Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Smart Storage Solutions for Tiny Kitchen Pantries

4 minute read

Having a small kitchen pantry can be frustrating. Fitting everything from canned goods to baking supplies in a tiny space often feels like an impossible puzzle. But with some creative solutions, you can transform even the tiniest pantry into a model of organization and efficiency.

The key is maximizing every inch of available storage space. By fully utilizing your existing shelving, cabinets and forgotten nooks, as well as incorporating some space-saving DIY projects, you can gain the specialized storage you need in a petite pantry.

Assess Your Existing Storage Space

Start by taking measurements of your entire pantry space, including depth of shelves and cabinets. Note any unused or awkward areas that could potentially offer storage solutions, like the inside of a cabinet door or an empty wall space.

kitchen pantry ideas for small spaces

Next, analyze exactly what you need to store. Make a list of types of items, such as canned goods, baking ingredients, snacks, spices, etc. This will help you identify ideal storage solutions for each category.

Optimize Current Shelves and Cabinets

Look for ways to better utilize the storage space you already have. For example, adjust existing shelves to fit items of different heights, like tall cereal boxes. Install pull-out baskets underneath shelves to double space.

Maximize vertical storage inside cabinets with additional shelves, racks or files on the doors and sidewalls. Pull-out drawers are also great for deep cabinets so you can access items in the back.

Make Use of Dead Space

Take advantage of the often ignored spaces in your pantry, like hanging a spice rack inside a cabinet door or adding narrow wall-mounted shelves. Ledges, racks and wall files can all be installed on empty walls or the interior of doors.

You can also mount overhead storage racks above cabinets to gain vertical space. Sturdy metal utility racks with baskets are one option for overhead storage.

Creative Solutions to Gain More Space

Smart Corner Storage

The corners of your pantry are prime spots to look for adding storage. Install a lazy susan turntable in a corner cabinet so you can easily spin to access items in the back. For a narrow corner, try multi-layered corner shelves to add vertical storage.

You can also anchor sturdy wire corner shelves on the ceiling so they hover above your existing shelving for a second tier of storage.

Go Vertical

Since you’re limited horizontally, make use of vertical space whenever possible. Hanging wall-mounted racks, pan racks, and spice racks keep items organized while leaving countertop surfaces clear.

You can also DIY your own wall-mounted pot racks and shelves using basic boards and brackets. Just make sure screws are firmly anchored into wall studs.

Mobile Storage

When your pantry space ends, look just outside the door. A freestanding utility cart or rolling pantry can provide you with flexible extra storage. Sturdy wire shelving units on casters are one affordable option.

You can also repurpose an old dresser or sideboard to create a wheeled pantry. Just add handles and caster wheels to the base.

Under the Sink

Don’t forget to check under your kitchen sink for potential storage space. Install pull-out trays or roll-out baskets to neatly organize cleaning supplies and free up pantry space. You can also mount a wire rack to the inside of a sink cabinet door.

Keep Your Small Pantry Organized

Group Like Items

Use matching containers to store similar items together and label accordingly. For example, keep baking supplies in one bin and oils/vinegars together in another. This makes finding ingredients quick and easy.

Spice jars should also be grouped together – either on a wall-mounted rack or turntable inside a cabinet. Having a “place for everything” avoids clutter.

Prioritize Your Space

Reserve the most accessible spots in your pantry, like eye level shelves, for frequently used staples like flour, sugar and coffee. This avoids constantly digging to the back for everyday items.

Heavy items like cans should go on lower shelves, while lightweight crackers and cereals can go up high.

First In, First Out

Use the FIFO (First In, First Out) method to rotate your stock. Place newly purchased items behind existing products so you use up older items first before expiration dates. Regularly check dates to toss anything past its prime.

Just because your pantry is small doesn’t mean it has to look boring. Use colorful storage bins and matching canisters to add visual appeal. Paint the walls a bright, cheerful hue or wallpaper the back wall for personality.

Chalkboard paint or peel-and-stick chalkboard sheets allow you to label bins and containers in style. For a cohesive look, choose organizational accessories like jars and racks that match your overall kitchen decor.

With some measurements, planning and DIY creativity, you can take a cramped, cluttered pantry and give it new life. Use these storage solutions to create specialized spots for all your essentials while maximizing every square inch.