The Renter-Friendly Secret Weapon That Solved My Small Kitchen Storage Woes

The Renter-Friendly Secret Weapon That Solved My Small Kitchen Storage Woes

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Arlyn Hernandez
Jul 3, 2017
(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

As a renter of a small apartment, kitchen storage is one of the most frustrating things to overcome. Sure, you can add organizers to your drawers and cabinets, but there isn't much you can do to add significant square footage. Or, at least that's what I thought until I found my small rental kitchen secret weapon: the wire shelving storage unit.

Of course, this solution is simple enough — not exactly groundbreaking — but what I will say is when I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy one for $50, it changed everything for my kitchen.

In my last rental, I was working with a small L-shaped space that had about 4 usable cabinets. I'm a hoarder of small appliances and serving platters, so finding space for all those items plus my pots and pans and my dry pantry items was nearly impossible.

Enter the wire shelving unit. Thankfully, I had a long empty wall on one side of my kitchen that perfectly fit this wide version from Target, and for the three years I lived in that apartment, it was my best friend. It was my pantry. It held my mixing bowls and cutting boards and canisters and cereal boxes. Anything I didn't want to clutter my precious counter space with went on that shelf. I loved it and upon moving into my new apartment two years ago, I nearly shed a tear because it didn't fit (it now happily lives out on my balcony holding plants, BBQ tools and other outdoor goods).

Considering it doesn't get all rusty outside, I will likely carry this shelving unit with me to my next home, because I love what it does for a space like a kitchen. It's at once utilitarian and speaks to my "everything pretty on display" desires. Plus, any chance I get to organize my favorite glasses and kitchen tools on a tray, I'll take.

I wish I had a photo to share with you of my old kitchen with my shelving unit in action, but hopefully these other beautiful examples from other homes of well-styled and totally functional storage will satisfy just as much!

(Image credit: The EveryGirl)

This eating area from a home featured on The EveryGirl uses the metal shelving unit wonderfully. It's a chance to show off some pretty silverware, bowls and a mixer, while also practically storing pots and pans and appliances you might not use every day.

(Image credit: Better Homes & Gardens)

I'm afraid my shelves were never as organized or as color coded as these from Better Homes & Gardens, but who doesn't love a little "pantry porn" so to speak?

(Image credit: The Every Girl)

Another one from Better Homes & Gardens; I love the use of baskets and crates here to store table linens. Plus, it's a great spot to set up a coffee bar if that's your thing.

(Image credit: The Every Girl)

It took me a second to realize this is the same shelf as the first one from The EveryGirl, just styled a little differently (though just as lovely).

(Image credit: How to Nest for Less)

A wire shelving unit was used to fill an empty, awkward nook in this kitchen from How to Nest for Less. Keeping like items together (like stacking cookbooks and cutting boards) makes for a tidy, organized vignette.

Considering adding a wire shelving unit to your kitchen? Here are 6 in different heights and widths:

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