The Very Best Organizers These Renters Ever Bought for Their Kitchens

published May 26, 2022
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Apartment rentals pose their own unique set of challenges — especially in the kitchen. It’s where we tend to collect the most stuff, yet have the least amount of room to store it all. Sure, you could add wall shelves and hooks everywhere, but if you want that security deposit back, you should probably stay away from hammers and drills. So what can you do? We turned to renters to tell us about the organizers that totally save their kitchens from becoming a hot mess. Let’s take a look!

1. Joseph Joseph DrawerStore Compact Cutlery Organizer

The cutlery drawer (or, you know, your only drawer that happens to hold forks) is often a troublesome area to organize. But renter and former Kitchn editor Lauren Masur found a solution. She swears by her Joseph Joseph DrawerStore Company Cutlery Organizer. “I’ve lived in four different New York City apartments and not a single kitchen drawer in any of them has been wide enough to fit a standard sized utensil holder,” she says. Luckily, her friend, Lisa Freedman, who also happens to be a former editor here at Kitchn, recommended this more compact solution by Joseph Joseph and it saved the day. Masur says, “I can fit all of my forks, knives, and spoons in this contraption, and there’s still space in the drawer for my very large collection of wine bottle openers.”

2. Casabella 4-Gallon Bucket

Under-the-kitchen sink is another zone that tends to fill up and then get neglected. How many different types of countertop spray does one person really need? Ivy Ford solved this problem with her Casabella Four Gallon Bucket. “I recently swore off super-big under-the-sink kitchen organizers because it would inevitably just fill up with things I didn’t need. In my new apartment, I just have this simple caddy that fits all my existing kitchen cleaning products. I love that I grab it all when it’s time to clean, too,” she says.

3. The Home Edit By iDesign 9-Inch Lazy Susan

Know those awkward corner cabinets? The ones that are hard to reach and even harder to look into? To maximize that space, renter Lauren Zaremba uses her The HomeEdit Lazy Susan. “You can never have enough lazy Susans in your life. I have them in the fridge for condiments and beverages, and in cabinets for oils and vinegars. Lazy Susans make fragile glass bottles more easily accessible and less likely to be knocked over when trying to reach in the back,” she says.

4. Magnetic Spice Tins

Countertop real estate is key in apartment kitchens. In fact, you’re kind of lucky if you get more than a 12×12-inch square to chop, prep, and plate your meals. Because of that, it’s helpful to use as much vertical storage as possible. Renter Kylie Davis uses magnetic spice tins placed near the stove for easy access without the countertop clutter. “I put the spices I use most frequently in these tins when cooking for easy access to the stove.”

5. Origami Kitchen Cart

Audrey Morgan swears by her Origami Kitchen Cart to provide more counter space in her teeny apartment. She explains, “It fits perfectly in the nook between my fridge and oven and doubles as prep space and extra storage (important because my cabinets are a nightmare!). I keep fruit baskets and coffee on the top shelf and my microwave on the bottom shelf, but I could also see it being used as a traveling bar cart for parties!”

6. Enos 36-Inch Chrome Standard Baker’s Rack 

If you really love to cook, there’s usually a lot of equipment that comes with that hobby (think: measuring cups, pans, mixing bowls, and muffin tins). If you don’t have the drawer space for all of those fun tools, add countertop shelving. Renter Eric Yablunowsky uses a baker’s rack to hold all of that extra stuff. “It’s great for additional storage space without completely taking over the work space in my kitchen,” he says.

Do you have a favorite kitchen organizer? Tell us in the comments below.