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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?

Proper pantry organization can impact the functionality of the entire kitchen.  The pantry is important for storing our daily nutrients, and keeping it organized will ensure meal time goes off without a hitch.  Organizing the pantry can also assist with meal planning and grocery shopping, proper food storage and quick access to the items used most frequently.

What is better than an organized pantry?  An organized pantry on a budget!  The pantry above is quite effective, and many of the items purchased or used were found on the cheap.  Let’s take a closer look.



  1. Use cork tiles on the inside of the pantry door to pin up favorite recipes.
  2. Store dry goods in clear, air-tight storage containers to extend the food’s life and freshness factor.
  3. Shelf risers allow you to double your shelving space.
  4. Tiered shelf risers are great for allowing you to see jars, cans and spices that are stored towards the back of the pantry.
  5. Attaching a clipboard to the inside of the pantry door provides a space for a grocery list.  When something runs out, just pop it on the list and always be ready for shopping day!
  6. Simple clothespins work great as bag clips.
  7. Installing drawers in a pantry is always a great solution for ensuring nothing is lost in the back.  However, custom wooden options can be quite pricey.  Inexpensive storage bins can act as a sliding drawer, allowing you to store like items together, while still offering the pull out functionality that we all love.
  8. Lazy susans are fantastic for corralling smaller jars and bottles.  A quick spin and you can see all of your products in a jif!
  9. Shelf baskets clip onto shelves, giving you extra vertical storage where there once was none.
  10. Clear cereal containers allow you to quickly see what is remaining before heading to the grocery store, while preserving the freshness of the cereal for longer periods of time.


And a few bonus budget busting tips:



When it comes to wire pantry shelves, cut foam board (found at the dollar store) to the size of your shelves and cover it with shelf liner.  This is an inexpensive way to ensure nothing falls through those wire grates and provides a streamlined appearance.



Use mason jars as inexpensive food storage.  And you can never go wrong with making your own labels!



Magazine files work great for corralling recipes, magazines and cookbooks.



cork tiles / lazy susan / shelf basket / labels / shelf liner / shelf riser / magazine file / clothespins / tiered riser / food storage



New Kitchen Storage Ideas

The pantry is often a small space, however, it has to function BIG!  Typically used to store food, it may also be the home of small appliances, serving pieces, paper products, etc… That means it is important to maximize the space provided and organize it in a way that makes sense on a daily basis.

Here are some of my no fail pantry organizing tips!

  • It’s good to give your pantry a good starting foundation.  Foods of all kinds are stored in the pantry, and that can mean drips and spills.  I started in our own pantry by adding pretty liner, which has provided us with super simple clean ups.
  • Hanging a clipboard within the pantry will allow you to keep a weekly shopping list right at your fingertips.
  • Tuck a step stool inside to help you reach the shelves up high with ease.


  • Tiered shelves and lazy susans are magical additions to the pantry since they don’t allow items to get lost in the back.  They keep everything visible and easy to access.


  • A dry erase board mounted inside of the pantry is a great spot to manage meal planning.
  • The addition of simple hooks allow you to hang linens within the pantry; everything from aprons to hand towels to oven mitts.


  • Label, label, label.  Labels are great for determining food types {especially when similar in shape, color and size}.  They also help ensure that things make their way back to their original home.


  • By using clear storage containers within the pantry, you can always see exactly what you have on hand right at first glance, and food stays fresher for longer.


  • The back of the cabinet or pantry door is always prime real estate for storage of all kinds.  Over the door organizers, magnetic boards and hooks are all great items that will make the most of your space.


  • Divide your pantry into areas or zones that make the most sense to your daily routine.  Keep like items together and categorize items by food type.  Place frequently used items right within reach and less used items up high or down low.
  • Another great way to maximize the space originally provided, is to invest in expandable organizers, which clip below shelves or stack above, to ultimately triple your storage.


  • Pantries tend to be designed a few feet deep, which means things can easily be forgotten in the back.  A great solution is to install roll out drawers so that nothing shows up on the missing persons food report.


  • Baskets make a great, less expensive alternative option to the pull out cabinet drawers.  They hold the same functionality of pulling all contents out at a time, but at a fraction of the cost.


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Hi Everyone, this is Samantha Thorpe from Storage magazine. We are really into using labels to help keep you and your family organized. No matter what area you need to get in order in your house—closet, pantry, bathroom, entry, or kid’s room—labels help everyone know where to return items so the next person can find them. Now, that is easier said then done.

But fun labels are a great reminder that there is “A place for everything and everything in its place,” as Isabella Mary Beeton first wrote in The Book of Household Management in 1861.  So try downloading these labels to get organized today.

Make it easy to find food you have stocked in your pantry with these mix-and-match labels (above left) available at You can add your own categories as well!  These free downloadable labels come in a variety of patterns and sizes. They’re easy to customize to describe your containers’ contents.

You can also get your kids organized with labels that make it easy for them to put things away. For kids who can’t read quite yet, use labels with photos to help them put their trains, stuffed animals, and other items in the right place.

-Samantha Thorpe, Storage Magazine

Do you have an open pantry? Sometimes clutter can take over and then you can’t ever find anything you’re looking for. It’s a sad day, but this sweet little organized pantry has inspired me! It’s open, organized, and lovely to look at. Would you like your pantry to look like this? Oh man, me too. So to get us all started, I’ve gathered up some links and goodies to create your own pretty open pantry. Just like the photo above.

Plus, I made some free label tags for you to print out. I’ve added wording to some of them, but there are also blank labels to print. You’ll find the link below.


1. A free printable, from me. Labeled tags, blank tags. 2. Screw Eye Hook, Amazon 3. Glitter Twine, Knot & Bow 4. Chrome Cabinet Shelf, Storables  5. Glass Canisters, The Container Store  6. Large Bamboo Crate, Storables  7. Kerr Wide Mouth Mason Jars, Amazon


- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

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