This Game-Changing $10 Shelf Organizer Finally Fixed My Biggest Kitchen Challenge
If you ask any Kitchn staffer how they organize their spices, you’ll get different and brilliant hacks from tension rods to wall units to dedicated drawers. It’s often a choice based on how your kitchen is set up, and a recent reorganization had me rethinking my own system. I own a lot of spices — more than 50, at last count — and my narrow cabinet was an absolute disaster as a result, with bottles stacked four rows deep. Even after I went through the trouble of labeling and alphabetizing, I still couldn’t find anything because of all the clutter. So what’s a spice girl to do? A quick trip to The Container Store gave me the answer, and for only $10, the Expand-A-Shelf finally solved my problem.
Let me start by saying that this organizer is an absolute game changer! The three-tiered shelf elevates items enough so you can see and reach them easily, even if they are in the nosebleed section. And while I love the idea of matching spice bottles and labeling everything, I can skip that entirely because the shelves hold standard-size store-bought jars and their labels are perfectly visible. If you have the extra room, you can add a fourth row of jars in front of the shelf because it’s only eight inches deep. My cabinet is narrow, so I kept it at three rows and still managed to comfortably find homes for 30 jars. Plus, the elevated design makes sure there’s plenty of space for my hand to reach the bottles in the back without toppling anything over.
The other reason I love this shelf so much is that it could expand to fit into my funky little non-standard-sized cabinet next to my refrigerator. This shelf starts at 14 inches and easily slides out to a full 27 inches, so it can be customized to fit a variety of cabinets with no extra effort. And though the shelf is plastic, it is quite sturdy and holds the weight of everything with no issues. I estimate all of my spices would have fit had it been fully expanded, but I went ahead and bought two to support an ever-growing collection. I mean, at that price, why not?
I’m so happy with my purchase that I’m considering expanding into my pantry to do the same type of organizing. The shelves are deep and sturdy enough to hold small canned goods and jars, but for bigger items, Expand-A-Shelf does come in a larger version. In the meantime, now that I can finally see all of my spices and know what I have on hand, I can’t wait to tackle a few new cooking projects!
Buy: Expand-A-Shelf, $9.99