5 Ways to Make More Room in Your Pantry

Knife holder

Between dozens of spices, a full inventory of canned beans and veggies, and fresh cereal and crackers, it’s no wonder that the average pantry is stuffed to the gills. You might even find your pantry overflowing with food, forcing you to stow the excess in random corners of your kitchen. That doesn’t have to be the case, though. Even if you’re feeding a large family from a small pantry, you should have plenty of space for everything if you’re smart about organizing. Ensure that every item in your pantry has a home by following these five tips for maximizing your existing space:

  1. Install pegboard and wire shelves. These features are both relatively easy to install and can add a huge amount of storage space to your pantry. Affix wire shelves on the pantry door, and you’ll be able to stow small items like cans, spices, and baking supplies there. You can attach pegboard to the door or the back wall of the pantry, instead, and hang everything from pots and pans to spatulas and slotted spoons from its hooks.
  2. Mount a DIY spice rack. If wire shelving isn’t an option, there’s another solution for your space-consuming spices. If they’re taking up a lot of room of your shelves, swap out the larger containers for small jars. Size a piece of stainless steel to fit whatever wall space you have in your pantry. Then, affix a strong magnet to the top of each small jar, which you should fill to the brim with a spice (store the larger container anywhere you have room, maybe in a hallway closet, for refills). Mark each spice with marker on the glass bottom and stick it right to the stainless steel. You’ll have your entire inventory of spices at your fingertips without wasting any room.
  3. Use undershelf baskets. You can double the surface area of your existing shelves by adding undershelf storage. They’re exactly what they sound like: baskets that hang from shelves (their supports snake over the top of the shelf). Use these for lighter items, like coffee filters and other paper products.
  4. Try turntables. Never underestimate the space-saving power of a Lazy Susan. Though turntables themselves can take up a good amount of space, you can buy one that fits your pantry precisely so as to not eat up too much room. It’ll add an extra tier of storage in between shelves and grant you easier access to everything stored on it.
  5. Store pans vertically. Large, flat pieces of kitchenware like pans and cutting boards are notorious for taking over storage areas. If you can’t fit them under the oven or behind the kitchen sink, make room for your pans and cutting boards in the pantry. You can install vertical bars or slats of wood so that the items will only take up vertical space, not horizontal shelf space. That’s probably dead air you wouldn’t be able to use otherwise, anyway. Small spring rods work well as vertical dividers, and they’re easy to install (and just as easy to uninstall if you change your mind).

Storage Sanity: 15 Ways to Make Your Pantry Functional and Fabulous [Bob Vila]
Five Easy Steps to Reorganize Your Pantry [HGTV]