When I first toured my current apartment, I knew the kitchen would be a challenge. Like many kitchens in New York, it was small, with not much counter or storage space. When I tell you there is literally one drawer in the kitchen (technically, it’s the only one in the whole apartment,) that is sadly not an exaggeration. By the time I unpacked all my flours and dry beans and noodles and chunky coffee mugs I realized something terrible: There was no room for the snacks. So I piled my tins of fish, packets of nut butter cups, and a few bags of chips and sleeves of crackers into the only space I had left, my Fox Run 3-Tier Hanging Fruit Baskets.
I purchased the hanging produce baskets on a whim for my prior apartment, where I imagined a picturesque kitchen with slowly ripening tomatoes and easy-to-grab citrus. My dreams were squashed when that first 87-degree day rolled around: I got home from work to find sticky-sweet, overly ripe produce and too many fruit flies for comfort. The fruit went into the compost and the basket was shoved in a drawer (that apartment had more than one!). Three years later, to my delight, the three-tiered basket has proven far more efficient a storage system for the snacks than it ever did for fruit, and I’m here to spread the good word.
The whole apparatus weighs under a pound when empty and is 32 inches long. It has three baskets, with widths of about 6, 9, and 11 inches. It was easy to install, which was a win for me—someone who is not especially handy with a drill or hammer. With a hook at the top, it’s essentially ready to go, no assembly required. To accommodate the high ceilings in my apartment, I hooked the basket onto a longer chain, which I looped over a drilled-in ceiling anchor hook. After over a year of consistent use, it has proven to be super strong. While it’s unclear exactly how much weight the organizer can bear (this likely has more to do with how securely screwed in the contraption is to the ceiling), I fill each basket with at least a pound of loot at any given time. I bought one in green, but this version also comes in white, gold, red, and copper. The brand also makes slightly different designs in other colors, but I prefer the criss-crossed metal of this model. Since it no longer stores items that decompose, it rarely needs to be cleaned, but when I do notice dust, it’s easy to wipe away with a damp towel.
At this point each basket serves a purpose. The top is for smaller or lightweight condiments, like slim tubes of harissa or tomato paste and jars of furikake and dukkah; the middle basket is for tinned fish, round cans of tuna and rectangular tins of sardines. The bottom basket is widest, so that’s become a bit of a catchall: It’s the chip and cracker zone, as well as the spot for a few lingering packets of curry paste and the occasional granola or candy bar. Instead of having to walk over to a closed cabinet or dig around a dry pantry, with this system it’s easy to see that I only have one tin of anchovies left, or I finished the salt and vinegar chips last night, and it’s time to stock up. This system also keeps me from over-buying (a chronic habit), as there simply isn’t room for more than a few of everything. And that’s more than any extra drawer could ever give me.