In many homes the pantry is an afterthought by the home builder, and a minimal amount of shelving and storage is provided. For you apartment owners as well that have small pantries, here are tips to help you add more functional space.
- Remove items that can find a home in other places: in many kitchen pantries the storage is adequate, but the pantry is being used for a catchall of other items too. The kitchen trash can, recycle bins, and storage of large items like pet food, and bulk beverages can find a new place in your home. Consider installing under counter/sink trash cans and recycle bins to free up space in the pantry. Bulk items may be able to be housed in the garage in an air tight bin, or in a laundry room or utility closet that has more space than the kitchen pantry.
- Assess your current storage options: If your shelves do not hold enough items, consider getting new shelving installed that is deeper or wider to accommodate more. Instead of only using one type of shelving, vary the storage throughout the pantry. Spices and condiments may be able to be stored on an organization shelf on the back of the doors to free up shelf space. Pullout drawers for and varying height shelves can give flexibility for housing small kitchen appliances and varying sized boxed goods.
Remove the doors: For many kitchens, especially in older homes, a swinging door to a pantry can be the culprit of unusable space. Especially doors that are inward swinging, getting behind the door with full hands may be a hassle and storage becomes cumbersome. Consider removing the doors, or if pocket doors or accordion doors are an option, install these. If you are a person who keeps a tidy pantry, a well organized pantry, can be beautiful décor in a kitchen!
Utilize vertical wall space: Instead of using shelving on every wall, leave some areas free for hanging wire storage from ceiling to floor for pots and pans, aprons, and large utensils. If you don't have a free vertical wall, than consider using ceiling hanging pot racks that can maximize vertical storage. Remember, as long as you can see all the contents of your pantry at one time, all space is fair game for adding functional space!
Kitchen pantry organization can be the sole reason you enjoy cooking or not! If you can't find what you need quickly, and you spend more time searching than creating delicious dishes, these pantry storage tips should help. If you are puzzled as to how to use the space more efficiently, visit organization stores for inspiration or hire a kitchen designer or consultant. Every pantry has the ability to be used more efficient, it may take some creativity and shuffling of existing contents, but there is a light to the end of the pantry.