The One Tool That Helps Me Keep My Kitchen Cabinets Organized

And it's only $14.99.

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A messy kitchen cabinet filled with colorful cups

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If your cabinet or pantry storage feels tight, I’m a huge advocate of using all the vertical space you can. In my kitchen, that meant investing in an expanding pantry shelf—basically, a riser—that divides my cabinet vertically, allowing me to store twice the dishes in my cabinet without feeling disheveled or crammed.

I spent a few weeks looking for the perfect organizer for my crowded cabinet, and I ended up purchasing The Container Store’s Large Expanding Shelf. It has all five-star reviews, and people seem to love it for its size and versatility. I’ve had the piece for about a year now, and it’s already played a huge role in transforming my kitchen storage.

To buy: The Container Store’s Large Expanding Shelf, $15 at The Container Store

A kitchen cabinet filled with organized dishes thanks to a shelf riser

Ashley Abramson

How Shelf Risers Helped Me Organize My Kitchen Cabinets

Right off the bat, I loved that the riser extends lengthwise—at its widest, it’s just over 32 inches—so you can easily fit it into a crammed cabinet or store more in a wider one. I currently have mine set up at max width, so I can take advantage of the entire surface area for all my dishes and cups. 

You can be creative with how you use the organizer, but no matter what you put on it, you’ll effectively be doubling your storage space—it’s the perfect height for keeping items below, with a clearance of about five inches. There’s also plenty of room on top for taller items, depending on the height of your cabinets. Bonus? The rack is surprisingly sturdy, supporting up to 15 pounds on top. (That’s a lot of dishes!)

When we moved into a new house with less storage last year, I was worried I’d have to offload some lesser-used kitchen items to the basement, but the riser solved that problem right away. Right now, I keep a stack of small plates and pasta bowls on top, and below, I tuck my standard bowls and larger plates. That frees up an entire extra shelf for the variety of drinking glasses I like to keep on hand, plus extra Mason jars and vases on the very top shelf. 

Depending on your organizing pain point, you could also use the expanding shelf in your pantry or in a lower cabinet—it would be easy to tuck organizing bins or baskets beneath to corral kitchen gadgets or snacks. If you’re working with right angles, separate the two pieces and use them to create more corner storage! 

The best part? The expanding shelf is only $14.99, which is way more cost-effective than redoing your cabinets or buying a standalone storage unit. At that price, I’m planning to buy a few more to optimize more spaces in my kitchen—and maybe even my bathroom closet.