How to Create More Storage in Your Pantry

If you are reading this, you must already be familiar with the numerous benefits of having a pantry in your home. What was once a “pan” (meaning bread in French) storage is now a multi-purpose mini-warehouse for anything that doesn’t make it to the kitchen. But no matter how big your pantry is, it is safe to assume you could use a bit more space there. Here are some of the organizing hacks that can help you create more storage in your pantry without having to increase its square footage.

Use containers of all types

As you are probably aware, to create more storage in your pantry, you need to find efficient ways to use the available space there as much as possible. To do that, it is necessary to sort and organize the items properly. Randomly placed boxes occupy a larger area than neatly packed ones. It would be best if you also chose boxes of appropriate sizes. Oversized containers will occupy more space than is necessary. Our advice is to approach this problem from two sides:

  1. Fill closed containers with various types of groceries. Transparent or opaque jars and plastic boxes can hold sugar, salt, nuts, tea, coffee, or any raw ingredients you know exactly how to use. Getting rid of the packaging isn’t a good idea if we are talking about items you need instructions for. Also, pay attention to the expiration dates. Avoid throwing away packaging of the product whose expiration date is shorter than the time it will potentially spend in the pantry.
  2. Use baskets and open boxes for products you will not remove from the packaging. As opposed to the previous category, some products are better left unpacked until their usage. For example, snack food can be grouped by type in decorative baskets. Some product packets, such as boxes of tightly packed cereals, are handy for storage and space-saving. You can put those in a row on a shelf, carefully arranging that all are visible and easy to take.

Just a reminder – don’t forget to label the containers. You don’t want to add salt to your cookies, and your family probably won’t find it entertaining. 

Several clear jars and boxes with lids which are great to use in order to create more storage in your pantry.
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Put items you are familiar how to use into different types of containers with lids.

Pantry zoning and securing

To avoid losing all the space you got with good sorting of items, it is essential to consider whether the items are readily available or hard to reach. If taking one thing out of the pantry means making a mess, all your work will go to waste quickly. The solution would be to create zones and store items by the frequency of their use. The zones that are at eye level are to host the most frequently used products. Those items you use once a year can occupy the areas you need a stool to reach. Also, if you opt for wider shelves, put the things you do not need as often in the back row. 

Putting dangerous and breakable items out of kids’ reach is essential. If you have pets, don’t put food or edible items where your fluffy family members can get to them. The rule is to start arranging the things you never use first and then gradually get to those you use daily. Also, don’t forget to secure everything so an unintentional little bump wouldn’t mean weeks of weird odor.

Try to use each available section of the pantry

Don’t forget those hard-to-reach areas to use each available inch of your pantry’s space. In the long run, it is an excellent investment to get floor-to-ceiling shelves that will create more storage in your pantry near the top and bottom of the room. As we mentioned earlier, you will not need all the items often. Some, such as extra-large pots, get to leave their repository once a year. Therefore, it’s ok to put such belongings in remote pantry areas.

The door is another area that people forget to capitalize on when creating storage space. The back-of-the-door rack is handy and doesn’t cost much, nor is it difficult to install. Floating shelves are perfect for small and asymmetrical pantries and are a stylish addition to any room in the house. Finally, the section under the shelves can be a good spot for breakable stuff such as jars holding sauces and jams.

Three shelves holding various items in a pantry, fitted in a narrow space between two walls.
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Install all sort of shelves wherever possible in your pantry.

Declutter from time to time

Any story about making more storage, regardless of what room we are talking about, would be incomplete without decluttering. Generally speaking, it is understandable that we gather both necessary and completely unneeded items in all parts of our home. Yet, decluttering as a habit is a powerful tool that helps us remain in control of our house. Always remember that all your possessions are there to improve your life, not suffocate you and decrease your living space. Therefore, in the pantry, as in all other areas of your home, decluttering must happen occasionally.  

As for the pantry, in particular, try not to overstock it. You do not need large amounts of groceries with an expiration date. You can hardly eat it all in time. And even if the end of the world is near (which it isn’t), the perishables will still go bad when the time comes. Broken items and those of dubious quality are also something you should rid your pantry of. Quality over quantity – that is the motto you should go by.

Consider getting the liquors out of the pantry and into their cabinet

Not all homes can boast a large pantry, yet all the owners need more pantry space. Having that in mind, here’s some interesting advice for you: consider if you should place all of the items you are currently holding in your pantry elsewhere. For example, liquor bottles, wine openers, and wine glasses. There are many beautiful ways to display your collection of alcoholic drinks, so a pantry is not their ideal final destination. If you want to make home improvements, consider establishing a bar-like corner where your carefully collected bottles will rest. This interior design element will add to the esthetic appeal of your home and indirectly create space in your pantry for the less presentable stuff. 

Wall-mounted shelves holding liquor bottles in the kitchen.
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To create more storage in your pantry, remove the liquor bottles and display them elsewhere

Use wall space where shelves cannot be installed to put racks on it

Sometimes, wall space in the pantry does not provide enough depth to place a shelf. That’s where the racks come in. Racks are helpful when you have smaller or flatter items that can be mounted on the wall and therefore occupy space that otherwise has no purpose. A spice rack and a pot rack are ideal for such areas. You will need to store spice and pots somewhere; why not on the otherwise unusable wall? Some of the reliable experts among Best Movers NYC suggested that these practical solutions involving wall-mounted racks are very popular with many of their clients. So far, whoever chose to use this modern way of storing items found it both functional and esthetically pleasing. 

To create more storage in your pantry that is small, consider installing sliding doors

This advice is simple. Small pantries would benefit from sliding doors. This type of door is interesting from an aesthetic point of view, apart from its high practical value. Unfortunately, with the sliding door, there can be no back-of-the-door rack, but the newly available space can compensate for that. Consider this solution, as it may be just the right one for your pantry.

It is better to arrange items in tiers than on top of each other 

Now, here’s a genius idea – tiered shelves. Not only does this solution provide for the perfect visibility of those items in the back rows, but it is unique. Firstly, it can look great. Secondly, this way of organizing items reduces the chance of breaking something since the items are easier to reach. There is a lower risk of making a mess by searching for something in the back row. These may seem like ridiculous points to you, but the first time you smash half of your pantry while looking for vanilla sticks, you will discover how vital the little tricks are when managing a household. 

Speaking of mess and avoiding it, consider vertical dividers. You can use them for storing flat items such as cutting boards or pot lids. Yes, these can be stored one on top of another. But imagine being in a great hurry and needing the bottom cutting board ASAP. You can also place these dividers inside the drawers. You can use them to sort items and prevent them from toppling when opening and closing the drawer.

Final thoughts

So, to summarize, to create more storage in your pantry, you will need to declutter. Put your items in containers and arrange these containers into the zones we discussed. A bit of investing and some hard work is all your pantry is asking for to be able to hold more of your belongings. Once you organize and declutter, you won’t be ashamed to open your pantry while you have guests. A small price to pay for a significant amount of items to be adequately taken care of, don’t you think?

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