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Making the Most of a Pantry-Less Kitchen

When you think of your dream kitchen, what top three essentials come to mind? My guess is that a designated and organized pantry space makes the top of the list. Kitchens are one of the highest functioning spaces in the entire home, and a pantry provides storage for everything from dry foods to small appliances to bulk paper products. However, not all kitchens were created with walk-in food closets or floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboards. So how does one make the most of a pantry-less kitchen?

My favorite way to create a pantry where there once was none, is to bring in a piece of storage furniture.

Wire Shelving:

Makeshift Pantry

Wire shelving adds a modern and industrial vibe to the kitchen, will offer an abundance of vertical storage for daily cooking supplies. Although these types of shelves can be trickier to keep visually appealing, selecting decorative storage bins and baskets as well as products with cohesive packaging will really help to create a clean and functional storage area.


Bookshelf Pantry

Bookshelves are wonderfully flexible when it comes to storage in any space of the home, and in the kitchen is no exception. They offer the ability to add in decorative doors and drawers to create a combination of open and concealed storage. Place dishes and cookbooks on upper shelves and fill lower drawers and cupboards with less sightly supplies.


Wardrobe Pantry

As much as bookcases are typically my “go-to” piece of storage furniture, when it comes to setting up the highest functioning pantry, a wardrobe cabinet or armoire wins my vote every time. Not just for clothing or televisions anymore, these cabinets can be customized in a variety of creative ways to add drawers, adjustable shelving and door organizers.

Bathroom Cabinet:

Bathroom Cabinet

When looking for creative ways to add storage to your kitchen, think outside of the box and shop in a variety of home deparments. The bathroom is typically one of the smallest rooms in the home, so the variety of smart storage solutions avalable for that space is often quite high. A narrow bathroom cabinet may just be the winning solution to add linen, dish and food storage to a small kitchen or dining area.

Rolling Cart:

Rolling Pantry Cart

Anytime you can add wheels to something, it instantly doubles the versatility and functionality. A narrow bookcase can be upgraded with casters, hooks and a towel bar to create kitchen storage inside and out.

If adding more furniture to the space is not an option, consider making the most of the cabinets and drawers you do have.


BHG Food Drawers

Just because food is traditionally stored in cupboards, doesn’t mean that it always makes the most sense. In fact, drawers act as incredible food storage solutions because they provide easy access to contents in both the front and back of the cabinet space.

Drawer Pantry Storage

via iheart organizing

Receive storage bonus points by adding bins and dividers to the drawers to categorize the contents and prevent items from shifting between uses.

Kitchen Cabinets:

Cabinet Pantry Alternative

via the social home

A single cabinet offers the ability to pack a lot of storage punch. It really comes down to maximizing the space with proper storage containers and organizers. Purchasing food storage containers that properly fit your cabinet and decanting foods from bulky store-bought packaging is a great place to begin. The clear storage also offers the ability to see current inventory at a glance.

Lazy Susan | Turntable:

Lazy Susan

Placing smaller bottles and containers on a turntable offers easy access to all items with a quick spin of the organizer. Tiered versions also make the most of vertical space between shelves.

Tiered Shelving:

Tiered Pantry Shelves

via iheart organizing

Adding tiered “step” storage to the shelves of your cupboards will allow cans and jars to be stacked, visible and easy to reach even toward the back.

Pull-Out Bins:

Pull-Out Pantry Bins

via a thoughtful place blog

Categorize food and dining products within everyday plastic bins to create inexpensive “drawers” that pull out to provide access to the items in the back of the cabinet. Bins are also a great cabinet solution because they can be easily removed and cleaned or restocked at a moment’s notice.

Unconventional Storage Solutions:

Everyday Organizing Items

Just as it is important to shop for kitchen storage furniture in other home departments, the same rule applies for smaller organizing solutions as well. Some of the best kitchen cabinet organizers can be found in the home office aisles. Magazine files are great for holding water bottles, canned goods, cookbooks, food wrap boxes etc.. while clipboards organize meal plans and desktop organizers tackle spice packets and baking tools.

Document Holder Storage

Many document holders also double as sleek storage for food and gadgets and can be installed discreatly behind cabinet doors.

Last but not least it is important to remember that on occassion, an oversized pantry cabinet can loose its effectiveness if it is too large; things become easily lost and over-purchasing of food products can occur. Many times, even just a sliver of space can create a big storage impact when designed and organized effectively.

Pull Out Pantry

via the kitchn

Do you have a pantry-less kitchen, and if so, what additional storage tips do you have for making the most of your space?

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