This Common Thrift Store Find Is My New Favorite Kitchen Organizer (It’s So Smart!)

published May 25, 2024
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Open shelving holding pantry goods, dishware, and more over butcher block countertops in front of white subway tile walls

Thrift stores are full of all kinds of multi-use gems and gadgets — and they’re one of the best ways to save big on pricier items while giving new life to what might’ve just sat unused in the store for years to come (yay, sustainability!). And one surprisingly useful item I always see in thrift stores is the humble magazine rack organizer, which has a shocking number of uses around the home for far more than just old print magazines. I took one look at this TikTok by stylist Sara Teresinski (@redeux_style), and I knew I needed this multi-purpose, stylish storage rack in my life. 

In the video (that’s been viewed over 20,000 times), Teresinski shares three items to store in a thrifted magazine rack: firewood, rolled blankets, and toilet paper. I immediately wondered how I could use one in the kitchen — so, I got to work.

11 Things to Store in a Magazine Rack (That Aren’t Magazines!)

Credit: Meg Asby

1. Baking Sheets and Cooling Racks

When I lived in a small apartment with minimal cabinet space, I stored my sheet pans and muffin tins in the oven. This meant I had to empty the “storage” before preheating every time I wanted to cook or bake. A magazine rack is a stylish and vastly superior solution.

Credit: Meg Asby

2. Cutting Boards

Cutting boards are also a great size for magazine racks, and storing them vertically makes it easier to wipe the counters regularly.  

Credit: Meg Asby

3. Bottles of Wine 

Full disclosure: I have a wine fridge, so I’m not actually considering this as an option, but I do think wine bottles look pretty in a magazine rack. If you try this, just make sure to stack your bottles in the order you want to drink them so you don’t have to grab from the bottom.

Credit: Meg Asby

4. Records and Board Games

My family spends most of our time at home in the kitchen, so it makes sense for us to store our board games and records here, too. The magazine rack worked well for both, and also limited the number of items to what we really love. 

Credit: Meg Asby

5. Cookbooks

I have far too many cookbooks to be contained by a magazine rack, but in my more minimalist days, this would have served me well. I also tried filling the rack with my Kindle and a few novels, and placed it by the peacock hanging chair in our kitchen. I love the idea of sipping my morning coffee and having fiction within arm’s reach. 

Credit: Meg Asby

6. Food

I had high hopes for food, but really only one item in my pantry worked well: loaves of bread. I tried butternut squash, but I only had one (which looked very lonely in the large rack). We don’t eat enough Pringles to make storing a stack of them worthwhile, but if you live a Costco lifestyle, this would be a fun way to display them (or other bulk snacks). 

Credit: Meg Asby

7. Picnic Blankets

It rains at least half the year here in Portland, so having a waterproof picnic blanket by the back door makes it much more likely that we’ll take advantage of the sunlight when it deigns to grace us with its presence. I love the magazine rack for this. 

Credit: Meg Asby

8. Drop Zone Items: Lunch Boxes, Laptops, and Tablets

Like almost every child I’ve ever met, mine drop all their belongings on the floor the moment they walk in the door. Their PlanetBox bentos and school Chromebooks look great on the rack, so maybe if I strategically place it on the floor … 

Credit: Meg Asby

9. Paper Towels

Piggy-backing on Teresinski’s toilet paper idea, I tried paper towels which are an even better fit. I have enough space to tuck my paper towels out of sight, but if I didn’t, this option would be great. 

Credit: Meg Asby

10. Firewood

One of the great joys of my life is my tiny kitchen fireplace, and while I have a large stack of firewood elsewhere, I would love to have a small supply in the kitchen, too. The magazine rack is the perfect size for this! 

11. My Cat

Okay, I don’t actually have a cat, but a commenter wrote that this would immediately and forever become a cat hammock if it entered their home, and I love everything about that!

Where to Find a Magazine Rack

I splurged on my Galen Brass Leather Magazine Rack from Crate & Barrel because I wanted something sturdy enough to hold firewood and I wasn’t patient enough to thrift, but Amazon sells a very similar one for under $40. This Dyandra Free Standing Magazine Rack on Wayfair is another comparable choice at about $50. 

That said, the Crate & Barrel Galen Leather Magazine Rack is well-made and oh-so-beautiful, and I have zero regrets. If you’re not in a hurry, though, you can thrift one of these beauties at a resale shop or estate sale, as Teresinski did. Hers cost only $3.99! Whether you splurge or thrift, this organizer’s possibilities are seemingly endless. I’m leaning towards firewood, but I can’t decide.

Help me choose in the comments below!