Sure, we all want a kitchen with a huge walk-in pantry and space to hide all cereal boxes and bags of chips. But, the reality is that many of us are stuck in a tiny kitchen with barely enough room to tuck away our collection of kitschy coffee mugs.
While we can't help your current square footage, we do have the organizing solutions to make your space feel infinitely more comfortable. Scroll through for 20 genius ways to organize your small pantry, whether that be a spare cabinet, DIY setup, or tiny corner nook.
Take Advantage of Vertical Space
If you think you are square-footage challenged, chances are you just might not be looking high enough. Take organization to new heights when you add floor-to-ceiling shelves and cabinets. Keep every-day items within reach and store extra stock and lesser-used items up top. If needed, install a ladder for easy access.
Bring In Another Pantry Option
If you're lacking built-in cabinets and shelf space, that doesn't mean you're doomed to store pantry items on your precious counter. Simply slide a bookcase into an empty corner of your kitchen—the famous IKEA Billy bookshelf with glass doors is perfect for recreating this exact look—for a chic addition that will give you plenty of space for additional pantry storage, dishes, and your favorite cookbooks.
Try Outer Cabinet Shelves
If storage is your biggest concern, think of every blank space as an opportunity to create additional places to park your pantry items. We love how this kitchen utilizes the unused side of a kitchen cabinet to maximize storage with shelves.
Make Things Easy to Find
When you have a small pantry, it's so important that everything has its place and it's all easy to find. Choose wire or mesh baskets you can see through and clear bins to make finding your favorite snacks a snap.
Incorporate Sliding Shelves
If you're customizing a small pantry, may we suggest incorporating the sliding shelf? It's not a make-it-or-break-it situation, but sliding your shelves out to easily access back-of-the-pantry items without sifting through a million other things first is the height of organization bliss.
Consider Container Shapes
Not all containers should be stored the same way—case in point, these different-sized drinks. While some work best standing, others store better laying down or in dispenser-style containers. Evaluate your needs and store accordingly.
Utilize Behind-the-Door Storage
If you have a larger pantry door to work with, utilize a behind-the-door shelving system to double your storage space.
DIY an Open Pantry
If you have an empty wall space, you have yourself an opportunity to DIY an open pantry with some serious aesthetic potential. A trip to the hardware store for some wooden 2x4s can completely transform the look of your kitchen and provide tons of storage space for pantry staples and dishes.
Build a Corner Pantry
If you've always longed for a pantry closet but are convinced you don't have the space for it, think again. This adorable nook carved out of an unused corner in the kitchen stores much more than you'd think. And if you're not the handy type, go ahead and position the shelves this way, nixing the door and walls.
Place Cans and Jars on Risers
Jars and canned foods have a way of getting lost behind one another, even in small pantries and cabinets. Place them all on display using pantry risers, and you'll never have to sift through all of them to find a single can again.
Make It Pretty
Pantries are often painted in a bright white and rarely boast style, but the truth is, the more stylish it looks, the more motivated you'll be to keep it organized. This fruit pattern instantly makes this corner pantry nook sunny and bright.
Decant Your Pantry Items
Snack foods, like cereals and chips, often come in big, bulky boxes or air-filled bags that take up more space than the contents within. Decant them into clear, space-saving, stackable containers to save valuable shelf space and make your snacks look cute to boot.
Consider All Organization Avenues
When it comes to getting utterly organized (especially in a place like the pantry that houses supplies of all shapes and sizes), it's important to consider all storage solutions. Shelves may work for some items, while cubby-style boxes work for others. And in this case, drawers make an excellent place to tuck away even more pantry staples.
Use Any Sliver of Space
Behind the door storage is an excellent choice anywhere, including your small pantry cabinet. Add shallow shelves to the inside of your door so you can store extra spices and use up every inch of available space.
Incorporate Lazy Susans
Rather than stuff your pantry with items that are sure to get lost in the back, place taller bottles and jars on spinning lazy Susans for 360-degree access. Stop shuffling bottles and spin them around to grab what you need instead.
One of the fundamentals of organization includes grouping specific categories together. This makes finding items easier and keeps everything together that you might need at that specific time. This organized and well-stocked pantry includes the grains zone, canned food zone, and snacks zone, which surely make mornings (afternoons, and evenings) easier.
Extend Your Island
If you negotiated an oversized island in lieu of a dedicated pantry, consider making the sides pantry-staple friendly. We love how this open-ended island boasts a dedicated shelf area for decanted pastas, grains, and rices.