Some Actually Useful Home Storage Solutions for Small Spaces

Some Actually Useful Home Storage Solutions for Small Spaces

Spoiler: You’re going to learn to love a lazy Susan.

Welcome to Someone Buy This!, a monthly shopping column featuring the fun, the frivolous, and the practical from a very discerning shopper.

Hello to everyone who rang in 2023 thinking "new year, same mess." I see you, I feel you and I’m here to help. One exciting byproduct of living in New York City is that you’re forced into seeking out and using every square inch of space you have. Your home doesn’t always have to be super tidy but if everything has a place, cleaning up feels less like scaling a mountain and more like a quick task you can do while listening to a podcast. To get to this place, you need functional storage solutions. Here are some home storage products that are not just cute boxes. (Okay—one of these is a cute box but I make a good case for it.)

(Be prepared: You’re going to see a lot of turntables in this column. That’s right, turntables. I refuse to use the term "lazy Susan" because frankly I don’t know Susan and can’t comment on her work ethic.)

Turntables for the kitchen

This turntable from IKEA is intended for your fridge but could work in a big cabinet. It’s a wider platform that should take up most if not an entire shelf in your fridge, allowing you to pull and spin to get to the condiments, leftovers or tasty treats of your choice.

SNURRAD Storage Turntable
Don’t forget all the yummies in the back of the fridge! This shelf pulls out and revolves, so you can see and reach the smallest jars hiding in the back. A clever addition to your fridge.

I recommend this smaller, cabinet-sized turntable to hold your various cooking oils, vinegar, etc.

Kitchen Spaces Large Lazy Susan Turntable
The Kitchen Spaces Turntable Pantry Organizer helps you maximize your space while keeping all your items within reach.

 Lastly, here’s a cute-looking version you may wanna keep out on the counter!

KACYDI Lazy Susan Turntable
The Lazy Susan cabinet organizer creates extra storage in kitchen cabinets, bedrooms, closets, homes, and offices. Its revolving turntable maximizes storage space, especially in corner cabinets and deep cabinets where items can be hard to reach.

A place for every pot

A common area of wasted space in kitchens is the above and/or behind the stove zone. I must have fallen into a really bizarre user group on TikTok because I’ve been getting countless videos about magnetic stove shelves lately.

These magnetic shelves snap on to the top of your stove and let you take advantage of that strip of space to store a timer, commonly used spices, or whatever else you want.

StoveShelf Spice Rack Organizer
Give your kitchen a clean and tidy look! StoveShelf is a durable, magnetic shelf that quickly attaches to your stove, providing a sturdy storage space for condiments, spices, oils, and decor.

If your oven light switch is in the way, this Etsy seller makes custom magnetic shelves with light switch cutouts.

There are all kinds of options, including this simple wood riser.

Reds Wood Design Stove Top Shelf Riser
Keeps kitchen essentials within reach while cooking. Adds a built-in look without permanent installation. Custom made from richly grained maple or walnut.

For the teensiest of bathrooms

Until last summer, I had minimal storage and zero counter space in my bathroom. This was difficult for me as the kind of person who owns countless serums, lotions, etc. It may sound a bit dramatic but this shelf and its accompanying turntable from IKEA completely changed my life.

ENHET wall frame with shelves
ENHET series makes it easy to start fresh in the kitchen, bath or laundry. This frame keeps things out in the open. Make it your own by choosing frame color and putting your jars and bottles on display.
ENHET swivel shelf
Tired of looking for those things that tend to disappear in the kitchen or bathroom? You can easily solve this by attaching this handy swivel shelf to the open wall- or high frames in the ENHET series.

I got the shallow version of the shelf, which is the same depth as my medicine cabinet, and use the turntable for my daily products. It’s so helpful to be able to see and easily access everything. The open shelving also forces me to keep things tidy. This is a game-changer for a bathroom or even a kitchen–the turnstile could hold a ton of spices!

Tiny-bathroom-havers know that every bit of space counts. This rolling cart should fit perfectly in an unused narrow space and can hold a ton of stuff. My favorite part is the flat top which, depending on your bathroom layout, can give you a little bit more counter space.

Squared Away™ 4-Tier Slim Rolling Storage Car
4 tiers provide storage for your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry storage. Equipped with 4 rolling casters to move easily around your home.

For closets, foyers, and those weird little spots that should be an entryway but are too small to be anything else

These tension rod shelves are a great, renter-friendly way to customize a coat closet. They’re also great for cabinets where you need an extra bit of shelf space. I know they don’t look like it, but these shelves are super sturdy and very easy to remove if you end up wanting to use them in a different spot.

Hershii Closet Tension Shelf & Rod
Steel tubes within this rack allow you to adjust its length and provide storage for shoes, books, plants, and more.

Okay, I know this is basically just a set of small boxes that fit into a bigger box but BUT they do so seamlessly. Think of what you could store in here. Seasonal decorations, shoes, purses! These boxes are waterproof and have a ribbed exterior that not only makes them look fancy, but also prevents slipping. At 10.5 inches tall, the shallow box will likely fit under your bed or sofa.

like-it Stacking Storage Containers
Designed for indoor or outdoor use, each one has a tight-fitting lid that makes it totally waterproof. (Go ahead, keep them out on the deck or by the pool.) Oh, and see the ribbed pattern all over? It makes these boxes stackable, no slipping or sliding in sight.

Why is shoe storage so hard? Why do we have to choose between ugly and shockingly expensive? Listen, I love looking at the Open Spaces entryway rack but can’t bring myself to fork over $184 for a shoe rack. No judgment, though!

Open Spaces Entryway Rack
Turn organization into decor with a multi-use, three-tier rack that’s beautiful in any room.

If I were in the market for a shoe rack I’d go for this expandable one by Yamazaki. It expands to fit your space and can hold 12-16 pairs of shoes.

Expandable Shoe Rack
If you’re looking to add charm to your shoe organization, look no further than this Scandinavian-style shoe rack that combines form and function. Not all closets are the same size, so why should shoe racks be? Fits perfectly in the space you have.

I recently got this simple, hanging hamper in an effort to keep my closet floor clear. It hangs on an over-the-door hook and is easy to unhook and carry to my building’s laundry room. It’s not the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen but I wanted something very basic and functional but not meshy, (I hate mesh hampers.)

Hanging Cotton Canvas Laundry Hamper Bag
The hook for this canvas hamper bag keeps it upright and off the floor. Along with the bag's metal rim, the hook can be removed when needed.

For all your other storage and organizational needs

I am not what you’d call a "handy" person but I do own a very basic set of tools. They currently live in a plastic box with a ziplock bag full of loose screws and bolts. It’s not a very glamorous or functional situation, which is why I’ve been on the hunt for a tool box… a cute one. I found this one by Metalplus at Marie Kondo’s online store (which has some great stuff, by the way).

Everyday Metal Toolbox by Metalplus
Made from powder-coated steel, this classic toolbox features an accordion lid, three main compartments and 12 removable inner containers. Use it for household tools, of course, but also for organizing art and craft supplies, children's toys and more.

I never really considered the storage potential of headboards until recently when my partner built himself an affordable version of this one.

Tikamoon Headboard
The Bertie headboard in solid teak is both elegant and understated, with a trick up its sleeve: a handy shelf on the side for your books, glasses, phone, and all those things you like to have within reach cluttering up space! We like the purity of line and untreated look produced by lightly...

If building your own furniture is not feasible for you and you’d like to not spend $2,500, this storage headboard is a good pick. The long shelf on top can hold your glass of water, phone and maybe a small lamp. There are cubbies on each side big enough for books, your tablet, or whatever else you need within arm’s reach in bed.

Ruby Layered Queen Storage Headboard
Keep your bedside essentials close by with this storage headboard crafted from engineered wood with curved edges. Complete with a shelf across the top of the headboard and small cubbies built-in on either side. Available exclusively at Urban Outfitters.

And while we’re on the topic of beds: Sorry not sorry to bring up Marie Kondo again but these under bed storage bins from her Container Store collab are very good. I hate wrestling with a zipper and love that these just pop right open. And they’re nice to look at!

Cotton and Bamboo Underbed Storage Box by Gudee Life
Make the most of a commonly underused household space with this organizer for under the bed. Made from breathable cotton and sustainable bamboo, a foldable lid allows you to easily access stored linens, towels and off-season garments. When not in use, it's designed to flatten and neatly store away.

If you want to spend less, IKEA has a not-as-pretty option that opens in a similar, easy way.

SOCKERBIT storage box with lid
If you need more storage space, why not sleep on it? This box is designed to perfectly fit under a bed and protects clothing, comforters and anything else you want to store from dust and dirt.

My monitor riser is one of my favorite home office purchases. I highly recommend getting one if you use a monitor or just a laptop. You can tuck Post-Its, notebooks and various chargers (can Apple just agree on one charger, please?) in the shelves underneath to eliminate desk clutter. This thing is great.

VATTENKAR laptop and monitor stand
Take care of your back and shoulders. Use this stand to enjoy having the monitor at the correct height and a better working position – at the office or when the kitchen table is your workplace for the day.

This swivel organizer is meant for your desk but you can use it to store jewelry or other small accessories. The four stacked compartments are so satisfying to rotate open and closed.

Rexite Multiplor Rotating Desk Organizer
A chic, sleek storage solution for your desktop. With a simple rotatory movement, this compact, cylindrical design’s four polymer and steel storage trays are revealed.

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