and jars so you can see what you have at a glance, grab stuff without knocking anything over, and fit more food in the same area. In your cupboard or out on your kitchen counter, it can hold your entire spice and seasoning collection and, more importantly, make it more accessible. When you can quickly spot that one ingredient you need without wading through a tiny forest of labels and shaker lids, you realize what a game-changer it is to be able to organize vertically.

Credit: Macy's

At just under $17, this mini shelving system is an incredibly affordable way to increase what you can do with limited counter space or pantry space. It takes wobbly stacks of soup cans and cluttered spice jars and corrals them into a tidy lineup that saves you time when you’re starting on dinner. It also makes it easy to see what you do — and don’t — need more of when you’re heading out on a grocery run. The sturdy design can hold up extra-large cans of tomatoes and garbanzo beans without getting bent out of shape, and the grippy texture on every tier prevents slippage (which I am definitely prone to).

I’m not saying “think vertically” is the best approach to every situation in life — I certainly don’t use it when I’m trying to fall asleep — but as far as home organization goes, it’s never led me astray. If you’re ready to upgrade your kitchen storage with a little verticality, this gadget is a smart choice: It literally grows (and shrinks) with your kitchen!